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

Harris County, 1822-1845

HARRIS COUNTY, 1822-1845
ADELE B. LOOSCAN
III. LOCAL ADMINISTRATION
With the election of General Houston and Mirabeau Lamar as
President and Vice President of the Republic, the terms of Burnet
and Zavala drew to a. close. The new Congress, which, together
with the President and Vice President, had been elected on the
first Monday in September, assembled on the third day of October
in the town of Columbia, Brazoria County. Zavala resigned his
office October 21st, and Burnet sent in his last official communi-
cation on the next day. On assuming the duties of his office
Lamar paid a noble, eloquent tribute to his predecessor, commend-
ing his public and private virtues. Zavala had died at his home
on Buffalo Bayou November 15, 1836.1
The Constitution, under whose provisions the first Congress as-
sembled, had been adopted at Washington on the Brazos on the
17th day of March. Certain of its articles provided for the divi-
sion of the Republic into convenient counties, and the establish-
ment in each county of a county court and such "justices' courts"
as Congress should from time to time determine. So, with the
passing of the provisional government, which now took place, new
laws were made for the establishment and government of these
counties. The first act passed relating to the County of Harris-
burg provided that "the seat of justice be, and the same is hereby
established at the town of Houston." This act was approved De-
cember 22, 1836, and a section of the same act decreed "that the
Island of Galveston shall for the future be included within the
limits of the County of Harrisburg and be and compose a part of
said County."
The time for "holding court" in Harrisburg County was fixed
by the first Congress, on the fourth Monday of January, April, and
October. It consisted of a chief justice, elected by joint ballot of
both houses of Congress for a period of four years, and two asso-
ciate justices selected by a majority of the justices of the peace
from among their own body, and said justices so selected were
1Brown, History of Texas, II, 108-109.

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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 1, 2014.