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    The appointment that resulted in the deposition of Governor Henry Smith

    E. M. Pease Autograph Document Signed as Secretary of the General Council, Signed by James W. Robinson as Lieutenant Governor and Exofficio President of the General Council. 8" x 10", San Felipe de Austin; December 11, 1835. Written by Pease, this document records the appointment of Don Carlos Barrett's appointment to the post of Judge Advocate General: "On the motion of Mr. Hanks / DC Barrett was this day unanimously elected Judge Advocate General of the Armies of Texas, with the rank and pay of a Colonel in the line." Signed by both Pease and Robinson with their titles. Docketed on the verso in an unknown hand.

    In 1835 General Sam Houston had requested that the General Council of provisional government of Texas for an appointment of judge advocate to his military staff. The General Council, as this document indicates, appointed D. C. Barrett. The motion to appoint Barrett was made by Wyatt Hanks (1795-ca. 1862).

    Don Carlos Barrett (1788-1838) was born in Vermont and later lived in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, where he began practicing law. In April 1835, he took the oath of allegiance to Mexico in Mina Municipality, now Bastrop, and became a citizen of Texas. At Mina he formed a law partnership with Elisha M. Pease, with whom he had come to Texas.

    With the Texas revolution brewing, Barrett was elected president of the newly formed committee of public safety at Mina, on May 8, 1835. He chaired a committee of twelve delegates to draft a plan for a provisional government for Texas. The work of this committee provided for the establishment of a civil government and military force for Texas. Once the provisional government was up and running, Barrett was elected to the General Council as representative from Mina. A close friend of both Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, Barrett was elected judge advocate of the Texas army, but his appointment was vetoed by Governor Henry Smith, who charged Barrett with forgery of an attorney's license in North Carolina, that he had accepted fees from both prosecution and defense on a case, that he had knowingly passed counterfeit money, and embezzlement. The council refused to back down and, as a result, the appointment is signed by the Lieutenant Governor. Smith later disbanded the council on January 11, 1836. The council responded by naming Lieutenant Governor James Robinson governor of Texas. In February 1836 Barrett resigned from the council due to failing health. He died in May 1838 at Brazoria at the home of a friend. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.

    Condition: The document has three horizontal folds and an ink stain on the lower left hand corner. There is a minor loss of paper due to ink burn, as well as a stray ink stain not affecting any text. Otherwise the document is in good condition. Restoration to a small separation results in a bit of staining to Robinson's title.

    More Information:

    Elisha Marshall Pease (1812-1883) was a law partner of Barrett's and served as secretary of the General Council of the provisional government of Texas. He was involved in writing the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.


    James W. Robinson (1790-1857) was a judge, attorney, and soldier, who served as Lieutenant Governor of the provisional government of Texas.  When the General Council deposed Governor Henry Smith over his rejection of its appointment of Barrett as Judge Advocate General, Robinson was named Smith's replacement.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
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