A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 48
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HISTORY OF NAVARRO, HENDERSON, ANDERSON,
Sister States "attached to the benign domestic
institution of slavery" were to be
invited to join her in that measure.
In response to the governor's message
the legislature of Texas, having submitted
the subject to the committee on Federal
Relations, passed, on February 16, 1858,
a joint resolution in which it was declared
that the governor should be authorized to
order the election of seven delegates to
meet delegates appointed by the other
Southern States in convention whenever
the executives of a majority of the slaveholding
States should express the opinion
that such convention was necessary to preserve
the equal rights of such States in
the Union. An appropriation of $10,000
was made to defray the expenses of the
delegates, and the governor was authorized,
in case an exigency arose, in which
it would be necessary for Texas to act
alone, to call a special session of the legislature
to provide for a State convention.
At the election in September, 1859, the
same two candidates competed for the executive
office. Runnels being nominated
by the Democratic party, Houston ran as
an independent candidate, and was elected
by a majority of 8,757 votes over his opponent.
The election of Houston was a victory
of the Unionist party in Texas over the
Confederate party. At this time the majority
of the Texans were opposed to separation
from the Union; and though the
late governor had been elected by the
maneuvering of the Democratic party,
which won the confidence of the people by
its crusade against the Know-nothings,
they presently became alarmed at the de
velopment of the secession intentions of
the Democratic leaders. In 1858 a vacancy
occurred on the Supreme Bencli, and
the Democrats nominated Buckley, who
bore no enviable character, and was of
well-known disunion proclivities. He was
defeated by an overwhelming majority by
Bell, an avowed Unionist. In the canvass
of 1859 the Democratic convention met at
the town of Houston; Confederate sentiments
were expressed in it, and the African
slave-trade was held in favor. The
Democratic party had thrown off the
mask, and the result was the defeat of
their candidate by a large majority.
Houston took his seat at a time when
intense political excitement prevailed all
over the United States. Kansas had become
a field of strife between the free-soil
and pro-slavery parties, and emigrants
from Missouri and the South engaged in
deadly contest with settlers from the
Northern States. The polls were taken
possession of by armed bands, and elections
were carried by illegal voting.
Counter-constitutions were promulgated
in turn by antagonists, and for several
years the condition of the Territory was
anarchical. Finally, in July, 1859, a constitution
prohibiting slavery was adopted
by a convention which met at Wyandotte,
and was ratified by popular vote October
This defeat, aggravated by the raid of
John Brown on Harper's Ferry during the
same month, exasperated - the Southern
States, and in December, 1859, both
branches of the Legislature of South Carolina
passed unanimously startling resolutions
on the subject of Federal rela
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/50/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.