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: 89
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HISTORY OF' TEXAS. 89
tional posts and property. February 16th
he complied, surrendering 2,500 men, and
all the forts, arsenals, military posts, public
stores and munitions of war, all the property
being valued at $1,200,000 cost price. .
A few days before the popular vote was
taken, as above noted, Houston delivered a
speech from the balcony of the Tremnont
House in Galveston, to the excited public, on
the question of secession. His personal
friends, fearing that violence would be offered,
entreated him to remain quiet; but he was
not to be stopped by any apprehension of
danger. He stood erect before the people,
and in prophetic language pictured to them
the dark future. 6" Some of you," he said,
'c laugh to scorn the idea of bloodshed as a
result of secession, and jocularly propose to
drink all the blood that will ever flow in consequence
of it. But let me tell you what is
coming on the heels of secession: the time
will come when your fathers and husbands,
your sons and brothers, will be herded together
like sheep and cattle at the point of
the bayonet, and your mothers and wives,
sisters and daughters, will ask: Where are
they? You may, after the sacrifice of countless
millions of treasure and hundreds of
thousands of precious lives, as a bare possibility,
win Southern independence, if God
be not against you; but I doubt it. I tell you
that, while I believe with you in the doctrine
of State rights, the North is determined to
preserve this Union. They are not a fiery,
impulsive people as you are, for they live in
cooler climates; but when they begin to
move in a given direction, where great interests
are involved, such as the present
issues before the country, they move with
the steady momentum and perseverance of a
mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they
will overwhelm the South with ignoble de
feat." Before the close of his speech, however,
he said, i" Better die freemen than live
slaves. Whatever course Texas may pursue,
my faith in State supremacy and State rights
will carry my sympathies with her. As
Henry Clay had said, ' My country, right or
wrong,' so say I, My State, right or wrong."
It seems from the above that Houston was
a shrewd reader of hum'rn nature, as also
from the following reinarks in his message to
the legislature a year previously: "b To nullify
constitutional laws will not allay the
existing discord. Separation from the Union
will not remove the unjust assaults made by
a class in the North upon the institutions in
the South. They would exist from like passions
and like feelings under any government.
The Union was intended as a perpetuity.
In accepting the conditions imposed
prior to becoming a part of the Confederacy,
the States became a part of the Union. In
becoming a State of the Union, Texas agreed
' not to enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation,
and not, without the consent of
Congress, to keep troops or ships of war,
enter into any agreement or compact with
any other State or foreign power.' '"
The result of the vote of February 23 for
delegates to the State convention to consider
the propriety of secession, was in substance
as follows: Austin, the capital, San Antonio,
and other western towns, as well as counties,
gave Union majorities; the German colonists,
too, were for the Union, while the rest
of the State gave large Confederate majorities.
Out of about 70,000 voters in the
State, 53,256 cast their votes; and of this
number 39,415 were in favor of secession,
and 13,841 against it.
To lose no time, the State convention assembled
on March 2, in order to be ready for
immediate action as soon-as the result of- the
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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/m1/94/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .