N. C. Raymond's Report on the Legislature
Edited by DoRRIS COLLIE HALL*
WHEN THE FIRST LEGISLATURE OF THE NEWLY ANNEXED STATE OF
Texas convened in Austin on February 16, 1846, it faced the
problem of converting a national government into a state organization.
The Constitution of 1845 outlined the necessary steps but the me-
chanics were left to the eighteen convening senators and fifty-five
representatives. On the opening day, immediately after taking the
oath of office, the senators elected a secretary, sergeant-at-arms, door-
keeper, and assistant secretary.' Senator George T. Wood of Jefferson
and Liberty counties moved for the election of an "enrolling clerk."
Senator Isaac Parker from the Houston, Rusk, and Nacogdoches dis-
trict moved to include in the title, an "engrossing clerk." The Senate
then chose N. C. Raymond (sometimes incorrectly referred to as
Raymon) on the second ballot to fill the position."
Since each legislature established its own procedural rules, the en-
grossing and enrolling clerk's duties varied through the years. Usually
after a bill had a favorable committee report and passed the second
reading, this clerk "engrossed" the bill; that is, he wrote it out as the
Senate had passed it, including the amendments. After the third read-
ing, passage, and the approval of both Houses, he "enrolled" the bill
by preparing a final copy for the lieutenant-governor, speaker of the
house, and governor's signatures.
The first engrossing and enrolling clerk for the Senate, Nat or N. C.
Raymond, was a resident of Robertson's Settlement in the middle or
late 183o's and then made his home at Nashville in Milam County.
An attorney, he was the assistant secretary of the Senate of the Eighth
Congress of the Republic from December 4, 1843, to February 5, 1844.
Milam County voters elected him to be justice of the peace on Feb-
*Dorris Collie Hall is a graduate student at the University of Houston. She wishes to
acknowledge the permission of Mrs. Sylvia Morriss Geary to publish this letter.
'Texas Legislature, "Journal of the Senate of the First Legislature of the State of Texas"
(Archives, Texas State Library), 4; Texas Legislature, Journals of the House of Repre-
sentatives of the First Legislature of the State of Texas (Clarksville, 1848), 4.
'"Journal of the Senate, First Legislature," 5.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed August 4, 2015.