Here is a letter we received from Keith Hampton after his visit to Lubbock:

Pat and all: Thank you for having me up to Lubbock. Everyone was very kind, warm and generous (especially Phil who shuttled me to and from the airport and put me up for the night).

I have been doing various historical research (I’ve been on a sort of history kick of the Texas criminal defense variety) and found reference to the “Prairie Dog Lawyers” of the 19th century. I told Phil about it and he reminded me of your prairie dog mascot. So I went to the Barker History Center and copied the recollections of two lawyers published in an obscure historical review in 1929. I will be sending you the full piece (it is a fascinating look into the real practices of the day), but I couldn’t wait to tell you one fact gleaned from it: Sam Houston’s youngest son was a famous criminal defense lawyer! People tried to get him to become a DA, but the article says he liked representing the “culprits.”

I think this historical piece is the earliest published reference to the “Prairie Dog Lawyers” — but I’ll keep looking. I’m finding this historical research pretty addictive.


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