The Legations of The Republic of Texas

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In honor of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and all those who fight every day for our freedoms. Never take them for granted.

 

From the day I started researching my first manuscript set in Texas, I’ve been fascinated by the history of Texas. Much has been said about the Republic of Texas – but did you know it only existed for ten years?

republic-of-texas-sealThe Republic of Texas was a sovereign nation that existed from 1836 to 1846. The first Congress of the Republic of Texas convened in October 1836 at what is now West Columbia. Stephen F. Austin, referred to as the “Father of Texas,” served as Secretary of State for the new Republic for only two months before his death on December 27, 1836.

In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas: Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galvestofirst-republic-texas-flagn, Velasco and Columbia before President Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved again, this time by President Mirabeau B. Lamar, to the new town of Austin, where it remains today. And during the time of the Republic, Texas had embassies.

Technically they were Legations, not embassies, since Texas was a Republic, not a recognized country. There were Legations of the Republic of Texas in London, Paris and Washington D.C., serving to improve diplomatic ties–and to beg for loans.

texas-legation_paris_placevendomeThe Legation in France was housed at 1 Place Vendome 75001, rue de la Paix, Paris, where the famous Vendome Column, was erected in 1810, torn down in 1871, and rebuilt, with Napolean again depicted as Ctexas-legation_london_plaqueaesar, three years later. There’s a plaque there, showing its location.

The London Legation building was at 3 St. James Street, near Buckingham Palace. The building now houses Berry Brothers Wine Merchants, with a plaque recognizing its former tenants.

And I didn’t find an address for the Legation in Washington D.C., but I’ll keep looking–because it’ll drive me nuts not knowing!

The Legations weren’t needed for long. On February 28, 1845, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the annextx-flagation of the Republic of Texas. On October 13, 1845 a large majority of voters in the Republic approved it. and Texas bypassed the territorial phase and became a U.S. state on December 29, 1845.

A lot happened in those ten years – enough for more books than I could write in a lifetime. But I’m going to try.

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History, Texas, cowboys, horses—these are a few of Tracy’s favorite things. Check out her westerns at www.TracyGarrett.com.

23 thoughts on “The Legations of The Republic of Texas”

  1. Hi Tracy, what great information and I look forward to many more books by you! I did not know the republic lasted only ten years. When I was in college, the Texas kids were absolutely passionate about their state. They would celebrate various holidays, hoist the Lone Star flag. Thanks for a good post. oxoxoxox

  2. I’m a Texan by marriage, so I missed out on all the great Texas history classes in high school. I never took a California history course, so I’m guessing that Texas is unique in the way they emphasize their state’s history. The passion is definitely real, though, and since I’ve been adopted in, I’m trying to catch up on my book learnin’ just as fast as I can. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into those days of the Republic.

  3. Tracy,

    I also want to say my prayers and thoughts go out to all on this day of mourning. I homeschool my daughter and we are going to discuss 9/11 in detail today. She was only 3 when this happened.

    I cannot wait to read more of your books. They are son interesting as your posts are.

    Also if you have a minute I want to offer to do an interview on you I think maybe you might have the interview questions If not please email me, navajotrust@yahoo.com

    Walk in peace and harmony,

    Melinda

  4. Wow, I had no idea, Tracy. What fascinating history. Plenty of book material there. And readers seem to love books about Texas.
    Remembering the tragedy of 9-11 today. Also babysitting so my son and his wife can celebrate their wedding anniversary. A day of mixed emotions.

  5. Hi Tracy – great info on the blog. I love Texas and books about Texas. There’s so much history there and I always learn something fascinating about the Lone Star State!

    I’ve been watching the memorials today and it’s just as heartwrenching as always. My heart goes out to all who lost family and friends and for all of those there that day. The memories must be haunting.

  6. Fascinating. But isn’t Texas still a Republic — I mean doesn’t the Constitution guarantee to each state a Republican form of government? I don’t mean the Republican party, but rather a Republican style of government — where the people are basically the government, etc. Did you know that there are differences — major ones — between a Republic and Democracy and that our Founding Fathers created a Republic, not a Democracy — they actually loathed a Democracy, calling it rule by the mob.

    Interesting history… Thanks so much Tracy.

  7. Hi Karen and Melissa!

    Karen, you married a Texan, huh? They are a pretty independent breed, I hear.

    Actually I have many friends who are Texan, and my husband — originally from Montana, also spent many years in Texas.

    Melinda, I do think today is a good day for prayer. Thanks for bringing that up on this, 11 September 2009. May we never forget and may we never give away our freedoms for “protection.”

    Giving away your freedoms for “protection.” Is it just me or doesn’t that sound like the guy on the street who comes to you and says — “You want to buy this insurance to protect your business, don’t you” (asking for your hard-earned cash — giving away something that is yours — like your freedom is inately yours) And if you don’t say yes, you don’t have his “protection”?

  8. Thanks for the information, Tracy. I’m a native
    Texan, you so stirred my love for the state that
    I had to take a break and sing a verse of the State
    Song, “Texas, Our Texas”! All children were taught
    the song, all three verses and chorus, when they
    entered school. This was back in the medieval days
    when I attended school! I don’t know about today!
    Shame, shame if it’s not done now!

    Pat Cochran

  9. Pat, that reminds me. They do still learn the song. And I’ll never forget the first time I heard my kids recite the Pledge of Alliegance – without taking a breath they all immediately went into the “Honor the Texas Flag” pledge. Not growing up in Texas, I had never heard of pledging to a state flag, but they indoctrinate them young out here. it’s fun for them to feel part of this great heritage, though.

  10. Tracy. . . fascinating tidbits, the kind I love to learn. It made me run to my book shelves and pick up James Michener’s “Texas” and I plan to reread it again over the next week. Have you read it? If so, did you feel it was accurate? His “Space” novel had serious errors (I’m from Huntsville and my dad worked for the space agency) and it made me suspect his other books.

  11. Pat – I’ve never read Michener’s Texas. I wonder if it is less factural and more novel style. Still, the facts he uses should be correct or it can be very misleading for readers.

  12. Pat, I’ve only read Hawaii and Centennial. Never thought to check accuracy, but I totally enjoyed both giant novels. I think anything can be slanted any which way, unfortunately. I think I’d like to tru Michener’s Texas, at least. But I’ve got a long TBR list ahead of it. (As I recall, his page numbers are endless.)

  13. Tracy, I learned something today. I’ve lived in Texas most of my life but never knew that when the state was a replubic they had embassies in foreign countries. That’s amazing. Now you’ve got me wondering who the ambassadors were. Hmmmm.

    Strange that Texas even now talks about seceeding from the Union every time we get upset about something in Washington. In fact, Governor Perry mentioned that in a talk a month or so ago and got in some hot water.

  14. Texas is full of great history and even for a native Kansan I still enjoy all the stories. Of course Kansas and Missouri(where I live now) have a few stories of their own. I don’t live very far from an apartment where Bonnie & Clyde lived.

  15. The story of international relations in the Republic of Texas is indeed fascinating. England spent its time trying to stave off statehood for Texas; the United States coveted the territory but struggled mightily with the issue of admitting another slave holding state. Mexico, which maintained an unenforcable claim upon Texas even after the Battle of San Jacinto, twice sent armies northward as far as San Antonio. The French Charge d’Affaires, Alphonse de Saligny, pushed the Franco-Texan bill, aimed at promoting French colonization on the Texas frontier. His failure may have contributed to his personal feud with an Austin hotel owner over some hogs that temporarily ruptured relations between France and Texas, an affair now known as “The Pig War.” Once you’ve finished reading these great updates from Tracy and the other authors on this site, check out the stories at blog.jeffreyskerr.com!

  16. Hi all,
    I’m taking a break between workshops at the Colorado Gold Conference. Thanks for dropping in today! I’ll check in and respond later this weekend, so check back when you can.

  17. I must agree, Tracy, that this is a fascinating period. Researching my own Texas series 1821-1847, I’ve discovered so much I never knew.
    Best of luck with your books.
    Lyn Cote

  18. I knew texas was a Republic for a short period of time, but did not know it was this formalized or existed for 10 years. Hadn’t realized it had gotten to the point of having legations in foreign countries. We are headed to Texas in 2 weeks for a reunion and vacation. Will be checking out the history like we always do.
    Thanks for an interesting post.

  19. Facinating blog. I shall be looking into it in even more depth. Love reading about the history of our country.

    Prayers for those affected by 9-11 go heavenward often.

  20. Great – I’ve never read a book about the Canadian Mounties but I used to love watching a show about them when I was younger. I look forward to it and would love to win a copy to review.

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