Information

Texas declares independence


During the Texas Revolution, a convention of American Texans meets at Washington-on-the-Brazos and declares the independence of Texas from Mexico. The delegates chose David Burnet as provisional president and confirmed Sam Houston as the commander in chief of all Texan forces. The Texans also adopted a constitution that protected the free practice of slavery, which had been prohibited by Mexican law. Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo continued, and the fort’s 185 or so American defenders waited for the final Mexican assault.

In 1820, Moses Austin, a U.S. citizen, asked the Spanish government in Mexico for permission to settle in sparsely populated Texas. Land was granted, but Austin died soon thereafter, so his son, Stephen F. Austin, took over the project. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and Austin negotiated a contract with the new Mexican government that allowed him to lead some 300 families to the Brazos River. Under the terms of the agreement, the settlers were to be Catholics, but Austin mainly brought Protestants from the southern United States. Other U.S. settlers arrived in succeeding years, and the Americans soon outnumbered the resident Mexicans. In 1826, a conflict between Mexican and American settlers led to the Fredonian Rebellion, and in 1830 the Mexican government took measures to stop the influx of Americans. In 1833, Austin, who sought statehood for Texas in the Mexican federation, was imprisoned after calling on settlers to declare it without the consent of the Mexican congress. He was released in 1835.

In 1834, Santa Anna, a soldier and politician, became dictator of Mexico and sought to crush rebellions in Texas and other areas. In October 1835, Anglo residents of Gonzales, 50 miles east of San Antonio, responded to Santa Anna’s demand that they return a cannon loaned for defense against Indian attack by discharging it against the Mexican troops sent to reclaim it. The Mexicans were routed in what is regarded as the first battle of the Texas Revolution. The American settlers set up a provisional state government, and a Texan army under Sam Houston won a series of minor battles in the fall of 1835.

In December, Texas volunteers commanded by Ben Milam drove Mexican troops out of San Antonio and settled in around the Alamo, a mission compound adapted to military purposes around 1800. In January 1836, Santa Anna concentrated a force of several thousand men south of the Rio Grande, and Sam Houston ordered the Alamo abandoned. Colonel James Bowie, who arrived at the Alamo on January 19, realized that the fort’s captured cannons could not be removed before Santa Anna’s arrival, so he remained entrenched with his men. By delaying Santa Anna’s forces, he also reasoned, Houston would have more time to raise an army large enough to repulse the Mexicans. On February 2, Bowie and his 30 or so men were joined by a small cavalry company under Colonel William Travis, bringing the total number of Alamo defenders to about 140. One week later, the frontiersman Davy Crockett arrived in command of 14 Tennessee Mounted Volunteers.

READ MORE: Why Mexico Won the Alamo but Lost the Mexican-American War

On February 23, Santa Anna and some 3,000 Mexican troops besieged the Alamo, and the former mission was bombarded with cannon and rifle fire for 12 days. On February 24, in the chaos of the siege, Colonel Travis smuggled out a letter that read: “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World…. I shall never surrender or retreat…. Victory or Death!” On March 1, the last Texan reinforcements from nearby Gonzales broke through the enemy’s lines and into the Alamo, bringing the total defenders to approximately 185. On March 2, Texas’ revolutionary government formally declared its independence from Mexico.

In the early morning of March 6, Santa Anna ordered his troops to storm the Alamo. Travis’ artillery decimated the first and then the second Mexican charge, but in just over an hour the Texans were overwhelmed, and the Alamo was taken. Santa Anna had ordered that no prisoners be taken, and all the Texan and American defenders were killed in brutal hand-to-hand fighting. The only survivors of the Alamo were a handful of civilians, mostly women and children. Several hundred of Santa Anna’s men died during the siege and storming of the Alamo.

Six weeks later, a large Texan army under Sam Houston surprised Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto. Shouting “Remember the Alamo!” the Texans defeated the Mexicans and captured Santa Anna. The Mexican dictator was forced to recognize Texas’ independence and withdrew his forces south of the Rio Grande.

Texas sought annexation by the United States, but both Mexico and antislavery forces in the United States opposed its admission into the Union. For nearly a decade, Texas existed as an independent republic, and Houston was Texas’ first elected president. In 1845, Texas joined the Union as the 28th state, leading to the outbreak of the Mexican-American War.

READ MORE: The First Shots of the Texas Revolution


The Texas Declaration of Independence – The Story and Text

The Texas Declaration of Independence was produced, literally, overnight. Its urgency was important as the Alamo in San Antonio was currently under siege by Santa Anna’s army of Mexico.

Immediately upon the gathering for the Convention of 1836 on March 1, 1836, a committee of five of its delegates was appointed to draft the document. The committee, consisting of George C. Childress, Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney, prepared the declaration, essentially overnight. It was briefly reviewed, then adopted by the delegates of the convention the following day.

As seen from the text below, the document somewhat parallels the United States Declaration of Independence, signed almost sixty years earlier. It contains statements on the function and responsibility of government, followed by a list of grievances. Finally, it concludes by declaring Texas a free and independent republic.


On March 2, 1836, Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico. The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos, now commonly referred to as the "birthplace of Texas." Similar to the United States Declaration of Independence, this document focused on the rights of citizens to "life" and "liberty" but with an emphasis on the "property of the citizen."

The Texas Declaration of Independence was issued during a revolution against the Mexican government that began in October 1835 following a series of government edicts including dissolution of state legislatures, disarmament of state militias, and abolition of the Constitution of 1824.

By December 1835, Texans (Anglo-American settlers) and Tejanos (Texans of mixed Mexican and Indian descent) captured the town of San Antonio. Two months later, on February 23, 1836, Mexican troops under General Antonio López de Santa Anna arrived in San Antonio to retake the city. Although Sam Houston ordered Texans to abandon San Antonio, a group of rebels decided to defend the town and make their stand at an abandoned Spanish mission, the Alamo.

For twelve days, Mexican forces laid siege to the Alamo. On March 6, four days after Texas declared independence, Mexican troops scaled the mission’s walls 183 defenders were killed, including several Mexicans who had fought for Texas independence, and their oil-soaked bodies were set on fire outside the Alamo. The Republic of Texas won its independence on April 21, 1836, with a final battle along the San Jacinto River.

A full transcript is available.

Excerpt

UNANIMOUS
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
BY THE
DELEGATES OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS,
IN GENERAL CONVENTION,
AT THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON,
ON THE SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1836

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted and so far from being a guarantee for their inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression. When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted Federative Republic, composed of Sovereign States, to a consolidated Central Military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants. When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abduction on the part of the government, anarchy prevails and civil society is dissolved into its original elements, in such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self preservation, the inherent and inalienable right of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves and a sacred obligation to their posterity to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their welfare and happiness.


Celebrate the history of Texas Independence Day

On Tuesday, our state will commemorate the 185th anniversary of Texas Independence (and Sam Houston's birthday and the Lone Star flag).

Texas is the lone sovereign republic to win independence from another country and join the United States. It became the 28th state in 1845.

“Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States cannot make it without Texas," said am Houston, Tejas Commander-in-Chief. He also was Texas president, senator and governor.

The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed March 2, 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos by delegates from the Mexican State of Tejas. Texas separation from Mexico began. Independence was won 50 days later at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Mexico ultimately won its war of independence from Spain (1810-1821), but the country was bankrupt.

John Compere (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Mexico could not protect citizens or property in the remote and least populated state of Tejas from hostile native attacks. To provide protective buffering for the rest of the country, Mexico invited Americans to settle Tejas.

The 1824 Mexican Constitution established a republic with individual liberties encouraging immigration and settlement.

Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna established a military dictatorship in 1834 with himself as president and revoked the 1824 Constitution. Americans solicited to come to Tejas with guaranteed constitutional freedoms suffered severe consequences.

Common causes for independence were many and detailed in the Declaration of Independence.

Coahuila and Tejas states were merged with the Coahuila capital of Monclova retained and the Tejas capital of San Antonio disenfranchised, leaving Tejas unrepresented. Tejas immigration was outlawed, taxes increased, tax exemptions eliminated, import tariffs raised, right to bear arms and jury trials denied and religious freedom prohibited with Catholicism mandatory. There was no public education.

Mexican soldiers stationed in Tejas were convicted criminals given the choice of prison or Tejas service.

Tejas colonizer Stephen F. Austin traveled to Mexico City to request 1824 Constitution restoration. Santa Anna rejected it and imprisoned Austin without a trial. Santa Anna's tyranny was resisted by other Mexican states with unsuccessful uprisings and secession attempts.

“Only God could return Texas to the Mexican government!” - Jose Francisco Ruiz (Tejas revolutionary, Declaration of Independence signer and Republic of Texas senator).

Open warfare began in 1835 with the Battle of Gonzales (Oct.. 2). The Mexican army tried to recover a Spanish cannon from Tejanos but were repelled with the battle cry “Come and Take It! ”

The Texas flag can be seen everywhere in the state, even on facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

At the Battle of Goliad (Oct. 9), Tejanos captured Presidio La Bahia military post on a critical supply route to the Gulf Coast. The Battle of Concepcion (Oct. 28) drove the Mexican army back into San Antonio, where fighting continued until Mexican Gen. Cos surrendered, agreed to leave and not oppose 1824 Constitution restoration (Dec, 9).

No Mexican military garrisons remained in Tejas. Tejano rebels occupied the Alamo mission.

In November at San Felipe de Austin, Sam Houston was named commander-in-chief of a non-existent Tejas army and given the formidable task of raising and training an army to fight for independence.

Tennessean, frontiersman, soldier and U.S. Congressman Davy Crockett told constituents if he was not re-elected they could “. go to hell, and I would go to Texas.” Crockett lost re-election, left Tennessee and arrived at the Alamo with 30 well-armed Tennesseans (Feb. 8).

Santa Anna and a reinforced army of 4,000 returned with vengeance to San Antonio (Feb. 23). Strict discipline was maintained over Mexican soldiers who were told deserters or those failing to fight would be shot and their families imprisoned.

After 13 days of continuous siege and courageous resistance by Tejanos, 200 Tejas volunteers led by Cols. William Travis and James Bowie were defeated at the Battle of the Alamo (March 6).

The Mexican army played the infamous “Deguello” (no quarter), successfully stormed the Alamo and killed all defenders, except Tejano Brigido Guerrero (who fled to an interior room and claimed to be a Mexican POW), Travis' slave Joe and Bowie's freedman Sam.

Several women and children survived by sheltering in the church sacristy room.

Texas folklore suggests the Alamo flag was a Mexican flag with eagle, snake and cactus removed and replaced with “1824” representing the revoked Mexican Constitution. However, no flag or flag records have ever been recovered in Texas. The National History Museum in Mexico City displays a flag received from Gen, Santa Anna as the flag flown at the Alamo.

It is a faded white silk flag with gold fringe displaying an eagle over “God & Liberty”.

After the Alamo victory, Santa Anna began an aggressive pursuit of General Houston and the Tejas army. An estimated 1,600 Mexican army members had been killed or seriously wounded at the prolonged Alamo battle. The delay and casualties proved costly.

The Goliad Massacre occurred after a Mexican victory at the Battle of Coleta Creek (March 20). Col. James Fannin and his surviving army surrendered at discretion and were summarily executed on order of Santa Anna.

The “Runaway Scrape” led Santa Anna and his army across Tejas and gained critical time for increasing, equipping and training the smaller Tejas army. It also spread the larger Mexican forces. The inferior Tejas army surprised and defeated the superior Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21) with famous battle cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!”

This decisive victory won independence. The Treaty of Velasco recognizing independence was signed on May 14.

Texas Independence can be celebrated with pride by all Texans – native-born or naturalized and those who got here as soon as possible!

John Compere is a fourth generation Texan and relative of Alamo defender Issac Millsaps — Mounted Texas Volunteers, Gonzales Ranging Company.


Not All of Their Motives Were Noble

The Texans fought because they loved freedom and hated tyranny, right? Not exactly. Some of them surely did fight for freedom, but one of the biggest differences the settlers had with Mexico was over the question of enslavement. While enslavement was illegal in Mexico, the Mexican people disliked it. Most of the settlers came from southern states and they brought enslaved people with them. For a while, the settlers pretended to free their enslaved people and pay them, and the Mexican people pretended not to notice. Eventually, Mexico decided to crack down on enslavement, causing great resentment among the settlers and hastening the inevitable conflict.


Annexation Process: 1836-1845 A Summary Timeline

MARCH 2
Texas declares independence from Mexico.

APRIL 21
Battle of San Jacinto. Victory over Mexican army and capture of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on the following day achieves de facto Texas independence.

SEPTEMBER
Texans vote on new government officers, national constitution, and the question of annexation to the United States. Vote overwhelmingly in favor of annexation.

JANUARY 11
Resolution to recognize Texas introduced in the U.S. Senate.

JANUARY 17
General Santa Anna arrives in Washington, DC.

MARCH 3
U.S. recognizes the Republic of Texas, the last act of the Jackson Presidency.

MARCH 11
Santa Anna, home in Mexico, renounces all guarantees made to the Republic of Texas as a condition to his restoration of freedom.

MARCH 27
U.S. Secretary of State reports that treaty agreements with Mexico prohibit the U.S.'s annexing Texas.

AUGUST 4
Texas minister to the United States presents U.S. government a formal offer from the Republic of Texas to annex itself to the United States.

JANUARY 4
Senator William C. Preston introduces a resolution for a tripartite treaty between the U.S./Mexico/Texas in the U.S. Senate.

JUNE 14
The above measure is tabled.

JUNE & JULY
John Quincy Adams speaks against the annexation of Texas all morning, every morning in the U.S. House of Representatives.

OCTOBER 12
Texas withdraws the offer of annexation because of the U.S. Congress' lack of action on the proposal.

JANUARY 23
Texas Congress passes joint resolution approving of President Sam Houston's withdrawal of annexation proposal.

MARCH 3
U.S. Senate passes a proposed commerce treaty with the Republic of Texas. However, the Senate's amendment of the original treaty terms causes the Texas Congress to reject the final version of the treaty.

JUNE 15
Sam Houston issues proclamation declaring armistice between Mexico and Texas.

JANUARY
President Houston submits annexation question to Texas Congress, then instructs minister to the U.S. to resume annexation talks.

APRIL 11
An annexation treaty between the U.S. and Texas signed between the two diplomats.

JUNE 8
U.S. Senate rejects the treaty, 35 to 16.

JUNE 13
U.S. Senate votes to table the Benton Annexation Bill.

JANUARY 25
Joint Resolution to annex Texas passes the U.S. House of Representatives.

FEBRUARY 27
Joint Resolution, with amendments to be voted on by the House, passes U.S. Senate 27 to 25.

FEBRUARY 28
House adopts Senate version of the joint resolution to annex the Republic of Texas 132 to 76.

MARCH 1
President Tyler signs annexation resolution.

MARCH 3
Annexation offer sent to Texas president Anson Jones.

MAY 19
Cuevas-Smith treaty between Mexico and Texas signed guaranteeing Texas independence so long as it remains a separate republic.

JUNE 16
Texas Congress meets in special session to consider both the proposed Mexican treaty and the annexation resolution from the U.S. Congress. U.S. offer accepted.

JULY 4
Convention meets to consider both the Mexican treaty and the U.S. annexation resolution. U.S. offer accepted by Convention.

OCTOBER 13
Annexation ordinance and state constitution submitted to the Texas voters for approval. (The vote tally on November 10, 1845, was 4,254 to 267 in favor of annexation the total vote, compiled January 1, 1846, was 7,664 to 430 in favor of annexation.)

DECEMBER 16
U.S. House votes to annex Texas by Joint Resolution, 141 to 58, 21 abstaining.

DECEMBER 22
U.S. Senate approves joint resolution for the admission of Texas as a state 31 to 14, 7 abstaining.

DECEMBER 29
President Polk signs the Joint Resolution. Texas officially the 28th state on this date.

FEBRUARY 19
Transfer of government completed when Governor J. Pinckney Henderson takes the oath of office.


Immigration and slavery fuel tensions

Long before Texas declared its independence in 1836, it was a region of Mexico controlled by Spain. During this time, Texas was comprised of Mexican-born residents, immigrants from the United States, and Europeans seeking to build new lives on a frontier where clashes between new settlers and Native Americans were still common. Spain allowed newcomers to buy land for cheap.

In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain. It initially encouraged immigration to Texas, but the Mexican government soon started to worry about the influx of settlers from the United States, which had begun to expand west of the Mississippi River when Louisiana, a state that allowed slavery, was admitted into the Union in 1812. In 1829, the Mexican government banned slavery to discourage further immigration among Anglos, many of them slave owners. But the ban was not well enforced.

The tipping point for many Texans came in 1830, when the Mexican government ordered a ban on most legal immigration from the United States and again banned any further introduction of slavery. With that, the relationship between Anglo settlers and the Mexican government began to collapse. (Enslaved people in Texas were the last to learn about Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.)

Texans began to consider seceding from Mexico and becoming part of the United States. To avert that outcome, Mexico initially gave Texas greater independence. In 1834, Mexico granted the region more delegates in the state government, introduced trial by jury, and authorized English as a second language.

But a new Mexican president erased these reforms. In April 1834, President Antonio López de Santa Anna suspended the Mexican Constitution and assumed dictatorial powers. That is when the tides truly began to turn between the settlers, who were outraged by the suspension of the constitution, and the Mexican government, which became determined to get the rebellion under control.


Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836

The Declaration of November 7, 1835, passed by the Consultation, was intended to attract popular support for the Texan cause from the other Mexican states. That declaration asked for Mexican statehood for Texas and vowed to make war until the Constitution of 1824, abrogated by the actions of President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, was restored.

By the time the Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1, 1836, such temporizing was no longer acceptable. On the first day, Convention President Richard Ellis appointed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence.

George Childress, the committee chairman, is generally accepted as the author of the Texas Declaration of Independence, with little help from the other committee members. Since the 12-page document was submitted for a vote of the whole convention on the following day, Childress probably already had a draft version of the document with him when he arrived. As the delegates worked, they received regular reports on the ongoing siege on the Alamo by the forces of Santa Anna's troops.

A free and independent Republic of Texas was officially declared March 2, 1836. Over the course of the next several days, 59 delegates -- each representing one of the settlements in Texas -- approved the Texas Declaration of Independence. After the delegates signed the original declaration, 5 copies were made and dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. One thousand copies were ordered printed in handbill form.

The Unanimous Declaration of Independence made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas in General Convention at the
Town of Washington on the 2nd day of March 1836

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.

When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.

Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is therefore submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken, of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.

The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America.

In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood.

It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.

It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens, for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution, and the establishment of a state government.

It has failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.

It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.

It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyrrany, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and rendering the military superior to the civil power.

It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriving us of the fundamental political right of representation.

It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial, in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and the constitution.

It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.

It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true and living God.

It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.

It has invaded our country both by sea and by land, with intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our homes and has now a large mercenary army advancing, to carry on against us a war of extermination.

It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defenseless frontiers.

It hath been, during the whole time of our connection with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions, and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrranical government.

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior.

We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.

The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.

We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers of the people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations.

[Signed, in the order shown on the handwritten document]

John S. D. Byrom
Francis Ruis
J. Antonio Navarro
Jesse B. Badgett
Wm D. Lacy
William Menifee
Jn. Fisher
Matthew Caldwell
William Motley
Lorenzo de Zavala
Stephen H. Everett
George W. Smyth
Elijah Stapp
Claiborne West
Wm. B. Scates
M. B. Menard
A. B. Hardin
J. W. Bunton
Thos. J. Gazley
R. M. Coleman
Sterling C. Robertson

Richard Ellis, President
of the Convention and Delegate
from Red River

James Collinsworth
Edwin Waller
Asa Brigham

Charles B. Stewart
Thomas Barnett

Geo. C. Childress
Bailey Hardeman
Rob. Potter
Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Chas. S. Taylor
John S. Roberts
Robert Hamilton
Collin McKinney
Albert H. Latimer
James Power
Sam Houston
David Thomas
Edwd. Conrad
Martin Parmer
Edwin O. Legrand
Stephen W. Blount
Jms. Gaines
Wm. Clark, Jr.
Sydney O. Pennington
Wm. Carrol Crawford
Jno. Turner

Benj. Briggs Goodrich
G. W. Barnett
James G. Swisher
Jesse Grimes
S. Rhoads Fisher
John W. Moore
John W. Bower
Saml. A. Maverick (from Bejar)
Sam P. Carson
A. Briscoe
J. B. Woods
H. S. Kimble, Secretary

Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


Texas declares independence - HISTORY

One of the most important documents in Texas history is the Declaration of Independence, adopted in general convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, March 2, 1836. Richard Ellis, president of the convention, appointed a committee of five to write the declaration for submission to the convention. However, there is much evidence that George C. Childress, one of the members, wrote the document with little or no help from the other members. Childress is therefore generally accepted as the author.

The text of the declaration is followed by the names of the signers of the document in the style in which they signed the document:

BY THE
DELEGATES OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS,
IN GENERAL CONVENTION,
AT THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON,
ON THE SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1836

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression when the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood &ndash both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, and the ever-ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants When long after the spirit of the Constitution has departed, moderation is at length, so far lost, by those in power that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms, themselves, of the constitution discontinued and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet. When in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication, on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements: In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation &ndash the inherent and inalienable right of the people to appeal to first principles and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases &ndash enjoins it as a right towards themselves and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.

Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is, therefore, submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.

The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America. In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who, having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood.

It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed, through a jealous and partial course of legislation carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms, for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented the general Congress, a republican constitution which was without just cause contemptuously rejected.

It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens, for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution and the establishment of a state government.

It has failed and refused to secure on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.

It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources (the public domain) and, although, it is an axiom, in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self-government.

It has suffered the military commandants stationed among us to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizen and rendering the military superior to the civil power.

It has dissolved by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government thus depriving us of the fundamental political right of representation.

It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and constitution.

It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports of confiscation.

It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own consciences, by the support of a national religion calculated to promote the temporal interests of its human functionaries rather than the glory of the true and living God.

It has demanded us to deliver up our arms which are essential to our defense, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.

It has invaded our country, both by sea and by land, with intent to lay waste our territory and drive us from our homes and has now a large mercenary army advancing to carry on against us a war of extermination.

It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defenseless frontiers. It hath been, during the whole time of our connection with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt and tyrannical government.

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas until they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defense of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therefor of a military government &ndash that they are unfit to be free and incapable of self-government.

The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.


Did Greg Abbott Just Sign A Law To Keep Texas’ Slave History Alive And Well?

Sounding every bit like Kim Jung-un and every other autocratic dictator on the planet, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed a law establishing the � Project,” which the Republican said “promotes patriotic education and ensures future generations understand Texas values.”

In a video during which he signed the legislation, Abbott said, “To keep Texas the best state in the United States we must never forget why Texas became so exceptional in the first place.”

Abbott said that “every newcomer to Texas who gets a driver’s license will also get a pamphlet that outlines Texas’ rich history, as well as the principles that make Texas Texas.”

“The law also establishes the gubernatorial 1836 award to recognize students’ knowledge of the founding documents about Texas history,” he added.

To keep Texas the best state in the nation, we can never forget WHY our state is so exceptional.

I signed a law establishing the 1836 project, which promotes patriotic education & ensures future generations understand TX values.

Together, we'll keep our rich history alive. pic.twitter.com/4yZuygS2yX

&mdash Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 7, 2021

What Abbott didn’t say during his signing ceremony is that Texas’ history began with it declaring its independence from Mexico in 1836 because it was determined to maintain slavery. Although Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, its government continued to allow U.S. settlers to bring enslaved people into the country. But then, as U.S. immigrants began to outnumber the non-Indigenous population of Spanish origin, the Mexican government attempted to reassert its control, including its prohibition on slavery. Mexico’s ruler, Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, sent an army to reestablish his authority in 1835, but U.S. settlers revolted and by 1836 had created the independent, slaveholding republic – Texas.

The “Constitution of the Republic of Texas,” which governed the then-sovereign nation from the end of the slaveholders’ rebellion against Mexico in 1836 until it was annexed by the U.S. in 1845, legalized slavery, outlawed emancipation and barred free Black people from establishing permanent residency. Then, 25 years after declaring its independence from Mexico to preserve slavery, Texas did it again – and for the same reason – seceding from the United States in 1861.

Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, pointed out: “Of course, if they actually did talk about the reasons Texas declared independence from Mexico, it would be a very radical course.”

“Such a pure expression of fascism,” read another tweet.

of course if they actually did talk about the reasons Texas declared independence from Mexico, it would be a very radical course

&mdash Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) June 8, 2021


Watch the video: March 2nd: Texas Declares Independence from Mexico (January 2022).