Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 92 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
were able, representative, old-time Texans, who had
taken the Union side of the secession question and had
become Republicans. These were led by Gov. A. J.
("Jack") Hamilton, a man of Southern birth, once a
slave-owner, who had been from the start the most
prominent, boldest and most eloquent of the Union men
of Texas, if not of the whole South. He was a member
of Congress in I86I, and denounced secession both there
and at home, and later was appointed a brigadier general
and Provisional Governor of Texas by President Lincoln,
and had gained a national reputation as an orator.
And now the usual thing happened. "He who surpasses
or subdues mankind must look down on the hate of
those below." The small men in the convention combined
to down the greatest one.
A resolution was passed the first day of the convention,
without opposition, requiring all delegates to take
what was then known as the "Ironclad Oath." This
would have excluded several delegates who had, in one
way or another, given aid and comfort to the rebellion.
The next day, Mills of El Paso, a Republican, moved
to reconsider that resolution and to admit all who had
been elected by the people. He urged that we were not
officers of the United States, but of Texas, and scarcely
that, because we could do nothing which would bind any
one. Our work would have to be approved by the people,
and then by Congress, etc., etc.
Governor Hamilton came to the rescue and Mills'
motion was passed and all elected delegates were admitted.
(The published records of the convention bear out
the above statement.) And now the first charge was
heard against Governor Hamilton, both in Texas and at
Washington, that he had "sold out to the rebels."
The opponents of Governor Hamilton had the tact to
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/92/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .