Declaration of Causes

A declaration of the causes which impel the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union.

From the Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas 1861

When Texas was formally admitted into the Confederated Union, she was received with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining, and protecting the institution known as negro slavery—the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits—a relation which her people intended should exist in all future time.

But the controlling majority of the Federal Government has excluded the citizens of the Southern States from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the stated purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to destroy the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding States.

By the disloyalty of the Northern States, outlaws have been permitted to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to take their possessions as exclusively the property of the Northern States.

The Federal Government has for years failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous attacks of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico.

These and other wrongs we have patiently carried in the hope that a sense of justice and humanity would bring a different course of administration.

In all the non-slave-holding States, the people have formed themselves into a great party, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their humanitarian and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the degrading doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color—a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy.

For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord, and has spread hatred between the States.

They have proclaimed the revolutionary doctrine that there is a "higher law" than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.

They have encouraged lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens.

They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves.

They have made the slave-holding States poorer by unequal legislation, thereby enriching themselves.

The governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no part in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race.

Source: Declaration of Causes
© 2020 Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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