The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 143
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Intrastate Sectionalism in Governor's Race
frontier defense. Another was the towering figure of Sam Houston.
Admired by most of the people of the east, where he had lived during
his early Texas years, Houston was unpopular with many westerners
because of his retreat from their settlements after the fall of the Alamo
in 1836 and also because of his nonaggressive frontier policy as Presi-
dent. The geographical and personal factors together had contributed
to the rise of two political factions which dominated Texas public life
during the years of the Republic.'
With the entry of Texas into the Union in 1846, intrastate section-
alism played a less important role for a time in state political affairs.
National considerations, including controversies arising out of the
Mexican War and the introduction of the Whig party into the state
in 1848, strongly influenced Texas politics in the latter 1840's. Even
so, sectional animosities helped to account for George T. Wood's elec-
tion as governor in 1847 and led to a bitter struggle over legislative
apportionment in 1848. Upon their acceptance of the Compromise of
1850, Texans once more turned their full attention to state issues, with
intrastate sectionalism again an important factor in politics."
One sectional issue was expenditure for frontier defense. During
the summer of 1852, Governor P. H. Bell ordered out three companies
of Rangers to help federal troops deal with Indian raids on the west-
ern settlements. Later, he called a special legislative session to provide
compensation for the volunteers. Charles DeMorse, editor of the
Clarksville Standard, opposed the governor's proposal, claiming that
the troops had been called out primarily to fatten the pockets of west-
erners who held provision contracts."
Two additional matters of sectional controversy were noted by an
anonymous correspondent of the Palestine Trinity Advocate. He as-
serted that the last legislature had appropriated $125,000 for a new
state capitol in Austin, largely because western lawmakers, by their
united action, had outmanaged their counterparts from the east. He
'George L. Crocket, "East Texas in the Politics of the Republic," Bulletin of the Sam
Houston State Teachers' College, XVII (March, 1928), 6-16; Ernest W. Winkler (ed.),
Platforms of Political Parties in Texas (Austin, 1916), Is; Llerena B. Friend, Sam Hous-
ton: The Great Designer (Austin, 1954), 1o5; George P. Garrison, Texas: A Contest of
Civilizations (Boston, 190o3), 279.
"Rupert N. Richardson et al., Texas: The Lone Star State (3rd ed.; Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey, 1970), 143; Randolph Campbell, "The Whig Party of Texas in the Elections
of 1848 and 1852," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LXXIII (July, 1969), 18-21; Ralph
A. Wooster, "Early Texas Politics: The Henderson Administration," Southwestern His-
torical Quarterly, LXXIII (October, 1969), 192; Wooster, "Early Texas Politics: The
Wood Administration," Texana, VIII (No. 2, 197o), 187-190.
"Galveston Weekly News, January 25, 1855; Clarksville Standard, January 29, 1853.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/173/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.