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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Records of John H. Money, Treasurer of Ayuntamiento of Austin, 1835,

Records of citizens meetings and committees of public safety, 1835-1836, undated,

Records of the Permanent Council, 1835, undated

Records of the Consultation, 1835, undated,

Records of the Provisional Government, 1835-1836,

Records of the Convention of 1836, 1835-1836, undated,

Records of Ad Interim Government, 1836,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas (Republic). Department of State:

An Inventory of Department of State Records of Legislative and Executive Bodies Prior to the Republic at the Texas State Archives, 1835-1836, undated



Overview

Creator: Texas (Republic). Dept. of State.
Title: Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic
Dates: 1835-1836, undated
Abstract: Prior to the regular goverment established by the Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836, a variety of governmental entities, both legislative and executive, succeeded one another. Types of records include correspondence, reports, resolutions, decrees, ordinances, declarations, circulars, proceedings, minutes, delegate rolls, records of votes, rules, presidential addresses, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and vouchers and receipts, all of the various legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. These governmental bodies include the following: the treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, citizens meetings and committees of public safety, the Permanent Council, the Consultation, the Provisional Government, the Convention of 1836, and the Ad Interim government, dating 1835-1836 and undated.
Quantity: 2.64 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
Language: These materials are written predominately in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

Ayuntamientos were the principal governing bodies of Spanish and Mexican municipalities at the time of the Texas Revolution. They functioned as town councils, and mediated between local and central authorities. The particular ayuntamiento represented in these records is probably that of San Felipe de Austin.

Committees of Safety and Correspondence were organized by citizens in Mina (Bastrop), Gonzales, Viesca, and Columbia, and then in nearly all Texas communities by the end of the summer of 1835. They would ultimately make possible effective and organized resistance during the Texas Revolution.

The Permanent Council, composed of the Committee of Safety of San Felipe and representatives from other areas, assumed the powers of government in the absence of a quorum of the Consultation, which had been elected to meet there on October 16, 1835. It governed Texas from October 11, 1835, until a quorum arrived for the Consultation in early November. Richard R. Royall was elected President and Charles B. Stewart Secretary. During the three weeks it operated, the Council organized supplies and reinforcements for the Army, set up a postal system, ordered the land offices closed, and attempted to obtain a loan in the United States.

The Consultation, called for the purpose of determining the stance Texas should take toward the Republic of Mexico, was scheduled to meet at San Felipe on October 16, 1835, but a quorum not being present, was forced to adjourn until November 1. However, a quorum still did not arrive until November 3. When the Consultation organized on that day, Branch T. Archer was elected President. The chief accomplishments of the Consultation were the promulgation of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, in which it established the policy of remaining within the Mexican Republic and attempting to restore the Constitution of 1824, the establishment of the Provisional Government, the appointment of Sam Houston as Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army, the appointment of Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton as agents to the United States for the purpose of obtaining a loan, and the ratifications of many of the acts of the Permanent Council. The Consultation adjourned on November 14, 1835.

The Provisional Government was created by the Consultation, which chose its members and appointed Henry Smith Governor and James W. Robinson Lieutenant Governor. It governed Texas from November 15, 1835 until March 1, 1836, operating under the authority of the Organic Law formulated by the Consultation. The legislative body of the Provisional Government was the General Council, composed of one member from each municipality, and presided over by the Lieutenant Governor as ex-officio president. Its membership was not stable however, as some men served during only a few sessions, while others attended for nearly the full duration. The number of members in attendance steadily declined, until by February 26, only two were present. During the brief existence of the Provisional Government, the Governor and General Council were in constant conflict, arising chiefly from disagreement about their relative powers and about the stance Texas should adopt toward Mexico. The dispute climaxed on January 10, 1836, when Governor Smith attempted to dissolve the Council, which retorted by impeaching Smith and naming Robinson as Governor. By February, the Provisional Government was almost non-existent as an effective government, with two claiming the office of governor and responsibility for directing the affairs of Texas, and with the Council gradually dissolving as members abandoned their posts. In spite of its uncertain authority and internal dissension, the Provisional Government accomplished several things: the founding of the Texas Navy, the appointment of Sam Houston and John Forbes to treat with the Cherokee Indians, the issuing of its instructions to Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer and William H. Wharton, agents to the United States, and the calling of the Convention of 1836.

The Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos from March 1 to March 17, 1836, on the call of the General Council over the veto of Governor Henry Smith. Composed of 59 delegates, it elected Richard Ellis Chairman and Herbert Simms Kimble Secretary. In the two weeks of its existence, the Convention wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic, organized an Interim Government and elected its officers, and confirmed Sam Houston as Commander of the Republic military forces. Upon its hasty adjournment at the news of the advancing Mexican Army, the powers of government were immediately assumed by the Ad Interim Government, which was to serve until the Constitution could be ratified by the people and a general election held for executive officers.

The Ad Interim government served from March 16, 1836 to October 16, 1836, between the adjournment of the Convention of 1836 and the ratification of the Constitution and election of Sam Houston as the first President of the Republic of Texas. Appointed by the Convention, it contained no legislative or judicial departments. David G. Burnet was appointed President and Lorenzo de Zavala Vice-President along with Secretary of State Samuel P. Carson, Secretary of the Treasury Bailey Hardeman, Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of the Navy Robert Potter, and Attorney General David Thomas. The activities of the Ad Interim government revolved chiefly around attempts to obtain financial and military assistance from foreign nations, and around organizing the citizens of Texas into a military force. Fleeing with the Texas population before the advancing Mexican Army, the temporary government was located successively at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston Island, Velasco, and Columbia.

The records of the Permanent Council were turned over to the Provisional Government, which subsequently turned its records over to the Convention of 1836 pursuant to a resolution of March 10, 1836. By 1854, the "Archives of the Congresses and Legislature" which were required to be arranged, copied, and filed in the General Land Office, included the records of the Provisional Government. An act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State "the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives;" and an act of March 25, 1887 provided that "the entire archives of the late Republic of Texas, . . . together with the records, books, and journals of said Congress" would be "deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State," and "declared to be Archives of said office."

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor's (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1974). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 (Article VI, Section 10), and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution.

The only duty of the Secretary of State specified by the Constitution of 1836 was to receive "returns of all elections for officers who are to be commissioned by the President" (General Provisions, Section 2). The 1st Congress approved a Joint Resolution on December 13, 1836 "defining the duties of the heads of departments of the government." However, the duties of this cabinet (composed of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy, and Treasury, and the Attorney General) were expressed in extremely vague terms, i.e.: "to conform to and execute the instructions of the president, whether general or particular; and to give respectively and collectively, such needful aid and counsel whenever required so to do by the chief magistrate of the republic, as may be requisite to a firm, wholesome and harmonious administration of the government." Much of our knowledge of what the Secretary of State did during the Republic period derives from the existing records themselves. Although never so stated in law, obviously a major function of the Secretary of State under the Republic of Texas was diplomatic, a function unique to Texas' history as an independent nation.

During the next nine years of the Republic's existence, Congressional acts added little in the way of explicit duties: to receive from the chief justices of the county courts "a description of their county boundaries, and such other information and observations relative to the same, as they may conceive conducive to the convenience of their citizens" (December 17, 1836); to furnish Texan consuls with instruction for the proper regulation of foreign trade (December 18, 1837); to contract for the printing of the laws and journals of the Republic of Texas, and to arrange for their distribution (December 18, 1837 and later dates); to contract for the translation and compilation of Republic laws into Spanish ("the Castilian language") (December 18, 1837 and January 12, 1842); to become the depository for a Library purchased for the Republic of Texas (January 24, 1839); to create a Patent Office, as a bureau of the office of Secretary of State, and to grant patent rights "for any new and useful art, machine, instrument or composition of matter, liberal arts, sciences or literature, books, maps or charts, or any new and useful improvement of the same . . . invented or discovered" (January 28, 1839); to draw from the war department funds appropriated to run a boundary line between the Republic of Texas and the United States (November 26, 1840); to assume the duties of the Postmaster General, appointing and supervising a clerk for a bureau called the "General Post Office," and to receive from the former Postmaster General all records of the abolished Post Office Department (January 18, 1841); to issue writs of election to fill certain vacancies in counties (December 7, 1841).

(Sources include: the Secretary of State Republic of Texas records appraisal report (December 1998); and the enabling legislation (1836-1887).)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Prior to the regular goverment established by the Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836, a variety of governmental entities, both legislative and executive, succeeded one another. Their functions and activities are documented by these records. Types of records include correspondence, reports, resolutions, decrees, ordinances, declarations, circulars, proceedings, minutes, delegate rolls, records of votes, rules, presidential addresses, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and vouchers and receipts, all of the various legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. These governmental bodies include the following: the treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, citizens meetings and committees of public safety, the Permanent Council, the Consultation, the Provisional Government, the Convention of 1836, and the Ad Interim government, dating 1835-1836 and undated.

One series consists of receipts issued to and by John H. Money, Treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, date January 1-July 20, 1835.

Records of citizens meetings and various committees of public safety consist of circulars, proceedings, and correspondence dating August 30, 1835-January 19, 1836. These records are not specifically addressed to any of the governing bodies of the Revolutionary period, and it is uncertain whether they came into their custody during their existence or were later added to their records. Copies of circulars, proceedings, and letters specifically addressed to one of the Councils or the Consultation are filed with other communications received by those bodies in other subseries. The papers of the Committee of Safety of Austin were required to be received by the Secretary of the Consultation by a resolution approved November 3, 1835 and are filed with the records of that body.

Records of the Permanent Council consist of correspondence, reports, resolutions, and vouchers and receipts, dated between August 19 and November 2, 1835. There are letters and reports from citizens of Texas and Mobile, Alabama, and government agencies relating to their activities and the state of the country. There are also signed copies of letters, addresses, and commissions sent to the citizens of the United States and Texas, army officers, and government agents, communicating instructions and appeals for aid. Correspondents include Stephen F. Austin, Thomas F. McKinney, and Richard R. Royall.

Records of the Consultation consist of minutes, proceedings, resolutions, declarations, reports, correspondence, and delegate rolls, dating between October 11 and November 14, 1835. Also present are the papers of the Committee of Public Safety of Austin, dated September 21 and October 1, 1835. Some of the proceedings are signed by P. B. Dexter, Secretary of the Consultation; R. R. Royall, Chairman; or Samuel Whiting, Secretary Pro Tem. Also prominent in these records are Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and Thomas F. McKinney. Correspondence was received from citizens meetings, the Permanent Council, Committees of Vigilance and Safety, and agents of government pertaining to defense, land claims, and other affairs of state. Letters addressed to the Permanent Council that arrived after it had adjourned were handled by the Consultation and are included in these records.

Records of the Provisional Government include correspondence, reports, commissions, accounts and receipts, proceedings, ordinances, decrees, resolutions, and legislative addresses, from the Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, and General Council, dating 1835-1836. These records include a letter book containing copies of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, Organic Law, ordinances and resolutions of the General Council, correspondence of the Executive and General Council, and correspondence and reports laid before the council. Dates covered are November 1835-February 1836. Also present are "Papers belonging to the Political Chief of the Department of Brazos, 1835-1836." Records of the Governor consist of correspondence, reports, commissions, and receipts, dating November 1835-March 1836. The correspondence chiefly relates to finances and supplies for the government. Correspondents include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, and Sam Houston. Records of the Auditor are accounts and receipts submitted for approval, dating October 1835-March 1836. Records of the Treasurer include receipts given to and by the treasurer of the Provisional Government, dating December 1835-January 1836. Records of the General Council consist of proceedings, correspondence, committee reports, ordinances, decrees, resolutions, legislative addresses of the Governor, and accounts and receipts, covering the period September 1835-March 1836. These records concern the actions of the General Council, including the establishment of the Texas Navy, the organization and supplying of the Army, the appointment of Sam Houston and John Forbes to treat with the Cherokee Indians, and the preparation of instructions of the agents to the United States, Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton. It also passed the act calling for the Convention of 1836. Correspondents and other figures involved here include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, Sam Houston, and Stephen F. Austin. Proceedings of the Permanent Council are included in this series as is a copy of the proceedings of the Consultation.

Records of the Convention of 1836 consist of proceedings, a convention roll, rules of the convention, records of votes, committee reports, auditor's reports, correspondence, memorials, and acts of the convention, include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Dates covered are primarily March 1-17, 1836, with some correspondence dating back to November 1835. Correspondents include S. Rhoads Fisher, George M. Collinsworth, Governor Robinson, the General Council, members of the convention tendering resignations, and individuals offering services to the Republic. Subjects include the organization and supplying of the militia and other military forces, land concerns, and declaration of Texas' independence from Mexico.

Records of the Ad Interim government consist of copies of presidential addresses, correspondence, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and a receipt. Also included are some private letters, including ones to James Fannin, R. R. Royall, and Stephen F. Austin, from Santa Anna, Robert Triplett, and Edward Hall, relating to loans, supplies, and other subjects. Dates covered are March-September 1836. Correspondents and others represented here also include David G. Burnet, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Robert Triplett. The majority of the records of the Secretary and the President for this period have been dispersed among several different series of Republic records.

[Note: During most of their life in the Texas State Archives, these records have been referred to by "series" numbers (33 thru 79) established when the Special Lists were created at some time in the 20th century. Those series numbers are used in this inventory in lieu of folder numbers (often a series contained multiple folders). The term "series" here does not necessarily mean the same as it would to the archival community.]

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Organization of the Records

The records are organized by State Archives staff into seven series:
Records of John H. Money, Treasurer of Ayuntamiento of Austin, 1835, fractional
Records of citizens meetings and committees of public safety, 1835-1836, undated, fractional
Records of the Permanent Council, 1835, undated, 0.1 cubic ft.
Records of the Consultation, 1835, undated, 0.15 cubic ft.
Records of the Provisional Government, 1835-1836, 1.79 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
Records of the Convention of 1836, 1835-1836, undated, 0.5 cubic ft.
Records of Ad Interim Government, 1836, fractional

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

The Provisional Government letterbook is restricted due to its fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copy of the volume.

Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Archer, Branch Tanner, 1790-1856.
Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836.
Burnet, David Gouverneur, 1789-1870.
Collinsworth, George Morse, 1810-1866.
Dexter, P. B. (Peter B.)
Fannin, James Walker, 1804?-1836.
Fisher, Samuel Rhoads, 1794-1839.
Hall, Edward, fl. 1836.
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863.
Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859.
McKinney, Thomas F., 1801-1873.
Money, John H.
Robinson, James W., 1800-1857.
Royall, Richardson Royster, 1798-1840.
Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez de, 1794?-1876.
Smith, Henry, 1788-1851.
Triplett, Robert.
Wharton, William H. (William Harris), 1802-1839.
Whiting, Samuel, d. 1862?
Zavala, Lorenzo de, 1788-1836.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Permanent Council.
Texas. Convention (1836)
Texas (Provisional Government, 1835)
Texas (Ad Interim Government, 1836)
Texas. Consultation.
Subjects:
Legislative bodies--Texas.
Places:
Texas--Politics and government--1835-1836.
Texas--History--Revolution--1835-1836.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Politics and government--1835-1836.
Reports--Texas--Politics and government--1835-1836.
Receipts--Texas--Politics and government--1835-1836.
Resolutions--Texas--Politics and government--1835-1836.
Functions:
Legislating.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Department of State diplomatic correspondence, 1831-1832, 1835-1846, undated, 6.9 cubic ft., 3 reels microfilm
Texas Secretary of State consular correspondence, 1836-1850, 1873-1875, bulk 1836-1846, 2.26 cubic ft.
Texas Secretary of State general correspondence of the Department of State, Republic of Texas (both domestic correspondence, 1822-1845, 1860, 2.40 cubic ft. and home letters, 1835-1847, 1.28 cubic ft.)
Texas Secretary of State records relating to public printing, 1835-1905, bulk 1874-1897, 3.05 cubic ft.
Records relating to Indian affairs, 1825-1957, bulk 1825-1880, 3.62 cubic ft.
Publications
Gammel, H. P. N. (comp. and arr.), Laws of Texas, Austin, the Gammel Book Company, 1898, vol. 1, pp. 549-813, 905-1060
Daniel, Price and James C. Martin (eds.), Legislative Messages of the Chief Executives of Texas, Austin, Texas State Library, 1972, volume 1
Binkley, William C. (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 , New York, D. Appleton-Century Co., 1936, 2 volumes.
Jenkins, John H. (ed. and comp.), Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, Austin, Presidial Press, 1973, 10 volumes

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1905/004, 1905/006

These records were transferred to the Texas Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History (the predecessor of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) by the Texas Secretary of State on May 24, 1906; and May 21, 1906.

Processing Information

Processed by State Archives staff, dates unknown

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project, June 2010

Authority name and other changes by Tony Black, February 2011.

Appraisal Information

Texas State Archives staff completed an appraisal of the Texas Secretary of State holdings already in the custody of the Texas State Archives in December 1998. Fifty-seven series of these holdings were determined to be archival, including records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. The complete appraisal report (in two parts: Republic of Texas records, and non-Republic records) is available for consultation online at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosrepublic.html and http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosstate.html , and also in the search room of the Texas State Archives.

Other Formats for the Records

The Provisional Government letterbook was microfilmed (35mm) due to its fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copy of the volume.

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Records of John H. Money, Treasurer of Ayuntamiento of Austin, 1835,
fractional

Ayuntamientos were the principal governing bodies of Spanish and Mexican municipalities at the time of the Texas Revolution. They functioned as town councils, and mediated between local and central authorities. The particular ayuntamiento represented in these records is probably that of San Felipe de Austin. These records are receipts issued to and by John H. Money, Treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, dating January 1-July 20, 1835.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of John H. Money, Treasurer of Ayuntamiento of Austin, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/17 Series 34: Receipts issued to and by J.H. Money, 1835
[8 items]

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Records of citizens meetings and committees of public safety, 1835-1836, undated,
fractional

Committees of Safety and Correspondence were organized by citizens in Mina (Bastrop), Gonzales, Viesca, and Columbia, and then in nearly all Texas communities by the end of the summer of 1835. They would ultimately make possible effective and organized resistance during the Texas Revolution. These records are circulars, proceedings, and correspondence from citizens meetings and various committees of public safety. Dates covered in these records are August 30, 1835-January 19, 1836. These records are not specifically addressed to any of the governing bodies of the Revolutionary period, and it is uncertain whether they came into their custody during their existence or were later added to their records. Copies of circulars, proceedings, and letters specifically addressed to one of the Councils or the Consultation are filed with other communications received by those bodies in other subseries. The papers of the Committee of Safety of Austin were required to be received by the Secretary of the Consultation by a resolution approved November 3, 1835 and are filed with the records of that body.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of citizens meetings and committees of public safety, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/17 Series 35: Circulars, proceedings, and correspondence, August 30, 1835-January 19, 1836, undated
[15 items]

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Records of the Permanent Council, 1835, undated
0.1 cubic ft.

The Permanent Council, composed of the Committee of Safety of San Felipe and representatives from other areas, assumed the powers of government in the absence of a quorum of the Consultation, which had been elected to meet there on October 16, 1835. It governed Texas from October 11, 1835, until a quorum arrived for the Consultation in early November. Richard R. Royall was elected President and Charles B. Stewart Secretary. During the three weeks it operated, the Council organized supplies and reinforcements for the Army, set up a postal system, ordered the land offices closed, and attempted to obtain a loan in the United States.
These records consist of correspondence, reports, resolutions, and vouchers and receipts of the Permanent Council, dated between August 19 and November 2, 1835. There are letters and reports from citizens of Texas and Mobile, Alabama, and government agencies relating to their activities and the state of the country. There are also signed copies of letters, addresses, and commissions sent to the citizens of the United States and Texas, army officers, and government agents, communicating instructions and appeals for aid. Correspondents include Stephen F. Austin, Thomas F. McKinney, and Richard R. Royall.
The records of the Permanent Council were turned over to the Provisional Government, which subsequently turned its records over to the Convention of 1836 pursuant to a resolution of March 10, 1836. By 1854, the "Archives of the Congresses and Legislature" which were required to be arranged, copied, and filed in the General Land Office, included the records of the Provisional Government. An act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State "the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives;" and an act of March 25, 1887 provided that "the entire archives of the late Republic of Texas, . . . together with the records, books, and journals of said Congress" would be "deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State," and "declared to be Archives of said office."
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff by type of record, and therein chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the Permanent Council, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/17 Series 36: Resolutions, October 19 and 27, 1835, undated
[7 items]
Series 37: Communications received, August 19-November 1835
[20 items]
Series 38: Communications sent, October 9-31, 1835
[15 items]
Series 39: Vouchers and receipts issued by and drawn on Permanent Council, Ocrtober 17-31, 1835, undated
[5 items]

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Records of the Consultation, 1835, undated,
0.15 cubic ft.

The Consultation was called for the purpose of determining the stance Texas should take toward the Republic of Mexico. These records consist of minutes, proceedings, resolutions, declarations, reports, correspondence, and delegate rolls of the Consultation, dating between October 11 and November 14, 1835. Also present are the papers of the Committee of Public Safety of Austin, dated September 21 and October 1, 1835. Some of the proceedings are signed by P. B. Dexter, Secretary of the Consultation; R. R. Royall, Chairman; or Samuel Whiting, Secretary Pro Tem. Also prominent in these records are Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and Thomas F. McKinney. Correspondence was received from citizens meetings, the Permanent Council, Committees of Vigilance and Safety, and agents of government pertaining to defense, land claims, and other affairs of state. Letters addressed to the Permanent Council that arrived after it had adjourned were handled by the Consultation and are included in these records.
The Consultation, called for the purpose of determining the stance Texas should take toward the Republic of Mexico, was scheduled to meet at San Felipe on October 16, 1835, but a quorum not being present, was forced to adjourn until November 1. However, a quorum still did not arrive until November 3. When the Consultation organized on that day, Branch T. Archer was elected President. The chief accomplishments of the Consultation were the promulgation of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, in which it established the policy of remaining within the Mexican Republic and attempting to restore the Constitution of 1824, the establishment of the Provisional Government, the appointment of Sam Houston as Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army, the appointment of Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton as agents to the United States for the purpose of obtaining a loan, and the ratifications of many of the acts of the Permanent Council. The Consultation adjourned on November 14, 1835.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff by type of document, and therein chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the Consultation, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/17 Series 40: Proceedings, November 3-14, 1835
[14 items]
Series 41: Proceedings, October 15-November 7, 1835
[10 items]
Series 42: Acts of the Consultation, October 30-November 14, 1835, undated
[40 items]
Series 43: Committee reports, November 6, 13, 1835
[9 items]
Series 44: Letters received, October 11-November 11, 1835
[9 items]
Series 45: Communications sent, November 13-14, 1835
[2 items]
Series 46: Delegate rolls, November 1 and 13, 1835
[2 items]
Series 47: Papers of the Committee of Public Safety, Austin, September 21, October 1, 1835, undated
[3 items]

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Records of the Provisional Government, 1835-1836,
1.79 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm

The Provisional Government was created by the Consultation, which chose its members and appointed Henry Smith Governor and James W. Robinson Lieutenant Governor. It governed Texas from November 15, 1835 until March 1, 1836, operating under the authority of the Organic Law formulated by the Consultation. These records include correspondence, reports, commissions, accounts and receipts, proceedings, ordinances, decrees, resolutions, and legislative addresses of the Governor, all of the Provisional Government, dating 1835-1836.
These records include a letter book containing copies of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, Organic Law, ordinances and resolutions of the General Council, correspondence of the Executive and General Council, and correspondence and reports laid before the council. Dates covered are November 1835-February 1836. Also present are "Papers belonging to the Political Chief of the Department of Brazos, 1835-1836."
Records of the Governor consist of correspondence, reports, commissions, and receipts, dating November 1835-March 1836. The correspondence chiefly relates to finances and supplies for the government. Correspondents include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, and Sam Houston.
Records of the Auditor are accounts and receipts submitted for approval, dating October 1835-March 1836.
Records of the Treasurer include receipts given to and by the treasurer of the Provisional Government, dating December, 1835-January, 1836.
Records of the General Council consist of proceedings, correspondence, committee reports, ordinances, decrees, resolutions, legislative addresses of the Governor, and accounts and receipts, covering the period September 1835-March 1836. These records concern the actions of the General Council, including the establishment of the Texas Navy, the organization and supplying of the Army, the appointment of Sam Houston and John Forbes to treat with the Cherokee Indians, and the preparation of instructions of the agents to the United States, Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton. It also passed the act calling for the Convention of 1836. Correspondents and other figures involved here include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, Sam Houston, and Stephen F. Austin. Proceedings of the Permanent Council are included in this series as is a copy of the proceedings of the Consultation.
The legislative body of the Provisional Government was the General Council, composed of one member from each municipality, and presided over by the Lieutenant Governor as ex-officio president. Its membership was not stable however, as some men served during only a few sessions, while others attended for nearly the full duration. The number of members in attendance steadily declined, until by February 26, only two were present. During the brief existence of the Provisional Government, the Governor and General Council were in constant conflict, arising chiefly from disagreement about their relative powers and about the stance Texas should adopt toward Mexico. The dispute climaxed on January 10, 1836, when Governor Smith attempted to dissolve the Council, which retorted by impeaching Smith and naming Robinson as Governor. By February, the Provisional Government was almost non-existent as an effective government, with two claiming the office of governor and responsibility for directing the affairs of Texas, and with the Council gradually dissolving as members abandoned their posts. In spite of its uncertain authority and internal dissension, the Provisional Government accomplished several things: the founding of the Texas Navy, the appointment of Sam Houston and John Forbes to treat with the Cherokee Indians, the issuing of its instructions to Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer and William H. Wharton, agents to the United States, and the calling of the Convention of 1836.
The Provisional Government turned its records over to the Convention of 1836 pursuant to a resolution of March 10, 1836. By 1854, the "Archives of the Congresses and Legislature" which were required to be arranged, copied, and filed in the General Land Office, included the records of the Provisional Government. An act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State "the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives;" and an act of March 25, 1887 provided that "the entire archives of the late Republic of Texas, . . . together with the records, books, and journals of said Congress" would be "deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State," and "declared to be Archives of said office."
Arrangement
These records are organized by State Archives staff into five subseries:
  • Provisional Government letterbook, 1835-1836, 0.39 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
  • Records of the Governor, 1835-1836, 0.15 cubic ft.
  • Reports of the Auditor, 1835-1836, fractional
  • Records of the Treasurer, 1835-1836, fractional
  • Records of the General Council, 1835-1836, 1.25 cubic ft.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Provisional Government letterbook, 1835-1836,
0.39 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
This record is a letter book containing copies of the Declaration of November 7, 1835, Organic Law, ordinances and resolutions of the General Council, correspondence of the Executive and General Council, and correspondence and reports laid before the council. Dates covered are November 1835-February 1836. Also present are "Papers belonging to the Political Chief of the Department of Brazos, 1835-1836."
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Provisional Government letterbook, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Technical Requirements
The Provisional Government letterbook is restricted due to its fragile physical condition, so researchers must use the microfilmed copy of the volume.
Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.
Reel
3472 Series 48: Provisional Government letterbook, November 1835-February 1836
[1 volume, on microfilm]
Records of the Governor, 1835-1836,
0.15 cubic ft.
Records of the Governor were created to document the work (especially the financial business) of the executive branch of the Provisional Government, which governed Texas during most of the period of the Revolution, November 1835-March 1836. These records consist of correspondence, reports, commissions, and receipts, dating November 1835-March 1836. The correspondence chiefly relates to finances and supplies for the government. Correspondents include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, and Sam Houston, and is with citizens of Mobile, Alabama; Edward Hall, purchasing agent; municipal judges; and others. An ordinance approved November 26, 1835 required the treasurer to file with the provisional governor copies of receipts issued to and by him.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the Governor, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/17 Series 49: Governor's correspondence, November 18, 1835-March 6, 1836
[64 items]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 8. Provisional Government, December 1835
Box
2-9/17 Series 50: Register of commissions issued by Governor, and copies of commission, November 28, 1835-February 23, 1836
[13 items]
Box
2-9/18 Series 51: Reports of Treasurer and Auditor to Governor, December 31, 1835-March 3, 1836
[9 items]
Series 52: Duplicate Treasurer's receipts filed in the Executive Department, December 1, 1835-January 9, 1836
[8 items]
Reports of the Auditor, 1835-1836,
fractional
Records of the auditor were created for the purpose of the auditing and approval of financial accounts of the Provisional Government, which governed Texas during most of the period of the Revolution, November 1835-March 1836. These are accounts and receipts submitted for approval, plus a memorandum of report to the provisional governor, dating October 1835-March 1836.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Reports of the Auditor, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/18 Series 53: Accounts and receipts submitted for approval, October 20, 1835-March 17, 1836
[42 items]
Oversize Folder
Box 25 7. Provisional Government, January 1836
Records of the Treasurer, 1835-1836,
fractional
Records of the Treasurer were created to document the moneys received and spent by the Provisional Government, which governed Texas during most of the period of the Revolution, November 1835-March 1836. These records are receipts given to and by the treasurer of the Provisional Government, plus one voucher, dating December 1835-January 1836.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the Treasurer, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/18 Series 54: Receipts given to and by the Treasurer, December 1, 1835-January 19, 1836
[25 items]
Records of the General Council, 1835-1836,
1.25 cubic ft.
Records of the General Council were created to document the work of the legislative branch of the Provisional Government, which governed Texas during most of the period of the Revolution, November 1835-March 1836. These records consist of proceedings, correspondence, committee reports, ordinances, decrees, resolutions, legislative addresses of the Governor, and accounts and receipts, covering the period September 1835-March 1836. These records concern the actions of the General Council, including the establishment of the Texas Navy, the organization and supplying of the Army, the appointment of Sam Houston and John Forbes to treat with the Cherokee Indians, and the preparation of instructions of the agents to the United States, Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton. It also passed the act calling for the Convention of 1836. Correspondents and other figures involved here include the provisional governors Henry Smith and James W. Robinson, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Lorenzo de Zavala, Jose Antonio Mexia, and James W. Fannin. Proceedings of the Permanent Council are included in this series, as is a copy of the proceedings of the Consultation, prepared for the president of the General Council by William S. Fisher by resolution of Council passed November 3, 1835.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the General Council, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/18 Series 55: Journal, November 14, 1835-March 11, 1836
[3 folders, including 2 volumes and 3 items]
Series 56: Ordinances, decrees, and resolutions, November 16, 1835-January 19, 1836
[1 folder]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 9. Provisional Government, November-December 1835
Box
2-9/19 Series 56: Ordinances, decrees, and resolutions, November 16, 1835-January 19, 1836
[2 folders]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 9. Provisional Government, December 1835
Oversize Folder
Box 22 8. Provisional Government, December 1835
Box
2-9/19 Series 57: Committee reports, November 14, 1835-January 26, 1836
[2 folders]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 10. Provisional Government, January 1836
Box
2-9/19 Series 58: Communications received, November 14, 1835-March 7, 1836
[2 folders]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 8. Provisional Government, December 1835
Box
2-9/20 Series 58: Communications received, November 14, 1835-March 7, 1836
[1 folder]
Series 59: Messages from the Governor, November 14, 1835-March 7, 1836
[46 items]
Oversize Folder
Box 22 10. Provisional Government, January 1836
Box
2-9/20 Series 60: Accounts and receipts submitted to General Council for approval, November 14, 1835-December 29, 1836
[35 items]
Series 61: Private correspondence and correspondence of government offices later transferred to custody of General Council, September 20, 1835-February 8, 1836
[25 items]
Includes letters of (among others) Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Lorenzo de Zavala, Jose Antonio Mexia, and James W. Fannin.
Series 62: Letters and addresses sent, November 19, 1835-February 12, 1836
[29 items]
Series 63: Copy of the proceedings of the Consultation, October 16-November 14, 1836
[39 items]

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Records of the Convention of 1836, 1835-1836, undated,
0.5 cubic ft.

The Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos from March 1 to March 17, 1836, on the call of the General Council. These records include proceedings, a convention roll, rules of the convention, records of votes, committee reports, auditor's reports, correspondence, memorials, and acts of the Convention of 1836, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Dates covered are primarily March 1-17, 1836, with some correspondence dating back to November 1835. Correspondents include S. Rhoads Fisher, George M. Collinsworth, Governor Robinson, the General Council, members of the convention tendering resignations, and individuals offering services to the Republic. Subjects include the organization and supplying of the militia and other military forces, land concerns, and declaration of Texas' independence from Mexico.
The Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos from March 1 to March 17, 1836, on the call of the General Council over the veto of Governor Henry Smith. Composed of 59 delegates, it elected Richard Ellis Chairman and Herbert Simms Kimble Secretary. In the two weeks of its existence, the Convention wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic, organized an Interim Government and elected its officers, and confirmed Sam Houston as Commander of the Republic military forces. Upon its hasty adjournment at the news of the advancing Mexican Army, the powers of government were immediately assumed by the Ad Interim Government, which was to serve until the Constitution could be ratified by the people and a general election held for executive officers.
William A. Faris was secretary pro tem of the Convention on March 1, until the election of William S. Kimble as permanent secretary. On the following day the convention passed a resolution that he "be allowed to take a seat at the Secretary's table, to note and report the proceedings of the Convention...." This was not rescinded, and presumably he continued to perform this duty until the close of the convention. Only those documents marked as his notes are included here.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff by type of document, and therein chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of the Convention of 1836, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/20 Series 64: Proceedings, March 3-17, 1836
Series 65: Willis A. Faris transcripts of proceedings, March 7-11, 1836
[7 items]
Series 66: Convention roll, March 12, 14, 1836
[3 items]
Series 67: Rules of Convention, March 1, 1836
[13 items]
Series 68: Records of votes, March 16, 1836 and undated
[3 items]
Series 69: Acts of Convention, March 3-17, 1836
[1 folder]
Box
2-9/21 Series 69: Acts of Convention, March 3-17, 1836
[1 folder]
Series 70: Appointments and commissions, March 12, 1836
[1 item]
Series 71: Communications sent, March 15, 1836
[1 item]
Series 72: Committee reports, March 2-15, 1836, undated
[7 items]
Series 73: Communications received, November 25, 1835-March 11, 1836
[22 items]
Series 74: Memorials to Convention, March 1836
[1 item]
Series 75: Auditor's reports submitted to Convention, March 2-14, 1836
[3 items]
Series 76: Private manuscripts taken into archives of Convention, March 4, 1836
[1 item]

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Records of Ad Interim Government, 1836,
fractional

The Ad Interim government served from March 16, 1836 to October 16, 1836, between the adjournment of the Convention of 1836 and the ratification of the Constitution and election of Sam Houston as the first President of the Republic of Texas. These records consist of copies of presidential addresses, correspondence, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and a receipt, all of the Ad Interim government that served March 16-October 16, 1836. Also included are some private letters, including ones to James Fannin, R. R. Royall, and Stephen F. Austin, from Santa Anna, Robert Triplett, and Edward Hall, relating to loans, supplies, and other subjects. Dates covered are March-September 1836. Correspondents and others represented here also include David G. Burnet, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Robert Triplett. The majority of the records of the Secretary and the President for this period have been dispersed among several different series of Republic records.
Appointed by the Convention, the Ad Interim government contained no legislative or judicial departments. David G. Burnet was appointed President and Lorenzo de Zavala Vice-President along with Secretary of State Samuel P. Carson, Secretary of the Treasury Bailey Hardeman, Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of the Navy Robert Potter, and Attorney General David Thomas. The activities of the Ad Interim government revolved chiefly around attempts to obtain financial and military assistance from foreign nations, and around organizing the citizens of Texas into a military force. Fleeing with the Texas population before the advancing Mexican Army, the temporary government was located successively at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston Island, Velasco, and Columbia.
Arrangement
These records are arranged by State Archives staff by type of document, and therein chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Records of Ad Interim Government, Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-9/21 Series 77: Records of the Secretary of State, March 29-September 28, 1836
[20 items]
Series 78: Records of the President, March 11-August 19, 1836
[14 items]
Series 79: Private manuscripts, March 27-June 20, 1836
[5 items]

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