Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 23 of 58
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RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS. 23
in both branches. The Fourteenth Legislature chosen at this election
assembled at Austin on the 13th day of January, 1874. Notwithstanding
Governor Davis had approved the Act of the 26th of
May, 1873, providing for the election of Governor, members of the
Legislature and all other elective State and county officers, it was
rumored that he would resist the inauguratiort of Governor Coke
and the organization of the State government under him, and a
collision was threatened between the adherents of Governor Coke
and Governor Davis. The circumstances attending the outgoing of
Governor Davis and the incoming of Governor Coke, in January,
1874, are familiar to all of the old citizens of Texas, and I shall not
attempt their repetition, except a single circumstance, which has no
significance except that it shows how much the people of Texas
were indebted to President Grant for their escape from bloodshed,
and what the Northern people would have considered a second
rebellion, in January, 1874.
At the election in December, 1873, the writer was elected Senator
to the Fourteenth Legislature, and was present in Austin during
the exciting times preceding the inauguration of Governor Coke.
Old citizens of Austin will remember, that some of the Senators
and Representatives of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Legislatures,
adherents of Governor Davis, had organized a sort of rump Legislature,
in some of the basement rooms of the capitol, and were collecting
in the basement a military force for the purpose of resisting
the inauguration of Coke. A young man by the name of Horn, an
acquaintance of the writer, in fact a distant kinsman, was clerk or
secretary of one of the houses of the basement Legislature. The
writer at the time was rooming in the third story of the old Raymond
House. It was well known that Governor Davis had applied
to President Grant for Federal troops to support him in his contention,
and great anxiety was manifested by both sides as to what
his answer would be. * If favorable to Governor Davis, it meant
bloodshed beyond a doubt, for the democrats were determined at
all hazards to seat Governor Coke. While waiting for the reply of
President Grant, one night about the hour of midnight, the writer
was aroused by some one in his room. The some one proved to be
Horn. On inquiry as to what he wanted, he said, "President Grant
has refused the use of the Federal troops to Governor Davis. We
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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/m1/23/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .