The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 41
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The Municipality of Harrisburg, 1835-1836
nicipality before 1836, and then but briefly; there was, therefore,
no local newspaper. Other than the infrequent visits of Padre
Miguel Muldoon who dispensed only enough Roman Catholicism
to make the settlers eligible for land grants from the Mexican
government, there is not a shred of evidence that anyone within
the area was concerned with the state of his soul. There are no
records of preaching and hymn singing which one finds in the
other old areas of Texas.
Because of the propinquity of Anahuac, settlers in what is now
Harris County took more than a passing interest in the outbursts
of violence between Mexican bureaucrats and Anglo-American
settlers which occurred there in 1832 and again in the summer
of 1835. In the latter engagement Harrisburg men were con-
spicuous, primarily, the writer assumes, because a Harrisburg
youth, DeWitt Clinton Harris, was among the Anglo-Americans
who were then in the Anahuac calaboose because of a practical
joke he and his subsequent brother-in-law, Andrew Briscoe, had
played on the Mexican collector of customs. Be that as it may,
the men's conduct was sufficient to elicit from William Barret
Travis the encomium:
The Harrisburgers want no stimulus to patriotism. They have
always been the foremost in favor of liberal republican principles.
They have always been on one side; the right side. They have
never barked up the wrong tree, and I hope, never will. God grant
that all Texas may stand as firm as Harrisburg in the "hour that will
try men's souls."21
Not everyone within the municipality shared the enthusiasm of
the residents of Harrisburg. In the Bancroft Library at the
University of California are the minutes of a public meeting at
San Jacinto containing resolutions which must go on record as
among the most pussyfooting ever composed. After viewing with
alarm the breakdown of the federal system in Mexico and the
establishment of a military government and having set forth in
lengthy resolutions the principles of John Locke and Thomas
Jefferson, the group at the meeting went on record:
21Travis to John W. Moore, San Felipe, August 31, 1835, in Adele Lubbock
Looscan, "Harris County, 1822-1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVIII,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/59/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.