Houston Matters

How The Turtle Bayou Resolutions Set The Stage For The Texas Revolution

On this date in 1832, the Turtle Bayou Resolutions were signed, establishing some of the key players in the more famous Texas events that would follow.

We Americans look wistfully on the Declaration of Independence, the document on which our nation was founded, and its self-evident truths that “all men are created equal” endowed with inalienable rights including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Some compelling words, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and some other pretty smart guys. Of course, “all men” meant all white, landowning men, and — suffice it to say — our founders fell way short of holding to those equal rights at the time.

Still, the flowery prose has stuck. It also has overshadowed the point of the rest of the document – it’s a statement of rebellion and an airing of grievances. It’s like Festivus without the feats of strength. And it’s not the only one of its kind.

Rebels of one kind or another have long established their gripes with power by putting pen to paper. One such example was written, not far from Houston, on this date in 1832. It’s four pages long, made up of admittedly less flowery prose. But those pages are what became known as the Turtle Bayou Resolutions.

To tell us more about the document and how it established some of the key players in the more famous Texas events that would follow, Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks with Dr. Eddie Weller, director of the honors program and professor of history at San Jacinto College.

Turtle Bayou Resolution Site
A sign marking the site where the Turtle Bayou Resolutions were signed on June 13, 1832 about 50 miles east of present-day downtown Houston.

Share