The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
THE CONSTITUTION OF TEXAS, 1845
FREDERIC L. PAXSON
On July 4, 1845, a group of gentlemen assembled at Austin,
raised the American flag over their Convention Hall, and began
to frame a Constitution under which the Republic of Texas should
become a state in the American Union. From time to time, in the
ensuing days, their number was increased by other delegates who
took their seats, and by applicants in contest for seats who pre-
sented themselves and had their hearing, until in the end there
were sixty-two members to join in the completion of the Consti-
tution. One seat they alowed to remain vacant, in recognition of
loyalty and past service. General Sam Houston,' a delegate-elect
from Montgomery County, had gone on a visit of piety and politics
to the Hermitage, where Andrew Jackson departed this life on
June 8, 1845.2 Out of respect for the statesman whom most of
Texas acclaimed as leader, the Convention upheld Houston in his
pilgrimage, refused to declare his seat vacant even at the petition
of his county, and voted to wear crepe for one month in memory of
Andrew Jackson. "Texas will come into the Union almost unani-
mously Democratic," the Arkansas Banner, published at Little
Rock, had rejoiced earlier in the spring. "It, in not many years
hence, will constitute four or five States-all of which will most
certainly be Democratic. . .. It is certain therefore that Whig-
gery is doomed . . . while the star of democracy has ascended
the political horizon never to go down again, but to brighten with
the waste of years."' The Democratic framers completed their
organization by the election of General Thomas J. Rusk, of Nacog-
doches, as President of the Convention, appointed seven commit-
tees, and went at once to work.
1Debates of the Texas Convention, 721, Wm. F. Weeks, Reporter.
In addition to the Debates, published in Austin in 1845 (and hereafter
cited as Debates), there is also Journals of the Convention that assembled
in the City of Austin on the fourth of July, 1845, for the Purpose of Fram-
ing a Constitution for the State of Texas (Austin, 1845). C. J. Babbitt
mentions both the Debates and the Journal in his admirable Hand-List of
Legislative Sessions . .. Statutory Revisions . . . and Constitutional Con-
ventions .. . (State Library of Mass., 1912).
2New York Weekly Herald, October 19, 1845, p. 228.
4Little Rock Arkansas Banner, April 2, 1845.
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 February 27, 2015.