Today being Texas Independence Day, it seems fitting to take a look back at a bit of Texas history.
I saw this statue last week when I was on Congress. I hadn’t seen it before, but it commemorates one of my favorite episodes in Texas history: The Texas Archive War. It’s one of those things that makes you proud to be an Austinite.
In 1839, the Republic of Texas’ capitol was moved from the festering swamplands of Houston to Austin, a move that former president Sam Houston did not like. When Houston became president again in 1841, he ordered the capitol moved back to Houston and sent some men to retrieve the nation’s archives from the dirty commie hippies in Austin.
When his goons arrived and began loading up the archives, which were stored in the General Land Office, Austinites were asleep, but Angelina Eberly heard noise, ran outside and fired a canon to alert the locals. Even though she blew a hole in the General Land Office building, Houston’s men escaped with the archives.
A posse of angry Austinites took the canon and chased Houston’s men to Round Rock where they surrendered without a fight (Houston had ordered that no one get hurt), thus ending the Texas Archive War.
The statue honors Angelina Eberly without whose heroism and prowess with a canon, the capitol might still be in Houston and Texas’ conservative politicians would never have been able to enjoy their biennial Austin bashing.