Texas Declaration of Independence
The Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico dated March 2, 1836 at the Town of
Washington. Copies of original document with transcriptions.
Declaration of Independence
made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas
in General Convention
at the Town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836
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. When
the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial
existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a
restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated
central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both
the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants. When,
long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that
even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far
from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and
mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet. When, in consequence
of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is
dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation,
the inherent and inalienable rights of
the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political
affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to
their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from
impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.
Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the
public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is therefore submitted to an impartial world, in
justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken, of severing our political connection with the
Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.
The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to
colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitu-
tion, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty
and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of
America. In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in
the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the
constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many
privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the
It has sacrificed our welfare to the State of
Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of
legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this
too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest
terms, for the establishment of a separate state government, and have,
in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican
constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.
It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens,
for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution, and the establishment of a
It has failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of
trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the
It has failed to establish any public system of
education, although possessed of almost boundless resources (the public domain) and, although, it is an axiom, in
political science, that unless a people are educated and en-
lightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or
the capacity for self government.
It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to
exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and
rendering the military superior to the civil power.
It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and
Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriving us of the
fundamental political right of representation.
It has demanded the surrender of a number of our
citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial, in contempt of the
civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and the constitution.
has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize
our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.
It denies us
the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national
religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true
and living God.
It has demanded
us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable
only to tyrannical governments.
It has invaded our country both by sea and by
land, with intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our homes; and has now
a large mercenary army advancing, to carry on against us a war of
It has, through
its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of
our defenseless frontiers.
It hath been,
during the whole time of our connection withit, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military
revolutions, and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrranical
These, and other grievances, were patiently
borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then
took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our
appeal has been made in vain.
Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard
from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced
in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to
be free, and incapable of self government.
of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.
We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers
of the people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our
condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended,
and that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent
republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes
which properly belong to independent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and
confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations.
Richard Ellis, President
of the Convention and Delegate
from Red River
Charles B. Stewart James Collinsworth
John S. D.
Geo. C. Childress
Navarro Rob. Potter
Badgett Thomas Jefferson Rusk
William Menifee John S. Roberts
Mottley Albert H.
Zavala James Power
Stephen H. Everett Sam Houston
George W. Smyth David Thomas
Edwin O. Legrand
Stephen W. Blount
Wm. Clark, Jr.
Sydney O. Pennington
Wm. Carrol Crawford
Sterling C. Robertson Wm. Carrol Crawford
Benj. Briggs Goodrich
G. W. Barnett
James G. Swisher
S. Rhoads Fisher
John W. Moore
John W. Bower
Saml. A. Maverick (from Bejar)
Sam P. Carson
J. B. Woods
H. S. Kimble, Secretary
Facsimile from The Men Who Made Texas Free, Sam Houston Dixon, 1924, Texas
Historical Publishing Company, Houston, pp. 31-42.
Note: The following interesting note appears on the back
of the Texas Declaration of Independence:
"Left at the Department of State May 28, 1836,
by Mr. Wharton. The original."