Ratification in Texas
If owned hell and Texas, I'd rent Texas and live in hell.
-- GeneralPhilip Sheridan, exasperated by the violence that racked the state throughout Reconstruction
The reorganization of civil government proceeded more slowly in Texas than in most other Southern states. Union troops moved into the state in June 1865. That same month President Johnson appointed Andrew Jackson Hamilton provisional governor. He was a loyal Texas Unionist who had fled north in 1862. Perhaps because his sojourn in the North had sensitized him to evolving Republican attitudes there, he delayed calling for an election that might return unrepentant rebels to power. In August 1865, Hamilton wrote President Johnson:
Districts remote from Military forces openly deny the negroes freedom--insist that the President's Proclamation of emancipation is but a military order which has Spent its force, and the laws of congress upon the Subject unconstitutional and void etc. etc. and exercising the most vigorous restraints upon the freedom of the Negroes. It is undoubtedly true that many freedmen have been killed by their late Masters and very many more greatly abused. 1
In September 1865 he wrote a local military commander in Galveston that in several counties in the north and east portions of the state slave owners "openly declare that Slavery still exists, and in the most cruel manner force their late Slaves to obedience to their orders; and when their orders are not obeyed, the most atrocious cruelties are perpetrated, often resulting in Murder." 2 Fearing that such Texans would misjudge the North's determination to make the former slaves truly free, Hamilton presciently warned: "[T]here could not be devised a more successful mode of procrastinating our return to our original position in