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Link - Ordinance of Secession

Texas Ordinance of Secession
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This document from February 1, 1861, dissolved the union between the state of Texas and the United States of America

In January 1861, sixteen years after Texas joined the United States, the Secession Convention met in Austin and, on February 1, adopted an Ordinance of Secession and a Declaration of Causes on February 2. The proposed ordinance was approved by the voters, but even before Texas could become "independent" as provided for in the text of the Ordinance, Texas was accepted as a Confederate state on March 1, 1861.

The Secession Convention, reconvened on March 2, approved an Ordinance Accepting Confederate Statehood on March 5. Governor Sam Houston, who had reluctantly accepted the decision to secede and revert to independent status, refused to take the oath of loyalty to the Confederate government required by the Convention. He was replaced by Lt. Governor Edward Clark on March 16.

Texas delegates to the Provisional Confederate Government had already been elected, and they were among those who approved the proposed Confederate Constitution. Their action was confirmed by the Secession Convention on March 23.

Throughout the Civil War period, Texas existed as a state in the Confederate States of America, its status confirmed by the elected representatives of the Texas citizens. John H. Reagan, a Texan, was the Postmaster General of the C.S.A., and other Texans held prominent government posts throughout the period.

When the war ended in April 1865, Texas was still considered to be in revolt. Although a state of peace was declared as existing between the United States and the other Southern States on April 2, 1866, President Andrew Johnson did not issue a similar proclamation of peace between the U.S. and Texas until August 20, 1866, even though the Constitutional Convention of 1866 had approved on March 15, 1866 an ordinance to nullify the actions of the Secession Convention

In April 1869, the U.S. Congress passed an Act authorizing voters of Virginia, Mississippi and Texas to vote on their new state constitutions and to elect state officers and Members of Congress. Three months later, President U.S. Grant signed a Proclamation submitting the Texas constitution to the voters of the state.

Texans voted on a revised state constitution in November 1869 and elected a state government. Once convened, the legislature voted to ratify the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution (the 13th amendment having already been fully ratified) and elected two U.S. Senators, thereby completing the requirements for reinstatement. President Grant signed the act to readmit Texas to Congressional representation on March 30, 1870, and this federal act was promulgated throughout Texas by a general order issued by General Reynolds on April 16, 1870.

Page last modified: December 5, 2017