REAGAN, John Henninger, a Representative and a Senator from Texas; born in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tenn., October 8, 1818; attended the common schools and private academies; moved to Texas in 1839, joined the republic’s army, and participated in campaigns against the Cherokee Indians; deputy State surveyor of the public lands 1839-1843; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1848 and practiced in Buffalo and Palestine, Tex.; member, State house of representatives 1847-1849; judge of the district court 1852-1857, when he resigned; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1861); elected to the secession convention of Texas in 1861; deputy to the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy; postmaster general of the Confederacy from 1861 until the close of the war; also appointed Acting Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederacy for a short time preceding the close of the war; imprisoned at Fort Warren for several months after the war; member of the State constitutional convention in 1875; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1887); had been reelected to the Fiftieth Congress but resigned March 4, 1887, to become Senator; chairman, Committee on Commerce (Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, Forty-eighth, and Forty-ninth Congresses); elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1887, until June 10, 1891, when he resigned; returned to Texas and was appointed a member of the railroad commission of the State and served as chairman 1897-1903; died in Palestine, Anderson County, Tex., March 6, 1905; interment in East Hill Cemetery.
"Reagan, John Henninger," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=r000098.
In Austin on 30 January 1861 Reagan attended the Texas Secession Convention. He met specifically with Governor Houston and persuaded him to "submit to the will of the people" and recognize the convention. As a result, Texas withdrew from the Union on 1 February, and two days later delegates elected Reagan as one of the state's seven representatives to the Provisional Confederate Congress in Montgomery, Alabama. Within a month Reagan was appointed postmaster general of the Confederacy, whereupon he raided the U.S. Post Office of its documents and southern personnel. Upon the transfer of the Confederate capital to Richmond, Virginia, late in the spring of 1861, he sought ways to make his department self-sufficient by 1 March 1863, as prescribed by the Confederate constitution. He abolished the franking privilege and raised postal rates. He also cut expenses to the bare minimum by eliminating costly routes, including competition for mail runs, and employing a smaller but efficient staff. He was even able to persuade railroad executives to cut transportation charges in half and accept Confederate bonds in whole or partial payment. Although such stringent measures were necessary, the public became dissatisfied, harshly and abusively criticizing Reagan, despite the fact that Union armies had disrupted routes, had demolished postal facilities, and had interrupted mail with increasing frequency.
Ben Procter, "Reagan, John Henninger," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00832.html.