Early Statehood

From annexation in 1845 to secession from the Union in 1861, early Texas statehood was marked by some of the mightiest issues of any age.


Anson Jones lowering Republic flag

Image: President Anson Jones lowering the flag of the Republic of Texas following annexation by the United States.

The annexation of Texas to the United States was a matter of not only national, but international concern. After years of controversy, Texas was finally annexed by the United State in 1845.

Read about Annexation.


Texas was one of the final frontiers of the expansion of slavery. By the time of the Civil War, over 30% of the population of Texas was African American slaves.

Read about Slavery.

The 1850 Boundary Act

Annexation spawned war with Mexico. When the smoke cleared, Texas and the national government were in conflict over the state's claim to a large portion of New Mexico. Some Texans advocated military force to claim the territory or even secession from the Union. In 1850, the U.S. Congress made a monetary settlement with Texas in exchange for the state relinquishing all claim to New Mexico. This act, along with several others that aimed to resolve sectional differences, was part of what was known as the Compromise of 1850.

Read about The 1850 Boundary Act.


In the firestorm leading up to the Civil War, Texas was a state divided . Some areas of Texas had many slaves, while others had virtually none. Some groups and individuals campaigned fervently against secession, none more prominent than Governor Sam Houston. However, public pressure to secede became unbearable after the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the legislature called a special convention, which voted on February 1, 1861 to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

Read about Secession.

Page last modified: December 5, 2017