Tag Archives: Republic of Texas

Sam Houston & Texas Independence

The Surrender of Santa Anna

Sam Houston arrived in Texas in 1832 and became embroiled in the politics of independence. He became a Major General in the Texas Army in 1835. In 1836 Houston was appointed Commander-in-Chief at the Convention for Texas Independence. The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2, 1836 and the Siege of the Alamo ended with the deaths of the defenders followed by the execution at Goliad of James Fannin and about 400 men who had surrendered which had been ordered by General Santa Anna.  After a chase across Texas, while Santa Anna’s army rested, Houston attacked and defeated Santa Anna who signed the Treaty of Velasco which granted Texas its independence.

Houston was elected President of the Republic of Texas twice. During the second term, he was attempted to make peace with the Native Americans, avoid war with Mexico, and support the annexation of Texas into the United States. On February 26, 1845, Congress passed the joint resolution authorizing annexation.  On July 4, 1845, the Texan Congress endorsed the American annexation and began writing the its Constitution. The citizens of Texas approved the new constitution and the annexation ordinance on October 13, 1845.  President Polk signed the documents admitting Texas into the United States on December 29, 1845.

Tomorrow,

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Person of Interest: Sam Houston

On October 22, 1836, Sam Houston was sworn in as President of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston was a 19th-century American lawyer, statesman, politician, and soldier. He was a governor of both Tennessee and Texas but is best known for bringing Texas into the United States. Houston was born in Rockbridge County Virginia in 1793 of a Scot-Irish family who moved to Tennessee. He served in the War of 1812 and worked with the removal of the Cherokee. Andrew Jackson was his mentor. Houston became Governor of Tennessee in 1827 but resigned after his divorce and moved to Arkansas. After an altercation with a Congressman, he moved to Texas and became a leader of the Revolution.

Houston supported the Revolution and admission of Texas as a state. He was the first 1st  (1836 -1838) and 3rd (1841-1844) President of the Republic of Texas. He served as a U.S. Senator from 1846 to 1859 where he fought to keep the union together. He was governor from 1859-1861.  He was removed from office when he refused to swear allegiance to the Confederacy when Texas seceded in 1861. He retired to Huntsville, TX where he died in 1863.

Tomorrow, Sam Houston’s Personal Life     Rita Bay

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Texas Rangers

A couple of Rangers

Sorry the post is late–don’t know why it didn’t post at midnight.  Rita 

    Texas Ranger history dates the first rangers to 1823, when Stephen F. Austin employed ten men to act as rangers to protect 600 to 700 newly settled families who arrived in Texas. The Texas Rangers were formally constituted in 1835.  Robert McAlpin Williamson was appointed the first Major of the Texas Rangers. Within two years the Rangers comprised more than 300 men. Following the creation of the Republic of Texas, newly elected president Mirabeau B. Lamar raised a force of 56 Rangers to fight the Cherokee and the Comanche. The size of the Rangers was increased to 150 by Sam Houston, President of the Republic, in 1841.

     The Rangers continued to participate in skirmishes with Indians through 1846.  When Texas was annexed within the United States, several companies of Rangers mustered into federal service. They played important roles at various battles of the Mexican-American War, acting as guides and participating in guerrilla warfare, soon establishing a fearsome reputation with the Mexicans and Americans.  Following the end of the war in 1848, Rangers participated in campaigns against the Comanche and other tribes, whose raids against the settlers and their properties had become common.

     The success of a series of campaigns in the 1860s marked a turning point in Rangers’ history. The U.S. Army could provide only limited and thinly stretched protection in the enormous territory of Texas. In contrast, the Rangers’ effectiveness when dealing with these threats convinced both the people of the state and the political leaders that a well-funded and organized local Ranger force was essential.

     After the secession of Texas from the United States in 1861 during the American Civil War, many Rangers enlisted to fight for the Confederacy.   After the War, the Rangers were temporarily replaced by the Union-controlled version by the Texas State Police which lasted only three years.  

The Original Rangers

    In 1873, the Rangers were recommissioned and the myth was born. The Rangers were surrounded with the mystique of the Old West, due in part to the work of sensationalistic writers and the contemporary press, who glorified and embellished their deeds in an idealized manner.  In fact, the Rangers were a collective force that, in exercise of the authority granted by the government, protected Texas against threats considered extremely evil at the time.

Tomorrow:    Niagara Falls               Rita Bay

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