Biography of Ridge Paschal

Ridge Paschal was born July, 1845, at Van Buren, Arkansas, the second son of George W. Paschal, supreme judge at Arkansas, and author of Texas Digest of Decisions and Texas Digest of Laws, besides other legal works. Ridge’s mother was Sallie, only daughter of Major Ridge, and sister of John Ridge, prominent Cherokees. His father came to the old nation in 1833, being at that time an officer attached to the staff of Scott and Wolfe. When the Cherokees moved west, he went to Van Buren, Arkansas, and resumed the practice of law, becoming attorney for the treaty party of the Cherokees. The subject of our sketch attended Wharton College, Austin, Texas, until 1860, when he was sent to the Virginia Military Institute, where he remained until 1861. Ridge, like the other members of his family, was devoted to the Union, therefore identified himself with the Federals until the close of the war in 1865, when he went to Galveston, Texas, and became editor of Flake’s Bulletin, the organ of the Republican party in that State. Afterwards he entered the law office of J. R. and George W. Paschal, at San Antonio, Texas, and while studying, was the associate editor of the San Antonio Express. His brother dying soon afterward, he entered into partnership with his father, and retained charge of the firm’s business from 1868 to 1874. In 1868, he was admitted to the bar, and 1869 became United States commissioner for the Western district of Texas, with offices at Austin. In 1869 he was appointed clerk of the Supervisor of Internal Revenue of the district of Lousiana, Texas, and Arkansas, which office he gave up in the summer of 1869 to become district attorney of the second or capital district of Texas, which he held until 1870. In 1872 he became a delegate for the Liberal Republican party that nominated Horace Greeley. Mr. Greeley he believed to be the best representative of the American doctrine of protection. In 1874 Mr. Paschal was honored with a special appointment by President Grant, of customs collector for the district of Corpus Christi, embracing the Gulf and 150 miles of Rio Grande frontier, which office he held for four years, after which he returned to Laredo and resumed the practice of law. About 1880 Mr. Paschal purchased and edited Los Dos Laredos, a paper printed partly in Spanish and partly in English. In the same year he became United States commissioner at Laredo, and soon after, delegate to Texas Republican convention, where he led the party that carried for Grant over the combined influences of the opposition. Although Mr. Paschal had supported Greeley in 1872, yet Grant appointed him to office afterward, which action so impressed Mr. Paschal that nothing would induce him to go back on the old general. However, when Garfield got the nomination, Ridge supported him warmly. In 1884, the subject of our sketch came to the Indian Territory, and settled at Vinita, where he practiced in the home courts and the federal courts at Fort Smith. In 1877 he went on the editorial staff of the Cherokee Advocate, and in 1889, when the United States Court was established at Muskogee, Judge Shackleford was confronted with the fact that, though there were lawyers from every section of the Union presenting him with licenses, none but Paschal’s bore the broad seal of the United States Supreme Court. In 1890 the said judge appointed him United States commissioner for the first division, with office at Tahlequah, Indian Territory. Mr. Paschal married Mrs. Virginia Casman in August 1880. She is the daughter of Colonel Anthony Winston, of Texas, a man of considerable prominence in the Confederate service. The subject of our sketch is five feet nine and a half inches, weighs over 170 pounds, and is remarkably active and muscular. His education, professional and otherwise, is far beyond the average. As a Republican politician, he is widely known throughout the State of Texas, where he has always taken a front seat among his partisans. Mr. Paschal is also a powerful and effective writer.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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