The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 51
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Beginnings of Secession Movement in Texas
controversy. That bill was heartily endorsed throughout the
state as embodying the principles of true democracy. Houston's
opposition to the measure was severely condemned by the press,
by the people at large, in county conventions, by the state leg-
islature, and by the state Democratic convention in 1856. His
nearest friends could not uphold his action in regard to that
measure. The correspondent of the "Prairie Blade," published
in Corsicana, speaking of the sentiment of northern Texas which,
judging from the newspapers of the day, was the prevailing senti-
ment throughout the state, was very much surprised that Houston
had not yet been overtaken by political justice, and that he still
retained his seat in the United States Senate, where he had twice
betrayed the interests of Texas on the most vitally important
subject that ever came before that body; he had basely and treacher-
orously betrayed her cause on the Nebraska bill, and, no matter
what his excuse might be, had voted with the abolitionists, the
pledged and uncompromising enemies of Texas; and he had com-
mitted the sin of abolitionism in his votes, both on the Oregon
and the Kansas-Nebraska bills. In conclusion the writer asked,
"Will Texas endorse this course and tamely submit not only to be
misrepresented, but have her interest assailed by Houston in con-
junction with his abolition allies? Is there not enough of the
spirit of '76 and '36 in Texas to defend their own interest from
the attacks of their own Senator? If there is, I hope to see
the next legislature request him, in the consideration of his many
political sins, to resign."'"
Houston's attitude toward the Kansas-Nebraska bill and his
affiliation with the Know-Nothing party were condemned by the
Democratic press with equal harshness. During 18'55 and 1856,
the State Gazette, the recognized organ of the rapidly growing
Democratic party, devoted much space in every issue to denouncing
the Know-Nothing party as a secret organization and as anti-
slavery in sentiment; speeches on "Know-Nothingism," freely re-
printed from the papers of other states, and letters on the policy
and legality of the organization, occupied much space. In No-
vember, 1855, a great assembly of Democrats opposed to the
Know-Nothing party assembled at Austin to commemorate their
"'State Gazette, October 6, 1855.
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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/m1/57/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.