The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 12
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12 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
ness and boldness of unconstitutional methods in Congress, and
throughout the whole northern section of 'the Union, with corre-
sponding alarm, agitation and counter-aggressiveness in the South,
brought matters to the last limit of peaceful discussion, and pre-
pared the country for warlike measures. The fatal mistake of the
Democratic leaders in Texas, aided by his own magnificent and mas-
terful personality, enabled General Houston, in the campaign of
1859, to reverse the popular verdict of two years before, and he was
elected governor, as the representative of the Union Democrats and
the quasi-Republican element in this State. He was a Texan and
loved Texas with a consuming devotion; but he had been a lover of
the Union first; he had learned his lesson of fidelity from Andrew
Jacks-on, with whom loyalty to the Union approached fanaticism;
he had labored long and ably to place the Lone Star on the
field of the flag of his youth, and he longed 'with heroic hope to be-
hold it still blazing there as his old age tottered to the grave. There-
fore, he set his face like flint against Secession and all its belong-
ings. But there were other men, equally as patriotic and loyal to
the Union, as the fathers framed it, who saw the inevitable, and
prepared to meet it firmly and bravely, and back of all were the
people-Southern to the core, and ready to do battle for the insti-
tutions of their domestic fabric and for the constitutional autonomy
of their State.
In this period of approaching revolution, Austin was the seat of
the greatest activity, and, strange to say, the sedate and conservative
circle of the Supreme Court was the storm .center. Chief Justice
Wheeler was singularly sensitive to any suggestion of judicial im-
propriety, and was violently opposed to political utterances by any
member of the court. But those were times when men forgot, or
relegated to disuse, the ordinary restraints of custom. 'The disrup-
tion of the Democratic party at Baltimore and Charleston, and the
election of Abraham Lincoln on a platform avowedly hostile to the
South, had demonstrated the nearness of actual disunion. At a
great Union meeting in Austin, in November, 1860, calls were
made upon the judges of the Supreme Court for an expression of
opinion on the pending crisis, and Judge Bell announced that he
would speak in Representative Hall one week from that date. He
was known to be an ardent Union man, an accomplished
orator, and a profound lawyer. Judge Roberts at once
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/16/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.