b. 1817 – Tennessee
Governor: November 1853–December 1853

Henderson left college in Kentucky at 19 and traveled to Texas in hopes of participating in the fight for independence. He arrived just after the Battle of San Jacinto and was sent to the United States to recruit soldiers. He was a surveyor in Harris County and was admitted to the bar after studying law. In the fall of 1842, he joined Captain Jack Hays on the Somervell expedition to Laredo. Prior to serving as lieutenant governor, Henderson served in the first Texas Legislature and was chosen speaker, defeating former president Lamar.

Henderson became governor when Bell resigned to become U.S. Senator a month before his term ended. He returned to the legislature when his term ended and joined the Confederate Army when the Civil War broke out.