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: 101
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HISTOR Y OF TEXAS.
In November, as shown by the general
election, the Democrats came out in full force
and elected a full set of State officers, a majority
of the State legislature, and the full
Congressional delegation. At the same election
Austin was chosen as the permanent seat
of the State government, by a large majority.
The new legislature met January 14,
1873, and the Democrats at one proceeded to
repeal all obnoxious laws; thle militia bill
passed by the preceding legislature was so
modified as to deprive the governor of the
power to declare martial law; tihe objectionable
State police force was disbanded, and material
changes were effected in the election laws.
Now for a coup d'etat. Thie Democrats,
after reforming thle law, determined next to
reform the personnel of the government, and
this had to be done by stratagem. The governor
was a stanch Republican, and the senate
still contained a Republican majority. Seeing
that a scheme of obstruction would immnediately
stop the wheels of the government,
the Democrats voted no appropriations with
which to carry on the government until they
could have a new election. So, being confident
that at the polls they would be sustained,
they boldly ordered a new election of
State officers, members of the legislature, etc.
Their party, of course, was triumphant, but,
the election being unconstitutional, as decided
by the supreme court, Davis officially
announced the fact, and prohibited the new
legislature from assembling. The new legislature
met, however, in the upper story of
the capitol, while the old Republican body
met in the lower story, guarded by negroes.
The immediate outlook appeared frightful.
President Grant was appealed to, but refused
to sustain Davis, and this was the cause of the
moderation, which finally resulted favorably.
Richard Coke was elected governor, and
Richard B. Hubbard lieutenant governor,
they being elected by a majority of 50,000.
On the 19th of January, Governor Davis
vacated the executive chair without a formal
surrender. This was an exceedingly narrow
escape from bloodshed. Ini a public( speech,
in 1880, .Davis referred to this affair, and
said the Democrats seized the State government;
blut Governor Coke, in his message,
referred to the matter in the following terms:
" Forebodings of danger to popular liberty
and representative government caused the
stoutest and most patriotic among us to
tremble for the result. A conspiracy, bulder
and more wicked than that of Cataline against
the liberties of Rome, had planned to overthrow
of free government in Texas. The
capitol and its purlieus were held by armed
men under command of the conspirators, and
the treasury and department offices, with all
the archives of the government, were in their
possession. Your right to assembllle in the
capitol as chosen representatives of the people
was denied, andl the will of the people of
Texas was scoffed at and defied * * *
The president of the United Stateb was being
implored to send troops to aid in overthrowing
the government of Texas, chosen by her
people by a majority of 50,000. The local
and municipal officers throughout the State,
in sympathy with the infamous designs of
these desperate and unscrupulous revolutionists,
taking courage from the boldness of the
leaders at the capital, were refusing to deliver
over to their lawfully elected successors the
offices in their possession. A universal conflict
of jurisdiction and authority, extending
through all the departments of the government,
embracing in its sweep all the territory
and inhabitants of the State, and every question
upon which legitimate government is
called to act, was imminent and impending."
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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/m1/106/?rotate=270: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .