Day 12 of the Convention of 1836
On Day 12 of the Convention of 1836, the convention discussed many things, but apparently not the constitution. According the Colonel Gray, “The Constitution has been gone over by sections, and much altered and amended; but it is still so imperfect that it has been recommitted to another committee to amend the phraseology and arrangement—as the President expresses it, to correct the verbiage.”
So instead of Constitution work, several other items were brought before the delegates to be discussed, some of critical importance, some less so.. One of which was the final debate and enrollment of the militia bill that was first introduced on March 7th. After a few minor changes, it was formally adopted and then published for printing and posting around the municipalities of Texas. It was also to be published in Gail Borden’s Telegraph and Texas Register newspaper in San Felipe de Austin. Also discussed was compensation for the late Captain John W. Peacock who was killed during the Siege of Bexár. His widow and children in Tennessee were to be given a league and labor of land in provision of his honorable service to Texas in her hour of need.
Previously, two convicted murderers: John M. Smith and William M. Smith, had petitioned the Convention for a pardon from their death sentence. After debate, the Convention resolved that the matter rested with the Executive of the Republic and resolved to suspend the sentence until May 1st.
Late in the afternoon, William B. Scates (Jefferson) recommended that “the Rainbow and star of five points above the western horizon; and star of six points sinking below, was added to the flag of Mr. Zavala accepted on Friday last.” This was followed by Charles S. Taylor’s (Nacogdoches) suggestion that “the word ‘Texas’ be placed, one letter between each point of the star on the national flag.”
Thomas Rusk (Nacogdoches) proposed that a committee be formed to find a “suitable room in which to deposit the public archives”. Completing the list of seemingly frivolous motions (in consideration of the circumstances), George Childress (Milam) motioned that “a single star of five points, either gold or silver, be adopted as the peculiar emblem of this republic: & that every officer & solider of the army and members of this convention, and all friends of Texas, be requested to wear it on their hats or bosoms”.
So much for the rule about finishing the Constitution first..
Pictured here is the supposed flag design described above as seen in Robert Maberry’s excellent book “Texas Flags” (Texas A&M University Press & Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 2001.)