The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 71
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Beginnings of Secession Movement in Texas
the right of secession, and declared that none of the present alleged
evils could be ascribed to the legitimate operations of the federal
government, being chargeable to the disloyalty of those who, by
obstructing the laws and authorities, were themselves the enemies
of the Union; that a dissolution of the Union could cure no evils;
that it was inexpedient to send deputies to a convention of slave-
holding states, and that there was not sufficient cause to justify
Texas in taking any step looking toward the dissolution of the
The ultra-radical members of the house took exception to the
governor's message, and eight members plotested against printing
it, alleging that the governor based his message on a false hypo-
thesis, namely, "that there is a nullification and disunion element
existing in the South, without any real cause and from choice";
that there are persons, "who fan the flame of discord and magnify
imaginary evils into startling realities-confounding the language
of individuals with the acts of government itself"; that there are
persons who "desire disunion," and so on. This they considered
a grossly incorrect imputation upon the patriotism of the South
which might cause the people of the North to believe that the
South would tamely and unconditionally submit to them under any
and all circumstances."
But this legislature, which in 1860, merely expressed its opin-
ion in regard to the national controversy, co-operated fully with
the secession convention the following spring.
When Houston took his seat as governor, the political situation
was tense throughout the country. The Compromise of 1850 had
stayed for only a short time the progress of the slavery agita-
tion, and with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act the contest
again became serious. The civil war in Kansas, and the win-
ning of the territory by the freesoilers in 1859, engendered hatred
between the two sections. The refusal of the North to abide by
the Dred Scott decision, as well as John Brown's raid, fanned the
flame of the secession movement in the South. The North was
on the offensive, and determined that slavery should extend no
further. The South was on the defensive and fully as determined
"3House Journal, 1859-60, 637.
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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/m1/77/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.