History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 95
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hI1STORY OF TEXAS. r
Texas thle grand juries throughout the State
have found upward of 500 indictments for
murder against disloyal men, and yet not in
a single case has there been a conviction."
The negro population of Texas at the close
of the war was about 400.000. Great numbers
had been sent hither during that struggle
to get them away from Federal interference.
Now, since they had been freed, they all began
to move for employment, and before they
attained it many of them suffered much, and
some even killed. One man testifies that he
collected accounts, showing that 260 dead
bodies of negroes had been found throughout
the State up to the middle of January, 1866,,
-some in the creeks, some floating down
stream, and Fome by the roadside. But soon
the excitement died down somewhat, and the
negroes began to find work. Plantation owners
were compelled to yield to necessity and
offered them terms which promised to insure
steady labor. Wages, $20 a month, or twothirds
of the cotton crop and one-half the
corn crops. And many testified that they
could net as much from their business under
the new order of things as under the old.
THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD.
January 8, 1866, an election was held for
delegates to a State convention to form a new
constitution. There was no excitement, and
little interest was shown, probably not half
the voters taking part. This created some
alarm in the minds of the philanthropists, but
an occasion of that kind seldom draws out a
large vote, because there is no particular issue
in question, and no great hero up for office,
whose followers take zealous held.
On the meeting of the convention J. W.
Throckmorton was elected its president, and
they proceeded to adopt every measure neces
sary for re-admission into the old Union.
This constitution was submitted to the people
June 25, who that day gave 28,119 votes for
it and 23,400 against it. Of course there was
many a bitter pill in the new document for
the old pro-slavery element to swallow, but
they could not help themselves.
On the same day of the ratification of tlhe
constitution, Mr. Throckmorton was elected
governor, and G. W. Jones, lieutenant-governor.
In his message to the legislature
the new governor said it was desirable
that all military force, and the agents of
the freed men's bureau, should be withdrawn
from the interior of the State,
and that thlie most certain way to effect
this object would be the enactment of just
laws for the protection of the blacks, and their
rigid enforcement. lie added that every effort
should be made to impress upon the
freedmnen that their labor was desirable, and
that laws should be passed carrying out the
intention of that article in the constitution
securing to tihemu protection of person and
property. lie also called the attention of the
legislature to the numerous outrages recently
committed by Indians on the frontier. Upon
his recommendation the legislature paid no
attention to the question of ratifying the new
clause of the Federal constitution abolishing
slavery, and rejected by sixty-seven nays to
five yeas the disfranchisement of the late
Confederates imposed by the fourteenth article
of the same constitution, which reads:
",No person shall be a senator or representative
in Congress, or elector of president or vicepresident,
or hold any office, civil or military,
under the United States, or under any State,
who, having previously taken an oath as a
member of Congress, or as an officer of the
United States, or as a member of any State
legislature, or as an executive or judicial offi
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/100/?rotate=270: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .