Jeff Carroll

LA BACA COUNTY. In early January 1842 the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas passed a joint resolution to establish and organize the county of La Baca. On January 12 President Sam Houston vetoed the resolution on the grounds that it was in violation of Section 5 of Article 1 of the Texas Constitution, which ensured each county representation in the House of Representatives. On January 29 the House voted to reconsider the resolution and, with the concurrence of the Senate, passed it over Houston's veto. At the same time the legislature attached the new county to the fourth judicial district of the republic. According to the resolution, the County of La Baca would contain parts of Fayette, Gonzales, Victoria, Jackson and Colorado counties. Joel Ponton, Richard Veal, James Brown, Thomas Chaudoin, and John Smothers were appointed commissioners and directed to hold elections and designate a county seat. The first Monday in February 1842 was chosen for the election of county officers. On February 5 the legislature postponed this election for one month. It also designated the home of Mrs. Margaret Hallett as the temporary site of the county and district courts. By this time, however, litigation testing the validity of the action was in the courts. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas agreed with Houston and in its 1842 term ruled that La Baca and all other "judicial counties" were unconstitutional. On July 18, 1842, the legislature passed an act validating land certificates, surveys, and patents that had been either issued or made in the judicial counties while they still functioned. Four years later, the County of La Vaca was established in place of La Baca, and, on July 13, 1846, immediately after the entrance of Texas into the Union, La Vaca County was formally organized. See also DEFUNCT COUNTIES.

Paul C. Boethel, The History of Lavaca County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936; rev. ed., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). Journals of the 6th Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1841–1842, ed. Harriet Smither (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1940–45).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Jeff Carroll, "LA BACA COUNTY," accessed July 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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