The Republic of Texas is a small group of individuals posing as an independence movement that claims that the annexation of Texas by the United States was illegal and that Texas remains an independent nation under occupation. The issue of the Legal status of Texas led the group to claim to reinstate a provisional government on 13 December 1995. Activists within the movement claim over 40,000 active supporters; however, there is no widespread popular support for an independent Texas.
The movement for independence was started by the research of Richard Lance (Rick) McLaren. McLaren found that, in 1861, Texans voted four-to-one to leave the Union. According to McLaren's work, Texas met the qualifications, under international law, of a captive nation of war, since the end of the American Civil War in 1865. McLaren engaged in a protracted series of court and actual battles.
The movement split into three factions in 1996, one led by McLaren, one by David Johnson and Jesse Enloe, and the third by Archie Lowe and Daniel Miller. In 1997, McLaren and his followers kidnapped Joe and Margaret Ann Rowe, held them hostage at the Fort Davis Resort, and demanded the release of two movement members in exchange for the Rowes. McLaren's wife, Evelyn, convinced him to surrender peacefully after a week-long standoff with police and Texas Rangers. The McLarens and four other Republic of Texas members were sent to prison. This effectively destroyed the McLaren faction, and the Johnson-Enloe faction was discredited after two of its members, Jack Abbot Grebe Jr. and Johnie Wise, were convicted in 1998 of threatening to assassinate several government officials, including President Bill Clinton.
In 2003, what remained of the movement consolidated into one dominant group recognizing the current "interim" government (which replaced the "provisional" government), headed by President Daniel Miller. This interim government claims authority from the original proclamations of 1995 and set up a seat of government in the town of Overton. Most of the original personalities of the movement have disappeared from public view. Government finances have come from donations and the sale of some items such as a Republic of Texas Passport. The Republic of Texas headquarters in Overton, Texas burned down on 31 August 2005; one person was moderately injured.
Various Republic of Texas movements maintain several websites, an Internet radio station, online journals and/or newspapers.
A separate movement, called the "Texas Convention Pro-Continuation 1861" (TCPC) claims to be the official authority "recognized by the State of Texas and the United States Government for the contemporary effort to bring to power, by popular vote of the People of Texas, the government of the Republic of Texas."
Yet another Republic of Texas group , sometimes referred to as the 10th Congress, meets at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Many of these members are splintered from previous RoT groups. Their President is Larry Hughes, and Vice President is V. Dale Ross.
Republic of Texas President Miller and Laurence Savage published the Republic of Texas's manifesto Texan Arise in 2004. The book outlines the history of Texas, the history and philosophy of the Republic of Texas group, a road map to independence, and some spiritualistic views of Texas. A second important book for the movement is The Brief by the Republic of Texas, published in 2003, a comprehensive case against the United States and State of Texas governments. The book is laid out like a court case, and cites approximately 250 exhibits.
In January of 2004, a man in jail in Aspen, Colorado claimed that the state of Colorado had no jurisdiction to extradite him to California on a probation warrant, on the grounds that he was a citizen of the Republic of Texas. He claimed that the sliver of land which contains Aspen was a part of the original Republic of Texas and, as such, he was not a citizen of the United States. His claim was rejected by the courts.
- Republic of Texas independence movement websites
- Other links
- Slate: The Republic of Texas Article published in 1997.
- Still true today: 'The Republic of Texas is no more' - An article by Ralph H. Brock published in the Houston Chronicle in 1997 that debunks Republic of Texas claims
Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Republic of Texas (group)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Texas_(group), used under the GNU Free Documentation License.