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. It was also less flood-prone than that of settlements closer to the river’s edge. By December 1835, the town became an important post in the fight for Texas Independence. General Sam Houston made Washington his headquarters and concentration point for Texas Army volunteers and supplies. According to the Handbook of Texas, “By 1836 the residents numbered approximately 100. To stimulate further growth, Washington businessmen offered an assembly hall without charge to attract the Convention of 1836 to their town. These town promoters rented the only structure large enough for deliberations, an unfinished building, from entrepreneur Noah T. Byars.”
The photo is 1836 J.H. Young New Map of Texas with the Contiguous American & Mexican States. This map shows Washington very clearly along with other major cities along the Brazos River. Courtesy of the University of Texas at Arlington. To see a larger version of this map, visithttp://libguides.uta.edu/ccon.