The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915

The Southwestern iHistorical Quarterly

THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SECESSION CONVENTION
OF TEXAS*
ANNA IRENE SANDBO
IV. TEXAS ON T-IE EVE OF TIlE CIVIL WAR
That the tenor of events in Texas was rapidly becoming threat-
ening to the continued peace of the state is shown by the contents
of the Galveston platform. Let us stop for a moment and con-
sider its condition, apart from politics, on the eve of the great
struggle between unionism and disunionism within its borders.
During the fifteen years that it had been in the Union, Texas
had developed by leaps and bounds. The first census, taken after
annexation, in 1847, showed a population, including slaves, of one
hundred thirty-five thousand, in round numbers. Three years
later, there were two hundred twelve thousand five hundred ninety-
two; and in 1860, six hundred four thousand two hundred and
fifteen. With this great increase in population had come economic
prosperity; the people were prosperous and contented, and, with
the exception of occasional Indian raids and troubles with Mexi-
cans, lived in comparative peace. Frontier conditions prevailed, it
is true, with all their restlessness and freedom; and the status of
national politics increased this restlessness. Turbulence and vio-
lence were greater in 1860 than at any time during the last few
preceding years. During this eventful year the newspapers were
full of stories of crimes committed within its bordes. The True
Issue deplored the fact that crime was on the increase and that
the criminal laws were not enforced. One editorial stated that
"high-handed criminality stalks abroad through the land, and
bloody deeds of violence and of vengeance are transpiring con-
stantly to mar the peace and harmony of society. . . Hu-
man life hangs on the merest thread. No man's life is safe."
William North, residing in Galveston at this time, says: "Such
are the issues of life and death in Texas that a man is a little
*For the earlier portion of this paper, see TITE QUARTERLY, XVITI,
41-73.
'True Issue, February 3, 1860.

162

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/. Accessed August 21, 2014.