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The First President Of The Texan Republic

The First President Of The Texan Republic image
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A bout two yeais af ter the revolution (icni '-ul Houston liad his tiisi dif&oulty wilh tlie people. Uuder the Constitution Uie capital had been tixed at Austin, but powm wusgiven to the President to order the teniporary removal of tlie archives in case of danger. The Comanches were ravages within sight of Austin, and General Houston ordeied the State records to be fonvarded to him at Washington (Texas). This caused much exeitement in Austin, and four hundred tnen placed theruselves about Uie State house to prevent the removal. Oolonel Morton, a leading spirit of the revolution, was at their head, and wrote to General Houston, who well knew his eharacter as a fignting inan, that, if the archives were removed, he (Morton) would hunt hlm down llke a wolf. General Houston replied in a note of charaetei istic brevity ; "If the people of Austin do not sendthem, I shall couieandget theni, and if Colonel Morton can kill uie, he is welcome to uiy ear-eap.'' The guard was at once doubled, palroluien were placed on the roads, and aselect coimuittee went into permanent sessiou in the city hall. During a sitting of that body one who was unannoiinced suddeuly stood in their inklst, having gained entrance hy means of :i tall live-oak which grew against the window ; his garb and aruis were those of a hunter, and, being spoken to by Colonel Morton, he placed his fingcr on ds lips and remained Bilent. Colonel fcforton tlew into a rage and seizedjlum, vhen the stranger drew his bowie-knife t the same instant that Morton's fiïends ïeld him back. Another member of the wdy spoke to the stranger, saying that he meeting was a private one, and that ie presumed the gentleman had mistaken he house. At this he walked to a table and wrotí one line, "I ani deaf." Judge Wehb then wrote, "Teil us your business," when a letter was hamled him, iddressed to the citizens of Austin, which the judge rrsd aloud as follows: "Fellow-citi.ens, Though in error, and de¦. i. vd bvthe arts of traitors, I will givt; you three days more to decide whetheror not you will forward to me the aichivcs. At the end of that time you will please let me know your decisión. Saín Houston.'' The deaf mau waitud a few tnoments fora reply, and was about to leave, wheu Culonel Morton handed him a note saying, "You were brave enough to insult me; are you brave enough to give me satisfaction ?" The mute wrote, "I am at your service," and after flxing terms he left by the window. Morton was told he would be killed, as he was to right Deaf Sinith, who never missed 'his man ; but he could not be shaken n his resolve. The weapons used were rifles, the distance was a hundred paces, and the time sunset. A vast crowd saw the duel. Morton was dressed in broadcloth, his antagonist in stnoke-tinted bnckskin. Both were cool and stern. At. the given signal both fired at the same instant ; Morton sprang into the air and feil dead, a ball in his heart. Deaf Smith quietly reloaded his rifle and walked Into the forest. Three days afterward he carne with General Houston and ten others to Austin, and the archives were removed without further oppositlon. n hile President ot the Kepuolic, Mouston received a challenge to flght a duel seut by a niau whom he regarded as greatly lúa inferior socially. Turning to the uearer of the challenge, he exclaimed inavoiccfull of iudignant scorn, "Sir, teil your principal that Sam Ilouston necer jvjhts down hill." It was his habit to deliver his mcssages, to the Texan OongressJ orally. A few before one of his inauguráis, a mernber of Congress said to the President that the body would be better pleased if he would prepare written messages ; that it would be treallng tt.em more respectfully to write theui out, uud, besides, they could then be meserved for future reference. Aocoidingly, on tlie dny tixed for the iuauguration, he appearcd with a large roll of paper in his hand tied with a blue ribbon, and maiked iu large letters "Inaugural." He addressed them with the roll in hia hand, waviug it gracefully that all miglit see ir, and, conclud'mg with a polite bow, lianded it to the cleik and Vdlked out of llitchaniber ; when opened


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News