Southwestern Historical Quarterly
reflect the bitter differences of opinion between the regular Demo-
crats and the Union Democrats, who supported Governor Sam
Houston, who was nominated for the Presidency of the United
States at a mass meeting at the San Jacinto Battleground on April
21, 186o. There were calls for convention, announcements from
the Union Executive Committee that they were "for the govern-
ment so long as the Constitution is maintained," requests that
the governor state position, and a plea from Dallas County citi-
zens that the governor convene the legislature so that it might
determine the Texas course in relation to the result of the Presi-
dential election-this after Lincoln's victory in November, 186o.
So, the imprints of the year reveal the temper of the times. One
Texas soldier, writing almost a half century later, reminisced:
The year 186o, my first in Texas, was a memorable one in several
respects, not only to the newcomers but to the oldest inhabitants. The
severest drought ever known in eastern Texas prevailed until after
the middle of August. It was the hottest summer ever known in Texas,
the temperature in July running up to 11 degrees in the shade. It
was a Presidential election year, and political excitement was intense.
... The excitement, apprehension, unrest, and vague fear of unseen
danger pervading the minds of the people of Texas cannot be under-
stood by persons who were not in the State at that time.20
Amelia Barr depicted the friction generated in the summer heat
They were furious with the United States Government's interfer-
ence with their state's social and domestic arrangements. They would
not admit its right to do so, and were as mad as their own prairie
bulls, when compulsion was named. I heard arguments like these,
both from men and women constantly; they talked of nothing else,
and the last social gathering at my house was like a political arena.
... There were bitter disputes wherever men were congregated, and
domestic quarrels on every hearthstone, while feminine friendships
melted away in the heat of passionate arguments so well seasoned with
personalities. There were now three distinct parties: one for remain-
ing in the Union; a second which demanded a Southern Confed-
eracy, and a third which wished Texas to resume her independence
and to fly the Lone Star flag again. It was a quarrel with three sides,
and the women universally entered into it, with so much temper, that
I could not help thinking they had all exercised too much long suffer-
29Barron, The Lone Star Defenders, 16.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed October 13, 2015.