The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 118
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118 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
at any one place during their term of service. They were for a
time at Lynchburg and afterwards at Velasco.
In the fall of 1836 the Texas congress met at Columbia on the
Brazos, and there held its first session with Gen. Sam Houston as
president. During that session a law was passed making the city of
Houston the seat of government of Texas from that time to the end
of the session of congress that should be held in the year 1840. Gen.
Stephen F. Austin, who was secretary of state under President
Houston, died at Columbia, as it was said, from exposure in the dis-
charge of his duty during the first session of congress.
At Houston a large frame house was built for a capitol, and when
the seat of government was moved from that city the house became
known as the Capitol Hotel. Now the ground is occupied by a large
brick structure called by the same name. According to the constitu-
tion of 1836, which provided that the first president should serve
two years, that the term should thereafter be three years, and that
no one holding the office should be eligible to succeed himself,
President Houston could not be his own immediate successor. Vice-
President Mirabeau B. Lamar became the next president, and was
inaugurated at the capitol in Houston in 1838.
In 1839 the Texas congress passed a law for the selection of a seat
of government by five commissioners, two from east and three from
west of the Trinity river. They were to purchase or have condemned
for the State a tract of land upon which la capital city should be
built. They were required under oath to keep their proceedings
a profound secret and make their selection between the Trinity and
Colorado rivers, north of the Old San Antonio Road or "King's
Highway", which ran near Crockett and Bastrop. The possibility
of selecting Houston, which had been named for President Hous-
ton, and was understood to be favored by him, was thus excluded.
That was perhaps one amongst other evidences that President Hous-
ton's influence did not prevail during Lamar's administration. The
fact that the place selected was on the northeast side of Colorado
river, being in what was then Bastrop county on the extreme fron-
tier of the settlements of the State, suggests the inquiry as to what
could have been the reason for it. It has been said that one reason
was because the place was as nearly as was then practicable in the
center of the State. That could hardly have been the controlling
reason; for since then there have been two elections throughout the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/122/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.