Who named Washington?
Why Washington as the
How many Texas Presidents?
When was Washington
the capital of Texas?
How many signed the
When did Texas become
What is the history of
the current flag?
The "Lone Star State?"
League and labor of land?
Indians in Texas?
The following are questions most commonly asked
by our visitors. Perhaps you too have been wondering some of the
same things about Texas history. We hope that you will find some
of your answers here.
How did Washington get
Washington, Texas was named after the town of
Washington, Georgia, the hometown of several Texan settlers, including
Dr. Asa Hoxey, Andrew Robinson, and Robert Williamson. Asa Hoxey,
Thomas Gay, James B. Miller, Alexander Somervell, and Captain John
W. Hall formed the Washington Townsite Company in March 1835. Hall
was the groups agent, advertising town lots, holding land
sales, and issuing titles. He was also the son-in-law of Andrew
Robinson, one of the first Anglo settlers in Texas and operator
of a ferry at the Brazos River crossing.
Why was Washington
chosen as the place to hold the convention considering independence?
Delegates representing Texas settlements discussed
grievances against the Mexican government at San Felipe in 1835.
The citizens of Washington had hoped this "consultation"
would be held in their town. They argued Washington was centrally
located for all delegates, as the towns ferry serviced the
heavily-traveled La Bahia road, and the Brazos River was navigable
from the coast. The area was considered healthier than the lower-river
region. Washingtons businessmen gained prominent supporters
such as Sam Houston, who served with the provisional government
established at San Felipe. Success was achieved when the provisional
government, distressed by San Felipes poor accommodations,
called for a convention to be held at Washington beginning March
Who were the Presidents
of the Republic of Texas?
David G. Burnet (Ad-interim President, not elected)
March 17, 1836-October 22, 1836
Houston (First & third elected President)
October 22, 1836-December 10, 1838
December 13, 1841-December 9, 1844
Mirabeau B. Lamar (Second elected President)
December 10, 1838-December 13, 1841
Anson Jones (Fourth elected President)
December 9, 1844-February 19, 1846
When was Washington
the capital of the Republic of Texas and how many capitals have
Although the Consultation which met in San Felipe
in 1835 approved moving the provisional government to Washington
in November 1835, the move did not occur until February 1836. Following
the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence and adoption
of a Constitution in Washington, Harrisburg and Galveston were both
occupied by the ad interim government as they moved about avoiding
the Mexican Army. Officers settled at Velasco, which served as the
seat of government through the end of September 1836. In October
1836 Columbia (now West Columbia) became the first official capital
for three months. Houston was then selected as a temporary capital
when President Houston ordered the government to move there in December
1836. Houston was capital from April 1837 until 1839. President
Lamar moved the capital to Austin (once called Waterloo) in October
1839. Fearing an attack on Austin, located on the frontier, President
Houston ordered the government to return to Houston in March 1842.
Washington became the capital again by executive order in September
of that year. The capital would remain in Washington until Texas
was annexed to the United States in February 1846, when Austin became
the final home of Texas government.
How many men signed
the Texas Declaration of Independence? And where were they from?
delegates signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. They were
a diverse collection of both extraordinary and very ordinary people,
who for a variety of reasons played a pivotal role in the history
of the country. They had come from a total of five foreign countries
(Mexico, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland) and twelve different
states. Only two, Jose Francisco Ruiz and Jose Antonio Navarro,
were "native Texans;" the rest were relative newcomers.
While ten of the delegates had been in Texas more than six years
prior to 1836, fifteen had come in 1835. They were also relatively
young men; forty of the fifty-nine were under forty years of age.
When did Texas become
part of the United States?
On December 29, 1845, U. S. President James K.
Polk signed the act that made Texas the 28th state in
the American Union. The final step in achieving statehood took place
on February 19, 1846, when officials who had been elected in December
assembled to take their oaths of office. At that ceremony, Anson
Jones, the last President of the Republic, turned over the reins
of the government to J. Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of
the new state.
When did Texas get its
current Lone Star flag design was adopted by the Third Congress
of the Republic on January 25, 1839 under the administration of
President Mirabeau B. Lamar. Until that time, the flag of the Republic
was the one adopted on December 10, 1836, known as "David G.
Burnets flag." The flag consisted of a large golden star
centrally located on an azure ground. Although Lorenzo de Zavala
had proposed a flag of blue with a white star of five points central,
with the letters "T E X A S" between the star points,
nothing further was done with the recommendation, perhaps owing
to the hasty adjournment of the Convention at Washington, and to
the loss of part of the Convention notes.
Why is Texas called
the "Lone Star State"?
An article from the June 24, 1934 issue of the
Dallas News by T. B. Baldwin relates the story of how Texas got
its Lone Star. His story recounts the actions of Henry Smith, who
became the first governor of pre-revolutionary Texas in 1835. "In
Smiths day overcoats had large brass buttons. It happened
that the buttons on the coat of Governor Smith had the impress of
a five-pointed star. A few days after he was inaugurated Governor,
a messenger arrived with important papers. After reading and signing
them the Governor said: "Texas should have a seal," and
forthwith he cut one of the big buttons from his overcoat and with
sealing wax stamped the impress of the Lone Star upon the documents."
It might also be noted that there may have been
a Masonic influence to the adoption of a five-pointed star for Texas.
George K. Teulon in Freemasons Monthly Magazine in 1844 noted,
"Texas is emphatically a Masonic Country; all of our Presidents
and Vice-President, and four-fifths of our State Officers were and
are Masons: by Freemasonry to illustrate the moral virtues--it is
a Five Pointed Star...May it ever bind us in the holy Bond of Fraternal
Union and govern our social, Masonic, and Political intercourse."
How much is a league
and a labor of land?
A league of land equals 4,428 acres and a labor,
177 acres, combined they add up to 4,605 acres. This was the amount
of a headright (first-class) granted to "all persons except
Africans and their descendants, and Indians, living in Texas on
the day of the Declaration of Independence
if they be heads
and if a single man, 17 years or older, one-third
league" (1,476 acres).
Are there any Indian
reservations in Texas?
After the reservations were moved to Indian Territory,
the state of Texas recognized the right of one Native American group
to remain in Texas. Made up of the Alabama and Coushatta tribes,
they were primarily farmers who had settled along the Trinity River
in East Texas in 1825. In addition, many had fought in the Texas
Revolution. In 1854, with the help of Senator Sam Houston, Texas
granted the Alabama-Coushatta people 1,280 acres of land in Polk
County, near present-day Livingston. Later in 1928, more land was
added to the reservation. In addition to the Alabama-Coushatta reservation,
there are currently two other reservations in Texas: the Tigua reservation
near El Paso, and the Kickapoo reservation near Eagle Pass.