The convention met on March 1, 1836, in near-freezing weather in an unfinished building belonging to Noah T. Byars and Peter M. Mercer, his business partner. The building was rented for use of the convention by a group of Washington business men who, incidentally, never got around to paying the rent. Forty-four delegates were assembled on the first day of the convention. Fifty-nine delegates finally attended its sessions. Andrew Briscoe did not arrive until March 11. Twelve of the members were natives of Virginia, ten of North Carolina, nine of Tennessee, six of Kentucky, four of Georgia, three of South Carolina, three of Pennsylvania, three of Mexico (including two born in Texas), two of New York, and one each of Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Only ten of the delegates were in Texas as early as January 1830; two of them arrived in 1836. Sam Houston, Robert Potter, Richard Ellis, Samuel P. Carson, Martin Parmer, and Lorenzo de Zavala had all had political experience in Mexico or the United States in state or national government, several in both. James Collinsworth presided as temporary chairman, and Willis A. Faris was secretary pro tem. After the examination of credentials of the members, the permanent officers were elected; Richard Ellis was president and Herbert Simms Kimble was secretary. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on March 2, and members began signing it on March 3. The convention then proceeded to the writing of the constitution and election of ad interim government officials. With the report of the approach of the Mexican army, the convention adjourned in haste in the early morning hours of March 17.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every dollar helps.
Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). Paul D. Lack, The Texas Revolutionary Experience: A Political and Social History (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992).
Republic of Texas
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Ralph W. Steen,
“Convention of 1836,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 01, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.