The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 38
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Southwestern Iistorical Quarterly
Smith saw fit to place the blame for these conditions on the
Council, and use this as an excuse to dissolve the body.
The chief error in this logic is the premise. The Council was
in no sense responsible for beginning the Johnson-Grant expedi-
tion to Matamoras. These two gentlemen were appointees of Gen-
eral Burleson, who had been commissioned by Smith without the
knowledge of the Council. The expedition was ordered and was
actually under way before Johnson asked the Council's approval.
Johnson was not commissioned by the Council until January 14,
having refused an earlier offer on the theory that he held a com-
mission from Governor Smith. Seemingly, the only connection
between the Council and this expedition was that some of ifs
members had advised General Burleson to undertake it.21 The
Council can hardly be blamed for the taking of these supplies by
Johnson and Grant--neither can the governor--and Johnson
declared that no supplies were taken. The letter of Neill shows
that some supplies had been delivered to Bexar through the efforts
of the Provisional Government.
Smith had determined upon the policy he was to pursue, and
January 10, requested Robinson to call a secret meeting of the
Council. Robinson was informed that the message would be severe,
but was assured that "nothing therein contained is aimed at, or
intended for you."22 The Council met in secret session and the
intemperate message was read.
This message is an amusing document which denounced the
Council at length and praised the governor at even greater length.
It began with a reference to conditions at Bexar, and then placed
upon the Council all blame for the unsatisfactory state of affairs.
As proof of the guilt of the Council, Smith pointed to their actions
in passing over his veto several measures having to do with the
Instead of acting as becomes the counsellors and guardians
of a free people; you resolve yourselves into low, intriguing,
caucussing parties, pass resolutions without a quorum, predi-
21Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 778.
22Ibid., I, 758.
Smith later declared ("Reminiscences of Henry Smith," The Quarterly of
the Texas State Historical. Association, XIV, 51-52): "I am proud how-
ever to say, that there were but three members that I at that time, sus-
pected for downright corruption, but the others not being practical men,
were easily led astray."
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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/m1/46/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.