The treachery in Texas, the secession of Texas, and the arrest of the United States officers and soldiers serving in Texas. Read before the New-York Historical Society, June 25, 1861. By Major J. T. Sprague, U. S. A. Page: 6 of 36




lic property, and in view of the fact that Texas
was without arms for her defence, the Committee,
under the authority of an ordinance of the Convention,
passed the second of February, 1861,
proceeded to set on foot a plan for obtaining possession
of the United States property, and for the
removal of the United States troops from Texas.
The following is a copy of said ordinance:
Resolution of the Convention conferring Authority
on the Committee of Public Safety.
Resolved, By the people of the State of Texas,
by Delegates in Convention assembled, that should
the Standing Committee of Public Safety deem it
essential to the public safety to appoint Commissioners,
officers or persons, in reference to taking
possession of any of the Federal property, within
the limits of this State, they shall have power to
appoint such, and assign them their duties, and
give them the instructions under which they shall
act; but this power shall only extend to such
cases in which the Committee may deem prompt
action and secrecy absolutely necessary.
That a copy of this resolution, signed by the
President of this Convention, and the appointments
and instructions, signed by the Hon. John
C. Robertson, Chairman of said Committee, shall
be full authority to the person, or persons, acting
under the same, and a full justification for all
acts done in pursuance thereof
Adopted second February, A.D. 1861.
Preparatory to the appointment of officers and
Commissioners, under said ordinance, and to insure
secrecy, as against the enemies of the country,
the following proceedings were had by the
On the third of February, 1861, it was moved,
and adopted by the Committee, that all officers,
appointed by this Committee, should be elected
by ballot, and the Commissioners above named
were so elected.
Monday, 4th February, 1861.
The following oath was proposed, and adopted
by the Committee, to be administered to each of
the Committee, and all officers and agents employed
by it:
" I solemnly swear that I will keep secret all
the councils of this Committee, and all their proceedings;
that I will also keep secret all the orders,
resolutions and instructions from them that
may be committed to me; that I will not divulge
them or any of them, to any person whatever,
unless I am authorized to do so by the said Committee.
"I further swear that I will true allegiance
bear to the State of Texas, and faithfully execute
the orders and instructions committed to me by
the Convention, so far as in me lies, so help me,
The Convention, in view of the fact that the
business before the Committee could not be done
during the sitting of the Convention, passed the
following ordinance, requiring them to continue
in session during the recess of the Convention:

Resolution giving Power to the Committee to sit
during Recess, etc.
Resolved, That the Standing Committee of Public
Safety shall continue in session during the recess
of this Convention; that they hold their
meetings at such times and places as in their
judgment the public interest requires; that said
Committee may grant leave of absence to its members,
provided such leave of absence shall not reduce
the number left to a less number than nine.
Resolved, That said Committee shall keep a
full and accurate journal of their acts, in a wellbound
book, and report the same to the Convention
on the reassembling thereof on the second
day of March next.
Adopted February fourth, 1861.
On the third day of February, 1861, the Committee,
having been informed that Gen. Twiggs,
who was then in command of the Eighth Military
District in Texas, with headquarters at San Antonio,
was a Southern man by birth, and friendly
to the cause of the South, and would in all probability
surrender up to the Convention all the
Federal property under his control, on demand
being made, passed the following resolution,
with the hope that civil commissioners might accomplish
the purpose of the Committee, without
the display of an armed force:
Resolved, That Sam. A. Maverick, Thomas J.
Devine, Philip N. Luckett and James H1. Rogers,
be appointed Commissioners to confer with Gen.
D. E. Twiggs, with regard to the public arms,
munitions of war, etc., under his control, and be
longing to the Government of the United States,
with power to demand and remove the same, in
the name of the State of Texas, and that said
Commissioners be clothed with full power to carry
into effect the powers herein delegated, and retain
possession of such arms, munitions, stores,
etc., subject to the order of the Convention of
the People of the State of Texas, and report their
acts and doings in the premises, to the Committee
on Public Safety.
Pursuant to this resolution, the following commision
was issued to T. J. Devine, Sam. A. Maverick,
P. N. Luckett, and James H. Rogers,
clothing them with authority as therein set forth,
and with the authenticated copies of the ordinance
of the Convention raising the Committee on
Public Safety, and clothing them with powers to
appoint Commissioners, etc., and their authority,
to exhibit to Gen. Twiggs.
By virtue of the authority vested in the Committee
of Public Safety, as appears in the forego
ing resolution, adopted by the Convention of the
People of Texas, assembled in the city of Austin,
on the twenty-eighth day of January, 1861You,
T. J. Devine, Samuel A. Maverick, P. N.
Luckett, and James H. Rogers, are hereby appointed
Commissioners to visit Major-Gen. Twiggs,
commanding the Eighth Military Division, stationed
at San Antonio, and confer with him in the
name and by the authority of the people of Texas

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Sprague, John Titcomb. The treachery in Texas, the secession of Texas, and the arrest of the United States officers and soldiers serving in Texas. Read before the New-York Historical Society, June 25, 1861. By Major J. T. Sprague, U. S. A., book, 1862; New York. ( accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .