The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 65
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Beginnings of Secession Movement in Texas 65
That the struggle was a fight principally between the lovers
of the Union and those who wished to secede, was also shown in the
position John H. Reagan assumed toward the movement, and
by the abuse he received in consequence, as well as by the fact that
the Democratic nominees were placed on the defensive in the cam-
paign. Reagan was forced by Guy M. Bryan to give in Congress
his views of the situation. Reagan declared himself against sec-
tionalism, the demoralizing doctrines of filibusters, and the dan-
gerous heresy of reopening the slave trade. As soon as the con-
tents of this speech became known in Texas, the Democratic press
charged him with being too national for a proper representative of a
Southern constituency, and heaped upon him vile personal abuse.
As a result of this he decided to stand for re-election, went to
Texas, and was re-elected by a large majority over his opponent,
William B. Ochiltree.50
The Texas Enquirer upheld the Democratic party against the
Southern Intelligencer's accusation that the party favored seces-
sion. It maintained that no word had been spoken by any man
of any prominence in the state connected with the Democratic party
about secession as a probable event, or as anything likely to
occur, at least not unless the same should be forced upon the
South as a choice between remaining in the Union with positive
disgrace on the one hand, and of going out of it on the other
Lubbock also was forced to defend his position on the subject
of the slave trade. In an open letter to the editor of the Gal-
veston Union, he stated that he had been renominated by a con-
vention that had emphatically rejected a resolution in favor of
reopening the slave trade. In an open letter to the chairman of
the state executive committee, endorsing Lubbock's letter Governor
Runnels says: "I am now, as I have ever been, for the Union
under the constitution and the strict maintenance of the suprem-
"Reagan says in his Memoirs, page 71, that the Texas newspapers were
so full of abuse that he was forced to burn the papers that reached him
to keep his wife from seeing them. Being in doubt whether he should
stand for re-election and wishing to know his wife's views on the subject,
he finally let her see the papers and explained to her the reason for such
an unwarranted attack. She immediately advised him to return to Texas
and stand for re-election.
'1State Gazette, June 11, 1859.
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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/m1/71/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.