SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
1997-2013, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Independence Resolutions & Consultations-Index

Texian Independence Convention
Washington-on-the-Brazos, 1 March 1836

The fourth convention of 1836 was the culmination of protests of Texian colonists and immigrants against Mexican centralism and the failure of the Mexican government and their Spanish predecessors to attend to the welfare and development Texas as an independent state. On 12 Dec 1835, the Council of the Provisional Government of Texas called for an election for 1 Feb 1836 for selection of delegates for a convention on 1 Mar 1836. Four delegates were allocated to the municipalities of Bexar, Brazoria, Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Washington; three for Liberty, Austin and Mina and two for Goliad, Gonzales, Harrisburg, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Matagorda, Refugio, San Patricio, Tenehaw, Guadalupe, Victoria, Viesca and Pecan Point. Sabine was split out of San Augustine (reduced to three) and allowed two delegates. On 27 Dec the name of Viesca was changed to Milam and Tenehaw to Shelby on 11 Jan 1836 and also formed the Colorado Municipality with two delegates. The is thought to have been held in a partly finished building with no movable doors or windows owned by Noah T. Byars and Peter M. Mercer who rented it to a group of Washington merchants who provided the building free of charge to the convention. The merchants made the arrangment to attract the convention to Washington instead of San Felipe where previous consultations were held. Elected delegates from all districts presented their credentials and were seated. DeWitt Colonists or residents of the area at one time are in bold italics.

 

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DELEGATES
Jesse B. Badgett
(Bexar)

George W. Barnett
(Washington)

Thomas Barnett
(San Felipe de Austin)

Stephen W. Blount
(San Augustine)
S.W. Blount

John W. Bower
(Goliad)

Asa Brigham
(Brazoria)

Andrew Briscoe
(Harrisburg)
Andrew Briscoe

John W. Bunton
(Mina)
J.W. Bunton

John S. D. Byrom
(Brazoria)

Mathew Caldwell
(Gonzales)

Samuel P. Carson
(Red River)

George C. Childress
(Milam)

William Clark Jr.
(Sabine)

Robert M. Coleman
(Mina)
Robert Coleman

James T. Collinsworth
(Brazoria)
James Collingsworth

Edwin Conrad
(Refugio)

William C. Crawford
(Shelby)
W.C. Crawford

Richard Ellis
(Red River)
Richard Ellis

Stephen H. Everett
(Jasper)

John Fisher
(Gonzales)

Samuel Rhodes Fisher
(Matagorda)

James Gaines
(Sabine)

Thomas J. Gazley
(Mina)

Benjamin B. Goodrich
(Washington)
B.B. Goodrich

Jesse Grimes
(Washington)
Jesse Grimes

Robert Hamilton
(Red River)

Bailey Hardeman
(Matagorda)
Bailey Hardeman

Augustine B. Hardin
(Matagorda)

Sam Houston
(Refugio)
Sam Houston

James Kerr
(Jackson)
James Kerr

William D. Lacy
(Colorado)

Albert H. Latimer
(Red River)

Edwin O. LeGrand
(San Augustine)

John J. Linn
(Victoria)

Samuel A. Maverick
(Bexar)

Collin McKinney
(Red River)

Michel B. Menard
(Liberty)
Michel Branamour Menard (from Wooten, Comprehensive History of Texas, vol. 1, 1898)

William Menefee
(Colorado)
William Menafee

John W. Moore
(Harrisburg)

Junius W. Mottley
(Goliad)
Dr. Junius Mottley

Jose A. Navarro
(Bexar)

Juan Antonio Padilla
(Goliad)

Martin Parmer
(San Augustine)

Sydney O. Penington
(Shelby)

Robert Potter
(Nacogdoches)

James Power
(Refugio)

John S. Roberts
(Nacogdoches)

Sterling C. Robertson
(Milam)

Francisco Ruiz
(Bexar)

Thomas J. Rusk
(Nacogdoches)

William B. Scates
(Jefferson)

George W. Smyth
(Jasper)

Elijah Stapp
(Jackson)

Charles B. Stewart
(San Felipe de Austin)
Charles Stewart

James G. Swisher
(Washington)

Charles S. Taylor
(Nacogdoches)

David Thomas
(Refugio)

John Turner
(San Patricio)

Edwin Waller
(Brazoria)
Edwin Waller

Claiborne West
(Jefferson)

James B. Woods
(Harrisburg)

Lorenzo De Zavala
(Harrisburg)

Kerr, Linn and Padilla could not attend and their signatures do not appear on the Declaration of Independence.

The Agenda

1 Mar 1836. James Collinsworth and Willis A. Faris were temporary chair and secretary which opened the meeting and soon after Richard Ellis from Red River was elected president. H. S. Kimble was elected secretary, E. K. Pease assistant secretary, Isham Palmer sergeant-at-arms, John A. Hueser/Hizer doorkeeper and M. Saul clerk. George C. Childress proposed a resolution for the appointment of a committee of five delegates to draft a declaration of independence from Mexico. After it was adopted, the president appointed a committee of:

Declaration of Independence Committee
George C. Childress (Chairman), Edwin Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, Collin McKinney
.

2 Mar 1836. Robert Potter put forward a resolution for a committee consisting of one member from each municipality to draft a Constitution for the Republic of Texas. After discussion and adoption, the president appointed the committee below.

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Constitutional Committee
Martin Parmer
(Chairman)

John W. Bunton

Robert M. Coleman

James T. Collinsworth

William C. Crawford

Stephen H. Everett

John Fisher

James Gaines

Jesse Grimes

Robert Hamilton

Bailey Hardeman

Sam Houston

Collin McKinney

Michel B. Menard

William Menefee

Junius W. Mottley

Jose Antonio Navarro

Robert Potter

Elijah Stapp

Charles B. Stewart

David Thomas

Edwin Waller

Claiborne West

Lorenzo De Zavala

Chairman Childress of the Declaration of Independence committee reported and presented a draft of the proposed document. Sam Houston moved for adoption of the proposed declaration which passed. The Declaration was officially transcribed and signed by the delegates.

3 Mar 1836. Sam Houston representing Refugio, Robert Hamilton of Red River, James Collinsworth of Brazoria and David Thomas of Refugio were appointed to the Constitutional Committee. Resolutions closing the land office, the prohibiting issue of land titles and provisions for organization of Ranger regiments were passed.

4 Mar 1836. Sam Houston was elected Commander-in-Chief of the regular and volunteer Texas land army.

7 Mar 1836. Resolutions were adopted for conscription of all male inhabitants of Texas between the ages of seventeen and fifty into military service and immediate organization of the military forces of the Republic.

14 Mar 1836. Provisions were made for land bounties of 1280 acres volunteers who served the duration of the coming war and proportional amounts for service less than the duration.


16 Mar 1836. Executive Ordinances Preliminary to Establishment of a Constitution for Texas Adopted in Convention at Washington.

WHEREAS, we, the people of Texas, through our delegates in General Convention assembled, for the purpose of framing a Constitution, and organizing a Government under that Constitution, free, sovereign, and independent; and finding, from the extreme emergency of the case, and our critical situation, that it is a duty we owe to our fellow-citizens and ourselves, to look upon our present danger with a calmness unruffled and a determination unsubdued; and at the same time to pursue a prompt and energetic course, for the support of our liberty and protection of our property and lives; therefore,

1st. Resolved-That we deem it of vital importance to forthwith form, organize, and establish a Government, "ad interim," for the protection of Texas, which shall have full, ample and plenary powers to do all and every thing which is contemplated to be done by the general Congress of the people, under the powers granted to them by the constitutional, saving and excepting all legislative and judicial acts.

2nd. Resolved-That said Government shall consist of a chief executive officer, to be styled the "President of the Republic of Texas;" a Vice-President, Secretary of State, Secretary at War, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney-General, whose salaries shall be fixed and determined by the first Congress of the Republic.

3rd. Resolved-That all questions touching the powers hereby confided to these officers, shall be decided by a majority of said officers.

4th. Resolved-That the President be elected by this Convention: and that the candidate or individual having a majority of the whole number of votes given in, shall be, and is hereby declared to be duly elected.

5th. Resolved-That the Vice-President, the aforesaid Secretaries and Attorney-General, be elected by this Convention, a majority of the whole number of votes being requisite to a choice.

6th. Resolved-That the members of this body vote for the above-named officers "viva voce."

7th. Resolved-That the officers so selected, be required to take the oath prescribed by the Constitution. 

8th. Resolved-That the President, by and with the advice and consent of a majority of his cabinet, shall have the appointment of all officers, civil, military, and naval, for and during the existence of the Government "ad interim." 

9th. Resolved-That the Government aforesaid, shall be invested, and they are hereby invested with full powers to create a loan, not to exceed one million of dollars; and to pledge the faith and credit of the Republic, and the proceeds of the sale of the public lands, for the repayment of the same, with the interest thereon.

l0th. Resolved-That the President and his cabinet shall have full power to appropriate the funds of Texas to the defence of the country, by raising and supporting the army and navy, making fortifications, &c. 

11th. Resolved-That said officers hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. 

12th. Resolved-That the President by and with the advice and consent of his cabinet, shall have power to issue writs of election for senators and representatives, at an earlier day than that fixed by the Constitution, and convene them as soon after the election as may be convenient. 

13th. Resolved-That the said Government have ample and plenary powers to enter into negotiations and treaties with foreign powers.

14th. Resolved-That the President and his cabinet have power to appoint commissioners to any foreign power.  The foregoing fourteen resolutions were adopted in Convention of the people of Texas, assembled at the town of Washington, on the sixteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six.  RICHARD ELLIS, President of the Convention.  Attest, A. S. Kimble, Secretary.


17 Mar 1836. The Constitutional Committee presented its results to the convention. After a complete reading, it was adopted. As called for by the newly adopted Constitution, officers of the ad interim government were elected.

 

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Ad Interim Government Republic of Texas

President--David G. Burnet

Vice-president--Lorenzo de Zavala

Secretary of State--Samuel P. Carson

Secretary of the Treasury--Bailey Hardeman
Bailey Hardeman

Secretary of War--Thomas J. Rusk

Secretary of the Navy--Robert Potter

Attorney General--David Thomas

During the convention, the Alamo fell on 6 Mar 1836 and forces under Dictator Santa Anna had begun their move south and east to subdue Texas. Some of the convention members left prior to conclusion, others quickly dispersed after the meeting to join efforts for the defense of Texas and to aid the flight of refugees on the Runaway Scrape in front of Santa Anna's army. Elected delegates James Kerr, John Linn and Juan Padilla could not attend at all because of pre-occupation with defense activities. Houston departed the meeting on 6 Mar and arrived in Gonzales on 11 Mar 1836 to begin consolidation of the Texas Republican Army from regulars and volunteers who had assembled there.


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
1997-2013, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved