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Ad Interim Government


The ad interim government of Texas operated from March 16 to October 22, 1836. The Convention of 1836 declared independence and framed the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, but the advance of the Mexican army made immediate ratification and establishment of constitutional government impossible. The last act of the convention was the selection of an ad interim government with David G. Burnet, president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; Samuel P. Carson, secretary of state; Bailey Hardeman, secretary of treasury; Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war; Robert Potter, secretary of the navy; and David Thomas, attorney general. This temporary government, without any legislative or judicial departments, fled with the people in the Runaway Scrape and was located successively at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston Island, Velasco, and Columbia; nevertheless, it continued to function until regular elections could be held and the constitution ratified. One of its major concerns was controlling the revolutionary army and dealing with low supplies and morale. It was also in place when the two treaties of Velasco were signed. The ad interim government ended with the inauguration of Sam Houston as president on October 22, 1836.

Rupert N. Richardson, Texas: The Lone Star State (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1943; 4th ed., with Ernest Wallace and Adrian N. Anderson, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1981).

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Ad Interim Government,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.