The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 324
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
town, high on a bluff, was advertised as being extremely health-
ful, in contrast with the miasmic bottomlands of the lower
Throughout the latter part of 1835, the new town of Wash-
ington had been challenging the position of its older downriver
neighbor, San Felipe, as the center of political activity in Texas.
Both San Felipe and Washington had been suggested as the meet-
ing place for the Consultation of 1835.54 On October 17, 1835,
some of the delegates to the Consultation had met at Washington,
some at San Felipe. Both groups had adjourned until November
1, because of the threat of war at Gonzales. By November, Stephen
F. Austin, commander at Gonzales, had influenced the delegates
in favor of his old colonial capital of San Felipe.
When the Consultation opened in San Felipe on November 1,
a few die-hards still held out at Washington. On November 3,
R. M. "Three-Legged Willie" Williamson, delegate from Mina
(Bastrop), had moved adjournment to Washington, but had been
voted down, 40 to 1,5 and the group from Washington had re-
luctantly joined the rest at San Felipe two days later. On No-
vember 17 General Sam Houston had made a similar motion,
which carried, only to be vetoed by Governor Henry Smith on
the grounds that Washington had no press and had not provided
suitable conveniences for the seat of government.
On December 13, however, when the Consultation called for
a convention to meet in March to consider the question of inde-
pendence, it named Washington as the meeting place. On Feb-
ruary 16, after bitter quarrels had torn the Provisional Govern-
ment to shreds, the General Council voted to move to Washington
also, in order to lay its quarrels before the new convention.
This civic victory imposed its own problems. The town of
Washington was small and primitive."6 Having once been denied
the seat of government because of a failure to provide proper
54Ibid.; copy of Brown's article with handwritten corrections, dated Austin, 190o3
(Archives, University of Texas Library).
55E. M. Winkler, "The Seat of the Government of Texas," Quarterly of the Texas
State Historical Association, X, 140-150.
5eGray, on February 15, 1836, described the town as "about a dozen wretched
cabins or shanties." Later, during 1837, he estimated the population in March,
1836, as "only about to families." Charles F. Schmidt, History of Washington County
(San Antonio, 1949), 54, estimates it had "about one hundred inhabitants."
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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/m1/370/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.