The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 5
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The Capitol (?) at Columbia
took the oath of office, viz. Stephen F. Austin as Secretary of State (died
on the 27th of December following); Ex-Governor Henry Smith, as Sec-
retary of the Treasury (died in the mountains of California, March 4, 1851);
Thomas J. Rusk, as Secretary of War (resigned a few weeks later and
was succeeded by William G. Fisher, who died in 1845, while General
Rusk died in 1857); and Samuel Rhoads Fisher, as Secretary of the
Navy (who died in 1839). A portion of the offices were in other buildings
and for a time one House of the Congress occupied a different building.5
A feature story on the history of East Columbia and West
Columbia in Brazoria County appeared in the Galveston Daily
News, Sunday, January 9, 1898. It was written by Richard
Spillane, presumably a reporter for the paper, who had visited
the two towns in order to interview old settlers and to inspect
historic sites and old landmarks. West Columbia in 1836 was
known as Columbia, and the present East Columbia was suc-
cessively known as Bell's Landing, Marion, Columbia, and East
Columbia. It was called Columbia at the time of Spillane's visit.
At West Columbia Spillane saw a dilapidated one-story
frame building, the property of John C. Underwood, in which,
he was informed, the House of Representatives of the First
Congress of the Republic had convened. He was told that the
Senate met in a larger building which had been torn down, as
had been numerous log buildings near by which were used
by various governmental departments in 1836-37.
John Adriance, an outstanding citizen of the community,
was among those interviewed by Spillane. In October, 1835,
when a youth of seventeen, Adriance had sailed from New
York City for Texas on the schooner Julius Caesar. He located
at the present East Columbia, then known as Bell's Landing,
and there resided for the rest of his long life. During the
spring campaign of 1836 he served in the Army of Texas as
a member of Captain Jacob Eberly's Company of mounted
gunmen. He was eighty years old when interviewed by Spillane,
who wrote of him:
In a somnolent old town on the west bank of the Brazos there lives a
scholarly old man who knows more, perhaps, of early Texas history than
any other person now living. He is one of the few links between the past
and present, one of the few men who took an active part in the stirring
events of more than sixty years ago, when Texas battled for freedom
and the armed host of Mexico overran the whole region which is now
known as South Texas. This man is John Adriance... .
Many positions of honor and importance have been filled by Mr.
"John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (St. Louis:
L. E. Daniel, 1895), 53.
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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/m1/9/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.