The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 83
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Benjamin Rush Milam
in the final break of the revolution.3 The stage was apparently
set for just such a movement as James Long initiated at Natchez,
Mississippi, in June, 1819, where arrangements were made for an
expedition against the royalist forces in Texas. The object was to
get possession of Texas, establish a government, and then open the
country to immigration.4 In the words of H. S. Foote, "they hoped
to achieve by military operations what the two Austins had the
ability to accomplish by peaceful negotiations."
Long was elected to head the expedition. He left Natchez in
May or June, 1819, with seventy-five men and marched to Natchi-
toches, and then to Nacogdoches.' He had acquired by this time
some three hundred men." When Long reached Nacogdoches, the
first thing he did was to have a supreme council elected, which was
to serve as a temporary form of government. Eleven were elected
to this council, with Long as president. On June 23, 1819, they
made the following declaration of independence:
The citizens of Texas have long indulged the hope that, in
adjustment of the boundaries of the Spanish possessions in America
and the territories of the United States, they should be included
within the limits of the latter. The claims of the United States,
long and strenuously urged, encouraged this hope. . . . The
recent treaty between the United States and Spain has dissipated
an illusion too long fondly cherished.
The citizens of Texas would have proved themselves unworthy
of the age in which they live-unworthy of their ancestry-should
they have hesitated in this emergency. . . . They have resolved
under the blessing of God to be free. By this magnanimous resolu-
tion . .. they secure to themselves an elective and representa-
tive government, equal laws and the faithful administration of jus-
tice, the rights of conscience and religious liberty, the freedom of
the press, the advantages of liberal ed ucation and unrestricted com-
mercial intercourse with all the world.
Animated by a just confidence in the goodness of their cause
. they have prepared themselves unshrinkingly to meet and
firmly to sustain any conflict in which this declaration may involve
Done at Nacogdoches, this twenty-third day of June, in the year
of our Lord, 1819. (Signed) James Long,
Pres. of the Supreme Council.7
3Priestley, H. I., The Mexican Nation, 244.
'Foote, H. S., Texas and Texans, I, 204.
5Ibid., I, 202.
lbid., I, 203.
TNilcs Register, XVII, 31.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/97/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.