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much agitated the people of Texas. His habits of life have inclined him to quiet and retirement, and nothing but the clearest conviction of duty could at this time force him before the public.
Although he has thus far been silent, he has been by no means indifferent; every plan, proposition, suggestion, or movement has been closely examined without reference to the man who may have proposed it. With an earnest desire to adopt that course best calculated to promote the welfare, safety, and happiness of Texas, he has scrutinized closely the arguments of all parties, with the hope that all might be reconciled. Convinced that ruin and disgrace would be the necessary consequence of disunion amongst ourselves, he has felt the most intense anxiety to see such a course pursued as would produce concert and harmony. While at the same time he is disposed to be charitable towards all, yet it must be admitted that our councils and discussions have not been characterized by that degree of temper, liberality, and forbearance which is of the last importance in times like these.
The people of Texas, sir, have but one common interest. Although some may be more deeply interested in its prosperity than others, it is preposterous to say that there is a single man in the whole community who would be willing to take any step that he believed would be injurious in its consequence: We all aim at the same great end, but there must necessarily be great difference of opinion, as to the most successful mode of effecting it.
The people may be said at this time to be divided into three parties.
The first has been denominated the war party. These compose a large and very respectable portion of the communty, and they urge with very great plausibility that Texas is now by the repeated acts of the general Government entirely released from her alliance to the late republic of Mexico, that she is thrown back into a complete state of nature, and that by the laws of nature and of nations she has an indisputable right to take care of herself. If the premises be admitted, the conclusion is irresistable. If the constitutions state and federal have been annulled by the establishment of a new form of government nothing can be more clear than that the integral parts which compose the old compact, have the right to determine for themselves whether they will adopt the new. But it is no part of the writer's present intentions to discuss the merits or pretentions of either party, those who hold the affirmative can doubtless sustain themselves by more plausible arguments than into the whirlpool of politics.
The second party (and that which the writer believes to be the largest) is composed of those men who are willing to pledge their lives and fortunes for the good of their country, but before any final or decisive step is taken these conceive that the whole of Texas ought to be consulted; that the majority in all states or communities ought to control and that where the opinion of the majority is clearly expressed it should then be acquiesced in by the minority.
These sentiments do honor to the head as well as the heart. They urge that “the welfare and happiness of Texas is their motto," and that they are willing to unite heart and hand in promoting that object, so soon as the voice of the people can be heard.
The next party may be denominated the Neutralist. Their name gives a sufficient definition. They are as contemptible in numbers as in character.
The last classification has been styled the submission party. This embraces a large number of very good men, but who, either alarmed or misguided, are willing to lie supinely on their backs, declaring that there is no cause of alarm, and tamely submit to all the insults and indignities which military despotism may think proper to heap upon us. They alledge that the general government has the right introduce troops into any part of Texas in any numbers which it may think proper. The Federal Government of Mexico once had the right to introduce troops amongst us; but that right most unquestionably ceased when the federal system was prostrated, and by the laws of nations it is a virtual declaration of war for Mexico to send troops until Texas has acceded to the new plan of government. She cannot accede to the new plan until all the people are consulted.
This brings me to the consideration of the main object of this communication. If my classification of parties has been correct, it must be obvious that while things remain in this state nothing can be hoped for. Each will closely adhere to his own opinions and being torn and divided amongst ourselves we become an easy prey to the destroyer.
It is admitted by all that Texas united has nothing to fear. We should then adopt without further delay, the most prompt and decisive measures to produce union, concert and harmony.
A minority should never by their acts control or compromise the rights of a majority. And while each jurisdiction or department is acting for itself we must calculate to suffer all the evils of petty feuds and factions.
If a plan can be adopted, from which much good may, and no harm can possibly, result: all will agree that it should be pursued. The writer conceives that a General Convention of all Texas through their representatives is just such a plan. From it we have everything to hope and nothing to fear.
The people of the jurisdiction of Columbia, on the 23rd, of June last, approved of, and recommended this. The Ayuntamiento, at the same time they raised their special committee recommended a consultation of all Texas in general council: but yet it seems that no decisive steps have been taken to bring about this object, on which the wishes of the people have been so clearly expressed. On the contrary we are told that there is no cause of alarm, and that a still dead calm should prevail. Again, Sir, late movements at San Felipe
have produced very great dissatisfaction. The late Political Chief, J. B. Miller, seems to have abandoned his office, and the present incumbent is Capt. Wyly Martin. There are many who insist that Capt. Martin is not a constitutional Chief. The writer is not prepared to discuss that question. From his acquaintance with Capt. Martin he is constrained to believe that he would not take upon himself to exercise the duties of an office unless he believed he had the right to do so. But it is clear beyond a doubt that in times like these no man should hold an office the right to which is in the least questionable.
And now with all these parties, with all our jarring discords and discontents can it be questioned that a convention is absolutely necessary?
Jostus. From a circular isued by the Committee of Safety and Correspondence for the jurisdiction of Columbia. Most of the circular was reprinted in The Texas Republican of August 22 and 29, 1835.
(At last after three months of doubt, dissatisfaction, discussion, dread and delay, they are ready to fight.]
COLUMBIA MEETING (SEPTEMBER 22). The committee of Safety resolved that they augment the number of delegates to the convention at Washington on October 15, to seven in accordance with the suggestion of the Department of Nacogdoches.
The following persons were appointed to preside at the elections on October 5 for delegates to the Consultation:
5 At Velasco, Wade H. Bynum; Brazoria, John A. Wharton; Columbia, W. D. C. Hall; Chocolate Bayou, Henry Smith; Caney Creek, Robert H. Williams.
Resolved that the Chairman appoint a committee of three to prepare an address to the citizens of New Orleans; and accordingly the Chairman appointed John A. Wharton, W. H. Jack, and W. D. C. Hall, of said committee.
Resolved, that information having come before this committee clearly proving that much danger is to be apprehended from the slave population ; we therefore recommend that each town and neighborhood hold immediate meetings and elect a vigilance patrole, whose duty it shall be to adopt some prompt measures to keep the slave population in due subjection.
Resolved, that we recommend to every citizen to take up, punish, & deliver to his master any slave who may be found off his master's premises without a written permit.
BRANCH T. ARCHER, Chairman,
Wm. T. AUSTIN, Sect. From The Texas Republican, September 26, 1835.
COLUMBIA MEETING (SEPTEMBER 25).
News has just come from San Felipe that many of the citizens are anxious to leave for the war; therefore, to prevent their detention, the election officers are instructed to open the polls September 27 (Sunday) and also on October 5. Wharton was instructed to open the polls at Brazoria September 25, instead of September 27, and hold open one day. He is to open them again October 5.
At this meeting it was resolved that election officers might appoint substitutes, in case they also wanted to leave for the
Summary from The Texas Republican, September 26, 1835.