Located in Sam Houston Park, this marker describes the history of what was once the Republic of Texas. During Texas’ time as an independent republic (March 2, 1836-February 19, 1846), Houston served for a brief time as the Republic’s capital under the domain of President Sam Houston before the next president, Mirabeau B. Lamar, moved the capital to Austin in 1839. The republic gained independence from Mexico in 1836. Its land included all of present-day Texas as well as portions of present-day Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
General Santa Anna of Mexico and Interim President David G. Burnet
of Texas signed the Treaties of Velasco, between Mexico and the Republic of
Texas, which Texans intended to end hostilities between Mexico and Texas and
begin the official breakaway of the independent Texas Republic. There were two
treaties—a public and a secret one; however, the validity of both was later
questioned, as Santa Anna had only signed them under duress while being held
prisoner. Even after the treaties were signed, Mexico viewed Texas as a
breakaway province but was too weak to attempt further attacks and invasions.
Notably, the documents were not even called treaties until President James K.
Polk called them such while justifying war about ten years later. The public
treaty’s terms included releasing Santa Anna to Veracruz; however, he was kept
as a prisoner of war for six months until travelling to Washington DC to meet
with President Andrew Jackson about negotiating a permanent peace between
Mexico and Texas. Following this, he sailed to Veracruz on the USS Pioneer,
escorted by the US Navy and arrived in Veracruz on February 23, 1837.
Sam Houston rode into the city with his government on April
1, 1837. On December 5, 1837, some important Texas figures, such as war heroes,
founded the Texas Philosophical Society. The Philosophical Society of Texas for
the Collection and Diffusion of Knowledge’s initial goal was to create a space
for the unification of great minds of the day, including scientists, scholars,
military commanders, and travelers. Current proceedings of the organization
include lectures on energy policy, discussion about immigration within the
state of Texas, and current national security policy.