The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 14
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14 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
'That debate was the turning point in public action in Texas. It
was exhaustive, eloquent, patriotic, and, 'by reason of the character
and station of the debaters, it was decisive. The Secession advocates
determined to act promptly and vigorously, and Judge Roberts as-
sumed and held the leading part in all that followed. He drew up
the call for a convention of the people, assisted in conducting the
campaign for that purpose, was chosen president of the convention,
and in the delicate and difficult tactics required to out-general Gov.
ernor Houston, his shrewdness, firmness, and political sagacity were
eminently exhibited. It is a fact not generally known, that he might
have been one of the delegates to the Provisional Government of the
Confederate States, at Montgomery, Ala., and no doubt a member
or senator in the permanent government; but he declined, saving
that it would require no small effort to counteract Governor Hous-
ton's powerful opposition at home, and that he preferred that task,
How he managed the maneuver and achieved his purpose, is one
of the most curious and thrilling episodes in the political history of
An incident in connection with the Convention -of 1861 illus-
trates his democratic spirit and his high sense -of liberality and
justice. In the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, copied into
that of the State of 1845, it was provided that "no minister of the
gospel or priest .of any denomination whatever" should 'be eligible
to the office of chief executive of the government lor to membership
in the legislative body. When the Convention of 1861 came to re-
vise the State Constitution for the purpose of entering the Oon-
federate States, Judge Roberts, the President of the body, sug-
gested that the discrimination against preachers be stricken out,
which was done.
When war was finally inaugurated and had proceeded to a stage
demanding the utmost resources of the South, Judge RIoberts, in
1862, resigned his seat on the bench, raised a regiment himself
(the Eleventh Texas Infantry), and led it to the battlefields of the
Confederacy. It is gratifying to know that the last regular work
he ever 'did was to 'write a history of the 'operations and services
of the Texas troops in the armies of the Civil War, which is now in
press, as part of a series of such histories covering the whole field
of Southern military service during that period.
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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/m1/18/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.