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Independence Resolutions & Consultations-Index

 

3rd Texian Consultation, San Felipe de Austin, 1 November 1835

"Put off your shoes, for the ground upon which you stand is holy. The rights and liberties of thousands of freemen are in your hands, and millions yet unborn may be effected by your decision."--Dr. Branch T. Archer

Art. 1....in defense of the republican principles of the Federal constitution of Mexico of 1824.
Art. 5...right...to withdraw from the union, to establish an independent government...continue faithful to the Mexican government so long as that nation is governed by the constitution and laws.


After his experience in Mexico City, Austin was in full support of the movement to organize for defense, and in an address delivered by him at Brazoria, September 8th, he declared in favor of the "constitutional rights and the peace and security of Texas, and also for a General Consultation of the people." On October 16, 31 delegates assembled at Columbia and agreed on the legitimacy of a Permanent Council for the next two weeks.  The Consultation met on 1 November encouraged by eruption of confrontation with the aggression by the centralist Mexican government in October. On 1 Nov in San Felipe there was no quorum, the Consultation began on 3 Nov and continued through 14 Nov.

For Biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online

DELEGATES
(Primary source John H. Brown's History of Texas, 1898 and Biographical Directory of the Texas Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845.  Aall the delegates were never present at any one time, a significant number from the conflict zones did not arrive at all because of preoccupation with defense of their home territory.  Others including Stephen F. Austin, were with the defense forces.  Kerr, Linn and Power were at Lipantitlan and McMullen and Malone appeared later)

Bastrop (Mina)
Robert Coleman (from DeShields Border Wars of Texas)R.M. (Three Legged Willie) Williamson
Don Carlos Barrett, Edward Burleson
(left), Robert M. Coleman (center), James S. Lester, Barthalomew Manlove, Bartlett Sims, Robert M. Williamson (right)

Brazoria/Columbia
Branch T. ArcherHenry SmithEdwin Waller
Branch T. Archer
(left), Warren D.C. Hall, Henry Smith (second), Edwin Waller (third), John S. D. Byrom, John A. Wharton (below left), William H. Wharton (below right)
John A. WhartonWilliam H. Wharton

Colorado (Alfred)
Jesse Burnham

Goliad
James Grant, Peter W. Grayson, Benjamin F. Smith, Thomas G. Western, Ira J. Westover

Gonzales
George Washington Davis
William W. Arrington, Joseph D. Clements, George W. Davis (photo), William S. Fisher, Benjamin Fuqua, James Hodges, Thomas R. Miller

Harrisburg
Lorenzo de Zavala
Clement C. Dyer, William P. Harris, David B. Macomb, John W. Moore, George M. Patrick, Merriwether W. Smith, Lorenzo de Zavala
(photo)

Jackson
James Kerr

Jasper (Bevil)
John R. Bevil, James H. Blount, Stephen H. Everitt, Wyatt Hanks, Thomas Holmes, John A. Veatch

Jefferson
G. A. Patillo, Claiborne West

Liberty
David G. Burnet
David G. Burnet
(photo), Augustine B. Hardin, William P. Harris, Hugh B. Johnston, Henry Millard, George M. Patrick, Claiborne West, James B. Woods

Matagorda
James KerrIra Lewis
James Kerr
(photo left), Ira R. Lewis (photo right), John D. Newell, Richard R. Royall, George Sutherland, Francis M. White, Charles Willson

Milam (Viesca)
Albert G. Perry (From Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties Texas, 1893; courtesy descendant David Perry)
Samuel T. Allen, Joseph L. Hood, James W. Parker, Albert G. Perry (
photo), John G. W. Pierson, Alexander Thompson

Nacogdoches
J.W. Robinson
Thomas Jefferson Rusk
David A. Hoffman, Sam Houston, Daniel Parker, Nathaniel Robbins, James W. Robinson
(photo left), Thomas J. Rusk (photo right), William Whitaker

Refugio
Hugh M. Frazer, John Malone, James Power

Sabine
John S. Lane

San Augustine
Alexander HortonSam HoustonA.E.C. Johnson from descendant Robert Drake 07
Henry W. Augustin, Jacob Garrett, Alexander Horton
(photo left), Sam Houston (photo middle), Almanzon Huston, Achilles Edwin Childs Johnson (photo right), Albert G. Kellogg, William N. Sigler

San Felipe de Austin
Stephen F. AustinRandall JonesWilliam Menafee
Stephen F. Austin
(left), Thomas Barnett, Jesse Burnham, Randall Jones (center), Wyley Martin, William Menefee (right), William B. Travis (below)

San Patricio
Lewis Ayers, John W. Bower, John McMullen

Shelby (Teneha)
Martin Parmer, James B. Tucker, John A. Veach

Victoria
John Linn
Sylvestre DeLeon
(photo left), John J. Linn (photo right), Juan A. Padilla

Washington
Jesse Grimes
Phillip Coe, Elijah Collard, Jesse Grimes
(photo), Asa Hoxey, William T. Millican, Asa Mitchell, William M. Shepherd

--DeWitt Colonists/Residents in Italics--

 

The Agenda. Dr. Branch T. Archer was elected president and Peter B. Dexter was elected secretary. Dr. Archer outlined the work ahead:

Gentlemen: I return to you my thanks for the honor you have conferred upon me. The duties which. devolve upon the members of this body are arduous and highly important. In fact the destinies of Texas are placed in your hands and I hope, that you are now assembled, you are in every way prepared to discharge those duties in a manner creditable to yourselves and beneficial to your country. I call upon you, each and all, to divest yourself of all party feelings, to discard every selfish motive, and look alone to the true interests of your country. In the words of the Hebrew prophet I would say, "Put off your shoes, for the ground upon which you stand is holy. The rights and liberties of thousands of freemen are in your hands, and millions yet unborn may be effected by your decision."

The First measure that will be brought before the house will be a declaration in which we will set forth to the world the causes which have impelled its to take up arms, and the objects for which we fight.

Secondly, I will suggest for your consideration the propriety of establishing a provisional Government, the election of a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Council, and I would recommend that these officers be clothed with both legislative and executive powers. This measure I conceive absolutely necessary to prevent Texas from falling into the labyrinth of anarchy.

Thirdly, the organization of the militia requires your immediate attention. You will have an army in the field whose achievements have already shed luster upon our arms; they have not the provisions and comforts necessary to continue their service in the field. Give them the character, or their victories, though they are achieved not without danger and glory, will, nevertheless, be unproductive of good. Sustain and support them, and they will do honor to you and render incalculable service to their country. But neglect them---Texas is lost. The adoption of a code of military laws is indispensable. Without discipline and order in the ranks, your armies will be mobs, more dangerous to themselves than to their adversaries, and liable at all times to be cut to pieces by a handful of regulars. I know the men that are now in the field---there never were better materials for soldiers; but without discipline, they can achieve nothing. Establish military laws, and, like the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus, they will produce armed men. It will be necessary to procure funds, in order to prepare the contemplated government, and to carry oil the war in which we are now engaged. It will, therefore, be our duty to elect agents to procure these funds. I have too high an opinion of the plain, practical sense of the members of this body to think for a moment that they will elect any but some of our most influential citizens to this important post. Without funds, however heroically your armies may fight, however wisely your councils may legislate, they will erect but a baseless fabric that will fall by its own weight.

There are several warlike and peaceful tribes of Indians that claim certain portions of our land. Locations have been made within the limits they claim, which has created great dissatisfaction amongst them. Some of the chiefs of those tribes are expected here in a few days, and I deem it expedient to make some equitable, arrangement of the matter that will prove satisfactory to them.

Permit me to call your attention to another subject. Some of our brethren of the United States of the north, hearing of our difficulties, have generously come to our aid; many more, ere long, will be with us; services such as they will render should never be forgotten. It will be proper for this convention to secure to them the rights and privileges of citizens---to secure to them their lands in "headright," and place them on the same footing with those of our citizens who have not yet obtained from the government their lands---and in all other respects, to place them on equal footing with our most favored citizens. Again, the path of promotion must be open. They must know that deeds of chivalry and heroism will meet their reward, and that you will throw no obstruction in their pathway to fame.

Some fraudulent sales or grants of land, by the late government of Coahuila and Texas, will require your attention. The establishment of mails, and an express department, is deemed necessary to promote the interests of the country, besides other minor matters that have escaped my observation in this cursory review.

Finally, gentlemen and friends, let me call your attention from these details to the higher position which you now occupy. Let me remind you that the eyes of the world are upon you; that battling as we are, against the despotism of a military chieftain, all true republicans, all friends of the liberties of man, are anxious spectators of the conflict, or deeply enlisted in the cause. Let us give evidence that we are true descendants of that band of heroes who sustained eight years' war against tyranny and oppression and gave liberty to a new world. Let our achievements be such that our mother country, when she reads the bright page that records them, shall proudly and joyfully exclaim: "These are my sons; their heroic deeds mark them as such!" Again, gentlemen, let me admonish you, that the ground upon which you stand is holy; that your decisions will affect the rights and liberties of thousands of freemen, the destinies of millions yet unborn, and perhaps the cause of liberty itself. I do not view the cause in which we are now engaged as that of freemen fighting alone against military despotism; I do not view it as Texas battling alone for her rights and her liberties; I view it in a nobler, more exalted light; I view it as the great work of laying the cornerstone of liberty in the great Mexican Republic.


Unlike the two previous consultations, this convention was clearly an independence assembly moving toward armed rebellion. There was no petitions to the Mexican government and no pledges of loyalty to the government. However, the aim was stated by B.T. Archer, to "lay the cornerstone of liberty in the great Mexican Republic." A vote of delegates indicated that the tone of the reports from the meeting were to be the establishment of a Provisional State Government (33 voting For), not an Independent Nation (15 voting For). A committee of one delegate from each of the twelve municipalities prepared a declaration outlining the forces that "impel us to take up arms, and the objects for which we fight."

The Declaration. On the committee was John. A. Wharton, William Menefee, Lorenzo de Zavala, R. R. Royall, Asa Mitchell, W. S. Fisher, R. K Williamson, Sam Houston, Almanzon Houston, Wyatt Banks, Henry Millard and Samuel T. Allen. Committee deliberations resulted in the following declaration:

Whereas, General Lopez de Santa Anna and other military chieftains have, by force of arms, overthrown the federal institutions of Mexico and dissolved the social compact which existed between Texas and other members of the Mexican confederacy; now the good people of Texas, availing themselves of their natural rights,

SOLEMNLY DECLARE:

1st. That they have taken up arms in defense of their rights and liberties which were threatened by the encroachments of military despots, and in defense of the republican principles of the Federal constitution of Mexico of 1824.

2nd. That Texas is no longer morally or civilly bound by the compact of union; yet, stimulated by the generosity and sympathy common to a free people, they offer their support and assistance to such of the Mexican confederacy as will take take up arms against military despotism.

3rd. That they do not acknowledge that the present authorities of the nominal Mexican republic have the right to govern within the limits of Texas.

4th. That they will not cease to carry on war against said authorities whilst their troops are within the limits of Texas.

5th. That they hold it to be their right, during the disorganization of the federal system and the reign of despotism, to withdraw from the union, to establish an independent government, or to adopt such measures as they may deem best calculated to protect their rights and liberties; but that they will continue faithful to the Mexican government so long as that nation is governed by the constitution and laws that were formed for the government of the political association.

6th. That Texas is responsible for the expenses of her armies now in the field.

7th. That the public faith of Texas is pledged for the payment of any debts contracted by her agents.

8th. That she will reward with donations in lands, all who volunteer their services in her present struggle, and receive them as citizens.

These declarations we solemnly avow to the world and call God to witness their truth and sincerity, and invoke defeat and disgrace upon our heads should we prove guilty of duplicity.

The Provisional Government. The declaration was signed by every member present. The plan for a provisional government was developed by a committee of Henry Smith, Henry Millard, Randall Jones, Robert Wilson, C. C. Dyer, Asa Hoxey, James S. Lester, William W. Arrington, J. W. Robinson, S. R. Everett and A. Houston:

Article I. That there shall be and is hereby created a Provisional Government for Texas, which shall consist of a governor, a lieutenant-governor, and a council to be elected from this body, one member from each municipality, by the majority of each separate delegation present; and the governor and lieutenant-governor shall be elected by this body.

Article II. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the council, and shall perform the duties of governor in case of the death, absence or other inability of the governor, during which time a president pro-tem shall be appointed to perform the duties of the lieutenant-governor in council.

Article III. The duties of the general council shall be to devise ways and means---to advise and assist the governor in the discharge of his functions; they shall pass no laws, except such as in their opinion the emergency of the country requires, ever keeping in view the army in the field, and the means necessary for its comfort and support, they shall pursue the most effective and energetic measures to rid the country of her enemies and place her in the best possible state of defense. Two-thirds of the members elect of the general council shall form a quorum to do business; and in order that no vacancy shall happen in the council, if any member, from death or other casualty, shall be incapacitated to act, the governor shall immediately, on information thereof', notify the members elected to fill vacancies; and, on his default, any member who has been elected to this body from the same jurisdiction may take his seat. The governor and council shall be authorized to contract for loans, not to exceed one million dollars, and to hypothecate the public lands and pledge, the faith of the country for security of payment. That they have the power to impose and regulate imposts and tonnage duties, and provide for their collocation under such regulations as may be most expedient. They shall have power, and it is hereby made the duty of the governor and council, to treat with the several tribes of Indians concerning their land claims; and, if possible, to secure their friendship. They shall establish post offices and post roads and regulate the rates of postage and appoint a postmaster-general, who shall have competent powers for conducting this department of the provisional government, under such rules and regulations as the governor and council may prescribe. They shall have Power to grant pardons, remit fines, and to hear and judge all cases usual in high courts of admiralty, agreeably to the law of nations. They shall have power to appoint their own secretary and other officers of their own body; also that they have the power to create and fill such offices as they may deem proper; provided, nevertheless, that this power does not extend to officers heretofore rejected by this house. That the governor and council have power to organize, reduce or increase the regular forces as they may deem the emergencies of the country require.

Article IV. The governor, for the time being and during the existence of the provisional government, shall be clothed with full and ample executive powers, and shall be commander-in chief of the army and navy, and of all the military forces of Texas by sea and land; and he shall have full power by himself', by and with the consent of the council, and by his proper commander, and other officers from time to time, to train, instruct, exercise and govern the militia and navy; and for the special defense and safety of the country, to assemble and put in warlike attitude the inhabitants thereof, and to lead and conduct them by their proper officers; and with them to encounter, repel, resist and pursue by force of arms, as well by sea as by land, within or without the limits of Texas; and also to destroy, if necessary, and conquer, by all proper ways and enterprises and means whatever, all and every such person or persons as shall at any time, in a hostile manner, attempt the destruction of our liberties, or the invasion, detriment or annoyance of the country; and by his proper officers use and exercise over the army and navy and the militia in the actual service, the law martial, in times of war, invasion or rebellion, and to take or surprise by all honorable ways and means consistent with the law of nations, all and every such person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition and goods, as shall, in a hostile manner, invade or attempt the. invading or annoying our adopted country. And that the governor he clothed with all these and all other powers, which may be thought necessary by the permanent council, calculated to aid and protect the country from her enemies.

Article V. There shall be constituted a provisional judiciary in each jurisdiction represented, or which shall be represented in this house to consist of two judges, a first and second, the latter only to act in the absence or inability of the first, and be nominated 1by the council and be commissioned by the governor.

Article VI. Every judge so nominated and commissioned shall have jurisdiction over all crimes and misdemeanors recognized and known to the common law of England---he shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases known and practiced to and under the same laws; he shall have power to grant of sequestration, attachments or arrest, in all cases established by the civil code and code of practice of the State of Louisiana, to be regulated by the forms thereof; shall possess full testamentary powers in all eases and shall also be made a court of record for conveyances, which may be made in English and not on stamped paper, and that stamped paper be, in all cases, dispensed with; and shall be the notary public of their respective municipalities. All office fees shall be regulated by the governor and the council; all other civil proceedings at law shall be suspended until the governor and general council shall otherwise direct. Each municipality shall continue to elect a sheriff, alcalde and officers of ayuntamientos.

Article VII. All trials shall be by jury; and, in criminal cases, the proceedings shall be regulated upon the principles of the common law of England; and the penalties prescribed by said laws, in eases of conviction, shall be inflicted, unless the offender shall be pardoned, or fine remitted; for which purpose a reasonable time shall be allowed to every convict to make his application to the governor and council.

Article VIII. The officers of the provisional government, except such as are elected by this house, or the people, shall be appointed by the general council, and all officers shall be commissioned by the governor.

Article IX.  All commissions to officers hsall be, "in the name of the people, free and sovereign," and signed by the governor and secretary; and all pardons and remissions of fines granted, shall be assigned in the same manner.

Article X. Every officer and member of the provisional government before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe to the following oath of office: "I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the republican principles of the Constitution of Mexico of 1824, and obey the declaration and ordinances of the consultation of the chosen delegates of all Texas in general convention assembled, and the decrees and ordinances of the Provisional Government; and I will faithfully perform and execute the duties of my office agreeably to law, to the best of my abilities, so help me God."

Article XI. On charges and specifications being made against any officer of the provisional government for malfeasance or misconduct in office, and presented to the governor and council to be conducted before a fair and impartial trial shall be the general council; and if, in the opinion of two-thirds of the members, cause sufficient be shown, he shall be dismissed from office by the governor.

Article XII. The governor and council shall organize and enter upon their duties immediately after the adjournment of this house and hold their sessions at such times and places as in their opinion will give the most energy and effect to the objects of the people, and to the performance of the duties assigned to them.

Article XIII. The general council shall appoint a treasurer, whose duties shall be clearly defined by them, and who shall give approved security for their faithful performance.

Article XIV. That all land commissioners, empresarios, surveyors or persons in anywise concerned in the location of lands, be ordered forthwith to cease their operation during the agitated and unsettled state of the country, and continue to desist from further locations until the land office can be properly systematized by the proper authority, which may hereafter be established; that fit and suitable persons be appointed to take charge of all the archives belonging to the different land offices, and deposit the same in safe places, secure from the ravages of fire, or the devastation of enemies---and that the persons so appointed be fully authorized to carry the same into effect, and be required to take and sign triplicate schedules of all the books, papers and documents found in the several land offices, one of which shall be given to the governor and council, one left in the hands of the land office, the other to be retained by the said person, and they are enjoined to hold such papers and documents in safe custody subject only to order of the provisional government or such competent authority as may be hereafter created; and the said persons shall be three from each department as commissioners to be forthwith appointed by this House to carry this resolution into full effect, and report thereon to the government and council, and that the political chiefs immediately cease their functions. The different archives of the different primary judge, alcaldes and other municipal officers of the various jurisdictions, shall be turned over to their successors in office, immediately after their election or appointment; and the archives of the several political chiefs of the departments of Nacogdoches, Brazos and Bexar, shall be transmitted forthwith to the governor and council for their disposition.

Article XV. All persons now in Texas, and performing the duties of citizens, who have not acquired their quantum of land, shall be entitled to the benefit of the law of colonization, under which they immigrated, and all persons who may immigrate to Texas during her conflict for constitutional liberty, and perform the duty of citizens, shall also receive the benefits of the law under which they immigrated.

Article XVI. The governor and council shall continue to exist as a provisional government until the re-assembling of this consultation, or until other delegates are elected by the people and another government established.

Article XVII. This convention when it may think proper to adjourn, shall stand adjourned to meet at the town of Washington, Texas, on the first day of March next, unless sooner called by tire executive and council.

Article XVIII All grants, sales and conveyances of land illegally and fraudulently made by the State of Coahuila and Texas, located or to be located within the limits of Texas, are hereby solemnly declared null and void and of no effect.

Article XIX. All persons who leave the country in its present crisis, with a view to avoid a participation in its present struggles, without permission from the Alcalde or judge of their municipality, shall forfeit all or any lands they may hold or may have a claim to, for the benefit of this government; provided, nevertheless, that widows and minors are not included in this provision.

Article XX. All moneys now due or that may hereafter become due, on lands lying with the limits of Texas, and all public funds or revenues, shall be at the disposal of the governor and general council, and the receipts of the treasurer shall be a sufficient voucher for any and all persons, who may pay moneys into the treasury and the governor and council shall have power to adopt a system of revenue to meet the exigencies of the State.

Article XXI. Ample power and authority shall be delegated and are hereby given and delegated to the governor and general council of the provisional government for all Texas, to carry go into full effect the provisions and resolutions adopted by the consultation of the chosen delegates of all Texas in general convention assembled, for the creation, establishment and regulation of the said provisional government.


ON THE MILITARY

Article 1. There shall be a regular army created for the protection of Texas during the present war.

Article 2. The regular army of Texas shall consist of one Major General, who shall be commander-in-chief of all the forces both regulars and volunteers, called into public service during the war.

Article 3. The commander-in-chief of the regular army of Texas shall be appointed by this convention (consultation) and commissioned by the governor.

Article 4. He shall be subject to the orders of the governor and council.

Article 5. His staff shall consist of one adjutant general, one, quartermaster general, one paymaster general, one surgeon general and four aides-de-camp, with their respective ranks as in the United States army in time of war, to be appointed by the major general and commissioned by the governor.

Article 6. The regular army of Texas shall consist of men enlisted for two years, and of volunteers for and during the continuance of the war.

Article 7. The regular army of Texas, while in service, shall be governed by the rules, regulations and discipline, in all respects , applicable to the regular army of the United States of America in as far as is applicable to our conditions and circumstances

Article 8. The regular army of Texas shall consist of eleven hundred and twenty men, rank and file.

Article 9. There shall be a corps of Rangers under the command of a Major, to consist of one hundred and fifty men, to be divided into three or more detachments, and which shall compose a battalion, under the Commander-in-Chief when in the field.

Article 10. The Militia of Texas shall be organised as follows: all able-bodied men over sixteen, and under fifty years of age, shall be subject to militia duty.

Articles 11. Every inhabitant of Texas coming within purview of the preceding article shall, on the third Monday of December next, or as soon thereafter as practicable, assemble at each precinct of their municipality, and proceed to elect one captain, one first lieutenant, and one second lieutenant to every fifty-six men.

Article 12. When said election shall have taken place, the judges shall certify to the Governor forthwith the names of the respective officers elected, who shall, as soon as practicable, make out and sign, and transmit commissions for the same; that if there shall be found to exist in any municipality more than three companies, the Captains or Commandants, on giving due notice thereof, shall call together the subalterns of said companies, and proceed to elect one Major; if of four companies, one Lieutenant-Colonel; if of five or more companies, one Colonel for the command of said companies, which shall constitute a regiment of said municipality; that if there shall be found to exist more than one regiment in said municipality, the whole number of field and company officers shall on due notice proceed to elect a Brigadier-General out of their number, who shall command the whole Militia in said municipality.

BRANCH TANNER ARCHER, President.

This addenda was added on motion of John A. Wharton: "Resolved, That the governor and council be empowered to issue writs of election to fill any vacancies that may occur in this body, and for the representation of those jurisdictions not yet represented or to cause a new election in toto for delegates to the convention of the first of March next."


Provisional Governor Smith's Inaugural Address. Under the rules, Henry Smith was elected governor and James W. Robinson was elected lieutenant-governor. Sam Houston was elected major-general and commander in chief of the Texas forces. Branch T. Archer, William Wharton and Stephen F. Austin were appointed commissioners and agents to the United States of America. Provisional Governor Smith appointed Dr. Charles B. Stewart Executive Secretary and P.B. Dexter as Secretary of the Council and then delivered his first address to his government:

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, SAN FELIPE, November 15, 1835.

To the President and members of the Legislative Council of Texas:

Gentlemen-Called upon to discharge the duties of the Supreme Executive of the free and sovereign State of Texas, I commence the task not without distrust of my abilities, but relying chiefly upon your support, and the indulgence of an intelligent and well disposed people, I am inspired with confidence and cheered by the hope that our united efforts to promote the public good, will not prove unavailing.

I trust there is not one of your honorable body insensible to the many dangers that threaten, surround and overhang our adopted country; that there is not one who does not feel the great trust confided, and who is not aware of the heavy responsibilities which necessarily devolve upon us. In the outset, in the very beginning, ere one error is committed or an act performed, I call upon you to summon to your assistance, moral courage; to throw around you the impenetrable shield of honesty; to march onward in the pathway of duty, and undauntedly to meet the dangers and obstacles which chance or design may throw in your way. If we cower or shrink beneath the task, shame and disgrace await us, and ruin irretrievable to our adopted country. Contemplate the task before you, the dangers to be encountered, and the obstacles to be removed or surmounted, and decline the task, or make a beginning with a firm determination faithfully and fearlessly to perform your duties.

I thus take the liberty to admonish you, because no common duties devolve upon you. You have to call system from chaos; to start the wheels of government, clogged and impeded as they are by conflicting interests, and by discordant materials. Without funds, without the munitions of war, with an army in the field contending against a powerful foe: these are the auspices under which we are forced to make a beginning.

Our country is now involved in war. Our foe is far superior to us in numbers and resources. Yet when I consider the stern materials of which our army is composed, the gallant and heroic men that are now in the field, I regard not the disparity of numbers, but am satisfied that we could push our conquests to the walls of Mexico. I earnestly recommend that you adopt the most prompt and energetic measures in behalf of the army; that you forthwith provide all the necessary munitions of war, so that the army may not be cramped or impeded by any remissness on the part of the government, and that you be careful to select agents of known skill and science to purchase artillery and other munitions.

Another important matter, will require your immediate attention. Our frontier and seaport towns are unprotected and exposed to the mercy of the enemy. The policy of having them well fortified must be obvious to all. I therefore recommend the organization of a civil topographical engineer corps, and the commencement of the work of fortification and defense without delay.

I recommend the granting of letters of marque and reprisal, by doing which we can not only prevent invasion by sea, but we can blockade all the ports of Mexico and destroy her commerce, and annoy and harass the enemy more in a few months than by many years of war carried on within our own limits. My own mind is satisfied that the whole of our maritime operations can be carried on by foreign capital and foreign enterprise. Already applications f or commissions have been made; they are willing to take the hazard, as such affords them every encouragement.

Provisions have already been made for the organization of a corps of rangers, and I conceive it highly important that you should place a bold, energetic and enterprising commander at their head. This corps, well managed, will prove a safeguard to our hitherto unprotected frontier inhabitants and prevent the depredations of those savage hordes that infest our borders. I conceive this very important at this moment, as it is known that the Mexican authorities have endeavored to engage them in a war with us.

Volunteers from foreign countries are daily reaching our shores and enlisting in our cause. These gallant and chivalrous men are actuated alone by the noblest motives; no sordid or mercenary considerations have induced them to leave their homes and share our fate. Let us then act with becoming generosity, and unasked, give valor its reward. I recommend this not only that the world may know what are the inducements that Texas holds forth to the brave and enterprising; but in order that it may be now settled and not hereafter become the cause of dissatisfaction.

7. Some of our red brethren of the Cherokee, Shawnee and others of their associate bands, are located on certain lands within our limits, to which it is generally understood they have a just and equitable title. They have lately been interrupted in their title by surveys and locations within the limits which they claim, which has created among them great dissatisfaction. I therefore recommend that you second the measures of the late convention in this matter and never desist until the objects contemplated by that body be carried into effect.

8. I recommend the employing of agents for foreign countries; that they be clothed with special powers, and that they be sent to different points, with a view of procuring for Texas all the aid and assistance that a generous and sympathizing world will bestow.

9. I would also recommend the establishment of a tariff, and the appointment of revenue officers to collect imports and tonnage duties; also a collector for the purpose of collecting all sums due the government on lands or other sources.

10. I would now call your attention to the post office department and would recommend the appointment of a postmaster-general. The appointment made by the previous council I highly approve, and trust under your care that this department will flourish and extend its benefits to every section of the country. I further recommend an express department to continue during the war.

11. No time should be lost in the organization of the militia, nor in the local civil organization of the different jurisdictions of Texas in conformity with the plan of the Provisional organization of the government.

12. You will find it necessary to appoint a treasurer, and perhaps other officers which you may hereafter find requisite.

13. It will also become your duty to select some place as the seat of government, at which to hold your regular sittings during the continuance of the present form of government. In doing this you will throw aside all local partialities and prejudices, and fix on that point possessing most advantages, and the best calculated to forward our views, by giving promptness and energy to our united actions. I therefore deem it unnecessary to make further suggestions on that subject, and will only add that a council hall, together with other offices for the different departments of government, is indispensable.

14. 1 have now, gentlemen, touched upon all the matters of importance that have presented themselves to me.

Doubtless many have escaped my observation, which you will detect. I will, from time to time, present such other matters for your consideration as may occur to me. Again permit me to remind you of the necessity of acting with energy, boldness and promptitude-that the welfare of thousands depends upon your actions. Your country possesses immense resources if properly developed; it is for you to quicken and enliven the body politic, and make Texas the Eden of America.

I conclude, gentlemen, by expressing the hope that the Supreme Ruler of Nations will smile upon your council, and that by our united efforts, we will be enabled to place Texas in a situation to become what the God of nature designed her to be, a land of liberty and of laws-of agriculture and of commerce-the pride and support of our lives, and a legacy of price unspeakable to posterity. HENRY SMITH

Henry Smith from Brown, John Henry. Life and Times of Henry Smith The First American Governor of Texas. The Steck Co., Austin, Tx, 1935Henry Smith was the youngest of ten children of the Reverend James and Magdalen Woods Smith who are buried in Bryantsville, GarrardCo, Kentucky. His mother Magdalen Woods, at about age 10, was along with her mother and sister Sally (m. Capt. James Newel of RockbridgeCo, VA) were kidnapped by Indians in BotetourtCo, Virginia and after two years were ransomed by French traders. Magdalen Woods married James Smith, a Baptist minister in WytheCo, VA and the family moved to Kentucky about 1780 and settled at Smith’s Station (current Bryantsville). Rev. Smith preached at the Forks of Dix River Church in GarrardCo, KY, the Bear Grass Baptist Church in JeffersonCo, KY and in MonroeCo, Illinois where he is said to have performed the first services in the area.

Henry Smith was a merchant in Nashville, TN at age 21 and later at Paint Lick, Kentucky where he married Harriet Gillette in 1815. Before 1820 he moved to Boones LickCo, MO where his wife died leaving him with three sons, William, John Gillette and James Evans. In Jan 1822, he married the sister of Harriet Gillette, Elizabeth Gillette, who died in the cholera epidemic of 1833 in Brazoria, Texas. They had five daughters, Harriet G., Jane, Sarah, Emily and Sophronia. In 1839 Henry Smith married for the third time, Sarah Gillette, the sister of both former wives. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, who died of yellow fever in Galveston in 1854. Sarah Gillette Smith died in Liberty in 1863.

The Smiths came to Texas in 1827 and settled around Brazoria where he was a farmer, school teacher and surveyor. He was severely wounded in the Battle of Velasco in Jun 1832. At a meeting held to ratify the Turtle Bayou Resolutions, Smith expressed his views suggesting that he supported separation of Texas from Mexico rather than struggling for independence within the Republic under the Constitution of 1824. He was alcalde of Brazoria in 1833 and delegate to the Consultation of 1833 at San Felipe. In 1834 he was appointed political chief of the Department of the Brazos by the governor of Coahuila y Texas. He led the Independence Party which was for a declaration of independence from Mexico at the Consultation of 1835 which instead still supported restoration of the Federal Constitution of 1824. Smith refusal to compromise and lack of diplomacy in dealing with his Provisional Council and various factions of the provisional government as the first Anglo governor of Texas while still a part of the Republic of Mexico nearly led to dissolution of the provisional government of Texas at a most critical period. Smith attempted to dissolve the Council and the Council attempted to impeach the governor. Smith was not a delegate at the subsequent Independence Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in Mar 1836 and was not called on as a part of the ad interim government that emerged from the meeting. William Fairfax Gray in his diary relates on 16 Feb 1836 in Washington:

Spent an hour or two with Governor Smith, who expatiated very freely on Texian affairs, and particularly on the state of parties. Abused Austin; said he is Mexican in his principles and policy, and that he ought to be hung! Thinks Austin was opposed to the meeting of the consultative convention, and that the expedition vs. Bexar was got up in order to defeat it, and attributes the foolish or wicked terms of the capitulation to his policy. Blames Austin for the dissentions which have arisen between him (Smith) and the Provisional Council. In short, Austin is, with him, the evil spirit which has instigated all the mischief which afflicts the country, and is to be made the scapegoat of all others' faults. Archer he thinks honest, but too philanthropic; he wishes to carry the war to the walls of Mexico. Wharton he thinks is "ABOUT RIGHT"---"Are you there, old truepenny?" (My impression of Governor Smith is that he is a strongly prejudiced party man. Too illiterate, too little informed, and not of the right calibre for the station he has been placed in. Organs of self esteem and combativeness large; perceptive faculty good; intellectual small; little reflection or imagination; no reverence. )

His name was put forth for President of the new republic, but he deferred throwing his support behind Gen. Houston. Smith served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Houston in his first term and served in the Texas Congress in 1840. In 1849 he participated in the California Gold Rush with apparently little success in search of gold. He died in a mining camp in Los AngelesCo, CA 4 Mar 1851. Recollections of Henry Smith which he called "The Stormy Days of 1836" concerning events in that year leading to San Jacinto were recorded by newspaperman William P. Huff.


For Biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online

--DeWitt Colonists/Residents in Italics--

JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS (JUDGES)

Bastrop
Sinclair Gervis, Thomas Kinney

Bexar
Juan Seguin
Miguel Arceniega, Juan N. Seguin
(photo)

Brazoria
L. C. Mansen, Robert Mills

Goliad
Roberto Galan, Encarnacion Vasquez

Gonzales

Charles Lockhart, Andrew Ponton
(photo)

Harrisburg
Hosea H. League, Nathaniel Lynch

Jasper
Joseph Matt , George W. Smyth

Matagorda
Thomas M. Duke, Charles Willson

Nacogdoches
John Forbes
Radford Berry, John Forbes
(photo)

Refugio
Martin Lawler, Martin Power

San Augustine
John G. Love, W. N. Sigler

San Felipe

Gail Borden
(above), George Ewing

Shelby
James English, Emory Rains

Victoria
Placido Benavides, Francisco Cardenas

Washington
James Hall, Hugh McGiffen

 

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COMMISSIONERS FOR RAISING MILITIA

Bastrop
J. S. Lester, Reuben Hornsby, Samuel Wolfenberger

Brazoria
John S. Bryom, James O'Conor, Mathew Patton

Goliad
Cabel Bennett, Ramon Falcon, Antonio Vasquez

Gonzales

William W. Arrington, Benjamin Fuqua, Andrew Ponton
(photo)

Harrisburg
James Cooper, William Little, William Scott

Jasper
John Bevil, X. B. Mudd, Isaac Wenfry

Jefferson
Richard Bellew, C. Chaplan, William T. Hatton, George A. Pattillo, Theran Strong

Milam
Silas M. Parker, J. G. W. Patterson, William Taylor

Liberty
Jesse Devore, Hugh B. Johnson, B. W. Hardin

Matagorda
Bailey Hardeman
H.C. Cook, Jefferson George, Bailey Hardeman
(photo)

Nacogdoches
George Pollett, Arthur Henrie, Richard Sparks

Refugio
Elkanah Brush, Robert Carlisle, John Coglin

San Augustine
Samuel Davis, Daniel McDaniel, William Nash

Shelby
William English, Richard Haley, Jonas Harrison

San Felipe
Thomas Gay, John R. Jones, Eli Mercer

Victoria
Placido Benavides

Josť Manuel J. Carbajal
(above)

Sylvestre DeLeon

Washington
James J. Foster, John W. Hall, Asa Mitchell

The provisional government provided for the organization of the army in the form of a regiment of artillery and infantry, a regiment comprised of two battalions of five companies each. It delineated the chain of command and officer structure and elected officers. A ranger division was also organized.

For Biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online

OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY

INFANTRY

Colonel Philip A. Sublett, then Edward Burleson (left)
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Millard
Major William Oldham

Captains

John Byrd, James Carter, Robert M. Coleman
(left), George M. Collinsworth (right), John W. Martin, George F. Richardson, Ezekial Williams

First Lieutenants

John Bowman, George English, B. Franklin Hardin, L.H. McNeal, J. W. Shephard, William H. Smith, Henry Teal, Amasa Turner
(left), Robert Wilson, John York (right)

Second Lieutenants

Jefferson Allcorn, William Booth, Pleasant Bull, Milton Hardin, David L. Kokernot
(above), R. H. Mabbitt, B. F. Sanders, Benjamin C. Wallace, Madison Whitaker, McHenry Wilborne

 

ARTILLERY

Colonel James W. Fannin
Lt. Colonel David McComb, James C. Neill
Major William B. Travis (declined)
(left), then Francis W. Johnson (right)
Francis (Frank) Johnson

Captains

James Cheshire, James S. Lester, Pierre J. Menard
(left), J. N. Moreland, Robert L. Morris, George W. Poe, John A. Veach, Robert A. Veach, Joseph W. E. Wallace, Ira Westover, Samuel Williams (right)

First Lieutenants
John Chaffin, Almeron Dickinson, Lucin W. Gates, John Henry, John D. McAllister

Second Lieutenants
James H. Blount, Joseph Cadle, Alexander Farmer, Robert H. Foot, C. R. Sharp

Third Lieutenants
Robert J. Calder, William Eaton, William Holman, W. C. Wilson

 

CORP OF RANGERS

R.M. (Three Legged Willie) Williamson
Major
Robert M. Williamson

Captains
William W. Arrington,
Isaac W. Burton, John J. Tumlinson

First Lieutenants
Jesse McCoy,
Horatio McHanks, Launcelot Smither

Second Lieutenants
Thomas Robbins, Joseph Rogers, Littleton Tumlinson

 

CAVALRY

Major W. P. Miller

Captains

Harden Edward, John Forsyth, Juan N. Seguin
(left), B. J. White, Robert Wilson, John York
(right)

First Lieutenants
Placido Benavides, William Bracken, Jonathan Burleson, W. G. Hill, Allen Larrison, M. W. Smith

Second Lieutenants

Manuel J. Carbajal 
(above), J. Bevil Jr., James B. Bonham, James Drake, Joseph E. Scott, John M. Thurston

The council elected port tax and toll collectors for Sabine, Samuel Rogers; Galveston, W.P. Harris; Brazoria, W. S. Fisher: Matagorda, George M. Collingsworth: Copano. Edward Gritton; Lavaca, Lewis Ayers. A General Convention was called to meet at Old Washington 1 Mar 1836.


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