“Her Present and Proud Condition” Railroads, Education, Mutual-Aid Societies, and Asylums
On November 15, 1861, Texas governor Francis Lubbock stood before a joint session of the state legislature and compelled politicians to “sustain the State in her present and proud condition.” Lubbock believed that secession from the government of the United States "was not only a right possessed, but a great political necessity.” Texans, he declared, “determined that they would never submit to have their own rights, or the rights of the State government, absorbed by a fanatical Government, fast drifting to centralism.” Lubbock further told his fellow politicians that Texans worried about their security, and he urged the legislators to provide for the welfare of the citizenry. The fear of centralization combined with a desire to promote economic security and social welfare pervaded Texas politicians, and the legislature worked to secure the economic and social well-being of the state and its citizens. 1.
Entering the Civil War, many Texans loosely held to a Jacksonian ideology that included a belief that it was “wrong for internal improvements within the states to be financed by the federal government.” Consequently, the state legislature undertook efforts to safeguard and promote the economic well-being of the state. The move to secure railroads, education, mutual-aid societies, and state welfare institutions reflected to the citizens a concerted political effort to promote economic security and social welfare. Whether this endeavor immediately succeeded in many ways was irrelevant. The effort by the state was more than the Confederate government could begin to offer, and this bolstered the perception, if not the reality, that Texas could exist on its own in the Confederacy. This concerted political effort to promote economic security and social welfare throughout the Civil War paved the____________________