Description

    Broadside: "To the Voters of Travis County", Delegate Comments on the Secession Convention. One page, 9" x 13.75", Travis County, Texas, n.d. [1861]. With this public notice, and others like it issued in other Texas counties, delegates to the Austin Convention expressed their opinion about Governor Sam Houston and his ideas about remaining in the Union. It reads, in part: "The undersigned, on the 13th inst., were put forward by a meeting of the citizens of Travis county as candidates for the convention to be held in Austin on the fourth Monday in January, 1861. . . . That a crisis is upon us, no one now seems to doubt; that we should not tamely submit to the inauguration of a Black Republican Government over us, nearly everybody professes to agree upon. . . . We believe that there is no legal and effectual mode but by State action. . . . in which manner alone they can determine what is expedient for them to do; and we regard all other plans, and especially the plan proposed by Gov. Houston, of cooperating with the other Southern States, to preserve 'our equal rights in the Union,' as obnoxious to the charge of illegality, as uncalled for in the existing emergency, and as wholly insufficient to meet it." Signed in print by Jonathan A. Green, M.N. Burditt, and George Flournoy. The convention met on January 28, 1861. Four days later, on February 1, its members voted by a margin of 166 to 8 to secede. They drafted and signed an Ordinance of Secession, which "repealed and annulled" the Texas annexation laws of 1845. The Ordinance of Secession was subsequently approved by popular vote in a statewide election.

    For many Southerners, the election of Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1860 was equivalent to a declaration of war on the South. A few, including Texas' aging Governor Sam Houston, argued against secession, proclaiming the benefits of mediation and compromise. Further, if Texas did separate from the Union, Houston reasoned, she would fare better as an independent republic than as a member of the Confederacy. But Houston's views carried little weight among secessionists in the state, who were clearly in the majority. But by refusing to call the legislature into session, the increasingly unpopular Houston temporarily blocked his opponents from any official action. The secessionists countered Houston's maneuver by calling on the people of Texas to elect delegates to a convention to meet in Austin. Their purpose was to consider what action Texas should take on the secession issue in light of the recent sequence of events. As a result, a total of 177 delegates were elected, representing two members from almost every county. Document is lightly age-toned, with a few tiny chips along edges. Small section of paper is missing from upper center edge, affecting one word ("Of") in the title; this portion also shows stains from cello tape repair. An important public announcement from a significant turning point in Texas history. Fine condition and well suited for prominent display!


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
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