Join us for the Juneteenth Heritage Celebration.

on June 22nd


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  Read more

Seventh Capital, Houston

Houston became the seventh capital of Texas when President Houston ordered the seat of government to Houston on December 15, 1836. Houston was formed when the Allen brothers acquired a tract of land on Buffalo Bayou near the former town of Harrisburg. The brothers named the town Houston after Sam Houston in hopes of him  Read more

Sixth Capital, West Columbia

Columbia (now West Columbia) became the sixth capital of Texas. It was founded by Josiah Hughes Bell in 1826. It was the first official capital of the new Republic. The newly elected Texas legislature met there for the first time on October 3, 1836. Sam Houston was inaugurated president on October 22, 1836. The House  Read more

Fifth Capital, Velasco

Velasco became the fifth capital of Texas. Even though some of Stephen F. Austin’s colonists landed at the site, people did not really start arriving until Mexico set up a customs port there in 1831. A town was soon established and the port became known as the “Boston harbor of the Texas Revolution.” The battle  Read more

Fourth Capital, Galveston

Galveston Island was the fourth capital of Texas. The Spanish discovered the island sometime in the 1500s. It wasn’t occupied by Europeans until the 1800s. Stephen F. Austin petitioned the Mexican Government in 1825 to establish Galveston as a port but the island remained unoccupied until 1830 when a Mexican customhouse was established. The Island  Read more

Third Capital, Harrisburg

Harrisburg was designated as the third capital of Texas. Harrisburg was established before 1825 on the survey of New York entrepreneur John Richardson Harris. Harrisburg was chosen as the new capital when on March 17 a report reached Washington on the Brazos that the Mexican cavalry had occupied Bastrop which was only 60 miles away.  Read more

Second capital, Washington on the Brazos

Washington on the Brazos was chosen as the second capital of the Republic. In 1821, Andrew Robinson’s family and other members of the Old Three Hundred settled near the future townsite. Robinson gave one quarter league of land to his daughter and son-in-law John W. Hall. Hall then laid out a town in 1833 and  Read more

First capital, San Felipe de Austin

Before Austin became the capital of our great state, seven other cities held the title of capital city in Texas. There were previous capitals established by the Mexican government and other ruling bodies but over the next month, we will explore the eight cities that held capital positions in relation to Texas Independence. San Felipe  Read more

Courier after the victory

After the victory at San Jacinto, Ross picked up President Burnet and his cabinet and took them to view the site of the battle at the request of Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk. The Yellow Stone then steamed back to Velasco on May 3 with the president and cabinet members along with their printing  Read more

Path towards Galveston

Houston released the boat and it set off towards Galveston. Ross knew that part of the Mexican Army would be waiting for them regardless that he and his men were not Texas army volunteers. Because they had aided the Texan rebels, they were at risk. So, Ross stacked cotton bales high on the desk as  Read more

The river crossing

On April 11, Houston received the Twin Sisters, two small cannons sent by the citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio. At 10 o’clock on the morning of April 12, Houston’s men began filing aboard the Yellow Stone. By the next day, more than 700 soldiers, 200 horses and supplies had been ferried across the swollen Brazos River  Read more

Letters between Houston and Captain Ross

On April 7, Santa Anna and his army arrive at a burned-out San Felipe. He then turned towards Harrisburg, the seat of the Texas government. Meanwhile, Houston was resting his men and waiting for supplies that never came. He moved his troops closer to the Brazos, into the canebreaks opposite Groce’s Landing. On Monday, April  Read more

The Yellow Stone at Groce’s Landing

In late March of 1836, the Yellow Stone was stopped at one of its regular stops, Groce’s Landing, just a short way downstream from Washington. At the same time, Houston and his army were weaving back and forth from the Colorado River to the Brazos River. Santa Anna had crossed the Colorado in pursuit, forcing  Read more

Early steamboat transportation

Steamboat transportation on the Brazos River began as early as 1829 but did not really pick up until 1835 with the introduction of the Steamship Yellow Stone. Although the River was hard to navigate, the steamboats offered a way of getting fresh goods back and forth between the interior cities such as Washington. Henry Jones,  Read more

Washington as a major town

Washington had become a major supply point by 1835 because of its location on the river and to major roads. Because of this, merchants and tradesmen from neighboring communities settled in the new town. Washington’s location was ideal because it was elevated on bluffs above the river with a plentiful water supply from nearby springs.  Read more

Robinson’s land near the river

In 1821, Andrew Robinson’s family and other members of the Old Three Hundred settled near what would be called the town of Washington. The next year Robinson was operating a ferry at the La Bahia crossing and a settlement named La Bahia developed at the busy ferry crossing. The Handbook of Texas says, “In 1831  Read more

Colonization of the Brazos

Although the Brazos was well known to Spanish explorers and missionaries who described the Indians along its banks, the first permanent settlements on the river were made by Anglo-Americans.In 1821, Stephen F. Austin obtained permission from Spanish Governor of Texas and Coahuila to explore the country on the Brazos River. He concluded the land was  Read more

Los Brazos de Dios

The full name of the Brazos River is Los Brazos de Dios, “the arms of God,” as named by the Spanish explorers when they first came over. How and who exactly named it this is still a mystery but there are several popular legends surrounding the naming. The first is the exploration by Francisco Vasquez  Read more

Texas State Insect – Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly was adopted as the Texas state insect on June 16, 1995. Monarch butterflies pass through Texas twice a year during their migrations north and south. The butterflies hibernate in the mountains of Mexico until early spring when they awaken and head north to Canada. On the way though, they stop in Texas  Read more

Texas State Bird – Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird was adopted as the Texas state bird in 1927. The Mockingbird can sing up to 200 songs including the songs of other birds and sounds from insects and amphibians. It is also very protective of its home, often swooping down at things getting too close to its nest. The Texas State legislature  Read more

Texas State Musical Instrument – Guitar

The guitar was adopted as the Texas state musical instrument on June 19, 1997. It is said the guitar originated from Spain although the looks and string configuration would have been different from today’s modern versions. The legislature believes, “the adoption of a symbol touting the Lone Star State’s contributions to the world of music  Read more

Texas State Moto – Friendship

Friendship was adopted as the Texas state motto in February 1930. The motto was most likely chosen because the name of Texas or Tejas was the Spanish pronunciation of the local Indian tribe’s word teyshas or thecas meaning friends or allies. Many believe “Remember the Alamo” is the Texas state motto. This is no longer  Read more

Texas State Vehicle – Chuck Wagon

The Chuck Wagon was adopted as the Texas state vehicle on May 27, 2005. The chuck wagon gained its importance in the cattle drives that took place after the Civil War to the mid-1800s. According to the legislature, “In 1866, Texas rancher and Civil War veteran Charles Goodnight first used an army surplus Studebaker wagon  Read more

Texas State Reptile – Texas Horned Lizard

The Texas Horned Lizard was adopted as the Texas state reptile on June 18, 1993. The Texas Horned Lizard is also referred to as the horned toad, horny toad and horned frog and with a lineage that can be traced back to the dinosaurs. It was put on the threatened species list in 1967 and  Read more

Texas State Footwear – Cowboy Boot

The Cowboy Boot was adopted as the Texas State footwear on June 15, 2007. Riding boots date back for centuries but the basic pattern of the cowboy boot as we know today was created during the post-Civil War trail drives between 1866 and 1890. During this time, cowboys drove millions of head of Texas cattle  Read more

Texas State Sport – Rodeo

The Rodeo was adopted as the Texas State sport on June 18, 1997. Modern rodeo events fall into two different general categories: rough stock events which include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding and timed events which include steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing and steer roping. The rodeo originally grew  Read more

Texas State Dish – Chili

Chili was adopted as the Texas state dish on May 11, 1977. The International Chili Cook-Off has been held in Texas in 1967. President Lyndon B. Johnson commented that “chili concocted outside of Texas is a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing,” and Will Rogers described Texas chili as “the bowl of blessedness.” The  Read more

Texas State Cooking Implement – Dutch Oven

The Dutch Oven was adopted as the Texas State Cooking Implement on June 18, 2005. The Dutch Oven is believed to date back to the early 1700s in Holland. It is unsure when the cooking implement came to America but in Texas it was used by the Spanish explorers, early settlers, ranchers and chuck wagon  Read more

Texas State Gem – Blue Topaz, Texas State Stone – Petrified Palmwood

The Texas Blue Topaz was adopted as the Texas state gem and Petrified Palmwood as the Texas state stone on March 26, 1969. The Blue Topaz is found in the Llano uplift area in Central Texas and is most commonly used in jewelry. Petrified Palmwood is generally found in eastern counties near the Texas Gulf  Read more

Texas State Dog – Blue Lacy

The Blue Lacy was adopted officially as the Texas state dog on June 18, 2005. The Blue Lacy is the only dog breed that originated in Texas and is named after brothers George, Ewin, Frank and Harry Lacy who settled in Texas in 1858. It is said that the family used greyhound, scenthound and coyote  Read more