The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 424
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
istration of General Lamar. Such is strictly the fact; and yet it is proper
tp add that a man of purer patriotism and stricter pecuniary integrity
I have never known; finance however was not his forte. . . . The finan-
cial system of that period . . . may for brevity be styled the Redback
system the offspring of Congressional legislation of a Congress elected by
the people who desired to make money plenty. All its disastrous conse-
quences were the natural fruits of the baleful system--of the system of
In connection with the Redback system I have to state the fact that
the entire Public Debt of Texas at the close of Houston's Administration
in 1838, including all the war expenses of the Revolution was about two
millions of dollars, all told. The Public Debt of the Republic of Texas
as afterwards ascertained under an Act of the State Legislature was on
the 1st [of] July 1850, $10,o078,70o3-all which enormous increase, less the
interest, over $2,ooo,ooo was incurred during the three years of Redback-
ism, of which I have spoken.'" During Houston's Second term and Anson
Jones's ,administration of the Republic of 'Texas not one dime was added
to the Public Debt then already existing.
After adverting to these Administrations of Houston-second term--
and Jones, it appears to me proper to add a few words on the financial
system adopted. Sam Houston elected in 1841 was inaugurated in Decem-
ber of that year. His first act was to cast off the Hough [sic] of Redbacks,
to ignore them utterly as in any way to be used or considered in his
administration of the government. There was on his entering . . . office
not a dollar in the Treasury. He again resorted to paper; Exchequer Notes
were issued; but he limited their utmost possible issue rigidly . . . to
$2ooooo. They never were in circulation even to that amount at any one
time. .. . These exchequers were based for their redemption mainly on
impost dues received at the Custom Houses. These dues could be paid
only in gold on Texas Exchequers." At the end of three years, the period
of Houston's second term, few exchequers were in circulation and they
were readily exchangeable at par for gold; there was surplus gold in the
Treasury; not one dime had been added to the mass of Public Debt.
The same financial system was maintained under Anson Jones; and when
on annexation being consummated, he turned over the government of the
Republic to the officers of the State government, he turned over at the
same time gold in the Public Treasury....
"1For an evaluation of the debt of the Texas Republic, see "An Act providing for
the liquidation and payment of the debt of the late Republic of Texas," ibid., III, 916-919.
1sHouston's policies became law by "AN ACT, To authorize the President to issue
Exchequer Bills, and to declare what shall be receivable in payment of taxes and duties
on imports," approved January ig, 1842. Ibid., II, 727-728.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/474/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.