The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 7
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The Capitol (?) at Columbia
the Telegraph and the executive departments of the Republic
were transported from Columbia on the same boat, April
It being the province of Congress to select a capital for the
Republic, the Senate on November 2, 1836, adopted a joint
that each House of Congress appoint a committee of three whose duty it
shall be to report the most eligible point, at which to locate the Seat of
Government of the Republic from and after the adjournment of the
present Congress . . .
It is probable that Columbia would have been selected as the
capital had its citizens promptly furnished sufficient houses
to conduct the affairs of government. This they failed to do.
They "had either failed to procure a sufficient number of
houses," wrote E. W. Winkler, "or else they had not con-
templated the increase of offices accompanying the organiza-
tion of the constitutional government."8
On November 7, President Houston sent the following mes-
sage to Congress on the subject of the proper accommodations
for the government:
The important trusts committed to our charge as the representatives
of a Nation and the guardian of her free institutions, demand at our
hands, the arduous and incessant toils which responsibility and moral
consciousness always impose, when they flow in their natural and ap-
Industry and application, put in requisition by mature judgment, must
still be conducted by system, organization and method; for these are
necessary, and cannot be attained or exercised without the convenience
The present position of our Government is one of great inconvenience
and absolute embarrassment.9 We have accomodations for no branch of
the public trusts. Congress is itself scarcely provided as a body, with suf-
ficient buildings. No Offices for the Chief Departments of the Executive
6Ernest William Winkler, "The Seat of Government of Texas," The
Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, X, 169. Winkler cites
the Telegraph of August 12, 1837.
7Ibid. Winkler cites Senate Journal, 1 Texas Congress, 1 Sess., 39.
'Winkler cites Senate Journal, 1 Texas Congress, 1 Sess., Oct. 11, p. 5;
Telegraph, November 9, 1836.
9The distinguished Guy M. Bryan, nephew of Stephen F. Austin, Sec-
retary of State, attributed Austin's death not alone to the mental and
physical strain under which he labored but also to "the exposure in a
small clapboard shed-room, without fire, which was his bedroom and
office."-William G. Scarff, A Comprehensive History of Texas, I, 590.
Austin died at the residence of Judge George B. McKinstry, December
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/11/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.