Early Texas Statehood: A Survey of
RALPH A. WOOSTER*
T HE AUTHORS OF THE THIRD EDITION OF Texas, the Lone Star State
note that "many episodes and developments, both impressive and
significant, made the period between annexation and the Civil War
rich in history."' During these years the population of Texas increased
fourfold as settlers from other states and foreign nations, attracted by
fertile lands and generous land policies, migrated to the new state.
Organization of state government, formation of political parties, war
with Mexico, settlement of the New Mexico boundary dispute, pay-
ment of the public debt, and exploration of the western part of the
state were all major developments of the period.
Although lacking some of the glamor normally associated with the
preceding decade of the Republic, the fifteen years of early Texas state-
hood have attracted the interest of many historians. As this survey will
attempt to illustrate, dozens of scholarly studies describe specific as-
pects of this era." Regrettably, the period lacks any overall synthesis
which brings the findings of these specialized studies together. The
standard general histories of the state, such as Texas, the Lone Star
State cited above and Seymour V. Connor's Texas, a History, contain
excellent chapter surveys but can do no more than touch on the high
points of the period's history." So far there has been no in-depth study
of the period as a whole, or of major topical themes such as Stanley
Siegel's A Political History of the Texas Republic or William R.
Hogan's The Texas Republic: A Social and Economic History, al-
*Mr. Wooster is a professor of history at Lamar University, a Fellow of The Associ-
ation, and author of The People in Power and The Secession Conventions of the South.
'Rupert N. Richardson et al., Texas: The Lone Star State (3rd ed.; Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey, 1970), 134.
'For purposes of this article the period "early statehood" will begin with the Constitu-
tion of 1845 and conclude in early 186o. No effort has been made to cover historical
works relating to annexation in 1845 or the secession movement in 186o-61. This survey
will include only scholarly monographs, articles, dissertations, and theses by modern
writers. No attempt has been made in the present article to survey primary sources such
as diaries, reminiscences, and memoirs.
sSeymour V. Connor, Texas, a History (New York, 1971).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/. Accessed July 28, 2014.