Monday, January 9, 2012

Texas Jonesing

One Hundred and Fifty Four years ago today, on January 9th 1854, Anson Jones went up to his room at the Capitol Hotel in Houston after dinner and shot himself.  Jones had been the last president of the Republic of Texas.  About twelve years earlier, on February 19th 1846, Jones lowered the Republic of Texas flag in Austin, declared "The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more.", and gave the flag to a teary-eyed Sam Houston.

Anson was not a native Texan; he was a New Englander.  He was born in Massachusetts and licensed as a medical doctor in Oneida New York.

The dissolution of the Republic of Texas came as a result of tremendous support from the people of Texas who had repeatedly burned Jones in effigy for not proceeding with annexation fast enough.  It should have come as no surprise to Jones that his repeated applications to become a Texas senator were rebuffed.  Jones was convinced that his last bid in 1857 would finally send him to Washington, but it received zero votes from the Texas legislature. 

Less than four years before his death, in 1854, most of the branches of the free-love Oneida cult in his hometown of Oneida had shuttered their doors. 

Perhaps it was the combination of his rejection by Texas and the lack of free love in his hometown that proved too much for the 59-year-old Jones.

No comments: