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GOLIAD DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The Goliad Declaration of Independence, drafted by Ira Ingram, was read to the citizens of Goliad assembled at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio on December 20, 1835. The document was enthusiastically ratified and received ninety-one signatures, the signers including José Miguel Aldrete and José María Jesús Carbajal, Texans of Mexican descent. Philip Dimmitt was also a strong supporter and major participant in the process, and many in his company of volunteers signed the declaration. The enacting clause resolved that the former department of Texas ought to be a "free, sovereign, and independent State," and the signers pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to sustain the declaration. The meeting struck off several copies of the document to be sent to various parts of Texas, and the copy that reached Brazoria was printed and widely distributed. A committee including John Dunn, William S. Brown, William G. Hill, and Benjamin J. White, carried the original copy to San Felipe and delivered it to the General Council on December 30, 1835. The council referred the declaration to the Committee on State and Judiciary; but the arrival of the document caused some embarrassment because negotiations with José Antonio Mexía and Julian Pedro Miracle were then pending in San Felipe to ascertain whether the true intentions of the Texans were independence or cooperation with the Federalists in northern Mexico. Members of the council warned the Goliad messengers not to circulate the declaration further, and the committee report on the declaration said that it had been inconsiderately adopted. The document was to remain in the files of the secretary without further action. The declaration anticipated by two days Stephen F. Austin's pronouncement favoring independence made at Velasco on December 22 and preceded the Texas Declaration of Independence by seventy-three days. The chief importance of the Goliad Declaration was its alienation from Texas the support of the Federalists of northern Mexico. CONVENTION OF 1836. The Convention of 1836 wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander in chief of the military forces of the republic. The call for the convention to meet at Washington-on-the-Brazos was issued by the General Council of the provisional government over the veto of Governor Henry Smith in December 1835, and the delegates were elected on February 1, 1836. The convention met on March 1, 1836, in near-freezing weather in an unfinished building belonging to Noah T. Byars and Peter M. Mercer, his business partner. The building was rented for use of the convention by a group of Washington business men who, incidentally, never got around to paying the rent. Forty-four delegates were assembled on the first day of the convention. Fifty-nine delegates finally attended its sessions. Andrew Briscoe did not arrive until March 11. Twelve of the members were natives of Virginia, ten of North Carolina, nine of Tennessee, six of Kentucky, four of Georgia, three of South Carolina, three of Pennsylvania, three of Mexico (including two born in Texas), two of New York, and one each of Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Only ten of the delegates were in Texas as early as January 1830; two of them arrived in 1836. Sam Houston, Robert Potter, Richard Ellis, Samuel P. Carson, Martin Parmer, and Lorenzo de Zavala had all had political experience in Mexico or the United States in state or national government, several in both. James Collinsworth presided as temporary chairman, and Willis A. Faris was secretary pro tem. After the examination of credentials of the members, the permanent officers were elected; Richard Ellis was president and Herbert Simms Kimble was secretary. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on March 2, and members began signing it on March 3. The convention then proceeded to the writing of the constitution and election of ad interim government officials. With the report of the approach of the Mexican army, the convention adjourned in haste in the early morning hours of March 17. TEXAS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The Texas Declaration of Independence was framed and issued by the Convention of 1836qv at Washington-on-the-Brazos. As soon as the convention was organized a resolution was introduced for appointment of a committee to draw up a declaration of independence. Richard Ellis, president of the convention, appointed George C. Childress, James Gaines, Edward Conrad, Collin McKinney, and Bailey Hardeman to the committee. Childress was named chairman, and it is generally conceded that he wrote the instrument with little help from the other members. In fact there is some evidence that he brought to the convention a proposed declaration that was adopted with little change by the committee and the convention, a view which is substantiated by the fact that the committee was appointed on March 1 and the declaration was presented to the convention on March 2. The Texas edict, like the United States Declaration of Independence, contains a statement on the nature of government, a list of grievances, and a final declaration of independence. The separation from Mexico was justified by a brief philosophical argument and by a list of grievances submitted to an impartial world. The declaration charged that the government of Mexico had ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people; that it had been changed from a restricted federal republic to a consolidated, central, military despotism; that the people of Texas had remonstrated against the misdeeds of the government only to have their agents thrown into dungeons and armies sent forth to enforce the decrees of the new government at the point of the bayonet; that the welfare of Texas had been sacrificed to that of Coahuila; that the government had failed to provide a system of public education, trial by jury, freedom of religion, and other essentials of good government; and that the Indians had been incited to massacre the settlers. According to the declaration, the Mexican government had invaded Texas to lay waste territory and had a large mercenary army advancing to carry on a war of extermination. The final grievance listed in justification of revolution charged that the Mexican government had been "the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrannical government." After the signing of the original declaration by fifty-nine delegates, five copies of the document were dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. The printer at San Felipe was also instructed to make 1,000 copies in handbill form. The original was deposited with the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., and was not returned to Texas until some time after June 1896. In 1929 the original document was transferred from the office of the secretary of state to the Board of Control to be displayed in a niche at the Capitol, where it was unveiled on March 2, 1930. INDEPENDENCE DAY. The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2, 1836. Texas Independence Day, March 2, was formerly observed as a holiday throughout the state. PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. The provisional government set up by the Consultation was the only governing body in Texas from November 15, 1835, until March 1, 1836, but during much of the period it was inactive. Henry Smith, a leader of the independence or war party and an opponent of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, was made governor; James W. Robinson, also of the independence party, was lieutenant governor. Most of the members of the legislative body, the General Council, were from the peace party, which was opposed to an immediate declaration of independence and inclined to quarrel with Smith and oppose his plans. Personalities entered into the dispute, and after about a month the governor and the council quarreled bitterly. There was no agreement as to the powers of the governor. The council wished to cooperate with Mexican liberals; Smith wished to ignore the Declaration of November 7 and proceed as though Texas were an independent state. The most important single cause of trouble was the proposed Matamoros expedition. As a result of the various controversies, the governor made an attempt to dissolve the council, which retaliated by impeaching Smith and recognizing Robinson as head of state. For all practical purposes the provisional government then ceased to exist, and Texas was without leadership during the critical month of February 1836. AD INTERIM GOVERNMENT. The ad interim government of Texas operated from March 16 to October 22, 1836. The Convention of 1836qv declared independence and framed the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, but the advance of the Mexican army made immediate ratification and establishment of constitutional government impossible. The last act of the convention was the selection of an ad interim government with David G. Burnet, president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; Samuel P. Carson, secretary of state; Bailey Hardeman, secretary of treasury; Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war; Robert Potter, secretary of the navy; and David Thomas, attorney general. This temporary government, without any legislative or judicial departments, fled with the people in the Runaway Scrape and was located successively at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston Island, Velasco, and Columbia; nevertheless, it continued to function until regular elections could be held and the constitution ratified. One of its major concerns was controlling the revolutionary army and dealing with low supplies and morale. It was also in place when the two treaties of Velasco were signed. The ad interim government ended with the inauguration of Sam Houston as president on October 22, 1836. COMMITTEES OF SAFETY AND CORRESPONDENCE. Committees of Safety and Correspondence similar to those in the American Revolution were organized in Texas as early as 1832. At first these bodies were not hostile to the Mexican government. Their purpose was to secure the organization of the militia for defense against Indians. Later, they kept people in touch with developments and made possible organized, effective resistance in the Texas Revolution. On May 8, 1835, Mina (Bastrop) appointed its committee of safety and correspondence for the general diffusion of information. A few days later organizations at Gonzales and Viesca were formed. A committee for the jurisdiction of Columbia met on August 15, 1835. Other communities established similar committees, and before the end of that summer apparently all precincts had such organizations. TREATIES OF VELASCO. Two treaties were signed by ad interim president David G. Burnet and Gen. Antonio López de Santa Annaqv at Velasco on May 14, 1836, after defeat of the Mexican forces at the battle of San Jacinto. The public treaty was to be published immediately, and the secret agreement was to be carried into execution when the public treaty had been fulfilled. The public treaty, with ten articles, provided that hostilities would cease, that Santa Anna would not again take up arms against Texas, that the Mexican forces would withdraw beyond the Rio Grande, that restoration would be made of property confiscated by Mexicans, that prisoners would be exchanged on an equal basis, that Santa Anna would be sent to Mexico as soon as possible, and that the Texas army would not approach closer than five leagues to the retreating Mexicans. In the secret agreement, in six articles, the Texas government promised the immediate liberation of Santa Anna on condition that he use his influence to secure from Mexico acknowledgment of Texas independence; Santa Anna promised not to take up arms against Texas, to give orders for withdrawal from Texas of Mexican troops, to have the Mexican cabinet receive a Texas mission favorably, and to work for a treaty of commerce and limits specifying that the Texas boundary not lie south of the Rio Grande. Gen. Vicente Filisola, in pursuance of the public treaty, began withdrawing the Mexican troops on May 26; the Texas army, however, refused to let Santa Anna be sent to Mexico and prevented the Texas government's carrying out the secret treaty. On May 20 the government in Mexico City declared void all of Santa Anna's acts done as a captive. With the treaties violated by both governments and not legally recognized by either, Texas independence was not recognized by Mexico and her boundary not determined until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
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