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    Thomas Jefferson Chambers. To the People of Texas. Twelve pages, 5.25" x 8", printed and bound in booklet form, Austin, February 20, 1863, introducing himself as "a candidate for the office of Governor of Texas" for the upcoming gubernatorial election later that year. Chambers feels it necessary to lay before the citizenry of Texas the events of the past two years in which he sought an appointment to the Confederate army and left the Confederate capital "with some feelings of exasperation against the President and his cabinet on account of his failure to have our coast properly defended, to provide our Texas troops with Texian commanders, treat with due respect the recommendation and request of our State."

    Chambers presents as evidence letters from Texas Governor Frank R. Lubbock, the Texas Senate, and the Texas House of Representatives, dating 1861 to 1862, requesting an appointment in the Confederate army in his name. Lubbock pleads his case best when he describes Chambers as "one of the earliest settlers of Texas, and held the rank of Major General and second in command in the Texas revolution, and he received two votes of thanks for the Congress of the Republic, for the distinguished services he rendered in that position."

    He goes on to explain his volunteer service as an aide to General Hood and his plea to the Confederate government to defend the coast of Texas. At the end he outlines his plans for the future of Texas if he is elected and concludes by appealing to the sense of patriotism felt by her citizens:

    "Be of good cheer, my fellow-countrymen, for our cause is just and holy, and it will triumph. God, in his inscrutable wisdom and justice...has permitted our vandal foes to occupy for a season, and to devastate some of the fairest portions of our beloved order to harden our hearts against, and to separate us forever from , a barbarian people, fanatical, intolerant, deaf to the voice of conscience, meddlesome, corrupt, conceited, perfidious, incapable of maintaining and administering a free Government, and wholly unworthy of our association; and He will, in his own good time, accord to us the final victory, and our independence."

    Chambers lost the election to Pendleton Murrah. Remnant of binding along the left edge; the majority of pages detached. Heavy toning. Damage to first page and ink notations. Corner dog-eared on page 12. From the papers of B.A. Shepherd.

    More Information:

    Benjamin Armistead Shepherd was born in Virginia on May 14, 1814. Due to the poor conditions of the land and a dwindling family fortune, he left Virginia in the 1830s and arrived in Galveston, Texas. He married Mary Dobson in 1841 and settled in the growing town of Houston. A personal friend of General Sam Houston (whom he had met at age 19), Shepherd established himself as a prominent landowner and one of the foremost citizens of Houston, involving himself in many entrepreneurial adventures before founding and serving as president of the First National Bank of Houston in 1866. In 1875, he arrived in the newly formed San Jacinto County where he organized the town of Shepherd along the proposed Houston, East, and West Texas Railway. He died in Houston in 1891.

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    March, 2012
    3rd Saturday
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