The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908 Page: 280
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
When the Provisional Governor arrived in Austin a few days
later, he was received with enthusiastic ceremony by the Unionists,
of whom there were a large number in the city. He found all
affairs of state in confusion. There were no officials of a civil
character, the treasury had been looted, the various departments
were untenanted, the records were precariously exposed, there was
even no roof on the capitol building. Immediately a commission
was appointed to look into the condition of the treasury and the
Comptroller's department and to audit their accounts; State agents
were appointed to look after and take charge of State property of
whatever description in the various districts; and other agents
were empowered to locate and recover if possible bonds alleged to
have been illegally disposed of during the war. Judge James H.
Bell, formerly Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the State,
and prominent as a Union man, was appointed Secretary of State;
Winm. Alexander, another Union man, who, it appears, had secretly
opposed Hamilton's appointment, was made Attorney-General.
Taxes were assessed by proclamation and ordered collected. In
response to the invitation above mentioned, within a short time
deputations of loyalists from over eighty counties made their way
to Austin to aid in reorganizing the government. These men
furnished the Governor names of loyal citizens from their counties
for appointments to office, and were generally relied upon by him
for information concerning conditions in the various parts of the
As rapidly as possible, officers of district, county, and justice
courts, sheriffs, tax assessors and collectors, and county commis-
sioners were appointed, and the machinery of the law set in mo-
tion. The courts were directed to proceed with the trial of all
civil and criminal cases in conformity with existing laws of the
State, that is, laws passed prior to 1861, and of the United States.'
1In one important particular a limitation was placed upon the juris-
diction of the courts. Suits for the collection of debts and for the
determination of rights of every kind could be instituted, and in those
involving titles to land, damages, etc., the courts could proceed to final
judgment and execution; but in suits for the collection of debts where
the plaintiff was entitled to a writ of injunction, sequestration, or
attachment, the court could not proceed to final judgment and execution.-
See proclamation of Sepember 8, Executive Records, Register Book, 281.-
The reason for this was that, in the prevalent condition of disorder and
financial depression, property disposed of by forced sale would bring little
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908, periodical, 1908; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/m1/284/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.