The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909

Notes and Fragments.

247

NOTES AND FRAGMENTS.
THE CONVENTION OF 1836.-[The following letter well depicts
the stress and excitement under which the first constitution of
Texas was wrought out. Martin Parmer (or Palmer, as the copy-
ist incorrectly spells it) was a member of the Convention which
met at Washington, March 1, 1836, and declared Texas independ-
ent on the 2d. The work of the convention thereafter was the
framing of the constitution, which was finished on the 17th.
Johnson's command, to which the writer refers, was attacked by
General Urrea at San Patricio on February 27, and only five es-
caped; Grant's small force was massacred on March 2, the day
of the declaration of independence; and Travis fell in the Alamo
the day the letter was written. The letter is from a copy pub-
lished in the Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock), April 5, 1836.
There is a file for that year in the Library of Congress.-EUGENE
C. BARKER.]
Committee Room, Washington,
March 6, 1836.
Dear Wife--I am well, and we are getting along very well. We
have three or four committees who are preparing a constitution
and we will soon have it ready. I shall be at home in ten or fifteen
days. We have alarming news continually from the west; Frank
Johnson's division is all killed but five, it is supposed. We saw
[sic] two shot begging for quarters. Dr. Grant with a company
of men is supposed to be all slain. Travis' last express states San
Antonio was strongly besieged; it is much feared that Travis and
company is all massacred, as despatches from that place have been
due three days and none have arrived yet. The frontiers are break-
ing up, Gonzales must be sacked, and its inhabitants murdered and
defiled without they get immediate aid. The last accounts the
Mexicans were to a considerable number between Gonzales and
San Antonio. Fanning is at La Bahia with about 500 men, and
is in daily expectation of a visit from Santa Anna. Texas has
been declared free and independent, but unless we have a general
turn out, and every man lay his helping hand too, we are lost.
Santa Anna and his vassals are now on the borders, and the dec-
laration of our freedom, unless it is sealed with blood, is of no
force. I say again that nothing will save Texas but a general turn
out. You all know my views with regard to our condition, I have

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101048/. Accessed July 12, 2014.