In 1835 E.M. Pease migrated to Texas from his native Connecticut. He joined the Texian forces at the Battle of Gonzales, Oct. 2, 1835, which initiated the Texas War for Independence. In the early days of the Republic, he worked as a government clerk and later served in the Legislature and Senate. He was a prominent lawyer in Brazoria when elected Governor in 1853.
During Gov. Pease's first two terms in office, 1853-57, a permanent school fund was established and Texas first free public schools built. Other achievements included increased railroad construction and reduction of taxes and the state debt. Gov. Pease ordered Texas Rangers to the frontier to combat recurring Indian raids. The Pease family became the first to occupy the newly constructed Governor's Mansion in 1856.
A staunch Unionist, Pease restricted his political activities during the Civil War (1861-65). In 1866 he again ran for Governor but lost to J.W. Throckmorton. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, Federal military commander of Texas, removed Throckmorton in 1867 and appointed Pease provisional Governor to enforce reconstruction policies. Pease resigned in protest in 1869. At the time of his death, he was an Austin banker.
Married to Lucadia Niles (1813-1905), he had three daughters.