The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 2
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2 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and subsequent legal history, may be derived from the estimate
placed upon it by the Chief Justice. He always considered it the
greatest case in which he figured while on the bench, and, like-
wise, the opinion as the greatest he ever wrote.1
The Question of Authority
After a preliminary review, in which the conditions and cir-
cumstances out of which the case arose were briefly mentioned,
the court proceeded to decide the question of authority raised by
the defendants. As has been stated previously, Paschal had been
appointed solicitor and agent of the State by the provisional gov-
ernor, A. J. Hamilton. After the accession of Throckmorton, in
1866, his services as legal representative of Texas terminated,
and, although his advice and assistance were retained, Epperson
was appointed in his stead. Epperson had instituted the suit be-
fore the Supreme Court. Governor Throckmorton had written a
letter ratifying this action in the name of Texas. When Throck-
morton was superseded by Pease, Paschal resumed the office of
agent and continued the legal action before the court. His efforts
had the express sanction and confirmation of the governor. It
seems, therefore, that, if the government of Texas was legal, the
attorneys had sufficient power and authority to act for the State.
These facts, at any rate, were sufficiently strong and clear to de-
termine the decision of the question. The court promptly dis-
missed the plea of Chiles, on the ground that the acts of the State
authorities served to dispel any doubt as to the legal right of the
prosecuting attorneys. Since the introduction of this plea had
only been incidental to a denial of statehood to Texas and of
legality to her government, it would or would not be substantiated
in law and in fact according as the denial was sustained or dis-
missed by the court.
The Question of Jurisdiction
1. The American State
The question of jurisdiction was not so easily decided. As has
been suggested, the decision of this question involved the most
1Hart, Chase, 378.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/10/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.