The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957

Notes and Documents

A letter from the texas Secession Coiweutiou
Edited by WILLARD E. WIGHT
T HE advocates of secession in Texas encountered formidable
opposition in the person of Governor Sam Houston who
had formerly guided the destiny of the Republic of
Texas as her President and had represented the state in the United
States Senate. Unwavering in his determination to adhere to the
Union, Houston refused to call a special session of the state legis-
lature and thus for a time prevented official consideration of the
secession question. The people of Texas, however, determined not
to have their will so circumvented, issued an unofficial call for
a convention. This body of citizens voted Texas out of the Union
but provided for the submission of the question to the people
themselves before it became effective. Following the approval of
the ordinance of secession at the polls, Houston was deposed by
the convention for his refusal to take the oath to support the
newly-formed Confederate States of America.-
An interested follower of these events was the governor of
Georgia, Joseph E. Brown, who utilized his friendship for a
former Georgian, John D. Stell, to keep his finger upon the
political pulse of the Lone Star State. In Georgia Stell had been
a member of the state militia, first as a captain and later as a
colonel. Between 1835 and 1854, he served five terms as judge
of the Inferior Court of Fayette County and a like number in
the Georgia Senate of which he was president during the 1853-
1854 session. His last service to his native state was as commis-
sioner to Tennessee on matters concerned with the state-owned
Western and Atlantic Railroad which ran from Atlanta to Chat-
tanooga. In i850 Stell had been a member of the June and
November sessions of the Nashville Convention. He removed
from Georgia to Leon County, Texas, in 1856 and later to Smith
County where he died on January 7, 1862.2
IDwight L. Dumond, The Secession Movement, Z86o-z86. (New York, 1931) fol-
lows in detail the withdrawal of the Southern States.
2The biographical data are from records in the Georgia Department of Archives
and History, Atlanta.

289

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/. Accessed July 13, 2014.