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Anson Jones commits suicide

January
09
1858

On this day in 1858, Anson Jones, last president of the Republic of Texas, committed suicide at Houston. Jones, a physician born in Massachusetts in 1798, came to Texas in 1833 and served in the Texas Revolution. He was elected to the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas and also served as minister to the United States and in the Republic of Texas Senate before being elected president in 1844. In 1845 he ignored mounting pressures for annexation until he had a treaty of recognition of the republic from Mexico. After Jones presented to the people of Texas the alternative of peace and independence or annexation, the Texas Congress rejected the treaty with Mexico, approved the joint resolution of annexation, and adopted resolutions censuring Jones. In 1846, at the ceremony setting up the government of Texas as a state in the Union, Jones declared, "The Republic of Texas is no more." He hoped to be elected to the United States Senate, but Sam Houston and Thomas J. Rusk were chosen instead. Jones brooded over his neglect while he became a prosperous planter and accumulated a vast estate. After an injury that disabled his left arm in 1849, he became increasingly moody and introspective. In 1857 he believed that the legislature would send him to Washington as senator, but he received no votes.

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