The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 387
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The Constitution of Texas, 1845.
Only Jose Antonio Navarro, of Bexar, was Texas-born among
the delegates. Most of the others came from the western regions
which in 1800 had been new frontiers. Tennessee contributed
eighteen, more than twice the number from any other State. Vir-
ginia, with eight, Georgia, with seven, Kentucky, with six, and
North Carolina, with five, came next; leaving the remaining mem-
bers scattered through the Union and Great Britain. They were
mostly in the prime of life, and had grown to manhood in the rest-
less period following the second war with England. Few had re-
sided long in Texas, and few had gained distinction elsewhere.
Abner Smith Lipscomb had been chief justice in Alabama for
eleven years; Hardin G. Runnels had served as governor of Missis-
sippi. A correspondent from Austin, perhaps himself a member,
wrote of them at the start: "The delegates to the Convention, for
intelligence, integrity and worth, would rank high in any country.
There is not, perhaps, much of brilliancy, but a great deal of mat-
ter-of-fact sense and sound knowledge; and I predict that we shall
form and send you a sound and sensible Constitution, free from
the worst features of ultraism."
The President of the Convention, like its members, was a Demo-
crat, and is said to have been in early life a protege of Calhoun.7
Born in Georgia about 1803, he had practised law, moved to Texas,
and become both military hero and judge before his election to the
Convention. The Austin correspondent of the Picayune wrote of
him as "highly popular, with no other objection than his excessive
good-nature, which is somewhat injurious to the strict observance
of order. .. . Gen. Rusk is a man of talents-not much culti-
vated; he. is large, rather tending to fat, careless to a fault in his
costume; he is kind in his manner, courteous to all. He exercises
great influence over the Convention, and always for the better."s
The debates in the Convention bear out this favorable judgment
upon Rusk as a moderator and moulder of opinion.
"We have one grand object in view; and that is to enter the
great American confederacy with becoming dignity and self re-
"Smith, Justin H., The Annexation of Texas (N. Y., 1911), 459.
'Charleston, S. C., Courier, July 26, 1845, quoting a New Orleans paper.
'James D. Lynch, The Bench and Bar of Texas (St. Louis, 1885), 65.
'Charleston, S. C., Courier, August 18, 1845, quoting New Orleans
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/393/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.