and the Southern Commercial convention at Vicksburg
passed resolutions in favor of it. At Galveston
, in December, 1858, there were eighty camels said to have been shipped there to disguise the introduction of 200 African
negroes, who had been landed somewhere on the Gulf coast
About that time articles appeared in a few newspapers favoring the slave trade, among the rest the State Gazette at Austin
, then regarded as the organ of the Democratic State convention in Texas
These articles were generally quotations and not editorials; still they gave the paper the reputation of favoring the slave trade.
In the spring
of 1859, a few very prominent men in Texas
made speeches in favor of the trade, and they were generally understood to be strongly Southern and particular adherents of the governor and his policy; but the movement was strongly opposed by other gentlemen, both in speeches and in writing.
It was in this way that the imputation was fastened on the State
administration that the slave trade was favored by the governor.
In the summer of 1859, Gov. H. R. Runnels
and Lieut.-Gov. F. R. Lubbock
were renominated, when the agitation of these political subjects increased in vigor to the end of the canvass.
became again an independent candidate, under the platform announced by himself, ‘The Constitution and the Union
With little effort on his part he was elected.
The issues then raised were both unnecessary and futile at the time.
One of them, on secession, was premature; and the other, on the slave trade, was so unpopular that if it had been submitted as a practical question, nineteen-twentieths of the people of Texas
would have voted against it. Although the regular Democrats for the most part disregarded these extraneous issues, still they had influence in the election.
The vote was for General Houston
, 36,257, and for Governor Runnels
Notwithstanding this result, there were elected a large majority of regular Democrats