Dallam became Matagorda publisher, lawyer

James Dallam’s grave marker at Matagorda Cemetery.

    James Wilmer Dallam, legal scholar, newspaper publisher, and author, the son of Francis Johnson and Sarah (Wilmer) Dallam, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on Sept. 24, 1818. 
   Following his graduation in 1837 from Brown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he studied law in Baltimore in the office of Reverdy Johnson. 
   In 1839 Dallam moved to Matagorda, Texas, where he quickly made a place for himself in the frontier community. 
   In 1844 he went to Washington, D.C., to compile A Digest of the Laws of Texas: Containing a Full and Complete Compilation of the Land Laws; Together with the Opinions of the Supreme Court. 
   Published in Baltimore by John D. Troy in 1845, Dallam’s Digest, as the work is familiarly known, has been called the “lawyer’s Bible” and has gone through several printings: 1881, 1883, and 1904. 
   His Opinions of the Supreme Court of Texas from 1840 to 1844, Inclusive, was published as a separate book in 1883, a reprint of the second part of the 1845 edition. 

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