Birth: Dec. 18, 1813
Death: Jan. 31, 1851
Burial: Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas.
US Congressman, Texas Patriot. An important political figure of the Republic and early statehood of Texas. He was the first person to represent that state in the US Congress. Kaufman was born in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, the son of German-Jewish parents. After graduating from Princeton College in 1833, he studied law in Mississippi under John A. Quitman and in 1835 became a practicing attorney in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Drawn to the Republic of Texas by its struggle for independence, he settled in Nacogdoches in 1837. As a Major in the local militia he fought in the Cherokee War and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Neches (July 1839), from which he never fully recovered. Kaufman was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1839 to 1843 (the last two terms as Speaker), and the Texas Senate from 1843 to 1845. In February 1845,
Republic President Anson Jones named him to succeed Andrew J. Donelson as Chargé d'Affaires to the US; he never presented his credentials and Texas entered statehood at the end of that year. Instead he was elected as a Democrat to represent the Eastern District of Texas in the Twenty-Ninth and two succeeding Congresses, serving from March 1846 until his death. During his time on Capitol Hill Kaufman was pugnacious in defending the interests of his home state.
He unsuccessfully argued that parts of what are now New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming rightfully belonged to Texas, and attempted to persuade Governor Peter H. Bell to have the State Militia invade Santa Fe. He did gain concessions from the Compromise of 1850, in which the federal government assumed the debts of the former Republic. In his final term he was Chairman of the Committee on Rules. Kaufman died at 37 in Washington, DC and was originally buried at Congressional Cemetery; he was reinterred at the State Cemetery in Austin in 1932. Kaufman County, Texas was created in his honor. He was the only Jewish Texan to serve in Congress until 1979.
Mr. Howard rose and announced that David S. Kaufman, a member of this House from the State of Texas, died at his lodgings in this city on the 31st ultimo; and, after a brief eulogium on the life, character, and public services of the deceased, moved the following resolutions; which were read and unanimously adopted, viz:
Resolved, That this House has heard with deep emotion the annunciation of the death of the Hon. David S. Kaufman, a member of this House from the State of Texas.
Resolved, That this House tenders to the relatives of the deceased the expression of its sympathy on this afflicting event; and, as a testimony of respect for the memory of the deceased, the members and officers of the House will go into mourning by wearing crape on the left arm for thirty days.
Resolved, That the members and officers of the House will attend the funeral of the Hon. David S. Kaufman, deceased, from the Hall of the House of Representatives, on Monday next, at 12 o'clock m.
Resolved, Theta committee be appointed for superintending the funeral of the deceased.
Mr. Howard of Texas, Mr. Ashmun, of Massachusetts, Mr. Jacob Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Miller of Ohio, Mr. McLanahan of Pennsylvania, Mr. Shepperd of North Carolina, Mr. McLean of Kentucky, Mr. Morse of Louisiana, and Mr. McClernand of Illinois, were appointed the committee under the said resolution.
Mr. Howard submitted the following resolution; which was unanimously adopted, viz:
Resolved, That, as a further mark of respect for the memory of the deceased, this House do now adjourn. And the House accordingly, at 12 o'clock and 30 minutes p. m., adjourned until Monday next, at 12 o'clock m.
The House met at 12 o'clock m., pursuant to adjournment.
The funeral ceremonies of the Hon. David S. Kaufman, a representative from the State of Texas, deceased, took place this day, according to the arrangements established by the committee appointed for that purpose, viz:
The committee, with the Sergeant-at-arms of the House, the pallbearers, and the mourners, removed the corpse from the lodgings of the deceased, and deposited the same in front of the Clerk's table. The Senate of the United States, with its officers, then entered the Hall, and took the seats assigned them, the President of the Senate being seated on the left of the Speaker. The President of the United States, with other public officers, civil, military, and naval, the diplomatic corps, and other invited personages, also attended.
The funeral services were then performed in the Hall of the House by the Rev. Ralph R. Gurley and the Rev. C. M. Butler, chaplains to Congress; and immediately thereafter the corpse was conveyed to the Congressional burial-ground, in the following order of procession, viz:
The Chaplains of both House of Congress.
Physicians who attended the deceased.
Committee of Arrangements:
Mr. Howard, Mr. Ashmun, Mr. Jacob Thompson, Mr. John K. Miller, Mr. McLanahan, Mr. Shepperd, Mr. Finis E. McLean, Mr. Morse, Mr. McClernand.
Mr. Job Mann, Mr. Boyd, Mr. Burt, Mr. Robert W. Johnson, Mr. James G. King, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Gentry. CORPSE.
The family and friends of the deceased.
The Senators and Representatives from the State of Texas, as mourners.
The Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives, preceded by their Speaker and Clerk.
The other officers of the House of Representatives.
The Sergeant-at-arms of the Senate of the United States.
The Senate of the United States, preceded by the Vice President of the United States and their Secretary.
The other officers of the Senate.
The President of the United States.
The Heads of Departments.
The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and its officers.
The Diplomatic Corps.
Judges of the United States.
Officers of the Executive Departments.
Officers of the Army and Navy.
The Mayor of Washington.
Citizens and Strangers.
After depositing the corpse in the Congressional burying-ground, the members and officers returned in to the Hall.
On motion of Mr. Savage, at 2 o'clock and 20 minutes p. m., the House adjourned until to-morrow, at 12 o'clock m.