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Texas senator delivers speech against martial law

June
20
1870

On this day in 1870, Texas senator Marmion Bowers delivered a speech opposing Governor Edmund Davis's newly legislated right to declare martial law. Bowers was born in Indiana in 1829 and moved to Texas in 1853. By November 1856, he was practicing law in Austin, where he was at one time in partnership with Alexander Stuart Walker. He served in the Confederate army during the Civil War until he was elected to the Tenth Texas Legislature (1863-64). In 1869 he was elected to the Texas Senate, where he served until his death. There he opposed Republican attempts to restore order to the state through the use of force. Governor Davis's declarations of martial law and his use of the militia and state police in Madison, Hill, Walker, Limestone, and Freestone counties were some of the most controversial Reconstruction-era measures. Bowers died in Austin in 1872.

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