The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912

148 Texas Historical Association Quarterly
DESTRUCTION OF HISTORICAL ARCHIVES OF TEXAS
E. W. WINKLER
I. BURNING OF THE OFFICE OF THE TREASURER OF THE REPUBIC
OF TEXAS
The burning of the Office of the Treasurer of the Republic of
Texas, in September, 1845, is narrated in a discussion between
the Texas National Register, of Washington, and The Morning
itar, of Houston. The matter is closed with an official statement
from the secretary of the treasury. In reading these accounts it
should be borne in mind that the secretary of the treasury and the
treasurer are not identical; the former was head of the treasury
department, the latter was in charge of a bureau in that depart-
ment.
When President Houston ordered the various executive depart-
ments from Austin to Houston, in March, 1842, the archives of all
the departments were detained at Austin. With the exception of
the general land office, the departments resumed their duties at
Houston; as the land office was unable to transact business with-
out its archives, it remained in Austin. After the attempt to re-
move the archives by force, they were placed in the custody of a
committee of citizens to await a settlement of the seat of govern-
ment question. The constitutional convention decreed that Austin
should be the seat of government until 1850. Thereupon the com-
mittee surrendered the archives to the proper officials. The burn-
ing of the Treasurer's Office occurred after the committee had sur-
rendered the archives to the treasurer, but before he had removed
to Austin the archives pertaining to his bureau at Washington.
As will be seen from the statement of the secretary of the treas-
ury, the archives of the department-even that portion at Aus-
tin-were not among those destroyed. The loss occasioned by this
fire both to the government and to the historian, therefore, appears
to have been unimportant. The account below shows the charac-
ter and extent of the loss sustained.
We regret to learn that about two o'clock on the morning of the
9th inst. the office of the Treasurer of the Republic, at the City

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/. Accessed July 14, 2014.