The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900

A Conversation With Governor Houston. 279

A OONVERSA'TION WITH GOVERNOR HOUSTON.
JOHN H. REAGAN.
In the latter part of February, 1861, I left my seat in the Congress
'of the United :States, because I felt that I could no longer retain it
with self-respect. I had up to that time 'opposed the idea o'f a disso-
lution of the Union, but the Republican majority had rejected many
propositions for a compromise, by which it was hoped the Union
might be preserved, and received all such suggestions for compromise
with expression ,of derision, and gave the 'Southern members to
understand that 'they were in the majority and would settle all mat-
ters in their -own way.
When I reached New Orleans on my way home, I there learned
that I had been elected a member of the constitutional convention
of Texas, though I had not been a candidate. Instead of going di-
rectly to my home in Eastern Texas, I went directly to Austin,
Texas, where the convention had, met, arriving there on the morning
of the third day of its session.
At the breakfast table at the hotel, on the morning of my arrival,
I met quite 'a number of the delegates to the convention, and in-
quired of them whether any -effort had been made to secure the co-,
operation of the State government with the convention. General
Houston was then Governor, .and was an avowed Union man. The
delegates to whom I mentioned the matter advised me that no. effort
,in that direction had been made; that they feared an offensive recep-
tion if they attempted to approach him on 'this subject.
I felt the great importance and necessity of securing the co-oper-
,ation of the State government with the convention, in a matter of
so great moment to the people of Texas and of the Southern States
,as the consideration of the question of dissolving our relations with
the Federal government, and determined to see the Governor on this
subject. Soon after breakfast I went to his -office and found him
there. I stated to him that I had called on him for a conference
about a matter 'of great moment. He soon disposed of some routine
business, and invited me into an adjoining room. I inquired of

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/. Accessed July 12, 2014.