A Guide to the General Council Records, 1835, undated
The General Council was the legislative body of the Texas Provisional Government, established by the Consultation and operating from November 15, 1835, until March 1, 1836, during the Texas Revolution. The Provisional Government named Henry Smith as governor and James W. Robinson as lieutenant governor. Smith and Robinson were of the independence or war party, while most of the General Council belonged to the peace party. The Council met first in San Felipe de Austin and then at Washington-on-the-Brazos and were led by the president of the Council, James W. Robinson.
The different political parties of the General Council and of Gov. Smith and Lt. Gov. Robinson led to opposition and fighting within the government. When Gov. Smith ordered the Council to disband, the General Council responded by impeaching Smith and recognizing Robinson as acting governor. However, Smith continued to claim the governorship, and eventually the council members stopped attending meetings. A convention had already been called by the Council for March 1836, and the meeting took place at Washington-on-the-Brazos, essentially ending the General Council and provisional government.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "General Council,"http://www.tshaonline.org /handbook/online/articles/GG/mbg1.html (accessed October 6, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Provisional government,"http://www.tshaonline.org /handbook/online/articles/PP/mzp1.html (accessed October 6, 2010).
The General Council Records, 1835, undated, contain meeting minutes from November 24, 1835, and undated meeting minutes with a copy of a letter from Governor Henry Smith. Each document discusses bills proposed by certain committees to be approved by the General Council, particularly the organization of a militia and navy, the establishment of the governor as commander-in-chief, and the appointment of a treasurer to the Provisional Government. In addition, they mention numerous other bills presented by the Committee on State Affairs and the Judiciary, Committee on Military Affairs, Committee on Land and Indian Affairs, and Special Committee. One of the undated meeting minutes includes a copy of a letter from Gov. Smith concerning his opinions and vetoes on certain bills, such as the establishment of the Navy and granting a letter of marque and reprisal.
This collection is open for research use.
General Council Records, 1835, undated, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers