The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 174
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174 Texas Historical Association Quarterly
torians of the past generation failed to recognize this may be
ascribed to the persistent influence of the slavery question, with
which Texas was from 1836 to 1850 so intimately connected in
national politics of the United States.
In a slight degree the Texan declaration of causes for taking
up arms illustrates one of the parallels suggested. On Novem-
ber 3, 1835, the "Consultation of the chosen delegates of all Texas"
began its sessions at San Felipe de Austin. Called for the pur-
pose of unifying public opinion, and of devising ways of preserv-
ing peace with honor or of preparing for war, this body found
itself in a situation which reminds one of the Second Continental
Congress when it assembled at Philadelphia in 1775. Hostilities
had already begun, a volunteer band of colonists was marching
against the Mexican troops at San Antonio, and the Consultation
faced the task of justifying war and of discovering means for wag-
ing it vigorously. The preceding summer had seen the develop-
ment of a small war party in Texas which hailed the outbreak
with satisfaction, but most of the colonists were reluctant to
abandon the ways of peace, and many thought the breach prema-
ture and ill-advised-premature because it was not yet certain
that Santa Anna's reform of the national constitution would in-
jure Texas;1 and ill-timed because, whereas Santa Anna was be-
ing opposed at the time by a considerable party of liberals (the
Federalists) in Mexico, the rising of the alien Texans would
easily be interpreted as a movement toward secession, and that,
as a matter which touched the national pride, would unite all
parties against them. The declaration of November 7 was, there-
fore, a strategic document, designed on the one hand to justify
the war in the eyes of the Texans and of an impartial world, and
on the other to convince the Mexican Federalists that the Texans
'O0n August 8, 1835, a public meeting of the district of San Jacinto
adopted resolutions drawn by David G. Burnet in which it was declared,
"We consider names as the mere signification of things:-and . .
we are not so obstinately prejudiced in favor of the term, 'federal repub-
lic' as peremptorily and without inquiry to reject another Government
purely because it has assumed a different external sign or denomination.
. There are certain essential, sacred and imprescriptiblA rights
which must be guaranteed to every citizen, . . we believe those
rights may be as well secured under a consolidated as under a federa-
tive government, provided that government be wisely and liberally organ-
ized."-The Texas Republican, September 19, 1835.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912, periodical, 1912; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/m1/179/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.