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Lavaca-Navidad Meeting

Stephen L. Hardin General Entry

The Lavaca-Navidad Meeting, also known as the Millican Gin Meeting, was an assembly of Jackson Municipality colonists who gathered to discuss the growing list of grievances against the Mexican government of Antonio López de Santa Anna. It occurred on July 17, 1835, at William Millican's gin house, located in the Job Williams league some four miles northeast of Edna. The resolutions discussed, written, and ratified at the conclave in many ways anticipated the Texas Declaration of Independence the following March. James Kerr was elected to preside over the gathering, and Samuel C. A. Rogers was appointed secretary. Prominent among the participants were John McHenry, John Sutherland Menefee, Thomas Menefee, George Menefee, John Alley, Samuel Addison White, Francis Menefee White, William D. Sutherland, and George Sutherland.

The participants drew up a formal statement that Santa Anna was a threat to state sovereignty and the state constitution; that they would oppose any military force that entered Texas for any other than constitutional purposes; that, as there were 200 Mexican infantrymen on the march from Goliad to reinforce the Centralist garrison at San Antonio de Béxar, the political chief should intercept them and take steps to capture and hold San Antonio as a guarantee against invasion; that they supported a general consultation of delegates from all the municipalities of Texas; and that the militia of Jackson Municipality stood ready to march at a moment's warning. According to Francis M. White, the articles of the Lavaca-Navidad document were to be kept secret until they could be ratified by the other municipalities. A Major McNutt was to take the declaration to San Felipe settlers, after which it was to be passed along to others American settlements until all had signed. En route to San Felipe, however, McNutt was intercepted by Mexican soldiers, and he destroyed the document to prevent its falling into enemy hands. Before he was released and the original document could be duplicated and distributed, the Texas Declaration of Independence, of March 2, 1836, had rendered the declarations of the Lavaca-Navidad meeting redundant. In 1936 the state of Texas erected a marker on the site of Millican's gin.

Harold Schoen, comp., Monuments Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Centenary of Texas Independence (Austin: Commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebrations, 1938). Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938).

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

Stephen L. Hardin, “Lavaca-Navidad Meeting,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995
November 6, 2019