The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 32
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
GOVERNOR SMITH AND THE COUNCIL
Due to the extreme vagueness of the organic law, misunder-
standings and disputes between governor and Council were probably
inevitable. To make matters worse the Council, under the lead-
ership of D. C. Barrett, consistently favored the pronouncements
of the Consultation, as expressed in the Declaration of November
7, while the governor was one of the most radical members of the
Independence party, and hated everything Mexican. Barrett and
Smith were political enemies and probably personal enemies. Cer-
tainly they were not friends, and there is some reason to believe
the quarrel between the governor and Council to have had its
inception in a personal quarrel in which Smith was the aggressor.
The outstanding events in this quarrel between the branches of
the Provisional Government consist of their differences of opinion
concerning General Mexia, the manner of drawing drafts on the
treasury, the calling of a Convention, the Barrett and Qritten
appointments, and the Matamoras expedition.' The activities of
land speculators also led to differences of opinion. These disputes,
however, were not of sufficient importance to have disrupted the
government had it not been for the peculiar character of Governor
Smith. He was inclined to question the honesty of his opponents,
and to think of himself as an incorruptible man. He fought
with a crusader's zeal any who saw fit to oppose him.
The wisdom of the Consultation in choosing Henry Smith for
governor is subject to question, since he was known to be strongly
in favor of independence, while that body decreed that the gov-
ernment was to co-operate in every way possible with Mexican
liberals.2 Even had there been no personal quarrel the governor
and Council would have been out of harmony. Lieutenant Gov-
ernor Robinson was also a member of the independence party.
The personal quarrel between Smith and Barrett may have had
its beginning in the Consultation, for in that body the plan for
a provisional government presented by Smith was rejected on
motion of Barrett, and a plan prepared by a committee of which
Barrett was chairman was adopted.3
1W. Roy Smith, "The Quarrel Between Governor Smith and the Council
of the Provisional Government of the Republic," in The Quarterly of the
Texas State Historical Association, V, 296.
2Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 520, 522.
sIbid., I, 530.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/40/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.