Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 225 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
passing through many changes and many doubtfu
stages, and by the blending of many charters, t(
ultimate construction and completion in 1881.
Mr. Pease was not long suffered to remain ii
retirement. In 1853 he was elected Governor o0
Texas, as the successor of Governor Bell, and
re-elected in 1855, Hardin R. Runnels being elected
Lieutenant-Governor. That he was one of the
ablest 'and purest Governors Texas has ever
had, is the unanimous opinion of all who
are conversant with the facts. His messages to
the Legislature are model State papers, not only
on account of the knowledge of the condition and
needs of the country and the principles of civil
government that they display, but for the wisdom
of the recommendations that they contain and the
elegance and perspicuity of their diction. During
the four years that he filled the gubernatorial chair,
alternate sections of land were set aside to promote
the construction of railroads, and much of our
earliest railroad legislation was enacted, lands were
set apart for free school purposes, a nucleus for the
present munificent school fund was formed, and a
handsome appropriation was made for the establishment
of a State university, for no man felt a deeper
interest in popular education or more fully realized
that the hope of constitutional freedom must ever
rest upon the intelligence of the citizen; a new
State capitol and other public buildings were erected,
and institutions for the insane, deaf and dumb, and
blind were founded, and liberal appropriations made
for their support. When his official life as Govenor
began, the State tax was twenty cents on the
one hundred dollars, and when his second term
expired it was fifteen cents and the State was
entirely free from debt.
In 1854, there was introduced into Texas a secret,
oath-bound, political organization, which became
known as the Know-Nothing or American party.
It transacted its business with closed doors and
in the latter year put forth a full ticket for State
offices. The principles of the new party were
designed to place restrictions upon foreign immigrants
acquiring American citizenship, and to
impose restraints and civil disabilities upon those
professing the Catholic religion. Its methods, tenets
and purposes were assailed by Governor Pease.
A sturdy republican, he entertained an unconquerable
hostility to secret political organizations,
believing that, while some excuse might be offered
for their formation under the despotisms of the old
world, none could be advanced for their existence
here. He considered them, per se, inimical and a
menace to our free institutions. As to debarring
worthy foreigners from the blessings and advan1
tages attendant upon American citizenship, the
idea to him was utterly repugnant. He remembered
that our ancestors themselves were emigrees from
a Europe, that many men of foreign birth had fought
f in the Continental army and afterwards adorned
I the walks both of public and private life in the early
I days of the republic, that many such men emigrated
from their distant homes to settle in the wilderness
of Texas and that not a few had honorably borne
arms in the struggle that won for Texas her independence,
and he knew that men who would leave
the land of their birth to escape tyranny and, in
search of liberty, cross the stormy deep in the
hope of bettering their conditions amid alien scenes
and among a people to whose very language they
were strangers, were made of stuff that fitted them
for the patriotic discharge of the duties incident to
self-government. Ilis was not the spirit of the
glutton, who, careless of the welfare of others,
wishes all for himself, but that nobler spirit that
led the fathers of 1776 to boast that they had established
an asylum to which the oppressed of every
land might turn with the assurance of safety and
protection. As to religion, he believed that to be a
matter of conscience that should rest between each
man and his God and that should in no way be
interfered with by private ind(ividuals or the State.
lie believed the action the Know-Nothing party
contemplated taking against Catholics and foreign
immigrants to be contrary to the history and traditions
of our government and the genius of our institutions.
So believing, lie entered the campaign as
the standard-bearer of the oplosition, known as the
Democratic party, but containing men of widely
divergent views, and, after a spirited and exciting
contest, was elected at the polls and entered upon
his second term.
The ticket put in the field by the Know-Nothing
party contained the first nominations made by a
political party in Texas. In fact, prior to 1855
there were no party organizations, properly so
called, in the State.
Before the close of Governor Pease's second
term, the whole country was stirred from center to
circumference over questions that aroused the
bitterest sectional feeling. Under the terms of the
Missouri Compromise of 1820 and 1821, the territories
of Kansas and Nebraska when admitted
would necessarily enter the Union as free States.
In 1854, Senator Douglass, of Illinois, introduced
in Congress what was known as the Kansas and
Nebraska Bill (which became a law), in which it
was declared that the Missouri Compromise"Being
inconsistent with the principles of nonintervention
by Congress with slavery in the States
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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/m1/225/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .