TX-12685 Confederate Texas Legislatures


When Texas seceded, Feb. 1, 1861, the 8th Legislature was in Austin in a called session, adjourned Feb. 9. On March 18, the 8th came back for a second called session; the 9th and 10th Legislatures in turn were harassed with problems of the Civil War. They found it necessary to raise, equip and supply 90,000 Texas soldiers, who fought on all fronts; and to provide for defense against Indians, enemy troops and ships on 2000 miles of state coastline and frontiers. As naval blockade reduced imports, the Legislature established plants to make guns, powder, cloth, salt. Contracts, subsidies and land grants were provided to encourage private industry to help meet heavy wartime demands for arm, supplies, clothing, food. The lawmakers taxed property and business and made farmers turn in tithes of produce to feed citizen and soldier. Funds were voted to finance state barter in Mexico of cotton for factory goods; to aid soldiers; dependents; and to provide medical care and hospitals for Texas troops, in and out of state. Legislatures were in almost continuous sessions. Poor pay and inflated confederate money caused many members to live in tents and covered wagons on the capitol grounds and cook over campfires.

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