< }}” alt=”sam-houston.png” width=”250″ />SREC Representative Mike Goldman took his 3 minutes of speaking time over the weekend to regurgitate the myth that Sam Houston would be against Texas independence today, in his effort to kill a resolution that would give Texans a vote on independence. But a close examination of Sam Houston’s words show that Goldman’s assertion is utter garbage.

It is an inarguable fact that Sam Houston was against Texas leaving the Union in 1861. His sentiments on the matter were very clear. However, Sam Houston did not ever issue a blanket pronouncement that leaving the Union was morally or legally wrong.

Below is the full text of Houston’s speech on the matter from 1860.

Our forefathers saw the danger to which freedom would be subjected, from the helpless condition of disunited States; and, to “form a more perfect Union,” they established this Government. They saw the effect of foreign influence on rival States, the effect of dissensions at home, and to strengthen all and perpetuate all, to bind all together, yet leave all free, they gave us the Constitution and the Union. Where are the evidences that their patriotic labor was in vain? Have we not emerged from an infant’s to a giant’s strength? Have not empires been added to our domain, and States been created? All the blessings which they promised their posterity have been vouchsafed; and millions now enjoy them, who without this Union would to-day be oppressed and down-trodden in far-off foreign lands! What is there that is free that we have not got? Are our rights invaded and no government ready to protect us? No! Are our institutions wrested from us and other foreign to our taste forced upon us? No! Is the right of free speech, a free press, or free suffrage taken from us? Has our property been taken from us and the government failed to interpose?

No, none of these! The rights of the States and the rights of individuals are still maintained. We have yet the Constitution, we have yet a judiciary, which has never been appealed to in vain—we have yet just laws and officers to administer them; and an army and navy, ready to maintain any and every constitutional right of the citizen. Whence then this clamor about disunion? Whence this cry of protection to property or disunion, when even the very loudest in the cry, declared under their Senatorial oaths, but a few months since, that no protection was necessary? Are we to sell reality for a phantom?

Examining Houston’s words shows us that he had a very clear criteria under which a State should leave the Union.

It’s easy enough to see this by his questions to the people of Texans then. But what would happen if Houston were to ask those same questions now?

“They saw the effect of foreign influence on rival States, the effect of dissensions at home, and to strengthen all and perpetuate all, to bind all together, yet leave all free, they gave us the Constitution and the Union. Where are the evidences that their patriotic labor was in vain?”

“What is there that is free that we have not got?”

“Are our rights invaded and no government ready to protect us?”

“Are our institutions wrested from us and other foreign to our taste forced upon us?”

“Is the right of free speech, a free press, or free suffrage taken from us?”

“Has our property been taken from us and the government failed to interpose?”

Even more so, look at the Houston’s words on the 1860 status quo and ask yourself if it is true today.

“The rights of the States and the rights of individuals are still maintained.”

“We have yet the Constitution, we have yet a judiciary, which has never been appealed to in vain—we have yet just laws and officers to administer them;”

“and an army and navy, ready to maintain any and every constitutional right of the citizen.”

It is abundantly clear that if Houston were asked whether Texas should become independent in 2015, Houston would likely ask us, “What are you waiting for?”

 

 

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