Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 226 of 894
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INDIAN WAR1S AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of
1850, commonly called the Compromise Measures,
is hereby declared inoperative and void, it being
the true intent and meaning of this act, not to legIslate
slavery into any Territory or State, nor to
exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof
perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic
institutions in their own way, subject only to the
constitution of tile United States."
Mr. Douglass' measure of course carried with it
tlhe right of slave-owners to settle in Kansas and
Nebraska with their slaves. The Eastern portion
of Kansas was regarded by many as a desirable
region in which to employ slave labor and many
Southern people located in it. Tile conflicts and
bloodshed that followed are familiar matters of
lhistory. The passage of the act only served to intensify
sectional hatred. Gen. Houston, Senator
from Texas, voted against it for reasons wliich he
elaborated and which met with the sanction of Governor
Pease and others, who were firmly convinced
that any attempt to establish slavery in that section
would prove futile and only serve to widen the
breach that separated the Southern and Northern
States, which, if not healed, threatened armed conflict
and, probable dissolution of the Union. They
were for pouring oil upon the troubled waters and
not for still further agitating them. Gen. Houston
offered himself as a candidate for the Governorship
in opposition to Hardin R. Runnels, the second
nominee of the Democratic organization, and,
although he made a fine canvass, was supported by
Governor Pease (the first nominee of that party and
then occupying the Governor's chair) and had many
devoted admirers and supporters, public sentiment
was such that he was defeated, Runnels receiving a
majority of over ten thousand votes. Such was
the condition of affairs on the 21st of December,
1857, when a change of administration took place.
Two years later, Gen. Houston was elected to succeed
Runnels, but a great crisis was at hand.
Threats were openly made that, if Mr. Lincoln was
elected, the Southern States would withdraw from
the Union and form a'Confederacy of their own,
tlireats that were afterwards carried into execution.
Governor Pease opposed secession, and, finding that
his opposition was in vain, retired to private life.
He was a delegate from Texas to the convention
of Southern loyalists that met at Philadelphia in
1866 and was elected one of the vice-presidents of
that body. Later in the same year he was the candidate
of the Union party for the office of Governor
of Texas, but was defeated by Hon. J. W.
Throckmorton. In August, 1867, he was appointed
Provisional Governor of the State by Gen. Sheridan,
but resigned before the end of the year because he
differed with the commanding general of the department,
Gen. J. J. Reynolds, as to the course
that should be pursued in the reconstruction of the
State. He represented the State in the Liberal
Republican Convention of 1872 that assembled in
Chicago and nominated Horace Greeley for the
presidency. In later days he attended various
State and national Republican conventiong and
continued to act with the Republican party.
Shortly after the war it was charged that he was
an extremist, but, it is a fact well and gratefully
remembered by the people of Texas that, when he
saw during the administration of Governor Davis
to wliat iniquities the extreme policy that was being
pursued would lead, he opposed it and threw
the great weight of his influence into the scales of
The stormy days before, during and after the
war are gone and the waves of passion and prejudice
that beat so fiercely have subsided. The war
was inevitable. Questions were settled by it that
had long vexed the people and been a prolific
source of discord and that could have been settled
in no other way. Old social and commercial conditions
were changed that could have been changed
in no other way. Mutual confidence, respect and
friendship were restored as they could have been
restored in no other way, and a fraternal, and it is
to be hoped, eternal, Union secured that could have
been secured in no other way. Now we can enter
into full sympathy with those who could see neither
safety nor profit in continuing to live under a compact
of Union, every essential provision of which
they believed to have been violated, and who determined
to seek peace in a Confederation composed
of friendly States with interests in common.
We can also enter into full sympathy with those who
opposed the policy of secession. They thought that,
if wrong had been done, it could be redressed within
that the slavery and all other questions
could be settled there. Governor Pease and
others of undoubted patriotism looked upon the
dissolution of the Union as the greatest calamity
that could befall the country. Upon the continuation
of that Union he believed depended the
destinies and future welfare of the race, for its
fall, he well knew, would seal the doom of free
institutions, which in a few years would perish from
the earth. "Should the blood" said men of his
party " shed upon the battle fields of the Revolution
of 1776, be shed in vain? Should the labors of
Washington and Jefferson and their compeers
prove unavailing? A thousand times no! " They
were right in their prognostications of the evils that
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/226/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .