The Republic of Texas Exhibition
The Star of the Republic Museum is the only
museum in the state of Texas created specifically to collect and
interpret the material culture and history of the Republic of Texas
period from 1836-1846. The Republic of Texas exhibition,
completed in 2002, showcases over 1,000 objects which demonstrate the heritage
of Texas within the context of the early to mid 19th century. Professionally
designed and fabricated, the exhibition presents the experiences of ordinary Texans and extraordinary events in 10,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The first floor exhibits present a chronological history of early Texas, from the first Texans (the Native Americans) to European explorers, to settlers and colonists, to the soldiers and patriots who fought for Texan independence. Above the ramp leading to the second floor, a 140 foot-long, ten-foot tall mural illustrates the overland route from east Texas to the town of Washington in the mid 19th century. The second floor exhibits represent the social and multicultural history of the Republic of Texas, which existed from 1836-1846. The complete exhibition provides a comprehensive and unparalleled history of the people, places, and events that created the Republic of Texas.
The Museum was selected to receive a 2003 Certificate of Commendation for the Republic of Texas exhibition from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). This award program is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of local, state, and regional history.
The Pioneer Playroom
The new Pioneer Playroom is designed to provide a hands-on opportunity for children of all ages to step back in time and role play the life of an early pioneer. Children can load and sit on a buckboard wagon, dress in period clothing, build a log cabin, cook in the fireplace, wash and hang laundry, haul water, milk a cow, gather eggs from a chicken coop and more.
Students gain a better understanding of the past by experiencing it through first-hand activities. History comes to life as students make a personal connection with the past!
A Legacy of Leadership: The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence
The Star of the Republic Museum celebrates the 180th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence with a new exhibit, “A Legacy of Leadership: The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.” Elected as delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1836, these men determined the future of Texas. Amongst them were 12 lawyers, five physicians, four surveyors and three each of planters, empresarios and merchants. The exhibit focuses on their roles as leaders and includes personal artifacts such as Sam Maverick’s buckskins, a cameo of Michel Menard, oil portraits of Stephen Blount and his wife, and many others. The exhibit will be open until February 15, 2017.
Weather Wisdom: Forecasting in the 19th Century
“Weather Wisdom: Forecasting in the 19th Century” opened on March 1, 2014. Included in the exhibit were an assortment of 19th century scientific instruments used to measure wind velocity, atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity.
The 19th century was seen as a transitional period from the use of weather lore, e.g., “when a whirlwind spins to the right, it means dry weather,” to the systematic, scientific collection of weather data. The exhibit is now closed, but may still be viewed online.
The Star of the Republic Museum Celebrates 40 Years
The Star of the Republic Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary in March 2010. To commemorate this historic event, the Museum created an online exhibit of photographs representing the past 40 years. See the transformations that have taken place. View opening-day ceremonies. Remember favorite exhibits. Watch the renovations and building additions. And don’t forget, “Now and Then,” a glimpse of the past and present.
To view this online exhibit, click on the image of ribbon cutting ceremony to the left.
Texas Transformed: Early Maps of Texas
The Star of the Republic Museum opened an exhibit
entitled Texas Transformed: Early Maps of Texas in celebration
of Texas Independence Day 2009. Included in the exhibit was the largest
map of Texas, on loan from the Texas General Land Office, and measuring
approximately eight feet square. The map was drafted in 1879 by
Charles W. Pressler, who worked for GLO for 50 years.
Also included in the exhibit was Guillaume de Lisle’s “Carte de la Louisiana et du Cours du Misissippi” (1718)—the first map to identify “Tejas” as a place. On loan from the Center for American History at the University of Texas was Fiorenzo Galli’s “Texas” (1826) which has the distinction of being the first printed map to show Texas separately from the rest of the continent. Maps by E.F. Lee (1836), J. Disturnell (1847) and J. DeCordova (1849)--all used extensively by immigrants to Texas—were on display, as well.
Texas Transformed closed on August 31, 2009, but can still be viewed online.
Audubon's Creation: His Texas Legacy
The Star of the Republic Museum opened an exhibit
entitled Audubon’s Creations: His Texas Legacy in
celebration of Texas Independence Day 2008. John James Audubon is
world renowned for his glorious images of birds, but he is equally
recognized for his images of mammals. The exhibit featured a select
collection of lithographs of these mammals––including
the Texian Hare, Red Texan Wolf, Texan Lynx, and Texan Skunk––all
drawn from specimens collected by Audubon and his party during their
visits to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s.
Audubon, born in Haiti and raised in Europe, traveled extensively throughout North America searching for new specimens whose likenesses he could capture on paper. The hand-painted lithographs that resulted were a lifelong collaboration with his wife, two sons, and long-time friend, John Bachman. Audubon died in 1851 before the publication of this work, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
Audubon’s Creations: His Texas Legacy closed on August 31, 2008, but still can be viewed online.
Let the Convention Go On
If you missed the opportunity to see Let the
Convention Go On..., an exhibit featuring key documents from
the Convention of 1836, you can still see it online.
Created in celebration of Texas Independence Day 2007, the exhibit included
the original handwritten Texas Declaration of Independence, the
first draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, journals
of the Convention of 1836 and William Fairfax Gray’s diary
describing the proceedings of the Convention.
An 1836 newspaper copy of the last letter from William Barret Travis at the Alamo to the delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos, beseeching them to “let the convention go on” was also featured. Additional key documents clarified the settlers’ grievances against the Mexican government and their reasons for declaring independence.
This exhibit was a collaboration between the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas General Land Office, Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin and Dallas Historical Society.
Can't manage a visit in person? Want a quick overview of what the museum has to offer? Check out our Virtual Tour!