The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 49
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Beginnings of Secession Movement in Texas
the effect upon the government would be most disastrous, because
it would destroy the future harmony of the nation. He declared
that the people reverenced and respected the Missouri Compromise
as a line defining certain rights and privileges to different sections
of the Union, and that by its destruction the people would become
exasperated and bitter agitation would follow.12 Because of this
attitude toward the controversy, Houston was accused of being an
abolitionist, of betraying the state he served and the cause he was
in Congress to defend. In reply to these charges he said that he
had no intention of remaining silent or shirking his duty in the
face of such a dangerous measure; it was his duty to tell the
South what the results would be in spite of all "intimidation,
threats, or consequences." The Texans were awakened, however,
to the seriousness of the North's opposition to slavery, and, on
account of his attitude toward this bill, Houston lost for a time
much of his popularity in Texas.
III. BEGINNING OF THE SECESSION MOVEMENT IN TEXAS
1. The Beginning of Political Parties in Texas
The sentiment of Texas after 1854, as reflected in the party
platforms, in the acts of the legislature, and in the press of the
state, was entirely in sympathy with the Southern movement to
maintain Southern rights at any cost. In 1854, there were both
Whigs and Democrats in Texas, but party organization did not
become crystalized until Pease's administration, 1853-1857. The
people concurred in the efforts of the state government to attend to
the affairs of the state, both local and national. The party fac-
tions opposed to each other were of a personal rather than of a
political character; it was the man and not the party he repre-
sented that was taken into consideration. When the Whigs were
disrupted in 1854, the "American" or "Know-Nothing" party
sprang into existence. This secret organization, opposed to alien
immigration and to Catholicism, spread rapidly over the whole
country and for a short time acquired considerable influence in
Texas. Many lodges were organized, especially in the eastern part
of the state. This party, in 1855, elected its candidate to Con-
'2Congressional Globe, 33d Congress, 1 Sess., 1854-55, Appendix, 339 342.
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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/m1/55/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.