The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 493
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Notes and Documents
a Houston newspaper reported it, "There was a distribution of
public property in Austin last week . . . all plunder belonging
to the Confederate and state governments.""
But the greatest danger came from groups of lawless men plunder-
ing in the vicinity. The state treasury, an attractive target for them,
was rumored to contain a million dollars worth of United States
bonds. After the first "distribution of public property," a public
guard of some thirty men had been formed under Capt. G. R.
Freeman to protect the city." On Sunday night, June 1, while
church services were going on, the sound of hammering on the
treasury vault could be heard all around capitol hill. Law and order
were so disrupted that most of the listeners were afraid to interfere.
Freeman went from church to church, collected nineteen men, and
attempted to stop the robbery. One bandit was mortally wounded,
but the vault had yielded and the others escaped with their loot.'
A commission later set the loss at $16,968 after an investigation proved
that only a few U.S. bonds had been held by the treasury."
Although Austin had been the seat of Confederate control, the
permanent residents had less reason, perhaps, to resent the return
of U.S. rule than did some other sections of Texas. Travis County
had voted against secession 704 to 450 in 1861,' and some of the
state's leading Unionists remained in Austin throughout the war,
such as Morgan Hamilton, former Governor E. M. Pease, George
Hancock, William Alexander, and George Paschal. Austin had enough
loyalist citizens to make up Capt. Hubbard Carrington's "Austin
Company" in the federal army that fought in the last battle of the
war, May 13, at Palmito Ranch." When President Andrew Johnson
appointed A. J. Hamilton provisional governor on June 17, Austin
citizens generally heard the news with relief. Jack Hamilton had
lived among them for many years and although he had a reputation
for a hot temper and "occasional irregular habits," such as heavy
drinking, he was believed not to be vengeful."
'Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, May 31, 1865.
'Willis L. Robards to Ashbel Smith, June 15, 1865, Ashbel Smith Papers (Archives,
University of Texas, Austin).
7Southern Intelligencer (Austin), August 4, 1865.
8Ibid., November 9, 1865-
1E. W. Winkler (ed.), Secession Convention of z861 (Austin, 1912) , 90.
OFrank Brown, "Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin," (typescript; Archives,
University of Texas, Austin), Ch. XXIV, 8.
"John L. Waller, Colossal Hamilton of Texas (El Paso, 1968), 61-62.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/565/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.