Texas Secessionist Movement Analysis

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The Texas secessionist movement has received extensive attention from historians, one of the first comes from Anna Irene Sandbo and her article, “Beginnings of the Secession Movement in Texas,” (1914.) Sandbo’s extensive analysis of historical records and the research of state and local editorials on the events as they occurred, help set the foundation for any study of secessionism in Texas during the 1850s. She begins her narrative discussing the early infusion of slaves in the Texas social and economic economy. Starting from Stephen F. Austin Mexican colony in 1829, through the Texas Revolution, and the annexation to United States. Sandbo then outlines the changing views concerning slavery at the turn of nineteenth century where…show more content…
Sandbo’s narrative outlines the involvement of county conventions and their adoption of the secessionist platform, forcing the state legislature to enact legislation enforcing state rights, creating vigilance committees to combat “Know-Nothingism” and “abolitionism,” as abolitionist try to influence slaves to revolt against their Slaveowners. She further asserts that following the 1857 Gubernatorial elections of Hardin Richard Runnels over Sam Houston, the radical element of the Democratic leadership possessed influence over prominent newspaper that help in the shaping of public opinion towards secessionism in Texas. Sandbo presents evidence where Governor Runnels agreed with some of the Texas counties and Southern states on the re-opening the African slave trade based on economic measures where “the supply of slave labor did…show more content…
She analyzes the recently edited Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861, by Ernest W. Winkler and the editorials produced by local and state newspapers. Sandbo first discusses the unfounded claims of negro uprisings. She includes several articles from counties concerning the rise of uprisings, poisonings, and incendiary (arson) activity, resulting in several reports of hangings of slaves and white supporters. Due to the lack of physical evidence to these reports, Sandbo cannot prove the validity of truth or rumor of such reports. However, she provides the following statement: Governor Houston did accuse “the Democratic press of circulating such rumors for political purposes, and in reply the State Gazette admitted that rumor had probably coined some statements and exaggerated some facts, but that this was merely strong evidence that much had happened to excite the apprehensions and call for the vigilance of the people.” These editorial reports encouraged the formation of vigilance committees to protect citizens from the “Northern abolitionists.” Sandbo reaffirms her assertion that the radical portion of the Democratic Party utilized their control of the press to forming public opinion in favor of secession. She discusses the differing views of the Unionist and secessionist during the 1860

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