The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938

Analysis of Work of General Council, 1835-1836

ANALYSIS OF THE WORK OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL,
PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF TEXAS, 1835-1836
II
(Continued from the April, 1937, Number.)
FINANCE
One of the elements necessary to the complete success of any
government is a well filled treasury. This the Provisional Govern-
ment did not have. By the organic law the governor and Council
were empowered to contract a loan of one million dollars and to
levy and collect impost and tonnage duties ;1 a liberal interpreta-
tion of that document might have given them authority to levy
taxes. Attempts were made to raise funds by practically every
means known to governments, but little actual money found its
way into the treasury during the brief tenure of the Provisional
Government. Despite their lack of success, the attempts made to
procure funds, and the conditions provided for disbursement of
public monies and recognition of the accounts which could not
be paid are of interest.
The committee on finance was one of the five standing com-
mittees, and guided the Council in fiscal matters. The office of
treasurer was proposed in the organic law, and had been urged by
the governor in his initial message. An ordinance creating the
office was signed by the governor an January 26, following his
veto of an earlier proposal. It was the duty of the treasurer to
receive and disburse all "monies and securities" belonging to the
Provisional Government. Disbursements were to be made upon
order of the General Council, approved and signed by the governor,
and attested by the secretary to the executive. This method was
somewhat tedious, but had the advantage of being safe. The treas-
urer, in the performance of his duties was to be advised by the
committee on finance. This officer was required to give bond to
the governor, in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars,2
an unusually large amount in view of the small sum of money
iGammel, Laws of Texas, I, 539.
2lbid., I, 928.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/. Accessed December 21, 2014.