JOHN OVERTON AUSTIN - c. 1870
Photo from the 1870 Texas Almanac. John Overton Austin served in the 12th Texas Legislature that convened February 7, 1870. He was represented Fannin County as a "Conservative."
There were 3 parties during Reconstruction:
Republicans which included the Freedmen, relocated northern
whites--"carpetbaggers," the occupying military and German
settlers in South Texas.
Republicans (Austin's affiliation). These were white Texans who, prior
to the Civil War, had supported staying in the Union. (The Austins had
been Unionists and relocated to California during the Civil War to avoid
participating in the conflict.)
Democratic Party that was closely associated with the old Confederacy - although their agenda differed little from Conservative Republicans during Reconstruction. The 2 groups merged before the 1871 elections.
One of the first acts of the 12th Texas Legislature was to ratify the 14th and 15th Amendments. As a result, President Grant signed an act of Congress on March 30, 1870, admitting the Texas delegation to the U.S. Congress.