William Harris Wharton was born 1802 in Virginia. He identified with the party of the colonists agitating for a more energetic policy toward Mexico. Many believe Wharton served at the battle of Velasco and was one of those who signed the document of final surrender. He was a delegate from Victoria to the Convention of 1832, which asked for separate statehood for Texas and drew up a provisional constitution for a state government. Wharton wrote the petition to Mexico asking for statehood, a document which has become a political classic in Texas. At the Convention of 1833, he held the office of president. By 1835 Wharton and others were openly agitating for complete independence from Mexico, in opposition to the conservative policy of Stephen F. Austin. Wharton was elected a delegate to the Consultation, where the majority of the members were still in favor of a moderate policy; so the group merely stated loyalty to the Republican Constitution of 1824 as the reason for the war. Austin was elected to command the army, and Wharton was chosen judge advocate. He went with the army in the Siege of Béxar, then resigned his commission a few days before he was notified of his appointment as a commissioner to the United States with Austin and Branch T. Archer to secure aid for the Texans. Wharton was captured at sea by a Mexican ship and carried to Matamoros, where he was imprisoned. He succeeded in escaping and making his way back to Texas in time to be elected to the Texas Senate in 1838.
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