The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911 Page: 147
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General Volney Erskine Howard. 147
tion that in a few years came to pass. He was severely criti-
cized by the press, and he as severely retorted through his paper
and on the stump. In the midst of public discussion upon the
subject, he was chosen by the Democratic party of Mississippi to
answer the challenge of Sargeant S. Prentiss to a joint discussion
at Jackson. This meeting has ever since been regarded as a
famous event in the political history of Mississippi. The par-
tisans of the respective sides both claimed that their champion
won the victory, but all admitted that Howard carried his end of
the discussion with matchless skill and ability. It was during
this stormy period that Hiram G. Runnels, the president and
manager of the bank, challenged Howard to fight a duel. The chal-
lenge was promptly accepted and the duel was fought at Columbus.
Howard was shot, the ball striking a rib and coursing through the
breast. As he had predicted, the bank became insolvent and the
question of repudiation came before the legislature. This was
strenuously opposed by Howard in the most scathing and denun-
ciatory language, but the measure carried, greatly to his disgust.
Immediately afterward, he shook the dust of Mississippi politics
from his feet and moved to New Orleans, where he again re-
sumed the practice of law.
Mr. Polk having been elected President in 1844, Howard saw
the immediate prospect of Texas becoming a state of the Union,
and late in December moved with his family to San Antonio,
Texas. Within a few months after his arrival he was elected a
delegate to the first state constitutional convention and was active
and prominent in framing the constitution of 1845. Immediately
after organizing the state government, Governor Henderson, on
the 27th of February, 1846, appointed Howard attorney general
of the state, but he had just previously been elected to the state
senate, and declined the appointment.
In 1849, he was elected 'to represent the western district of
Texas in the United States congress to succeed Timothy Pils-
bury, also a native of Maine; he was re-elected in 1851 and served
out his full term. His addresses before the House in the discus-
sion of the Compromise Measure of 1850 are models of logic, pure
diction, and oratory. He omitted no phase of the Texas question,
even delving into all the available sources of information on the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911, periodical, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/m1/161/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.