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Eighth Capital, Austin

Austin was chosen as the eighth and final capital of Texas in 1839. The area impressed Mirabeau Lamar for its healthy climate and scenic beauty. Many protested that the site was in the middle of nowhere and would require constant defense from the Comanches. However, Congress still voted to approve the new location and named it Austin after Stephen F. Austin. Congress appointed Edwin Waller, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, to take charge of developing the new capital. President Lamar and his cabinet moved there in October 17, 1839. Soon though, Mexican troops threatened San Antonio in March of 1842. Houston ordered the government to move to Houston and sent men to fetch the archives. Austin citizens feared if the archives left, Austin would lose its status as the permanent capital. The citizens stopped Houston’s men and returned the archives to Austin. The city officially came capital again in 1844. Several log buildings were used to build the first capital structure which burned in November 1881. The permanent structure was opened in May 1888.

The photo is the first permanent Capitol in Austin burning in 1881 courtesy of the Texas Almanac.