ABOUT WASHINGTON ON THE BRAZOS
On March 2, 1836, 59 delegates from all parts of the Texas settlement bravely met at Washington, Texas to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico, proclaiming to the world that Texas was a sovereign nation. Revered as the place “Where Texas Became Texas,” the replica of Independence Hall on the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site grounds marks the very place where the government of the Republic of Texas was created and proudly existed in 1836 and again from 1842-1845.
The delegates meeting in convention periodically received letters from the Alamo while it was under siege, leading to heated discussions about what the delegates’ duty should be. When a delegate moved that the convention put its business on hold and ride to the defense of the Alamo, Texas Army General and delegate Sam Houston insisted that the meeting continue. He pointed out that without both a declaration and a constitution, Texans would be considered “nothing but outlaws, and can hope neither for the sympathy nor respect of mankind.” William Barret Travis, in a letter that was received in Washington on the day the Alamo fell, reiterated his determination to fight to the death. On the second page of the letter, Travis threatened convention delegates to finish their work, saying, “ …let the convention go on and make a declaration of independence and we will then understand and the world will understand what we are fighting for. If independence is not declared, I shall lay down my arms and so shall the men under my command.” The delegates finished their work as Santa Anna and his army marched eastward, hell-bent on capturing the political leaders of the rebellion. The work the delegates accomplished before abandoning Washington changed the world forever. While little remains of Old Washington, the spirit of those early freedom-seeking Texans pervades the park and its programs, allowing visitors to experience life before and during the Republic era.
Sixty years after the United States signed its Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Independence Hall at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is the place Where Texas Became Texas and we signed our own Declaration of Independence from Mexico.
Take a step back into the 1850s. Join costumed staff and experience a day in the life of the Jones family as you experience daily activities such as gardening, cooking at an open hearth, and caring for the different breeds of livestock. Explore the life and original home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.
Star of the Republic Museum
The Museum inspires interest, understanding and appreciation of Texas heritage for students, teachers, scholars, and the general public through interactive exhibits, tours, programs, web activities and outreach.
Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site
Nestled amid the rolling hills of Grimes County in Anderson, Texas, about 20 miles northwest of Washington on the Brazos, Fanthorp Inn stands as a wonderfully preserved example of a 19th century stagecoach inn.
Visitor Center & Gift Shop
The Visitor Center & Gift Shop features interactive exhibits in the Gallery of the Republic which present a timeline of the Texas Revolution and highlights the historic attractions of the park.
Six Flags Over Texas Monument
Located outside the park in nearby Navasota, the monument celebrates Texas’ heritage with a timeline of flags, representing the six nations that built the unique character of Texas.
With picturesque views of the Brazos Valley, the Conference Center, the Overlook Room, and the adjoining patio are perfect spaces for meetings, weddings and reunions.
Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is situated on 293 acres of lush park land. Get a glimpse of why we cherish the place Where Texas Became Texas as you browse these photographs. Then come visit us and take your own tour of Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and Star of the Republic Museum.
The Historical Foundation
Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, exists to help preserve the rich history of the heroic actions taken by our forefathers at Washington on the Brazos with the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. The Foundation raises funds to facilitate programs, celebrations, and education at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site, Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall, Barrington Plantation and Fanthorp Inn. You can play a vital role in Texas History, join the Foundation today!