The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 450
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
intended to resign." Both houses of the state legislature con-
demned his vote, but the language might have been much more
forceful, and the actual denial of re-election was somewhat be-
lated.'12 Again it is significant that many county conventions in
endorsing the Kansas-Nebraska bill and censuring Houston's con-
duct added a condemnation of the American Party.13 And, clever
politician though he ordinarily was, Houston had made a rather
elephantine attempt to lend his support to certain candidates in
the local elections, without seeming to do so, by means of a letter
ostensibly written too late, in his opinion, to arrive prior to the
actual election; its timely arrival elicited some rather acid com-
ments in the press.'4
At any rate, denied re-election to the Senate, he entered the
race for governor of Texas in 1857, remarking, in a letter to
Thomas Rusk, that the people wanted excitement and he had as
well supply it as any one.15 He supplied it rather better, for the
campaign could scarcely have been more bitter, but evidently
the legislature reflected the displeasure of the electorate, for his
opponent, Hardin Runnels, was elected. Two years later, however,
the atmosphere was more favorable. The South was even more
disillusioned about the Kansas-Nebraska bill. The American Party
could be dismissed as dead, and Houston could disavow any
desire to see it revived."6 Despite the opposition of the Democratic
party, his eloquence regained for him much of his following, and
he was quite at home in the uninhibited give and take of a
frontier election; he described one opponent as having all the
qualities of a dog-except fidelity; his conduct in voting in accord
with William H. Seward on certain matters he defended on the
grounds that it did a good man no harm to go to church with
a bad one. He was elected in 1859 by a safe margin.
x"Texas State Gazette, April 4, 1854-
12Journal of the Senate of the State of Texas, 6th Legislature (January 25, 1856),
1sAnna Irene Sandbo, "The Beginning of the Secession Movement in Texas,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVIII, 55-56.
14Texas State Gazette, September 16, 1855-
15Letter from Sam Houston to Thomas Rusk, dated May 12, 1857 (MS., Rusk
Papers, Archives Collection, University of Texas Library).
xeAmelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker (eds.), The Writings of Sam
Houston (8 vols.; Austin, 1942), VII, 240.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/552/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.