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Maps: States of Texas

  1520s | 1720s | 1810s | 1824 | 1836 | 1850 

Independent Nation, 1836

Independent Nation, 1836 Texas' population swelled as American settlers arrived. By the mid-1830s, there were about 30,000 Anglo residents in Texas, and only 4,000 Tejanos, or Texans of Spanish descent. Many Texans increasingly wanted to be free of Mexican control. On March 2, 1836, a group of citizens approved a Declaration of Independence from Mexico. At the same time, the Mexican army had trapped Tejano and American rebels at the Alamo. On the morning of March 6th, the Mexican forces attacked and slaughtered hundreds of people, including all of the fort's defenders.

Six weeks later, Sam Houston, the energetic commander-in-chief of the Texas Army, surprised Santa Anna's troops at San Jacinto. The rebel forces routed the Mexicans, avenging the fall of the Alamo. Santa Anna was captured and later signed the Treaty of Velasco, ending the fight for Texas. Houston, an imposing man who had emigrated to Texas from Tennessee, became the new republic's first president.

Sam Houston A few months after the Battle of San Jacinto, in a place less than 15 miles from the battle site, two brothers set their sights on building "the great commercial emporium of Texas." Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen took out a newspaper ad promoting the "Town of Houston" and persuaded the Texas Congress to make the new city the temporary capital in 1837, a status it held for two years.

Houston dredged a new ship channel in 1914. The improved port, and America's growing demand for oil, made Houston Texas' largest city by 1930.

"Our Cavalry was first dispatched to the front of the Enemy's left, for the purpose of attracting their notice... Col. Sherman with his regiment having commenced the action upon our left wing the whole line at the center and on the right, advancing in double quick time, sung the war cry 'Remember the Alamo'..."
-- Sam Houston, reporting on the Battle of San Jacinto

Image Credit:
Texas State Library & Archives Commission

page created on 1.30.2004
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