Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 202 of 894
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INDIIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
gress and opened his campaign at Marshall. It
was impossible to estimate the strength of the
Know-Nothing party, as all its proceedings were
held in secret. This strength was greatly underestimated
by Murrah and his friends. They believed
that the excitement was of an ephemeral character
and was confined to a few individuals who hoped
to secure office by playing the roles of political
agitators. Mr. Murrah assailed the leaders and
principles of Know-Nothingism with all the vigor
and venom of which he was capable, hoping to give
the American party, so far as his district was concerned,
its coup de grace. One of the leading
citizens of the county arose and declared that the
gentlemen who composed the American party had
been insulted, and called upon all members of the
party to follow him from the court room. There
was a moment of breathless expectation, succeeded
by the audience arising well-nigh en masse and
moving toward the door. Soon Mr. Murrah and
two or three friends alone remained. They were
dumbfounded. The scene they had witnessed was
a reyelation. They realized that there was no hope
of Democratic success in the district and that the
Know-Nothing party would sweep it. Mr. Murrah
declared his intention to at once withdraw from
the race. At this moment Col. Loughery stepped
up to him and urged him to continue the campaign
and that with increased vigor, saying, among other
things: "If you retire now in the face of the
enemy, your political career will end to-day.
Although defeat is certain, stand up and fight, and
when the Know-Nothing party is condemned by
the sober second thought of the people, you will be
remembered and honored." Mr. Murrah followed
Col. Loughery's advice and was afterwards elected
Governor. The campaign waxed hotter and hotter.
The Texas Republican's philippics, many of them
unsurpassed by any written by the author of
the letters of Junius or uttered by Sheridan or
Burke, fell thicker and faster and party speakers
flew swiftly from point to point haranguing the
multitude, sometimes alone but more often in
fierce joint debate. At last came the fateful day of
election, a day of doom for the Know-Nothing
party (but not for its spirit, for that unfortunately
is still alive) and of victory to the Democracy.
The next momentous epoch in the history of Col.
Loughery was that marked by the secession
movement. As to the right of revolution, it is
necessarily inherent in every people. The time
when it shall be exercised rests alone in their discretion.
The right of secession was of an entirely
different nature. It was in the nature of that right
-which a party claims when he withdraws from a
contract, the terms of which have been violated or
the consideration for which has been withdrawn,
and identical with that which nations who are
parties to a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive,
reserve to themselves (although the compact
may in its terms provide for a perpetual
union) to consider the treaty annulled when its
terms are departed from or the connection no longer
continues to be pleasant or profitable. Withdrawal
may, or may not, give offense and lead to a declaration
of war. If it does lead to hostilities, the
resulting struggle is one carried on by equals in
which heavy artillery and big battalions will settle
the fate of the quarrel. The question of moral
right must be left to the decision of the public
conscience of the world, or, if that conscience fails
to assert itself at the time, to posterity and the
impartial historians of a later period. At one time
in the history of the English race, the trial by
battle was a part of legal procedure by which issues,
both civil and criminal, were judicially determined.
But in course of time men came to see that
skill, strength and courage were the sole factors
that controlled the issue of such contests and that
wrong was as often successful as right. As a
consequence the trial by battle fell gradually into
disuse and at last became extinct and is now only
remembered as a curious custom incident to the
evolution of our system of jurisprudence. What
has been said of the trial by battle may be said
with equal truth of war and the fate of war. The
fact that the Southern States were defeated, consequently,
has no bearing upon the question of
their right to secede. The States bound themselves
together to secure certain benefits and to remain so
associated so long as the connection proved desirable.
He believed that every essential guarantee
contained in the constitution had been grossly violated
and that the Southern States could no longer
either expect peace or security to their rights, or
any benefit whatever by continuing under the same
governmental roof with the States north of Mason
and Dixon's line. He was in favor of a peaceful
withdrawal, if possible.
During the progress of the war Co]. Loughery
opposed the passage of the conscript laws and the
invasion of the jurisdiction of civil authority by
military commanders. With all his powers of persuasion
he sought to keep up the waning hopes of
the people as the months passed on into years.
Knowing that many of the families of Confederate
soldiers then in the field were in need, he inaugurated
a movement that resulted in a mass meeting
at the Court House in Marshall, Texas, at which a
committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions of
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/202/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .