A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 59
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LIMESTONE, FREESTONE AND LEO.V COUCV'IL ES.
This system would supply an efficient
police force, strengthen the local organization
for the defense of the State, and retain
a reserve of laborers that could give
time and attention to internal interests.
The Governor also called attention to
the "fearful demoralization arid crimes
prevailing throughout the State." Tlhe
picture which he drew of the social condition
of Texas during this period was truly
frightful. "Foul crime is committed, and
the criminal, steeped in guilt and branded
by his own dark deeds with eternal infamy,
goes unwhipped of justice. Not
even a warrant is issued for hi n- no effort
made by the sworn officers of the law, or
by the community, to bring him to punishment.
Too often the deed is excused; the
community is divided in opinion as to
guilt, and the criminal is screened from
justice, unless his offending chances to
touch some particular influence or prevailing
notions, and then, without trial and
without the forms of law, he is hung by
This really worthy Governor further remarked
that the law was not at fault, and
called upon the officers and people to cooperate
in rooting out these evils. He exhorted
the judiciary and all other officers
to faithfully discharge their duties, and
boldly declared that the severest penalties
should be provided for tie civil officer who
neglected his sworn obligations.
In spite of this lamentable condition of
Texas in a social point of view, her industrial
prospects were far from unfavorable.
Numbers of refugees from Louisiana,
Arkansas anq Missouri, after the abolition
of Alwvery, sought an asylum in Texas,
which that law failcle to reach, bringc}ingr
with their their slaves. The cznselu(llence
was that the year 1863 was marked by an
unprecedented production of cotton and
corn. Looms were supplied in ample
abundance, great quantities of cloth were
manufactured and industrial enterprises
undertaken on an extensive scale. Capital
was employed by association and chartered
companies for the manufacture of iron and
other articles for home coiiinumption and
the army, and machinery for manufacturing
purposes. But the producers were
called upon to make sacrifices so great that
their patience became exhausted. The demand
for cotton, both by Confederate officers
and the State Military Board, was ilmperative,
and the planter was called upon
to sell oneehalf of his staple for State
bonds bearing seven per centum interest.
Means of transportation to the Rio Grande
were scarce and expensive, and it was generally
conceded that the cost of transferring
cotton thither from any distance in the
interior was equal to one-half its value,
losses and wastage being considered. Moreover,
serious embarrassments occurred between
the Confederate and State authorities,
and cotton transported under the State
regulations was interfered with on the Rio
Grande. Horses and mules were impressed
for the use of the army, and all surplus
corn was appropriated. A gloomy sentiment
prevailed. Many terrible battles had
been fought, and it was felt that the end
was drawing near.
The latter part of 1864 was disastrous to
the Confederate army, and during the first
six months of the following year the catastrophe
came. After the surrender of Gen
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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/m1/61/: accessed May 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.