Description[C.S.A.]. Constitution of the State of Texas as Amended in 1861. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America. The Ordinances of the Texas Convention: and An Address to the People of Texas. Printed by Order of the Convention and the Senate. Austin: John Marshall, State Printer, 1861. First edition. 8vo, 40 pages. Bound in modern brown leather with gilt lettering to spine. Marbled endpapers. Light to moderate toning. Light foxing. Dampstained along the fore edge throughout. Very good.
The Texas Constitution was a conservative document designed partly to allay public fear of the more radical of the secessionists, and partly to ease the transition of Texas into the Confederacy. It was as remarkable for what it did not do as for what it did. It did not substantially change any important law, it did not take an extreme position on the issue of states' rights, nor did it legalize the resumption of the African slave trade, a move advocated by some leaders of the secession movement.
Following ratification of secession from the Union on February 23, 1861, the Secession Convention reconvened. Delegates were dedicated to overseeing the transition of Texas as it left union with the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. In this effort, they relied heavily on the United States Constitution, making a few distinct changes to the text to suit the circumstances. Slavery and states' rights were more directly defended. A clause providing for emancipation of slaves was eliminated, and the freeing of slaves was declared illegal. All current state officials were required to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, and all existing laws not in conflict with the constitutions of Texas or the Confederate States were declared valid.
Reference: Parrish & Willingham 4147. Winkler 70.
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