Trees Planted by the Water: Early African American Legislators

 

 

 

 

 

BRYANT, CHARLES W. (ca. 1830-?). 

Handbook of Texas Online: Charles W. Bryant

Texas State Library: Charles W. Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: UTSA’s Institute of Texan Texan Cultures at San Antonio, 076-0067.

Notes:

 

 

 

.Constitutional Convention 1868

 

Advice to and a Response From an African American

Entries from the Journals of the Reconstruction Convention, 1868

  June 5, 1868

The President announced the following standing committees: Apportionment- Varnell, Chairman; Gaston, Bryant, of Harris; Brown, Hamilton, of Travis; Wright, Yarborough.


June 5, 1868

Mr. Bryant, of Harris, moved that Mr. Ruby be added to the
Committee on Education.
There being no objection it was so ordered

.

July 17, 1868
Mr. Bryant, of Harris, offered the following declaration:
Be it ordained by the people of Texas in Convention assemblci,
That the provisions of article 3427 of Pascal's Digest, being
section 10 of an act to amend the third section of an act entitled
An Act to Regulate the Descent and Distribution of Interstates'
Estates," approved March 18, 1848, shall apply as well to colored
people as to whites, and which is as follows:
"Where a man having by a woman a child, or children, shall
afterwards intermarry with such woman, such child, or children,
if recognized by him, shall thereby b? legitimated, and made capable
of inheriting his estate. The is ue also in marriage deemed null in law
shall, nevertheless, be legitimate."
SEc. 2. In case of esleated estates the widow, as well as the
issue of the marriages null in law, shall be entitled to the same
rights as if the same were legitimate, and especially where any such
marriage shall have been interdicted by the statute law of the State
on account of race or color, bat where the same shall, nevertheless,
have existed in fact by a species of cohabitation.
On motion the declaration was referred to the Committee on General
Provisions.

.

July 23, 1868
Mr. Bryant, of Harris, offered the following resolution:
Be it ordained by the people of Texas in Convention assembled,
That all so-called special laws of the so-called Eleventh Legislature
of the State of Texas, granting charters and franchises for any
purpose or purposes other than the incorporation of educational institutions
or benevolent societies of a religious character are, and were, in
fact, conservators of influences lately at war with the United States of
America, and being mainly composed of men lately engaged in such
war, and whose sympathies, socially and politically, are adverse to
the Union loting people of this State and nation, .and in favor of the
' lost cause " of the so-called Confederate States of America, the
same are hereby declared to be null and void from the beginning, and
as such are repealed; and, it is hereby enacted and declared, that no
persons shall exercise, claim, or have any right under, or pretended
right under the same; nor shall any such corporation, so-called, be
regarded as a person, in the law, for any purpose whatever.
On motion, it was referred to Judiciary Committee.

.

August 3, 1868

Hon .E.J. DAVIS,
President of the Convention:
SIR: Your Committee on State Affairs, to whom was referred a
resolution offered by Hon. Mr. Bryant, of Harris, to the effect that
no person charged with a capital offense shall be discharged or admitted
to bail by a justice of the peace after examination, have had
the same under consideration, and instructed me to report the same
back to the Convention, and ask that it be referred to the Committee
on Political or Legislative.
H. C. HUNT,
Chairman.

.

August 10, 1868

AFTERNOON SESSION-4 O'CLOCK.
Roll called; quorum present.
Mr. Bryant, of Harris, called up the substitute offered to the report
of the Committee on Internal Improvements, respecting the
International Pacific Railroad Company.
Mr. Buffington moved a call of the House.
Call sustained.

.

August 11, 1868
Mr. Whitmore, Chairman of the Committee on General Provisions,
made the following report:
COMMITTEE ROOM,
August 9, 1868.
Hon. E. J. DAVIS,
President of the Convention:
SIR: The Committee on General Provisions, to whom was referred
a declaration by Mr. Watrous of Washington, have had the

 

same under advisement, and instruct me to report back the same
with a recommendation that it do not pass, as the substance therein
contained has been fully reported and covered in a previous report
of said committee.
G. W. WHITMORE,
COMMITTEE ROOM,
August 10, 1868.
To the Hon. E. J. DAVIS,
President of the Convention:
SIR: The Committee on General Provisions have had under consideration
the following declarations, and after mature deliberation,
instruct me to report them to the Convention as additional sections
to the Constitution, under the head of General Provisions.
G. W. WHITMORE,
Chairman.
SECTION -. That the Legislature be instructed to pass laws protecting
from forced sales the increase of live stock belonging

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August 15, 1868

Under the rules, the President announced the business before the
house was the report of the Committee on General Provisions,* and
upon the Substitute offered by Mr. Bryant of Harris.
Mr. Bryant asked leave to withdraw the substitute.
Mr. Thomas offered the following as a substitute to section forty four
of the report:
"The laws of this State are the laws passed in pursuance of the
Constitution of this State, as defined in the preceding section.
The so-called ordinance of secession, adopted by a pretended convention
of the people of Texas, on the first day of February, 1861,
is, and was from the beginning, null and void.
All laws or parts of laws, whether fundamental or statutory, which
conflict with the Constitution or laws of the United States; or are
inconsistent with the

.

August 21, 1868

The question recurring upon the adoption of the section, it was
adopted.
Mr. Bryant, of Harris, offered the following as an additional
section:
" Every settler on the public domain of the State shall be entitled,
upon proof of actual settlement for the term of three years, to locate
and appropriate a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land, if
the head of a family, and a tract of eighty acres of land, if not the
head of a family, which shall become the property of the settler' in
fee simple, free of all costs whatever, other than the expense of surveying."
Mr. Goddin moved to lay the section upon the table.
Ipon which the yeas and nays were demanded and resulted
thus:

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August 28, 1868
Resolved. That this Convention ask the Congress of the United
States to remove the disabilities of such men, as will be of use as
officers to carry on the civil government for the time being, and no
more.

 

Mr. Bryant, of Harris, moved to add the following names to the
Harris county list:
Messrs. J. H. Manly, R. O. Love, T. W. House, W. J. Hutchins,
Francis D. Allan. A. S. Richardson, H. E. Perkins, F. W.
Smith, Peter W. Gray, and to strike out the name of A. J. Burke,
Junior.

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December 23, 1868
Mr. Bryant of Harris introduced the following, and asked its reference
to the Committee on Contingent Expenses:
WHEREAS, The Sergeant-at-Arms and the Enrolling Clerk were
the only officers of this Convention who were absent during the recess;
therefore,
Be it resolved, That the Secretary is instructed to issue them certificates for mileage 
from their respective homes to Austin and return.
It was so referred.

.

January 2, 1869
Mr. Bryant of Harris moved that Mr. Newcomb be added to the
Committee on Education.
It was so ordered.

.

January 13, 1869

The President announced the special committee on revision of the
constitution to be:
Messrs. Gray, Whitmore, Carter, 3uffington, Pedigo, Newcomb,
Bryant of Grayson, Bryant of Harris, Kealy, Butler,

.

January 13, 1869

Mr. Bryant of Harris offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That this Convention adjourn to meet again on the
first Monday in June.
Mr. Patten moved to lay the resolution on the table.
Carried.

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January 28, 1869

Mr. Wright introduced the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, Mr. Bryant of Harris, a member of this Convention, is
charged with an offense of a very serious character; and
Whereas, he has been taken out of jail on a writ of habeas corpus,
issued by the district judge, and been on trial for three several days,
and only one witness been examined; and
Whereas, there are many witnesses yet to examine, and many lawyers
to argue the case, so that if we judge the future by the past,
we may reasonably suppose it will yet be many days before the investigation
closes; therefore be it
Resolved, that it is due to the honor of this Convention that said
Bryant be suspended from this body until his guilt or innocence is
fairly made to appear; and that if found guilty, that he be expelled
from this Convention.
Be it further resolved, that the slow progress made in this trial
has been a matter of astonishment to all the members of this Convention.
Mr. Patten moved to reject the resolutions.
Upon which the yeas and nays were demanded, and resulted
thus:
Yeas-Messrs. President, Bell, Bellinger, Board, Brown, Buffington,
Butler, Carter, Curtis, Degener, Downing, Fayle, Flanagan,
Hamilton of Bastrop, Hunt, Johnson, Jordan, Kendal, Kuechler,
Long, McWashington, Mullins, Newcomb, Patten; Ruby, Slaughter,
* Smith, Whitmore-28.
Nays-Messrs. Adams, Armstrong of Jasper, Armstrong, of
Lamar, Bryant of Grayson, Burnett, Cole, Fleming, Gaston, Glenn,
Hamilton of Travis, Harris, Harnm, Kealy, Keigwin, Mackey, Mc-
Cormick, Morse, Phillips of San Augustine, Phillips of Wharton,
Posey, Rogers, Scott, Sorrell, Thomas, Vaughan, Wilson of Brazoria,
Wright-27.
So the resolutions were rejected.
399

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February 2, 1869 
Mr. Bryant, of Grayson, rose to a question of personal privilege,
and moved the expulsion of Mr. Bryant, of Harris.
The Chair decided the motion out of order.
Mr. Bryant appealed from the decision of the chair.
The motion, by leave, was withdrawn.
The question then recurred upon the adoption of the resolution
reported from the special committee.
Upon which the yeas and nays were demanded, and resulted
thus :
459

 

So the resolution was adopted.
Mr. Thomas rose to a point of order that Mr. Bryant, of Harris,
was not expelled, as a two-thirds vote was necessary to expel a member
of the Convention.
The President decided the point of order in the negative.
 

 

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