On March 1, 1836, delegates from the seventeen Mexican municipalities of Texas and the settlement of Pecan Point met at Washington-on-the-Brazos at the Convention of 1836 to consider independence from Mexico. George C. Childress presented a resolution calling for independence, and the chairman of the convention appointed Childress to head a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence.
At the same time, at a small mission in Bexar, Commander William Barret Travis and his men were out-numbered by more than a thousand and under constant bombardment from Santa Anna’s army. “Victory or Death.” With Santa Anna’s attention on the battle raging at the Alamo, time was of the most urgent importance.
The committee, consisting of George C. Childress, Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney, prepared the declaration in record time.
The charge was simple: “When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.”
In the early morning hours of March 2, 1836, fifty-eight patriots signed the single most important document in Texas history and Texas became an independent Republic.
Today, 176 years later, history provides us with an important reminder of who we are as Texans. We will always fight to “protect the lives, liberty and property of the people.” As your representative in Congress, I am proud of our unique Texas heritage and I will never waiver in my belief that Texans should always run Texas.
Happy Texas Independence Day!