Henry Smith (1788-1851) immersed himself in public affairs soon after arriving in Texas in 1827. Initially a local political leader in what is now Brazoria County, he was appointed in 1835 as a delegate to the San Felipe Consultation, which met to determine Texas' position toward the Mexican dictatorship established by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Contrary to Smith's desire for independence, the Consultation voted to support the 1824 Mexican Federal Constitution, but established a provisional government to operate until the conflict with Santa Anna was resolved.
Henry Smith was the chief author of the plan for civil government, which was adopted as Organic Law on Nov. 11, 1835. He then was elected Provisional Governor and served from Nov. 12, 1835, until Mar. 1, 1836. Smith's term was plagued with problems, but he submitted his progress report on Mar. 4 to the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. There Smith's crusade for independence was finally won.
Following the war against Mexico, Henry Smith served as Texas' Secretary of the Treasury under President Sam Houston and one term in the Republic's House of Representatives. "Gold Fever" led Smith to California, where he died and was buried in an unmarked grave in 1851.