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PEACE PARTY

PEACE PARTY. The Peace Party, which existed before the Texas Revolution, represented a faction within the Anglo-American population of Texas that helped to sway public opinion against armed conflict with the rest of Mexico in the crucial times from 1832 to 1835. The Peace Party and its counterpart, the War Party, were not established political parties but rather labels for persons of opposing political dispositions-that is, "party" members did not label themselves by these terms but instead described the opposition with them. Both parties surfaced during the disturbances of 1832. The Peace Party, probably representing more Texans throughout the period, loudly criticized the War Party's agitation. Events of 1835, which displayed the increasingly centralized nature of Antonio López de Santa Anna's regime, began to define the lines between the War and Peace parties, which were not called by those names until July 1835. Contemporary references to "Peace Party" are fairly scarce. Sometimes the term "tory" was used, but "tory" was also applied to those who remained loyal to Mexico after the outbreak of the Texas Revolution; most Peace Party members joined the revolution. William Barret Travis used the term for the first time in a letter to James Bowie on July 30, 1835, in which he wrote "The peace-party, as they style themselves, I believe are the strongest, and make much the most noise." Throughout the period from 1832 to 1835 the following persons advocated quiet and calm, or protested against the actions of the more radical colonists: Stephen F. Austin, Don Carlos Barrett, Josiah H. Bell, David G. Burnet, Thomas J. Chambers, Edward Gritten, J. H. C. Miller, and John A. Williams.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). William Kennedy, Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas (London: Hastings, 1841; rpt., Fort Worth: Molyneaux Craftsmen, 1925). Jodella D. Kite, "The War and Peace Parties of Pre-Revolutionary Texas, 1832–1835," East Texas Historical Journal 29 (Spring 1991). Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855).
Jodella K. Dyreson

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Handbook of Texas Online, Jodella K. Dyreson, "Peace Party," accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wap05.

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