The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the First Congress was held there. Congress convened Oc-
tober 3 and recessed December 22, to meet later at Houston
to complete its session. Houston, founded August 30, 1836,2
was being surveyed as a townsite when, on November 30, by
joint resolution, Congress selected it as the temporary seat
The principal building used by Congress and governmental
departments at Columbia was a two-story building of five
rooms constructed in 1832 by Henry S. Brown and used for
a time, after his death in 1834, by the pioneer mercantile firm,
W. C. White and Company, composed of Walter C. White and
James Knight. This building was torn down in 1888. The
often photographed capitol (?) was a one-story building of
perhaps one room, and certainly not more than two, that had
been used as a store by Leman Kelsey. It was blown down in
the severe hurricane of September 8, 1900.
In Brown's A School History of Texas,' published in 1894,
there is a drawing of a two-story building, beneath which is
printed the caption, "House in which the first Congress met
at Columbia, October 3, 1836."
Brown in another of his publications said of the building:
After the first election under the Republic, President Burnet, by proclama-
tion, assembled the First Congress, President and Vice-President at the
town of Columbia, on the Brazos, on the 3rd of October 1836. No other
place in Texas, at the time (excepting, perhaps Nacogdoches, in the ex-
treme east), had sufficient house room to meet the emergency. There was
in Columbia a large two-story house, divided in the center by a wide
hall and stairway into large rooms above and below-one on each side
of the hall, and an ell containing several rooms. It had been erected and
occupied in 1832-3 by Captain Henry S. Brown, father of the author,
and in it he died July 26, 1834 . . .
In this building the First Congress of the Republic of Texas assembled
under President Burnet's proclamation on the third of October, 1836. In
it on the 22d of the same month, President Burnet delivered his farewell
message, and at the same time Sam Houston, as first Constitutional
President, and Mirabeau B. Lamar, as Vice-President, took the oath of office
and delivered their inaugural addresses. In it all of the first Cabinet
20n August 30, 1836, the Telegraph carried an advertisement of Houston
by the Allen brothers in which they stated that the town "is now for the
first time brought to public notice." For that reason August 30 is con-
sidered the birthday of Houston by its citizenship.
3Approved by President Houston, December 15, 1836. H. P. N. Gammel
(ed.), The Laws of Texas, I, 1138, 1139.
4Mrs. Mary M. Brown, A School History of Texas . . . Prepared from
the General History of John Henry Brown (New York: J. J. Little & Co.,
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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/m1/6/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.