delegates, although held under utmost disadvantages, the aggregate of votes for secession candidates, according to best information, was over 32,000. The proceeding was extraordinary and returns were irregular and incomplete of necessity from such an election, but reliable information showed for secession over 32,000-more than half of the largest poll ever given at an election in this State. In opposition there were comparatively few votes. And many other circumstances concurred in establishing the certainty that the secession sentiment was far in the ascendency. Thus elected and for such purposes the delegates assembled in convention at Austin the 28th of January. Although at the time of the election South Carolina was the only State that had completed secession, and many persons were deterred from voting by apprehension that the might not be sufficiency imitated, yet the secession voters expected co-operation. Before the meeting of the convention Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had seceded, and Texas was the only exception among all the Gulf States. Encouraged by such examples, Texas felt sustained in her convictions of the propriety of secession before the commencement of the abolition administration of the General Government. Admonished by the same circumstances of her peculiar dangers to arise out of even delay in co-operation with those States, Texas had just fears as well as natural sympathies to prompt the earliest practicable association with the seceded States. They had appointed delegates to meet at Montgomery, Ala., on the 4th of February to form a provisional government as a first necessity, and afterward to prepare and submit a constitution for the government of a permanent confederacy.
It would be out of place and time in this address to recite the causes justifying secession. They have been heretofore published by the convention; but they must ever be most prominent in considering the current of causes and effects. Under such circumstances the convention was not recreant to its mission. On the 1st day of February, the fourth after its meeting, the convention by a vote of 166 affirmatives to 8 negatives adopted an ordinance for withdrawing this State from the Union, to take effect on the 2d day of March, unless rejected by the people at an election to be held on the 23d of February. The Legislature and the Executive had previously recognized the convention as a representation of the people and were in a formal attendance, on invitation, at the adoption of the ordinance. Such recognition was gratifying to the public in general and relieved some persons from doubts of the legality of the convention, but it always claimed by express avowals to have its authority and instructions directly from the people. The ordinance of separation might have been made immediately final if necessity had required it, but there was time before the 4th of March to obtain a more formal and unquestionable expression of public sentiment, and the anniversary of Texan independence, the 2d of March, was selected as the day of final separation, subject to express rejection at a general election, for which provision was made. While that election was to be decisive on the question of separation, it was in its nature to be conclusive on the question of confederation,xpected event should occur to require another direct and formal expression of the public will. If the convention could have trifled with itself, it had too much respect for the intelligence of its constituents to suppose that they intended to have such an agency constituted simply to prepare and propose a secession ordinance for their ratification or rejection and then to retire, although