THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXVII OCTOBER, 1963 No. 2
reras llder the SecessioHists
STEPHEN B. OATES
CROSS THE UNITED STATES THAT EVENTFUL NOVEMBER TELE-
graph wires carried the crucial news: on November 6,
186o, Abraham Lincoln running on the Republican
Party ticket had been elected president by a largely sectional
vote. South Carolina, long known as "that hotbed of agitation
and nullification," cried out that the Federal government, con-
trolled by Northern Republicans, would destroy Southern insti-
tutions. On December 2o, South Carolina adopted an ordinance
of secession, imploring the other Southern states to do the same.
As the winter days wore on, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida
also passed secession ordinances. Georgia and Louisiana soon
joined them. The signs were ominous, and an anxious nation
turned to Texas, the Lone Star State.
Linked to the slaveholding South by sentiment and belief,
Texans were united in opposition to Lincoln and his "Black Re-
publicans."' A few days after his election, the Lone Star flag was
flying over a number of Texas cities.2 Fervid political leaders were
clamoring for secession. Austin, especially, was a scene of feverish
INot a Texan voted for Lincoln in the election. Only 410 votes went to Stephen
A Douglas, whom Texans considered "the bitterest pill a States Right democrat
could be made to swallow." Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, April 3, 186o. John C.
Breckinridge carried the state with 47,548 votes. John Bell received 15,463 votes.
2Secessionists flew the Lone Star flag over Galveston on November 8 and then
raised it over all the major cities-Houston, Richmond, Huntsville, Gonzales,
Navasota, Waco, and Dallas. O. M. Roberts to John H. Reagan, November 25, 186o,
Roberts Papers (Archives, University of Texas Library); Francis R. Lubbock, Six
Decades in Texas (Austin, 9goo), 267-313. For a short account of the secession
movement before the election, see Anna Irene Sandbo, "Beginnings of the Secession
Movement in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVII, 41-73. Those wanting
book-length treatment which utilizes recent historical scholarship should read Earl
W. Fornell, The Galveston Era: The Texas Crescent on the Eve of Secession (Austin,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed March 29, 2015.