My mother, Eugenia Baird Crossley, would launch into one of her dramatic orations on March 2, the day that Texas declared its independence. The convention of 1836 was in session at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Delegates from all quarters of Texas debated their future – what to do about the despot Santa Anna, who had suspended Mexico’s constitution and become its military dictator – El Presidente. Mother made it more of a show than it probably was. On March 1, George C. Childress was appointed chairman of a committee to draw up a declaration of independence. The next day, March 2, Childress presented the declaration to the Convention.
George probably had that document prepared when he arrived. Despite the dramatic debates (thanks, Mom), declaring for independence was a foregone conclusion.
Sam Houston bought the drinks, as was his habit. After all, March 2 was his birthday, too. He took only a minor role in the Convention itself. He would be appointed general of the (nonexistent) Army of Texas and become Texas’s foremost statesman.
The historian Marquis James proposed that Houston’s real objective was to wrest Texas from Mexico and lay it at the feet of his hero, President Andrew Jackson. Indeed, old Sam was always loyal to the US. In 1860 he refused to take the oath of secession, and was removed from his office of Governor of Texas. Two years later, he died quietly.
Some of my troubled friends back in Texas are muttering about another secession, this time from the United States. Where would they find another Sam Houston?
March 2, 2013. Happy Birthday, Sam.
“I hold that the man is in the right who is most closely in league with the future.” – Henrik Ibsen.