This Week in Texas Methodist History December 6
John Haynie Defeats Two Methodist Colleagues in Balloting for Chaplain of the House of Representatives, Dec. 6, 1844
As the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas organized for its last session in December, 1844, one of their acts was to elect a Chaplain for the House of Representatives. When nominations were in order, three Methodist preachers were nominated.
Rep. William Read Scurry of Red River County nominated Robert B. Wells.
Rep. Charles F. Williams of Fayette County nominated John Haynie.
Rep. Robert “Three-legged Willie” Williamson nominated Joseph Sneed.
Haynie won in a romp. Wells received 10 votes, Sneed, 3, and Haynie, 23.
Haynie (b. 1786) was, by far, the most senior of the three nominees and was also the most experiences, having previously served as Chaplain. He had followed his daughter and son-in-law to Bastrop County, participated in the organizing session of the Texas Annual Conference and served as pastor in Austin.
Wells (b. 1809) is well known to Texas Methodist historians as the son-in-law of Orceneth Fisher and also the founder of Texas Methodist journalism since he began publishing the Texas Christian Advocate and Brenham Advertiser in 1847.
Sneed, (b. 1804) had a distinguished ministry. At the time of his nomination he was finishing a two-year appointment at Rutersville.
The Chaplain election took place on a Friday, and Haynie must have been present since he opened the Saturday session with prayer. Monday, December 9, was inauguration day, and Haynie opened that session with prayer too. The next order of business was the transition of government.
Presidents of the Republic could not succeed themselves so outgoing President Sam Houston addressed the Congress of the Republic of Texas for the last time in an official capacity. When he finished, Anson Jones and Kenneth Anderson took the oath of office and were installed as President and Vice-President of the Republic of Texas.
Jones was the last President of the Republic of Texas. Annexation to the United States occurred during his term.