Sully Statue

Dedicated in 1918, the bronze statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross stands in front of the Texas A&M Academic Building in the heart of campus.

A recent letter attacking Lawrence Sullivan Ross in The Battalion claiming he “has ties to white supremacy, and committed many gratuitous acts of violence against people of color” is totally wrong and, in fact, the reverse is true!

Not only is it true that Ross saved Texas A&M when wealthy real estate developers in Austin were trying to shut it down, but he also saved Prairie View A&M as well. In a speech in Waco in July 1897, Edward Blackshear, for whom the Prairie View football stadium is named and who was the first leader of Prairie View A&M, praised Ross as perhaps the best friend black Texans ever had. Literally, Prairie View A&M and Texas A&M would not exist but for Lawrence Sullivan Ross.

Perhaps the writer of this letter also didn’t know that black children who were deaf and blind had no services available to them until Ross, as Governor, ordered the creation of an institute specifically for blind and deaf black children in Texas and created a mental health facility for black Texans because they were excluded from that as well.

In addition, he had NO ties to white supremacy as the writer wrongly asserts.

We are all entitled to our opinion, but we are not entitled to our own wrongheaded facts.

Lawrence Sullivan Ross will have his statue at Texas A&M forever, not because of obstinance, but because he deserves the honor with a lifetime of service to ALL TEXANS and ALL AGGIES.


John Sharp Chancellor

Office of the Chancellor

(4) comments


well said, thank you.


Thank you for your response to the previous small-minded and uninformed writer, Chancellor Sharp. Too many people today think their feelings and opinions are facts. They thought they spoke for all of us: past, present, and future Aggies. They were wrong ... again. Thank you for sharing the facts.


For those “enlightened” students who are compelled to tear down A&M traditions, Hwy 6 runs both ways.
The history of A&M is what it is.
Grow up and deal with it.


Ross clearly acted like a white supremacist...

In 1860 as a 22 year old adult man, Ranger Captain Ross participated in the Pease River Massacre where he killed native American women and children and kidnapped a 10 year old boy who he subsequently kept as a slave.

Ross was 26 years old and an adult man in 1864 when he commanded what is now known as Ross’ brigade in the Battle of Yazoo City. It is well known, among those who care to look, that at Yazoo he commanded under black flag rules… not taking African American Union soldiers as prisoner, killing many.

He was 60 years old when as Governor he settled the Jaybird–Woodpecker War in Fort Bend County. That case is particularly interesting. Fort Bend County was 80% Majority Black in 1870. Between 1869 and 1889, 44 African Americans served in Fort Bend county government; sheriff, county commissioner, justice of the peace, and constable. Referred to as Woodpeckers, they were nominally Democrats, with representatives elected largely by black voters. The Jaybirds were white Democrats opposed to the participation of blacks in county politics. The Jaybirds were not happy; they used violence, murder intimidation in anticipation of 1888 election. Governor Ross sent in the Rangers who sat on their hands as a shootout at the courthouse ensued… 4 killed, many wounded. He oversaw what essentially a county coup. All Woodpecker (Black) officials are removed. Jaybirds (white) fill the offices. The association controlled local politics mainly through the white primary, which excluded blacks. This subsequently became common practice in Texas. Thanks Sully! No blacks elected again for 70 Years!

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