1
THE RESUMPTION CIVIL GOVERNMENT AND THE WORK OF THE TWELFTH LEGISLATURE

ELECTION OF 1869

CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS desired a state election in 1869 to ascertain whether the constitution drown up by the recent convention would be acceptable to the people, and to choose district and county officers under the new constitution. The Radicals, of course, since they had fought against the constitution as it was accepted at the convention, were strongly opposed to the calling of a ratification election.

Each Republican faction sent a delegation to Washington. The Radicals, led by Davis and Morgan C. Hamilton, declared that Texas was not yet ready to vote on the constitution. Opposed to this view were the Conservatives, led by A. J. Hamilton, who presented a synopsis of Texas political history since the war and won support of the national administration concerning the needs of the state. Congress provided for the election, and the field of political battle was again transferred from Washington to Texas.

Although most of the Democrats favored the constitution, they chose not to fuse with Conservative Republicans. Instead, they put up their own candidates for the legislature and for state and county offices.1

A. J. Hamilton announced for governor from Washington, after it became evident that Congress would not object to the new constitution. He and other members of his Conservative faction met in the national capital and drafted the remainder of the Conservative ticket. A few

____________________
1
Charles W. Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas, p. 268.

-13-

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