THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LII JANUARY, 1949 No. 3
Zhe rexas Slave HsurrectioH
WILLIAM W. WHITE
N early July, 1 86o, the presidential campaign was gaining
momentum in Texas, and the people were speculating over
the consequences of a Lincoln victory. The Democratic party
backed the John C. Breckinridge and Joseph Lane ticket, while
the opposition party led by Governor Sam Houston supported
John Bell and Edward Everett of the Constitutional Union party.
This turbulent campaign was accompanied by a chain of events
which aroused the people to the dangers of the doctrines of the
Republican party and helped widen the breach between the peo-
ple of this southern state and of the North to such an extent as
to make the election of Lincoln almost tantamount to secession.
The fires which occurred in North Texas on July 8 marked the
beginning of these events, and from that day incendiarism and
insurrection swept over the state, spreading fear and hatred among
the people. Whether real or imagined, the threat of a slave insur-
rection was a danger which aroused horror in each person hearing
of acts of this kind, for he feared that his family might be the
next victim. Planned arson and slave revolts are violent and
destructive actions, and the reaction of the people affected is
likewise violent in reprisal.
I. THE DESTRUCTION OF DALLAS AND HENDERSON, AND RELATED
On Sunday afternoon, July 8, 186o, at about two o'clock, a fire
started in some rubbish on the outside of the store of Messrs.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/. Accessed December 19, 2013.