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?
The 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, Galveston, 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.
The 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 Caesar, 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 annexation 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.