The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 236
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
epitomized in a way the atmosphere of Brazoria and Houston, so
did Mrs. Eberly sum up the stalwart pride and insularity of the
capital of Austin. The tale of how she defied President Houston's
agent in 1842 when he came to remove the government archives
from Austin to the safer headquarters at Washington-on-the-Brazos
is well known to students of Texas history. Mrs. Eberly was deter-
mined to safeguard Austin's claim to being the capital even at
the risk of endangering the whole Republic by keeping the gov-
ernment documents where they might be easily captured. It must
be granted, however, that her discharge of a six-pound cannon so
as to awaken the land office to defend the archives and their sub-
sequent safe detention in her boarding house were fortunately
not provocative of any evil consequences.
At any rate, the staunch woman's qualities of alertness and de-
termination were valuable ones in the business of running a
boarding house, especially at the time when Austin was consid-
ered an exposed outpost. L. W. Kemp relates that the Eberly
House was situated on Lots 1, 2, and 3, of Block 71, where the
present United States Post Office stands, and that Lot No. i
fronted on Lavaca and Pecan Streets, Pecan being the present
Sixth Street.62 Many leading men of the Republic were Mrs.
Eberly's guests. Among them there must have been a preponder-
ance of lawyers, a phenomenon arising from the fact that the
multiple land disputes which were constantly occurring in Austin
as a result of the issue of bogus land certificates had attracted
some of the best lawyers from the United States.68 And doubtless
the gamblers and land speculators who made the lawyers neces-
sary also found their way to Mrs. Eberly's from time to time.
That her table was celebrated there can be no doubt, for an issue
of the Telegraph and Texas Registrar for December 15, 1841, men-
tions that President-Elect Houston was "met by a large party,
headed by the mayor and escorted to the Eberly House where
an excellent collation was prepared.""'6 Her efficiency paid off, for
62Kemp, "Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXXVI,
63Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, 261.
64Kemp, "Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXXVI,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/261/: accessed January 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.