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Theme > Grievances > Henry Smith letter to Asa Hoxey

Accession # SRM1973-110

Henry Smith letter to Asa Hoxey


Henry Smith was elected governor of the provisional government of Texas by General Council members at the Consultation of November 7, 1835. Smith, who supported independence, was at odds with many Council members who supported the Mexican constitution of 1824 over independence. Other disagreements resulted in his impeachment as governor. This letter expresses his frustrations and is a tirade against those criticizing his leadership. View complete document




San Felipe 15th January 1836

Dear Doctr,
I have had much difficulty, and many severe trials
since you left here. The mob who a short time since were clamor-
ous to break us up, have become warmly attached to the Council, and
instead of threats I believe they use means still more powerful and
attractive, I mean their money, some of them are needy & I believe
corrupt as Hell. They have been planning nothing but mischief
for the last three weeks. They would not adjourn as they deem'd the
Nation depended on their deliberations & without them all would be at
hazard and on that subject we differ widely in opinion. A veto I
found was entirely useless. I found myself alone to contend with a
powerful combination of intellect, roguery foul-intrigue with prob-
ably money to chink with. There was but one course left for me
by which I could parry, or thwart them, and necessity compelled
me to take the hazard, which I done with my eyes open. And
instead of a veto, I sent them on the 9th Jany. an address. I admit in doing
this, I deviated from all rules of decorum-and sent them a fancy artic[l?]e
to tickle their own ears in private session. I had tried every means to
purge the hive, but all in vain. The worms had so artfully web[b]ed thems-
elves in, that nothing less than fire & brimstone would drive them. I
threw it in abundantly and the never failing remedy had the desired
effect. Such a buzzing and confusion as it created I am sure
you cannot imagine. I notified them that if they did not imme-
diately proceed to correct certain errors & counteract certain evils of which they
had been guilty, that after 12 o clock on the next day, all communi-
cation between the two Departments should be cut off and they
would stand adjourned until the first of March next unless
from the emergencies of the country they should sooner be called by procl-
amation. That they had performed all the duties contemplated by
the organic law, and were now only planning mischief and
creating a heavy tax in the country without producing any bene-
fit. They took it as I expected, in high dudgeon-and determined I am

told to make the matter public by way of creating sympathy in their
favor. It was only intended for their own delicate ears and to tickle
their own private fancies. If they determine to trouble the public
with it, I have no objection, but would prefer they would let it rest for
the present. In doing this I run a great hazard. I stood alone & a
powerful party arrayed against me in numbers, talent, means
& meanness. What I have done was for the best of reasons & from the
purest motives. I did knowingly & wil[l]fully set the match,
I have raised the storm. I have thrown myself into the breach,
and whatever the consequences resulting may be to me, as an
individual, I do assure you in the sincerity of truth that
I make it a willing sacrifice at the shrine of public
good. - They notified me that I was removed from office and that
the Lieut. Govr. was regularly installed & that they had created a new
organization etc. and that I would be arrested in 24 hours. At the
end of which time, they served me with a copy of charges & specifica-
tions, with a notice to appear and plead in 3 days or the trial
would proceed before the council exparte or that I might
plead before the Convention. I acknowledged the receipt of
the charges, and notified them that in as much as their body
had allready passed condemnation, that reason would dictate
the latter alternative. That as an officer I held myself ever
amenable and accountable to my peers, & to none other.
And that I had no doubt before an honest & unbiased tribun-
al, that I would be able, from their own acts and the proof
of their own body to exculpate myself from all the char-
ges prepared against me - They are blowing their horn, and
buzzing about like bees without a King. I have extracted their
stings, and made them all drones. They can plan no more mis-
chief. I have crippled them down & it was what I intended.
They have taken a grampers hold on the dry tits of the Treas-
ury and hunch on like long tailed hungry pigs, hoping
the milk will come after a while. They are hard to choke
off, some of them I have no doubt are doing well and may

never get another opportunity. I cannot say where this
matter will end, or what the result may be. Necessity
compelled me to take a bold positive, & to me as an individual,
hazardous stand, & I have done it, & intend to continue it.
If a few necks were broken everything would settle down.
If I had the power it should be executed, & soon hope to
hear that the work has been commenced-Nothing short
of an unqualified declaration of Independence can save
the country. And in the mean time to keep the scoundrels
in check, until that is done. I have left nothing undone
on my part, to effect that object, & have even incurred the
hazard of personal safety. I have been placed in the Watch
Tower, I feel the responsibility and hope to prove a faithful
centinel. An[d] one thing however, I am determined the country
shall be saved or I perish.
I am in haste, and cannot say more without
[ ] was better. But subscribe myself your
devoted friend-
Henry Smith

Doctr. Asa Hoxy


San Felipe 1212
Jan. 17 1836 Whitesides post office

Doctr. Asa Hoxy
Near Washington

Uncle Jimmy will confer a favour by putting this in the Dr's
hands as early as possible

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