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: 99
HISTORY OF TEXAS.
terval of over three months occurred, in
which the adjutant in charge acted a kind of
provisional governor, before Davis was inaugurated.
The legislature, meeting as ordere(l,
promptly ratified the proposed amendmllents
to the United States constitution (eiifranchising
negroes, etc.), appointed senators to
Congress, and did other necessary business
imposed upon it by the reconstruction laws
as a provisional body, and adjourned.
March 30, 1870, the president of the
United States, Grant, approved the Congressional
act readmitting Texas "into the
The reconstruction period of Texas extended
over five years, during which time
lawlessness prevailed as it never did before.
On this subject General Reynolds, in a letter
to the War Department, dated October 21,
1869, says: c"The number of murders in the
State during the nine months from January
1, 1869, to September 30, same year, according
to the official records, necessarily imperfect,
is 384, being an average of about one
and a half per day! From this statement it
appears that with the partial breaking up of
bands of desperadoes by military aid the
number of murders is diminishing from
month to month."
Although the re-admission of Texas into
the Union was technically the end of the
" reconstruction period," full re-adj ustment
was not attained for some years afterward.
On the recognition of Texas as a State,
Governor Davis passed from the relation of
provisional to permanent governor, and soon
afterward the military gave up its special
civil jurisdiction to the new order of things.
Tle governor, in his message, called attention
to the necessity of providing measures
for the suppression- of crime, and recom
mended the enactment of a law for the efficient
organization of the militia, and the establishment
of a police system, which would
embrace the whole State under one head, so
that tile police, sheriff and constables of tlhe
different cities should be made a part of the
general police, act in concert with it and be
subject to tile orders _of tlie chief. IIe Lmade
mention of a class of criminals which consisted
of mobs of lawless lmlen, who asselmbled
and operated inl disguise in carrying out
some unlawful purpose, generally directed
against the freedmen. TlJe immunity from
arrest of such offenders gave reason to suppose
that they were protected or encouraged
by thle majority of the people. To repress
this evil he suggested that the executive be
given power to establish temporarily, under
certain contingencies, martial law. Alo lihe
considered that the frequency of homicides
was attributable to t]le habit of carrying
arms, and recommended that tlhe legislature
restrict that privilege, whicll it would be alle
to do under tlie amended constitution. Furthenrore,
believing that education would
limit crinle, lie recolinmendedl improvement
in the school system. MAany other goo(l
things lie also recoimnmeiided.
The legislature, politically, stood: Senate.
17 Republicans, two of them Africans, 7
conbervat:ves and 6 Democrats; house, 50
Republicans, 8 being Africans, 19 conservatives
and 21 Democrats. This body was in
accord with the governor. Its session was a
long one, not adjourning until August 15.
and it passed many acts, in accordance with
the recommendations of the governor. The
military and the police were authorized to be
organized, and the result of the organizations
brought many a collision between the whites
and the blacks. The latter, sometimes being
on the police force and otherwise in command,
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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/m1/104/ocr/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .