Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 8 of 58
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8 RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS.
cised the power of political control and government as they had
done of old. Under this plan there was no opening for the enterprising
carpet-bagger from the North to secure in a rebel State a
governorship, a senatorship, seat in Congress or other place to loot
the poverty-stricken people, through the FreCldman's Bureau or the
Loyal League. The Northern people were not satisfied to subdue
and save the rebel States for the Union, they must be saved for the
Radical party. To accomplish this, all that President Johnson
had done must be destroyed, and new measures devised to secure the
political control of the Southern people.
The first step in the accomplishment of this purpose was an act
of the Federal Congress, entitled "An Act for the more efficient
government of the rebel States," passed on the 2nd day of March,
1867. This act is adorned by the following preamble: "Whereas,
no legal State governments or adequate protection for life or property
now exist in the rebel States of Virginia, North Carolina,
Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Arkansas;
and, whereas, it is necessary that peace and good order shall
be enforced in those States until loyal and republican State goternments
can be legally established; therefore, be it enacted."
At the time of the passage of this act every person now living
in Texas, who was old enough to remember the facts, knows that the
State government was in operation, organized by the order of Federal
authority, exercising all of its functions; that Throckmorton,
an original Union man, was Governor, whose every impulse was
conservative and law-abiding; that law and order prevailed; that
there was no disturbance, except what was created by Indians and
a few desperadoes on the frontier; that there was no resistance to
Federal law or opposition to Federal authority; that life and property
were as safe in Texas on the 2nd day of March, 1867, as they
were before the commencement of the Civil War, and that there is
not a solitary statement made in the aforesaid preamble which, at
the time, was truthful as to Texas and her people.
On the 23rd day of March, 1867, Congress passed a supplemental
act to that of March 2nd, and on the 19th day of July, 1867, passed
a second supplemental act. Each of these supplemental acts was
harsher in its terms than the original, and tightened the fetters
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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/m1/8/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .