The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908

Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

REMINISCENCES OF RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS.
T. B. WHEELER.
I.
The Fall of the Davis Government.
In January, 1874, when the Texas legislature assembled at Aus-
tin, a committee of its members was sent to Gov. E. J. Davis to in-
form him that it was ready to receive any communication which he
wished to submit. He very promptly informed the committee that
he did not wish to communicate with the legislature, because he
did not regard it as a legal body.
The committee withdrew, and that night a portion of its mem-
bers met at the office of the mayor of the city, and, after consulta-
tion, determined to install Richard Coke as governor,1 and, if
possible, get control of the state government. Coke took the oath
of office; and next morning the legislature took possession of the
upper part of the Capitol, Governor Davis and his followers hold-
ing possession of the lower part at the same time. Before noon
of that day it was reported to the mayor that there was danger of
a collision between the contending parties; whereupon City Marshal
Minas Long was requested to summon a portion of the police force,
to proceed at once to the Capitol and take possession of the stairs
connecting the upper and lower stories, and, if possible, to preserve
the peace by preventing the passage of men up or down the steps.
The marshal and the police officers did their duty faithfully until
they were relieved by the Travis Rifles, a local military company.
In the meantime, the Coke followers had organized, and it was
agreed that Geo. B. Zimpelman, sheriff of the county, Henry E.
McCulloch, acting temporary adjutant general under an appoint-
ment from Gov. Coke, and T. B. Wheeler, the mayor of Austin,
should act as a committee and cooperate in the management of that
party. On the evening of the same day, Major Russell, an officer
on the staff of General Augur, who was in command of the De-

'Coke had been elected to the office in November, 1873.

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/. Accessed August 29, 2014.