The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928 Page: 192
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
It seems fitting to take some notice in the beginning of the
conditions under which this body of legislators labored. The
town of Washington was a frontier village of a hundred or so in-
habitants. There was no printing press, no library was avail-
able, except for books brought in by the delegates, and the con-
ditions under which the members were obliged to work would
have discouraged men less seasoned in frontier life. The house
used as a meeting place was an unfurnished wooden structure
without doors or windows. Cotton cloth in lieu of glass helped
to keep out the cold wind. On the day the convention was or-
ganized a "norther" was blowing and the mercury stood at thirty-
three degrees.' "A long rough table extended from near the
front door to near the rear wall, and was equidistant from the
side walls. On this table the public documents and the papers
of the convention were laid, and the delegates were seated around
it, the presiding officer sitting at the end and the secretary near-
est him on his left. There was no bar around this table to pre-
vent intrusion upon their deliberations. . . . Spectators en-
tered the chamber at will, but they walked gently, so as not to
annoy the delegates."4
But the lack of accommodations represented one of the least
difficulties the assembly had to face. Far more serious was the
fact that they never knew what day they might be obliged to
disband and either seek safety in flight or join the army then
being assembled to stop the Mexican advance. From the very
first day they were uneasy about the fate of the Texan forces in
the vicinities of Goliad and San Antonio, and they knew that,
even if Travis' little force should be able to hold out at Bexar,
Santa Anna had a force sufficiently large to send an advance
party of cavalry to put them to flight or capture their whole
Of the permanent organization Richard Ellis, of Red River,
3Gray, William Fairfax, From Virginia to Texas, 1835 (and 1836),
(Houston, 1909), 121. Gray, an intelligent Virginian, attended most of
the meetings of the convention. His diary furnishes the bost account
of the proceedings that is available except that contained in the Journals.
4Zuber, W. P. Article in the Galveston Newos June 24, 1900. On his
way to the army, Mr. Zuber spent a portion of a day in observing the
work of the convention. It appears that he wrote the above mentioned
article about 1899, from memory.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928, periodical, 1928; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/m1/210/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.