The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911 Page: 67
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Reminiscences of Henry Smith.
appear, that the Council could have no controll over the Governor
in the discharge of his Executive functions, or as commander in
chief of the army and Navy, any further than their Legislative
action was necessary to place the proper means at his disposition.
After enumerating all the powers delegated to the Governor, the
article concludes as follows. "And that the Governor be clothed
with all these, and all other powers, which may be thought neces-
sary by the Gen] Council, calculated to aid and protect the country
from her enemies." So that it evidently appears, that all the
powers delegated by the organic law to the Governor was clearly
under his own immediate controll, but if circumstances should
render it necessary to use extraordinary powers, he was not per-
mitted, without proper concurrence of the Council To show the
inconsistency and illegality of the action of the Council as set forth
in their resolutions, even admitting them to be the competent
tribunal, before whom the Governor could be tried on impeach-
ment: Their conduct if not highly criminal, will clearly shew
illiberality and want of principle. As the first intimation to the
accused is their resolutions containing his condemnatory sentence.
Thus converting themselves into accusers, witnesses, counsel, and
judges, and prejudge the whole case. Thus presenting the appall-
ing spectacle, in a free Government, of judges going through a
labored preparation for an impartial hearing and decision by a
previous exparte investigation, and sentence against the supposed
offender. It is the policy of our benign system of jurisprudence
to secure in all criminal proceedings, and even in the most trivial
litigations, a fair, unprejudiced, and impartial trial. And surely
it cannot be less important that such a trial should be secured to
the highest officer of the Government. And it is not too much to
say of the whole of these proceedings, that if they shall be approved
and sustained by an intelligent people, then will that great con-
test with arbitrary power, which had established in statutes, in
bills of rights, in sacred charters and in constitutions of Govern-
ment, the right of every citizen to notice before trial, to a hearing
before conviction, and to an impartial tribunal for deciding on the
charge, have been waged in vain. But the evil tendency of the
particular doctrine adverted to, though sufficiently serious, would
be as nothing in comparison with the pernicious consequences which
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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/m1/75/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.