The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 168
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
activity, as groups of secessionists marched up and down Congress
Avenue waving torches and carrying signs condemning Lincoln
and his "abolitionist" government. The secessionists, led by Oran
M. Roberts, C. R. Johns, George Flournoy, and John S. "Rip"
Ford, broke up small Unionist meetings and denounced anyone
who spoke for moderation.3 "Me and Old Rip had like to got to
fighting the other night," Unionist Aaron Burleson told his cousin
on November 19, "and dam him I will whip him if does attempt
to stop me from speaking my sentiments at any place or time in
these United States God dam him."4
"Damn the Union and Abraham Lincoln," chanted hundreds
at a secession rally. On the platform Roberts and John A. Green
spoke in favor of another Texas Republic, followed by others
advocating a similar course. But over in the capitol, Governor
Sam Houston, in the face of state-wide sentiment for secession,
still refused to call a convention to consider it, still argued that
as loyal Americans who believed in the democratic process, they
must all submit to Lincoln's victory at the polls. So secessionists
Roberts, Ford, Flournoy, and W. P. Rogers, ignoring law and
constitution, issued their own call for a convention to assemble at
Austin on January 28, 1861. Delegates were to be chosen in a
special election on January 8.5
When word came that citizens in other towns across the state
were also holding mass demonstrations by torchlight, Roberts,
Ford, and friends planned a large parade in Austin for January 5.
At mid-morning it moved off from the capitol, with parade mar-
shal Rip Ford in front on a white stallion, followed by a blaring
brass band, then a weaving line of carriages full of ladies who
waved Lone Star flags, and finally a number of yipping political
leaders and businessmen on horseback. Down Congress Avenue
went the blatant demonstrators, swinging around the corner of
Eighth Street and stopping at last at the intersection of Eighth
sJohn S. Ford (Stephen B. Oates, ed.), Rip Ford's Texas (Austin, 1963), xxxv,
315-318; Oran M. Robert's Notes on the Secession Movement in John S. Ford,
Memoirs (7 vols., typescript; Archives, University of Texas Library), V, 942-993.
'A. B. Burleson to Ed. Burleson [Jr.], November 19, 186o, Burleson Papers
(Archives, University of Texas Library).
5An example of this call is in the State Gazette (Austin), December 8, 186o. See
also E. W. Winkler (ed.), Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861
(Austin, 1912), 9-12; and Roberts' Notes on the Secession Movement in Ford,
Memoirs, V, 942-993.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/208/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.