Sam Houston to Texas Congress, January 4, 1843
In the wake of the debacle in Austin, the Texas Congress opened an investigation into the events surrounding the attempted removal of the archives from Austin. This document is one draft of Houston's response to their request for an explanation. Several other drafts also exist, and the final explanation ran to seven printed pages.
had placed the artillery in the advance of them
and represented their numbers at 90 men.
Those in charge of the archives, not having sufficient
force, left them, and returned to their homes,
reporting that Capt. Joseph Daniels, attached to
the Gen'l Land Office, had been shot at several
times, but had escaped, leaving his family in
Austin. What injury he sustained is unknown.
The malcontents also declared to those employed in
bringing away the archives, that on their
return to Austin, they would put the Com.
of the Gen'l Land Office, Col. Thomas Wm. Ward, to death; and further
declared that if the Pres't had been taken
and given up to them, they would freely have
surrendered the archives. They are represented
to have been in a state of intoxication
and unreserved in their threats of violence against the person and life of the Chief Magistrate of the country.
These are the fact transmitted in compliance with the
the House. To offer comments upon
them would seem to be an insult
to the commonsense and good understanding of every member,
of the sense of duty to our gen'l constituency, to our na-
tional character, and to the respect we may hope
for from abroad, and for order and self existence at
home. Constrain me to believe that the hon. Congress
will adopt such efficient measures, or empower the
Ex. to do so, as will secure the safety of the
archives. Their removal is connected with no individual
gratification which the Pres't can feel. He regards
the matter as one fully of national import. The Con-
stitution has devolved upon the Ex. as a public functionary,
and so long as he is responsible
Sam Houston to Texas Congress, January 4, 1843, A.J. Houston Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.