The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 93
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Reminiscenses of Austin and Washington. 93
war-cry of the Indians could be heard in the night-time within the
very gates of the capital. It was not safe for any man to go alone
or without his gun beyond the limits of the town; for there was
great danger of being shot or captured by the redskins who lay
waiting in the mountains around for an opportunity to steal, rob,
or murder. Barton Springs and Mount Bonnell were the only
places of resort for the citizens. The old Congress Hall sat on the
hill just south of the present Governor's MIansion, on the spot
where the City Hall now stands-a spot sacred to all old Texans,
for there the fathers of Texas met to deliberate on the weighty
affairs that demanded their attention.
It was within this weather-beaten, consecrated old building that
I made my political debut in 1849 as Representative from Rusk and
Panola. Later I sat within the same walls as Senator from Shelby
and Panola. When I entered the House of Representatives I was
one of the youngest, if not in fact the youngest, member of the
Legislature. To-day I am, according to the best of my knowledge,
the oldest living member of the Senate to which I belonged, and,
with the exception of Hon. Guy M. Bryan and Hon. W. H. Martin,
the only member of that honorable body still alive. Both of these
gentlemen subsequently occupied seats in the United States Con-
In 1842-3, President Houston, fearing an attack by Santa Anna
upon the city of Austin, transferred his administrative headquarters
first to Houston and then to Washington on the Brazos, where the
seat of government had been located temporarily in earlier times.
The town is now nearly extinct. Washington was a small village,
and it was difficult for the government to obtain suitable rooms for
Congress. About the biggest building in the town was Hatfield's
"grocery," or saloon as we now say; but that was a very important
place of resort, where congressmen and strangers were most in the
habit of congregating. It was in fact too important a place to give
up for other purposes; but it was finally yielded to the House of
Representatives. The saloon itself was not surrendered; but there
was a large hall above it used for gambling purposes, and this hall
was rented by the government. In order to accommodate the conve-
nience of the members and to protect them from temptation, it was
thought advisable to move the stairway from the inside of the
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/110/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.