Apr 21 2010

A little bit of reality about Texas secession

I was born in Missouri. I’m not really someone who thinks about who I am in terms of Missouri when I consider the “show me” slogan, then I can say I like that I was born there. However, I grew up in Texas where the majority of my family was from. We have been living in this state, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas for about 7 to 10 generations on average. Many in my family were here before statehood, were in Oklahoma when it was “Indian territory”, and to this day I still find more and more information about my family and my wife’s family who is also deeply rooted for many generations from the first settlers in the Panhandle of Texas. Heck, even my brother worked in the Texas Senate as a staffer.

Now down here in Texas, we like things our way. This comes as no surprise to anyone because I’m sure that’s true just about anywhere. I’m sure there are some uppity Canadians near Calgary or some very territorial Arizonans near Tombstone. But I have to say that, in Texas, we really know how to build a myth and tall tale like few others.

The Lone Star State is more than a name; it is an attitude. Stand Alone, Act Tough, Be Independent, and most of all, don’t eat Salsa made in New Jersey

Having journeyed around the state I know that it is more diverse in land than people. But mostly it is a state that lags behind in many areas while doing pretty well in others. Our education system is a wreck. We were one of the few states to stay solvent during the crisis by having stored up reserves for a rainy day. And we have a part time legislature that meets, get this…on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year for a total of 140 days.

Move into the modern era? Not any time soon.

(Note: I grew up right next to NASA, with kids of NASA employees, and live in one of the most advanced cities when it comes to research, medical, and other…but those are not the rules of thumb for the state so don’t get distracted by exceptions.)

All of this greatness must come from a divine source, certainly. Texas must be so unique that it doesn’t really need the United States, right?

Well the Texas Legislature didn’t think so in March of 1866 when it voted to rescind the previous decision to secede and went even further to specifically declare the right to secede “distinctly renounced”. But today the Governor of Texas lies pathologically from a myth he wants to revive on top of the evidence that such a myth is settled law. Texas already said to itself, without need for the Supreme Court of the United States, we do not have the right to secede:

An Ordinance, Declaring the Ordinance of Secession Null and Void

March 15, 1866

“Be it ordained by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, That we acknowledge the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States, and the laws passed in pursuance thereof; and that an Ordinance adopted by a former Convention of the people of Texas on the 1st day of February, A.D. 1861, entitled “An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of Texas and the other States, united under the compact styled ‘Constitution of the United States of America,'” be and the same is hereby declared null and void; and the right heretofore claimed by the State of Texas to secede from the Union, is hereby distinctly renounced. Passed 15th March, 1866.


The Constitution of the State of Texas, as Amended by the Delegates in Convention Assembled, Austin, 1866. Austin: Printed at the Southern Intelligencer Office, 1866, p. 32.”

Now the reason I know this law so well is that every year we have a celebration if you will, or a memorial if you want, to Juneteenth. This is the day the Union soldiers under Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger (ironically his first ever battle was in Missouri) arrived and said:

“On June 19, 1865

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.“

Now mind you, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was to take effect on January 1, 1863, 3 years before Texas slaves would be finally freed. It would be another year before the Texas Legislature would codify the reality of secession on March 15, 1866.

The governor of Texas should know this. He has no respect for this because basically he’s a posturing political prick in the same nature as the posturing political prick before him, George W. Bush. He dresses the part as if he’s walked right out of a scene in “Maverick”. As a citizen of this state, I’m not going to let him go on this without at the least pointing out the history he ignores and the consequences of his ignorance.

Essentially he is ignoring some of the key reconciliation actions that took place at the end of the Civil War and the additional insult leaped upon slaves in Texas by not releasing them until the U.S. military arrived and made them do so. Each year we celebrate Juneteenth and his rhetoric flies in the face of this celebration.

But worse than that, Mr. Perry sets up a political stance that is based in lies while addressing national issues, state issues, and leading those who listen to him down a failed path of political nonsense. I happen to not want a national mandate. He says he doesn’t want a national mandate. I don’t want an inflated Federal system. He says he doesn’t want an inflated Federal system. I can do this without floating on myths about my state. He bathes in lies about the state, expresses his hypocrisy by taking Federal resources while pandering to Texas nationalists, and acts frequently as a unitary executive dictator. (SEE: HPV virus mandatory vaccinations, overturned by his own party and supported by Texas Dems.)

One need not lie about their history to stand for or against something. But to lie about my state, the State of Texas in order to make a political point, well…as we say down here, them’s may be fightin’ words.

UPDATE: For the couple of folks here who insist on some other “illegal government” claims or that somehow the March 15, 1866 order to rescind the previous secession claims aren’t settled law, feel free to call the Texas Legislative Library in Austin: 512-463-1252 and ask if there were ever any updates to this legal activity. They will clearly tell you that 1.) they get a lot of calls lately on this, and 2.) it has no updates since March 15, 1866. I do my research well in advance of print. As I said my brother worked in the Texas Senate so this isn’t all that hard to settle when you know who to call. Go ahead and ask them, settle it for yourselves.