On This Day in Alamo History: February 1, 1836

Samuel Maverick and Jesse Badgett were elected to represent the men of the Alamo garrison at the Convention of 1836.

Although the end result of the Texas Revolution was an independent Republic of Texas, as late as February 1836 whether or not to seek independence was still a topic of hot debate among those living in Texas.

During the Consultation of 1835, held in November of that year, delegates had adopted a somewhat ambiguous declaration of causes that stopped short of declaring independence outright. In this declaration adopted on November 7, 1835, delegates stated that the goal of the rebellion was to uphold the Mexican Constitution of 1824 in the face of centralist despotism. They went on to resolve that Texas was not bound by the authority of the centralist government and that Texas would establish an independent government and military until such time that the federal constitution was restored.

Following the success of the Texas army at the Battle of Bexar, the Council of the Provisional Government of Texas issued a call for the election of delegates for a convention that was to convene on March 1, 1836 in Washington-on-the-Brazos. The election was to take place on February 1, 1836.

Convention delegates were to be elected according to population of the various cities in Texas. San Antonio was appointed four delegates. Lt. Col. James C. Neill, who had been placed in command of the troops in San Antonio by General Sam Houston on December 21, 1835, wrote to Governor Henry Smith to request that the volunteer army in San Antonio be allowed to elect two of their own delegates to represent them in Washington. His reasoning was that as volunteers bound to San Antonio, the men under his command were not free to return to their homes to vote in the elections or seek nomination as a delegate if they wanted, and that the only way for them to have a voice at the convention was if they were able to elect their own delegates.

Samuel Maverick

On February 1 an election was held at the Alamo and 104 soldiers stationed there voted almost unanimously for Samuel Maverick and Jesse Badgett as their voice at the convention. By the time the convention convened on March 1 the Alamo was already under siege by the Mexican army. Badgett was present on the first day of proceedings but Maverick, who did not leave San Antonio until March 2 — the same day that the convention adopted a declaration of independence, — did not join the convention until March 5.