Reagan, John Henninger (rēˈgən) [key], 1818–1905, American political leader, b. Sevierville, Tenn. He moved to Texas in 1839, became a lawyer, and held several state offices before serving (1857–61) as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reagan, a member of the Texas secession convention of 1861, was elected to the provisional congress of the Confederacy, and Jefferson Davis appointed him postmaster general in Mar., 1861. He ably administered that department throughout the Civil War. Urging Texans to accept the results of the war, he helped frame the state constitutions of 1866 and 1875. He was returned (1875–87) to the House, and served (1887–91) in the U.S. Senate. Reagan was joint author of the act (1887) that established the Interstate Commerce Commission.
See his memoirs, ed. by W. F. McCaleb (1906, repr. 1968); biography by B. H. Procter (1962).