Texas in the Confederacy: An Experiment in Nation Building

By Clayton E. Jewett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
The Production and Supply of Necessary Material Texas Institutions, Cloth, Salt, and Iron

On Wednesday, November 4, 1863, Texas governor Francis R. Lubbock stood at the Speaker's stand in the House of Representatives and delivered a message before the joint legislature. “Under the Providence of God, ” Lubbock told fellow politicians, “our State has been blessed with genial sessions, uninterrupted good health and prosperity.” He recounted “the superabundance of our harvests, ” the “abundance of forage and meat, ” and the “unparalleled bravery of her noble sons” defending the state. Lubbock believed in the prominence of the Lone Star State and articulated that vision to fellow politicians. As he spoke, however, Lubbock believed that the testing time had arrived. The enemy lurked closer to the border than ever before. Due to the fall of Vicksburg, Texas had to “contend alone against the numerous armies of the enemy, ” and Lubbock counseled politicians to take all necessary measures for the economic benefit and advancement of the state. 1.

The dilemma politicians confronted revolved around the dissension about securing the financial condition of the state, caring for the needs of Texas citizens, and providing for the interests of the Confederacy. These demands, along with outside pressures, made control of the state penitentiary and its distribution of cloth one of the paramount issues of the tenth legislature. Similarly, debates over the foundry, cap factory, and other material products such as salt and iron are revealing. In these matters, the Texas legislature voted foremost to support the welfare of the citizenry; second, the financial condition of the state; and third, the interests of the Confederacy. The critical issue of state control over institutions and resources reveals that Texas's political allegiance lay firmly with the state for the support of the common citizen. Whereas the needs of both the common man and the Confederate

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1.
House Journal of the Tenth Legislature Regular Session of the State of Texas, 8—10.

-143-

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