ordered out; much excitement prevailed. No action yet on the loan. The proceedings of the house tonight were disorderly in the extreme, and boyish. Nearly all the members were sometimes on the floor at once, some calling "question," some laughing and clapping, etc. The President, by his manifest partiality, egotism and alarm, has lost the respect of the house. He frequently argues questions from the chair. Proposed to adjourn the Convention to near Nacogdoches!
Thursday, March 17, 1836
Fine, mild weather.
The Convention met after breakfast, earlier than could have been expected, after the late work of last night. The subject of the loan was at length brought up. The Alamo has now fallen, and the state of the country is becoming every day more and more gloomy. In fact, they begin now to feel that they are hourly exposed to attack and capture, and, as on the approach of death, they begin to lay aside their selfish schemes, and to think of futurity. An invaded, unarmed, unprovisioned country, without an army to oppose the invaders, and without money to raise one, now presents itself to their hitherto besotted and blinded minds, and the awful cry has been heard from the midst of their assembly, "What shall we do to be saved?" They now see their folly in regard to the loan, and the necessity of doing something to repair it. They were thrown into much agitation by a report spread by a person, unknown, who passed through the town to the eastward, without stopping, but stated in his transit that the enemy's cavalry were passing the Colorado at Bastrop, about sixty miles from Washington. The contract for the loan, made by the Commissioners in New Orleans, and the letters of the Commissioners in relation thereto, had been communicated to the Convention by Governor Smith, and referred to a committee. The committee had reported favorably, but up to this time neither the contract nor the other documents had been read in Convention, and it was now too late to consider them. Triplett was called upon to explain to the Convention the nature of the loan, and the circumstances under which it was negotiated. He being the largest lender, was supposed to speak by authority, or at least to represent the interests of the others. He, however, disclaimed it, and said he acted for himself alone, but supposed the others would concur in what he might do. He stated that he had learned that a strong opposition to the loan existed in the Convention, and gave an outline of a different arrangement which he would be willing to accede to, and proposed to leave it to the new executive to arrange with the lenders. This was promptly acceded to, and a resolution passed, authorizing the executive to do what they thought best. They now see the need they have, not only for this money, but for more, and they are willing to get it on the best terms they can, but are not disposed to take the responsibility on themselves.