19th Century Legislations, Petition, Court Decisions, Constitutional Provisions, etc.



 they who had purchased them might incur no loss by their death."

  Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution: This clause in the Constitution greatly strengthened the political power of slaveholders by allowing slaves to be counted for representation in the House of Representatives. Slaves were counted as three-fifths of a free person for representation in the House and the Electoral College For the next 50 years, this clause enabled the slaveholding South to dominate the U. S. government even while its population failed to keep pace with the North's population.
1824 CONSTITUTION OF 1824 . Constitutional government in Texas began with the Mexican federal Constitution of 1824, which, to some degree, was patterned after the United States Constitution but resembled more the Spanish Constitution of 1812
March 24, 1825 the Federalist constituent legislature, meeting in Saltillo, passed the State Colonization Law of March 24, 1825. The legislative provision addressing slaveryqv was too ambiguous, and so the secretary of state at Saltillo declared that "What is not prohibited is to be understood as permitted
March 11, 1827 CONSTITUTION OF COAHUILA AND TEXAS More than two years was spent on the framing of a constitution, which was finally published on March 11, 1827 slavery was forbidden after promulgation of the constitution, and there could be no import of slaves after six months.
September 15, 1829 The Guerrero Decree, which abolished slaveryqv throughout the Republic of Mexico except in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, was issued by President Vicente R. Guerreroqv on September 15, 1829. The decree reached Texas on October 16, but Ramón Músquiz,qv the political chief, withheld its publication because it was in violation of the colonization laws, which guaranteed the settlers security for their persons and property. On December 2 Agustín Viesca,qv secretary of relations, wrote the governor of Texas that no change would be made respecting the slaves in Texas. The decree was never put into operation,
April 6, 1830 The Law of April 6, 1830,was designed to stop the flood of immigration from the United States to Texas. Slaves, the law stipulated, were not to be imported from the United States, though blacks already in Texas would remain bondsmen.
1833 CONVENTION OF 1833 The Convention of 1833 met at San Felipe on April 1 as a successor to the Convention of 1832,qv to which San Fernando de Béxar (San Antonio) had refused to send delegates
March 1, 1836 CONVENTION OF 1836 The Convention of 1836 wrote the Texas Declaration of Independenceqv and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas,qv organized the ad interim government,qv and named Sam Houstonqv commander in chief of the military forces of the republic
Mar. 2, 1836 Texas Declaration of Independence The Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted on Mar. 2, 1836
Sept 1836 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS A constitution was adopted by the convention fifteen days later and ratified by a vote of the people of the republic on the first Monday in September 1836.slavery; citizenship, with "Africans, the descendents of Africans, and Indians excepted
March 13 1837 Greenberry and Caroline Logan, Brazoria, to Texas Legislature, 1837
June 5, 1837 act which permitted the residence of free blacks living in Texas before the Texas Declaration of Independence
May 5 1838 William Goyens, Nacogdoches County, to Texas Legislature
Feb. 5, 1840 act passed which prohibited the immigration of free blacks and ordered all free black residents to vacate the Republic of Texas within two years or be sold into slavery. The act was designed to make color the standard mark of servitude in Texas by eliminating the free black population. 
Oct 19 1840 Citizens of Brazoria County to Texas Legislature, 1840

Oct 30 1840

 Fanny McFarland, Houston, to Texas Legislature, 1840
Dec. 12, 1840 The Ashworth Act. The Ashworth Act, passed by the Texas Congress on Dec. 12, 1840, came in response to an act passed on Feb. 5, 1840, which prohibited the immigration of free blacks and ordered all free black residents to vacate the Republic of Texas within two years or be sold into slavery. The earlier act was designed to make color the standard mark of servitude in Texas by eliminating the free black population. It repealed all laws contrary to its provisions and nullified the act of June 5, 1837, which permitted the residence of free blacks living in Texas before the Texas Declaration of Independence
Oct 25 1841 Peggy Rankin, Montgomery County, to Texas Legislature, 1841
Feb. 28, 1845 Missouri Compromise The annexation resolutions passed by Congress on Feb. 28, 1845, included a restriction that if Texas were to be divided into more than one state, any state established north of the Missouri Compromise line (which was thus extended westward across Texas) would be a free state.
October 1845  CONSTITUTION OF 1845  The Texas statehood constitution, adopted in 1845, laid out the basic legislative framework that has, with modifications, been retained to the present
Dec. 29, 1845 Annexation  Texas statehood constitution accepted by the United States Congress on Dec. 29, 1845, the date of Texas's legal entry into the Union.
Sept. 18, 1850 Fugitive Slave Act; Sept. 18, 1850 The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the group of laws referred to as the "Compromise of 1850."  The Fugitive Slave Act mandated the return of runaway slaves, regardless of where in the Union they might be situated at the time of  their discovery or capture. 
Nov. 25, 1850 Compromise of 1850 In 1850, as a part of the Compromise of 1850 the northern boundary of the Texas Panhandle was fixed at the Missouri Compromise line, thus avoiding conflict in interpretations and making Texas clearly a "slave state.
Dec. 8 1853 Joseph F. McDonald et al., Harrison County, to Texas Legislature, 1853
Mar. 6, 1857 The Dred Scott Decision. In 1857 the Supreme Court made a decision in the case of a slave named Dred Scott, whose master had taken him on a six-year trip into the free state of Illinois and the free US Territories north of the Missouri Compromise Line. Back in Missouri, Scott sued for his freedom, arguing that residence in free territory had made him a free man. The Court rejected his claim.
1859 Citizens of McClennan County to Texas Legislature, ca. 1859 
Nov. 30th 1859 Grand Jury of Hays County to Texas Legislature, 1859
 Dec.14 1859 W. E. Price, Walker County, to Texas Legislature, 1859

Jan. 17th 1861

W. T. Smith et al., Marshall, to Texas Assembly, 1861 

"On asking the seller of the instruments on what occasion it was used there, he replied that the slaves were frequently so sulky as to shut their mouths against all sustenance, and this with a determination to die; and that it was necessary their mouths should be forced open to throw in nutriment, that

Feb. 2, 1861 Texas Ordinance of Secession  The Texas Ordinance of Secession was the document that officially separated Texas from the United States in 1861. It was adopted by the Texas Secession Convention on Feb. 1 of that year, by a vote of 166 to 8.
Feb. 8, 1861 Constitution of the Confederate States  the Constitution for a provisional Confederate government is adopted; Jefferson Davis of Mississippi is elected provisional president (inaugurated on Feb. 18).
1861 Constitution of the State of Texas, 1861. This was a slight reworking of the Constitution of 1845 to use language referring to the Confederate States of America and to secure more firmly the institution of slavery in the state. Link to document
Aug. 6, 1861 First Confiscation Acts The U.S. Congress passes a Confiscation Act, providing for the seizure of property, including slaves, used for insurrectionary purposes.
July 17, 1862 Second Confiscation Act The U.S. Congress passes a second Confiscation Act, freeing the slaves of those who support rebellion.
Jan. 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.
Dec. 8, 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Dec. 8, 1863 On Dec. 8, 1863 he issued this proclamation which provided a means of repatriating "those who resume their allegiance" even though the war was still in progress. To those who took an oath of loyalty, he was prepared to issue a full pardon, with some notable exceptions.
Mar. 3, 1865 Freedmen's Bureau Congress establishes the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands ("the Freedmen's Bureau").
Mar. 13, 1865 Confederate Law authorizing the enlistment of black soldiers, Mar. 13, 1865 In an act of desperation, the Confederate Congress authorizes the use of slaves as combat soldiers.
Aug. 20, 1866 Proclamation declaring the Insurrection at an end President Johnson's proclamation of May 10, 1865, marked the actual close of hostilities; that of Apr. 2, 1866, declared the insurrection at an end in all the States save Texas; and this of Aug. 20, 1866, gave notice of the resumption of civil government in the States which had seceded.
May 29, 1865 Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon for the Confederate States President Andrew Johnson issues his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
Dec. 18, 1865 13th. Amendment  With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in Dec. 1865, slavery was officially abolished in all areas of the United States.
Apr. 9, 1866 Civil Rights Act (1866) was passed by Congress on 9th Apr. 1866 over the veto of President Andrew Johnson. The act declared that all persons born in the United States were now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition. 
June 1866 CONSTITUTION OF 1866 proposed a series of amendments to the fundamental law, which came to be known as the Constitution of 1866   An election in June ratified the proposed amendments
July 16, 1866 Second Freedmen's Bureau Act The Second Freedmen’s Bureau Act provided many additional rights to ex-slaves, including the distribution of land, schools for their children, and military courts to ensure these rights
1866 Black Codes The Texas Eleventh Legislature produced the Black Codes in 1866 to define the legal place of blacks in society after the Civil War.
Mar. 2, 1867 First Reconstruction Acts An Act supplementary to an act entitled "An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel states," passed on the second day of Mar., 1867, and the act supplementary thereto, passed on the 23d day of Mar., 1867. 
Mar 11 1867 Congressional (military) Reconstruction begins
Mar. 23, 1867 Second Reconstruction Act An Act supplementary to an act entitled "An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel states," passed on the second day of Mar., 1867, and the act supplementary thereto, passed on the 23d day of Mar., 1867. 
July 19, 1867 Third Reconstruction Act becomes law.
Mar. 11, 1868 Fourth Reconstruction Act becomes law.
June 20,1868 Report of the Joint Committee on Reconsruction, June 20,1868
July 28, 1868 14th Amendment This amendment made the African American a citizen and essentially establishing civil rights for blacks. 
Apr. 15, 1869 Texas v. White  the U.S. Supreme Court declares Radical Reconstruction constitutional, stating that secession from the Union is illegal.
Nov 30 1869 CONSTITUTION OF 1869 Texas voters approve new constitution
Mar. 30, 1870 Fifteenth Amendment This amendment guarantees the right of citizens of the United States to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of slavery. But it was not really until the Voting Rights Act in 1965, almost a century later, that this guarantee was actually achieved in all states.
Mar. 30 1870 Act to readmit Texas  Texas was readmitted into the Union, but reconstruction of the great state would last another four years.
May 31, 1870 Force Acts of 1870 Designed to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, provided heavy penalties of fine and imprisonment for anyone preventing qualified citizens (in this case African Americans) from voting.
Feb. 28, 1871 Force Acts of 1871 Designed to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, but even more drastic than Force Acts of 1870.
Apr. 20, 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 Declared the acts of armed combinations tantamount to rebellion and empowered the President to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus in lawless areas. The act was partially responsible for the subsequent decline of the Klan.
Jan 17 1874 Reconstruction ends in Texas
Mar. 1, 1875 Civil Rights Bill of 1875: As one of its last acts, the Republican-led Congress passes the Civil Rights Bill of 1875, prohibiting segregation in public facilities. The law will stand only until 1883, when the U.S. Supreme Court will strike it down.
February 15, 1876 CONSTITUTION OF 1876 It was framed by the Constitutional Convention of 1875 and adopted on February 15, 1876The Constitution of 1876, drafted by the Constitutional Convention of 1875, is still in effect
1877 Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877  The withdrawal of federal troops from the South, which effectively ended the period known as Reconstruction.
Apr. 10, 1877 End of Reconstruction The last Federal troops are withdrawn (from South Carolina, where it all started), ending Reconstruction; between 1869 and 1877, conservatives in each former Confederate state regained political control, ousting Republicans and blacks from power
  until 1883, when the U.S. Supreme Court will strike it down.
May 18, 1886 Plessy v. Ferguson  In this case the U.S. Supreme Court established the "separate but equal" policy which legalized the de jure segregation policies in the South which eventually were called Jim Crow laws
Apr. 25, 1898 Williams v. Mississippi Court upholds literacy tests, poll taxes and grandfather clauses because they did not on their face indicate racial discrimination
Dec. 18, 1899 Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education It is a landmark case, for it allowed the segregation of races in American schools. .Decided Dec. 18, 1899 by the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1954, The supreme court over turned their decision in Brown v. Board of Education.