AN ANalysis of the leiibershf
ofthe rezas Secession Co veatioN
RALPH A. WOOSTER
O N MONDAY, January 28, 1861, the Convention of Texas,
called to consider relations with the Federal govern-
ment, convened in the state capitol at Austin. This 177-
man body was faced with one of the most momentous decisions in
the history of any Texas gathering-whether to remain in the
Union as Governor Sam Houston desired or to withdraw as had
six sister states of the South.' By the end of the week the decision
to secede from the Union had been made by an overwhelming
vote of 166 to 8.2 The convention then proceeded to take steps
to bring Texas into closer harmony with her sister states of the
Deep South in the newly-formed Confederate States of America
and to make legislative adjustments necessitated by the new
The work of the convention has been discussed elsewhere," but
little specific attention has been paid to the membership of this
body. Certainly some of the more prominent members such as
John H. Reagan and James W. Throckmorton have had their
biographers, but the membership of the convention as a whole
has received little attention, largely because of the lack of his-
torical materials concerning the personnel. Especially is this true
of information pertaining to economic status of the delegates.'
IJournal of the Secession Convention of Texas, z86z, edited from the original in
Department of State by E. W. Winkler (Austin, 1912). Actually the whole number
who served including those elected to fill vacancies was 192, but only 177 attended
the first session of the convention.-Ibid., 408.
2lbid., 49. This decision was subject to approval of the vote of the people on
February 23 to accept or reject the action of the convention.
sSee Anna Irene Sandbo, "Beginnings of the Secession Movement in Texas,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVIII, 41-73, and "First Session of the Secession
Convention of Texas," ibid., 162-194; Julia Lee Hering, The Secession Movement
in Texas (Master's thesis, University of Texas, 1933); and Charles W. Ramsdell,
"The Frontier and Secession," Studies in Southern History and Politics Inscribed to
William Archibald Dunning (New York, 1914), 61-79.
4There is more printed information concerning the membership of the Texas
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 May 23, 2015.