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On July 4, 1845, the convention to consider the joint resolution of the United States Congress proposing the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States assembled in Austin. Thomas Jefferson Rusk of Nacogdoches was elected president of the convention, and James H. Raymond was secretary. By a vote of 55 to one, the delegates approved the offer of annexation. Richard Bache of Galveston was the lone dissenter. 

Subsequently, the convention prepared the Constitution of 1845 for the new state. Rusk appointed several committees to examine legislative, executive, judicial, and general provisions of the constitution, as well as a committee of five to prepare convention rules. Of the 57 delegates elected to the convention, 18 were originally from Tennessee, eight from Virginia, seven from Georgia, six from Kentucky, and five from North Carolina. Considered the most able body of its kind ever to meet in Texas, the convention included men of broad political experience such as Thomas J. Rusk, James Pinckney Henderson, Isaac Van Zandt, Hardin R. Runnels, Abner S. Lipscomb, Nicholas H. Darnell, R.E.B. Baylor, and José Antonio Navarro. The convention adjourned on August 28, 1845. 

Rusk was one of the leaders of Texas’ revolution against Mexico and the formation of the Republic of Texas. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas, Brigadier General of the Army and hero at San Jacinto, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, United States Senator, a soldier, a jurist, and a statesman. The seat of Cherokee County and Rusk County are also named for Rusk and statues and dedications for Rusk stand proudly around Nacogdoches.

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