Heritage, Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 1993 Page: 21
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200th Birthday of the "Father of Texas"
exhibit on the Colonial Period of Texas
history (1821-1836). Nearly five years in
planning and design, the Austin Colony
exhibit will be permanently located in the
building's spacious and impressive second
A birthday party on Courthouse Square
will also be held that Saturday. Carnival
rides, games, food, music, a birthday cake,
and cannon fire will keep crowds occupied
as they wait to view the exhibit.
The next morning will witness a "homecoming"
service honoring Austin at the
Gulf Prairie Church in Jones Creek. The
church occupies a site that was part of the
original Peach Point Plantation, home of
Austin's sister, Emily Austin Bryan Perry.
It was Austin's favorite place. He had an
office and bedroom there. He intended to
retire to this site when his work was finished.
Unfortunately, he died before he could
realize that dream but was laid to rest at the
family cemetery there. The cemetery and
his office and bedroom will be open to
visitors on both Saturday and Sunday from
2 until 5 p.m. The public is invited to
participate in the homecoming service.
Many descendants of the Austin-BryanPerry
family will be there to talk about their
On November 6 and 7, the town of San
Felipe, headquarters of the Austin Colony,
will sponsor "the grandest birthday celebration
Texas has ever had." It will include a
parade, historical programs, fireworks, crafts,
food, three stages of continuous entertainment,
and living history demonstrations. It
was the site of the conventions of 1823 and
1833, and the Consultation of 1835 that led
to the Revolution. Travis' message of
"Victory or Death" from the Alamo was
sent directly to San Felipe de Austin. It was
here that the first official Texas flag, the
"1824" flag first flew. The first newspaper,
"The Gazette", was founded here in 1829.
The first Sunday school was organized in
San Felipe by Thomas J. Pilgrim in 1829.
Texas' first governor, Henry Smith and
state representatives from each district were
elected here in 1835. The first book published
in Texas was printed in San Felipe de
Austin. The first official flag of independence,
the San Felipe flag, was raised here in
1836. It was also the birthplace of the Texas
Postal System, Texas Army, Texas Navy,
and the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately, not
much of that early San Felipe remains. Sam
Houston burned it to the ground on his
march to San Jacinto. It is on the road to
the Stephen F. Austin State Park, however,
so it remains an active community.
Other activities on the Bicentennial
calendar include an exhibit entitled "Stephen
F. Austin - Father of Texas and
Friend of the Atascosito District" at the
Sam Houston Regional Library and Research
Center in Liberty. It will run from
November 1 to December 31. On November
3, the Commission will itself conduct a
public "Salute to Stephen F. Austin" at the
State Capitol in Austin. That event will be
preceded by a special program honoring
Austin at nearby Austin High School. That
afternoon, the high school will conduct a
memorial service at Austin's grave at the
Hill of the Heroes in the State Cemetery.
Numerous other events honoring the
Father of Texas are currently being planned.
For more information, contact the Brazoria
County Historical Museum at (409) 8495711,
extension 1208, or 100 East Cedar,
Angleton, Texas 77515.
HERITAGE * SUMMER 1993 21
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 1993, periodical, Summer 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45416/m1/21/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.