The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 31
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The Texas Militia during Reconstruction
The untimely defalcation of the adjutant general furnished
yet another opportunity for the conservatives to pillory the
militia project. In November, 1872, Davidson absconded with
over $30,000 of the state's money,29 and his subsequent flight
to Belgium gave uncomfortable support to the conservative's
repeated assertions as to the improbability of the generals "vol-
untary return to the scene of his late brilliant milita:y opera-
tions."80 To fill this embarrassing vacancy, Davis appointed his
nephew, Frank L. Britton,1 who doubled as the governor's pri-
Opposition to the governor's military establishment continued
to grow and was more frequently and fervently voiced. In late
September, 1871, a coalition of Democrats and conservative Re-
publicans held a Tax-Payer's Convention in Austin. In addition
to its indictment of the Davis administration's fiscal policies, the
convention denounced the militia bill in extremely harsh lan-
guage, and dispatched a protest to the Texas legislature request-
ing immediate repeal of the obnoxious law which made possible
the existence of an army composed of "pets, favorites, and tools
of the Governor. "8 Undoubtedly, this anti-militia sentiment was
a factor in the election of November 5-8, 1872, one result of
which was the restoration of Democratic control, though by a
slender margin, of both houses of the legislature. When this
newly-elected Thirteenth Legislature convened on January 14,
1873, the first order of business was revision of the military status
quo in Texas. The State Police law was repealed over the gov-
ernor's veto,34 and the Militia Act was so amended as to deprive
the executive of the power to declare martial law.36 Existing
militia units were not abolished, but the area of their operations
2zClarence P. Denman, "The Office of Adjutant General in Texas, 1835-1881,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXVIII, 3o0-323. See also Report of the Adjutant
General of the State of Texas, 1872, p. 5.
soDemocratic Statesman (Austin), December 31, 1872.
slReport of the Adjutant General of the State of Texas, x872, p. 2.
s8Executive Record Book No. 284 (MS., Texas State Library, Austin).
8aProceedings of the Tax-Payer's Convention of the State of Texas (Galveston,
84Daily Democratic Statesman (Austin), April 23, 1873.
s8Gammel (comp.), Laws of Texas, VII, 456.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/44/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.