5
THE DECLINING DAYS OF RADICALISM

THE WORK OF THE THIRTEENTH LEGISLATURE

THE THIRTEENTH LEGISLATURE assembled in Austin on January 14, 1873, and continued in session for five and a half months, adjourning on June 24.1. In the House, where there was now a Democratic majority, much opposition to Administration policies was voiced. In the Senate, half of the membership had been held over, but here too a majority -- of three -- opposed the Radical leadership.2

As early as January, 1871,3 there had been talk of impeaching Governor Davis. Now, after the election of the new Legislature, this possibility was more widely discussed. Certain Democratic newspapers, however, believing that such a step would be a serious mistake, asked that no attempt be made and declared that Texans desired "peace, retrenchment, reduction of taxes, repeal of obnoxious and oppressive laws, and development of the material resources of the state."4 Perhaps the fear of federal interference precluded any active steps toward impeachment of the Governor. Then, too, the conciliatory message with which Davis greeted the new Legislature may have had a soothing effect, for in it he showed a desire to cooperate with that body in the enactment of beneficial legislation.5

The message of Governor Davis, published by us on yesterday, will be read with as much interest as sincere satisfaction everywhere in our State. It is an earnest effort on the part of the Executive to co-operate with the Legislature in the enactment of wise and salutary laws; and certainly this is all the country can require of the Chief Magistrate of the State. Our political antipathies do not go to the extent of refusing a recognition of honest purpose in the Chief Magistrate to do right, and we are at all times prepared to assume full measure of responsibility of dealing justly and fairly by our political opponents.

____________________
1.
Frank Brown, "Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin," Ch. XXXII, p. 7, MS.
2
Seth S. McKay, Texas under the Regime of E. J. Davis, p. 140, MS.; Houston Telegraph, January 12, 1873, XXXIV, 55.
3
Flake's Daily Bulletin, January 31, 1871, VI, 1705.
4
Houston Telegraph, January 12, 1873; McKay, Texas under the Regime of E. J. Davis, p. 141, MS.
5
Daily State Gazette, January 18, 1873, VI, 19, declared of Governor Davis' message at the opening of the Thirteenth Legislature:

-114-

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