Today, we celebrate Texas’ birthday and remember the sacrifice made by those early Texans to win independence from Mexico. Only nine years after the Mexican Province of Texas seceded to become the independent Republic of Texas, it was accepted into the union as the twenty-eighth state in the U.S… one hundred and sixty-one years ago today.
Let’s take an abridged look at the historical context of the statehood of Texas:
- 1529 — Spanish explorers become the first Europeans to map the Texas coast.
- 1685 — Fort St. Louis founded at Matagorda Bay, thus establishing the French claim to Texan territory.
- 1690 – 1821 — Texas was governed as a Spanish colony separate from New Spain, known as the “Kingdom of Texas”
- 1718 — The town of San Antonio founded by father Antonio Olivares
- 1724 — Construction on the San Antonio de Valero Mission (The Alamo) begins
- 1821 — Mexico wins its independence from Spain
- 1824 — Mexico enacts the Constitution of 1824 and makes a compact with Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” to encourage the settlement of Tejás (Spanish for “friends”) by citizens of the neighboring U.S.
- 1835 — Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, fearful of the swelling numbers of American citizens residing in Texas, breaks the covenant of the 1824 Constitution. He imprisons Stephen F. Austin and terrorizes the people of Texas.
- 1836 — In late February the two-week struggle of 189 men in a San Antonio Mission against the Mexican force of 5,000 occurs. All defenders of the mission are slain, but not before taking the lives of 1,000 of their Mexican opponents… The Battle of the Alamo has ended.
- 1836 — “Remember the Alamo” echoes in the hearts of the Texas soldiers in the battle of San Jacinto, where Texas independence was ultimately won. Under the leadership of General Sam Houston, the small band of 800 Texas soldiers, surprised and successfully destroyed the largely superior Mexican force of over 2,000 men near what is now Houston. In a mere 18 minutes the battle had concluded leaving only 74 Texan casualties and nearly 1,500 Mexican casualties. La Provencia de Tejás becomes the Republic of Texas.
- 1845 — On December 29, the long-fought battle for acceptance in to the United States union is won.
- 1861 — On February 1, by a Secession Convention vote of 166 to 8, Texas agrees to secede from the union and ally itself with the Confederacy.
- 1865 — On June 19, just two months after Lee’s surrender of the army of Northern Virginia, 2,000 union soldiers arrive at Galveston Island and force Texas back into the union.
p.s. You’re welcome to click on and use the image of the Texas flag for whatever you will. Original from scratch, courtesy of yours truly.