Juneteenth Heritage Program

Come celebrate with us on: June 24th, 2017

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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


Texas State Fruit – Texas red Grapefruit

The Texas Red Grapefruit was adopted as the Texas state fruit on May 17, 1993. The fruit was first discovered by Texas citrus growers in 1929. It generates more revenue than any other tree fruit in Texas. The legislature said, “This variety of grapefruit has been carefully nurtured and perfected over time and is renowned  Read more


Texas State Fish – Guadalupe Bass

The Guadalupe Bass was adopted as the Texas state fish on May 10, 1989. The Guadalupe Blass is found only in Texas and is part of a group of fish collectively called the black bass. It inhabits fast-running streams and small rivers in the center part of the state. The legislature says “though its small  Read more


Texas State Tree – Pecan Tree

The Pecan Tree was adopted as the Texas state tree in 1919. Fossil remains show that the Pecan tree was found in Texas long before humans came around. The tree can live for thousands of years and is wide spread throughout the state. People started considering it a favorite tree of Texas when Governor James  Read more