The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 321
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Signing of Texas' Declaration of Independence
uary 27, 1908.38 An unidentified artist made a sketch,89 based
upon this letter and many persons have accepted it as authentic.
The Rev. J. B. Blackwell' states that a number of years ago, after
several trips to Austin and a search of the material in the State
Archives, he employed an artist" to paint a picture based prin-
cipally upon the Zuber letter to Wilcox. Later, Blackwell con-
structed a balsa-wood model of the building as depicted in the
painting. This model was displayed at the Big Foot Wallace
Museum in Big Foot, Texas, and later at the Daughters of the
Republic Museum in Austin. Numerous photographs of this
model, or drawings made from it, have been published in recent
histories as representing Texas' Independence Hall.42 "I could
not claim without a doubt that mine is a true replica," Blackwell
writes, "neither have I at any time made such a claim."'43
The first published copy of the photograph on which the oppos-
ing school of thought in this matter is based, appeared in 1924.44
The cutlines to the picture read:
The gunsmith shop of N. T. Byars at Washington, Texas. In this
building the Convention assembled, signed the Texas Declaration of
Independence, adopted the Constitution, and issued orders. This
building was the first capitol of the Republic of Texas. (Office of Texas
Sec. of State, Div. C., File box 6, No. 96, Letter B., 12-2o-1849.)
If the reference given could be proven to apply to the photo-
graph as well as to the letter identified, it would clear up com-
8sDeclaration of Independence File (Archives, Texas State Library).
40J. B. Blackwell to R. H. S., Signed statement, January 28, 1961.
41Rev. Blackwell's niece, June Hogue.
42A. Garland Adair (ed.), A Century of Texas Governors and Capitols, republic
and state (Texas Centennial of Statehood Commission, Citizenship Series Number
Five, Austin, 1943); Stanley Seigel, A Political History of the Texas Republic (Aus-
tin, 1956); Ralph W. Steen, Texas, A Story of Progress (Austin, 1942); are examples.
The Charles Berkley Norman painting of the interior, with the convention in
session, was used as a frontispiece for Kemp, Signers of the Texas Declaration of
Independence, and as an illustration for George C. Hester, W. C. Nunn, and Rosa
May Hinson, Texas, The Story of the Lone Star State (New York, 1948). Although
the interior of the building is based on the Zuber-Wilcox sketch in the Archives of
the Texas State Library according to Norman's notes now in the possession of Joe
Fultz, Navasota, the seating of the delegates around a long table as described by
Zuber is not followed. The original painting, owned by Joe Fultz, hangs in the
museum at San Jacinto Monument.
48J. B. Blackwell to R. H. S., signed statement, January 28, 1961.
44William Stuart Red, The Texas Colonists and Religion (Austin, 1924), 104.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/367/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.