The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 68
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
not do so, the only thing for the Southern States to do would
be to co-operate in protecting themselves. In conclusion he said:
If there can be no longer unity and harmony of sentiment, if the
Southern people are no longer to look to it [the federal govern-
ment] as the chief reliance for the maintenance of their equal
rights, their internal peace and security, the sooner it is known
the better. They should neither cheat, nor should they submit
to be cheated. I therefore recommend a clear and unequivocal
expression of opinion by the legislature on the subject. Equality
and security in the Union, or independence outside of it should be
the devout conviction, that if guided by wisdom, prudence, sagacity
and patriotism, the Divine Being will smile on your councils, and
that all may yet be well.6
Governor Houston soon learned that his task would be an ex-
tremely difficult one. All the criticism, disparagement, and party
animosity exhibited by the Democratic party during the campaign
continued. He had learned before he entered upon his duties as
Governor that the legislature was hostile, and he was soon to learn
that the Democratic leaders were determined that the state should
withdraw from the Union, no matter what action he took to pre-
Houston at his inauguration confined the greater part of his
speech to local affairs. In regard to the slavery controversy he
said he hoped that the federal government would soon attain
a happy result in preserving the constitution and the Union, not-
withstanding the present discord between the two sections. He
then strongly advised against heated controversies that would only
aggravate the evil.57
In his first message he was very conciliatory. He was glad that
the masses in the North were willing to abide by the constitution
and put down the fanatical efforts of the abolitionists who were
endangering the safety of the Union. He hoped their efforts
would terminate the slavery agitation. And in conclusion he de-
clared that the people,
satisfied that the men whom they elected at the ballot box to rep-
resent them in Congress will bear their rights safely through the
present crisis, they feel no alarm as to the result. Texas will main-
"Roberts, in A Comprehensive History of Texas, II, 63.
57Ibid., II, 64.
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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/m1/74/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.