Robert M. Williamson of Washington County forcefully presented the constitutional issue.
Violence has been done to the only king in the country -- the law. [he declared] Gentlemen have contended that it was policy to send out the navy -- yes, it was policy that the Executive should put the laws and constitution under foot. I have been taught when I was a boy that honesty is policy. Sir, this is a policy that will break the social compact; policy, sir; yes, sir, policy. . . . Have not laws been made, and yet gentlemen contended that policy should govern. Sir, policy is the course of the ex-Executive. [Williamson spoke two days after the inauguration of Houston.] Give the privilege of the same course to the Executive just appointed. Sir, we had better adjourn sine die at once, than sustain such a course. I would sooner adjourn to the infernal regions than to do it. The country has been trampled under foot by the Executive.
On the other hand, Wood of Liberty County doubted the power of Congress to lay up the navy while the country was still at war. The west, he declared, was "subject to constant depredations, and yet Gentlemen said there was peace. . . . If is [it] was a peace, it was a kind that brought much pain and difficulty upon the people. . . .
28. Ibid., II, 148-149. As to the Montgomery County votes, Darnell seems to be in error. "From the counties of Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria, and Jackson there were no returns at all. From the counties of San Augustine, Washington, Bowie, Burnet, Lamar, Bastrop and Gonzales, the returns were informal, having been made to the Secretary of State instead of the Speaker of the House, as required by the constitution." Ibid., I, 69 n.
29. Ibid., II, 155.