Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 61 of 894



ng: Sister, sister ! ' And tears of joy
mingled with audible sobs fell from three of the
most distinguished men of Texas, all long since
gathered to their fathers
Cunningham in Mexican
bondage in 1842, Robinson in Southern California
about 1850, and Hemphill in the Confederate
Senate in 1862. But when such tears flow do not
the angels sing paeans around the throne of Him
who took little children "up in His arms, put His
hands upon them and blessed them I "

. .. . .

Texas Independence
A Glimpse at the First Capitals, Harrisburg,
Galveston, Velasco, Columbia, the First Real
Capital, Houston, and Austin, the
First Permanent Capital.

Independence was declared in a log cabin, without
glass in its windows, in the now almost extinct
town of Washington-on-the-Brazos, on the second
day of March, 1836. The government ad interim,
then established, with David G. Burnet as President,
and Lorenzo de Zavala as Vice-president, first
organized at Harrisburg, but soon fled from Santa
Anna's army down to the barren island of Galveston,
where it remained till a short time after the battle
of San Jacinto, when it moved to Velasco, at the
mouth of the Brazos. After the first election under
the Republic, President Burnet, by proclamation,
assembled the First Congress, President and Vicepresident,
at the town of Columbia, on the Brazos,
on the 3d of October, 1836. No other place in
Texas, at the time (excepting, perhaps, Nacogdoches,
in the extreme 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 Capt. Henry S.
Brown, father of the author, and in it he died on
July 26, 1834, his attending physician being Dr.
Anson Jones, afterwards the last President of the
Republic. This building was torn down early in
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 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 Secretary
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 S. Fisher, who died in 1845,
while Gen. Rusk died in 1857); and Samuel Rhoads
Fisher, as Secretary of the Navy (who died in
1839.) A portion of the officers were in other
buildings and for a time one House of the Congress
occupied a different building.
In this really first Capitol of Texas were enacted
all the original laws for organizing the Republic and
its counties, and the afterwards famous law defining
its boundaries, the western line of which was the
Rio Grande del Norte from its source to its entrance
into the Gulf of Mexico; and in it Robert
J. Walker, of Mississippi, then a distinguished
member of the United States Senate, was received
as the guest of the infant nation.
From Columbia the capital was moved to the
new town of Houston in the spring of 1837. From
Houston it was removed to the newly planned
frontier town of Austin in October, 1839, and here
is where I propose to locate what follows.
The government was established at Austin in
October, 1839. Mirabeau B. Lamar, one of the
truest knights of chivalry that ever figured on Texas
soil, was President; David G. Burnet, the embodiment
of integrity
learned and experienced
Vice-president; Abner S. Lipscomb, one of the
trio who subsequently gave fame to the judicial
decisions of Texas, was Secretary of State;
Albert Sidney Jobnston, the great soldier and

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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .

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