one week before the meeting of the convention called by the citizens. His reasons assigned for the call were that there was great excitement in the public mind in reference to our relations to the Federal government, and he wished measures provided for a free expression of the popular will; also that the necessary means might be provided for the protection of the frontier against the depredations of the Indians.
Obviously to produce a diversion from immediate State action, the governor, on the 27th of December, 1860, is sued his proclamation founded upon the joint resolutions of the legislature, approved by Governor Runnels, February 16, 1858, relating to the trouble in Kansas, in which he ordered an election to be held on the 4th day of January, 1861, for seven delegates to represent Texas in a consultation with delegates from the other Southern States as to the best mode of maintaining the equal rights of such States in the Union. No such election was held and no such consultation took place; but on the 8th of January, the election was held throughout the State for delegates, who met in convention at Austin on January 28th and proceeded to organize by the election of Oran M. Roberts, president, and R. Brownrig, secretary.
On the meeting of the legislature, January 21st, Governor Houston in his message favored concerted action by all the Southern States as the mode of relief, and recommended a submission of the question to a vote of the people at a general election. The legislature passed a joint resolution recognizing the convention and providing that the ordinance of secession, when passed, should be submitted to a vote of the people. This was approved by the governor on February 4th, " with a protest against the assumption of any power on the part of said convention beyond the reference of the question of a longer connection of Texas with the Union, to the people."
The convention appointed a committee composed of John H. Reagan, Peter W. Gray, John D. Steele, William P.