Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 17 of 58
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RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS. 17
not to linger, as his presence was not needed. Through this cordon
of soldiers, free-born white men had to pass to vote. It was such
an indignity and such a bare-faced travesty on the freedom of elections
that many of the whites who had cast aside their pride and
had registered refused to vote.
The members of the Legislature elected at the November election
in 1869 assembled at Austin, ratified the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States on the 25th
day of February, 1870; elected two United States senators, Morgan
Hamilton and J. W. Flanagan. On the 30th day of March,
1870, Congress approved the Texas constitution and received the
State back into the Union, the senators-elect from the State were
sworn in and seated, and Edward Degner, John C. Conner, George
W. Whitmore and W. T. Clark were at the same time seated as
members of Congress from Texas. The first regular session of the
Twelfth Legislature commenced at Austin April the 26th, 1870.
Nominally, Texas was back in the Union from the date of the
acceptance of the State constitution by Congress.
The Twelfth Legislature provided for an election in the State
for members of Congress, representatives to the Legislature, district
attorneys and county officers on the first Tuesday after the
first Monday in November, 1872. By tacit agreement among the
old Confederates and democrats of Texas, it was determined to
make a united and persistent effort to secure the control of the
Legislature at that election. As before stated, many of the whites
were so disgusted that they had refused to qualify themselves to
vote, and many more were so cowed and disheartened at the small
prospect of getting rid of Radical rule that they said it was no use
to register, that nothing could be done, and therefore they would
At this time, 1872, the county of Leon had from 1200 to 1400
whites who were entitled to register to 600 or 700 negro voters, all
of whom were registered. In Robertson county the negroes outnumbered
the whites largely. In Freestone county the whites and
negroes, in point of numbers, were about equal; if any difference,
the negroes had a small majority. These three counties constituted
a representative district, entitled to three representatives. Early
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/17/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .