Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 39
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CENTRAL TEXAS HISTORY 39
sent orders to Fannin to pull back, also, and be pre- surged forward, partially screened by trees and rolling
pared to cooperate. Once again, Fannin waited too terrain, shouting "Remember the Alamo! Remember
long. Starting out on March 19, his men were soon sur- Goliad!" Eighteen minutes later, it was over. The
rounded by Gen. Urrea's troops. The 400 men were Texans lost nine men, and 34 were wounded.
marched back to Goliad and imprisoned for a week. On Santa Anna was found in hiding the next day and
Palm Sunday, they were led into the woods and shot. was captured.
Many escaped. The freedom of the new nation had been bought at
Retreating toward the coast, Houston and his army great price. But for the next nine years, the republic's
of about 900 cut Santa Anna off from his only means of leaders spent much time and effort to lose that freedom
escape. At about 4 p.m. on April 21, while Santa Anna - to the United States. Annexation became the goal of
napped, Houston ordered the attack. The Texans the Texas government.
The Reluctant Republic
Was there ever so reluctant a nation as the Republic
of Texas? In the same Sept. 1836 election in which the
first elected officials of the republic were chosen and
the constitution was ratified, the voters overwhelmingly
approved a proposal to request annexation to the Unit-
The new republic had a massive debt and few assets
except land. Land was used to pay veterans of the revo-
lution and to lure homesteaders to settle. Heads of fami-
lies could receive a first-class headright, which was a
league and a labor of land (4,605 acres). Single men
over 17 could receive 1/3 league (1,476 acres). An addi-
tional bounty of 320 acres was available for each three
months of military service, up to two sections.
Several forts were built in Central Texas during the
days of the republic for protection from sporadic Indian
raids. Some of them were set up by individual settlers
and others were built as ranger camps. These forts in-
cluded Fort Colorado, also called Coleman's Fort, a
ranger post established on Walnut Creek about seven
miles east of Austin in June 1836; Little River Fort, also
called Fort Griffin or Smith's Fort, built for a company
of rangers on the Leon River in present Bell County in
Nov. 1836; Fort Fisher, a temporary ranger post on
Waco Springs in 1837; Kenney's Fort, built in 1839 on the
south side of Brushy Creek at its juncture with Dyer's
Creek in present Williamson County for protection of
the Kenney family; Fort Burleson, set up for protection
of settlers on the falls of the Brazos in present Falls
County in Aug. 1839; and Fort Boggy, the headquarters
of the Boggy and Trinity Rangers, built in 1840 five
miles south of present-day Centerville, Leon County,
and serving as protection for about 77 people.
In 1837, the town of Mina and the county of the same
name were incorporated and changed their names to
Bastrop to honor a friend of Moses Austin who called
himself the Baron de Bastrop. A Dutchman with a scan-
dal-tainted background, Bastrop had settled in San
Antonio about 1806, where he ran a freighting business.
He served as second alcalde of San Antonio in 1810 and
was a prime negotiator with the Mexican government
for Austin's colony.
In 1839, the Texas Congress authorized a com-
mission to select a site for a permanent capital north of
the Old San Antonio Road between the Trinity and Colo-
rado rivers. It was to be on major north-south and east-
west trade routes and near the center of the state. The
commission selected a site near Waterloo, an outpost on
the Colorado, about 80 miles northeast of San Antonio.
The location was enhanced by a mild climate and plen-
tiful water from nearby springs.
The town was laid out between Shoal and Waller
creeks under the direction of Judge Edwin Waller, a
signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, with
the assistance of $113,000 in Republic of Texas scrip and
200 laborers. Initially it was a mile-square crosshatch of
streets and cabins. Sites were selected for the capitol,
an armory, a hospital, a university, an academy, a peni-
tentiary and four public squares. The new capital was
named in honor of Stephen F. Austin. The first sale of
town lots was held on Aug. 1, 1839; 301 lots were sold for
a total of $182,585, which practically paid for the govern-
ment buildings under construction at the time. Houston
opposed the new capital, preferring to stay in his
namesake city on the Gulf Coast. But the seat of govern-
ment was moved to Austin in 1840.
The executive offices were housed in a double log
cabin (dog-trot cabin) at first. Pine lumber from the
"Lost Pines" near Bastrop was used in many early
Austin buildings. The president's house, called the
White House, was on a hill, with small slave cabins dot-
ting the grounds. Lamar and Houston lived there before
it burned in 1847.
Hope of some relief from Indian raids was raised
in January 1840, when three headmen of the Penateka
Comanches appeared in San Antonio requesting a
peace talk in March. They promised to return all their
white prisoners, numbering between 15 and 20, at that
time. Texas officials agreed. On March 19, about 65 Co-
manches arrived at the Council House in San Antonio,
led by a dozen chiefs and followed by many women and
children. But they brought only one prisoner - 15-year-
old Matilda Lockhart, who had clearly been tortured.
She reported that at least 15 other whites were captive,
and the Comanches planned to release the prisoners in-
dividually in order to get more ransom goods. Indian
Commissioner Hugh McLeod announced that the chiefs
would be held captive until all prisoners were returned
as promised. When the Comanches attempted to break
out of the Council House, the carnage that ensued left
seven Texans and 35 Comanches dead, including all of
the chiefs. The rest of the Indians were imprisoned. A
chief's widow took word back that the captives must be
released. The Penatekas responded to the whites'
treachery by executing their white captives.
But the angry Indians saved their major retaliatory
strike for August, when they swept across Central Tex-
as following the only remaining chief, the one called
Buffalo Hump by the whites. About 400-500 warriors par-
ticipated, and there were about 500 family members
plus 3,000 horses and many wagons and pack animals in
the raiding party.
The Comanches plunged down the Guadalupe
Valley, drawing the first blood on Aug. 5 near the site of
present-day Hallettsville. They thundered through Vic-
toria on Aug. 6, killing both whites and slaves. Their
headlong rush took them all the way to Linnville on La-
vaca Bay in present Calhoun County, far beyond their
usual range. They killed several people and took others
captive. Then they looted stores and warehouses. The
raiders loaded their wagons and pack animals with
plunder and turned back toward home, foolishly retrac-
ing their steps.
Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch called every available
man together at Good's Crossing on Plum Creek. The
Comanches, slowed by heavily loaded wagons that often
became mired in the boggy ground and with their party
strung out across the prairie, were met by about 200
Texans on Comanche Flats, five miles southeast of pres-
ent Lockhart. The Texans were joined by more than a
dozen unmounted Tonkawas, who wore white
armbands to distinguish themselves from the raiders.
The fighting ranged over 10 or 12 miles before the
Penatekas abandoned their loot and fled for their lives.
Texan casualties were light; about 80 Comanches were
killed. The once-horseless Tonkawas went home well-
mounted and completely equipped from the spoils.
After a Ranger expedition deep into the Comanches'
own territory the following October that killed 50 more
Indians, no more raids struck deeply into Central Tex-
as. However, Indians continued to harass the new capi-
tal on the Colorado.
in 1841, President Houston, who was cutting costs
wherever possible, renewed his efforts to negotiate a $5
million loan from France. But the Texans' side was
weakened by the Pig War.
France's first representative to the Republic of
Texas, Charge D'Affaires Jean Peter Isidore Alphonse
Dubois de Saligny, became embroiled in a dispute with
hotel keeper Richard Bullock. Bullock's pigs occasional-
ly invaded de Saligny's property next door, ruining his
garden and eating his papers. De Saligny complained,
but Bullock refused to corral his swine. The Frenchman
ordered his servant to kill any marauding porkers. Bull-
ock, angry that de Saligny was protected by diplo-
matic immunity, thrashed the servant. The "Pig
War" ended when de Saligny broke off diplomatic
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/43/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.