The Archives War Cool Austin Story! This story came from a fabulous book about Austin called The Republic of Austin by Jeffrey Kerr
A New Election… The Election of 1841 Burnet was a friend of Lamar and believed the same things that Lamar did Sam Houston David G. Burnet
The Intro… Houston ran against David G. Burnet in the 1841 election Burnet was a friend of Lamar and believed the same things that Lamar did Because of Houston’s win… Austinites feared for their city future as capital of Texas… the KNEW Houston wanted move it east… back to Houston… Boo!!! All Houston needed to do to move the capital is move the archives (like the Constitution) to a city farther east (like HOUSTON or Washington-on- the-Brazos)
“We did heare that you was goin to move the seat of government… you swore you would do it, and then when you come to Austin and found out the boys would not let you do it you sed you never was goin to move it… the truth is that you are afeard… Now old fellow if you want to try Ned Burlesons spunk jist try to move those papers!” Houston claimed the biggest reason he wanted to move the capital was in case the Mexicans invaded Texas… Austin was a lot closer to Mexico than Houston
Houston’s Attempt #1 Unfortunately, the Mexicans helped Houston’s cause by invading Texas on March 5, 1842 Gen. Vasquez and his army of about 500 soldiers invaded San Antonio But… they didn’t stay and there was no battle… they just left However, the Texans started freaking out… they panicked! Secretary of War, George Hockley, ordered the archives in Austin to be buried to keep them out of Mexican hands After Vasquez left, Houston ordered that the archives be dug up and moved farther east to Washington-on-the-Brazos However… angry Austinites refused… to make their point, they moved a cannon out into a shed on Congress Ave. (between 6 th and 7 th streets) in case Houston’s troops tried to take the archives Houston accused the Austinites of treason… but he gave up this time… he left the archives there… whatever… you BETTER NOT try to take them again… we’re just sayin’
Houston’s Attempt #2 The Mexicans returned… on September 11, 1842, Gen. Woll invades San Antonio This time there is a battle… Texans WON!!! But, 35 Texans are killed (sadness) Now Houston REALLY wanted the archives farther east… he increased his efforts to move them (good luck, buddy) Houston sent two guys (John and Buck) to Austin and they walked up to the Land Office in broad daylight and loaded the archives into the wagon in front of the entire town… heh… not a good idea… They went to a local saloon to spend the night… The next morning the went outside and found a large crowd of angry Austinites pointing a cannon at them… John tried to leave, but Buck pointed to a member of the mob and said, “See here John, I know that lady and she will shoot.” John and Buck left town, but the Austinites had shaved the tail, mane and ears of Bucks horse (aww… poor horse)
Houston’s Attempt #3 Houston didn’t give up… he ordered two different guys, Major Smith and Captain Chandler to get 20 of their soldiers and go to Austin Once they got there, they were supposed to tell the Austinites that they were there to stop an Indian raid So… around noon on December 30, 1842, “someone” raised the Indian alarm in Austin The women and children took cover at Bullock’s Hotel on 6 th and Congress, and the men ran out into the woods to look for the Indians Meanwhile… back at the land office, Smith and Chandler had their 20 men surround the Land Office while they went inside and got the archives Smith, Chandler and their men led the wagon train with the archives down 8 th Street out of town Back at Bullock’s Hotel, the inkeeper, Angelina Eberly saw the men leaving and realized what they were doing. She got Robertson and some other men to roll the cannon out of its shed… She was waiting for them with a lit fuse and BOOM!!!! She fires the cannon at Smith and Chandler (HA!!! Take that!)
Smith and Chandler’s startled men loaded the last of the archives and booked it out of town Meanwhile, the men of Austin, hearing the cannon fire, abandoned their fruitless search for Indians and came back to town While the people of Austin tried to decide what to do next, Smith and his men continued north to Brushy Creek The Austinites followed their trail throughout the night and came upon Smith’s men at dawn Smith tried to talk to the leaders of the Austinites by saying the president told him to do it and they laughed at him Then, Smith’s own men let him know that they had joined the Texas Army to fight Indians… not fellow Texans… Smith gave up… and so did Houston The Austinites returned to Austin to a hero’s welcome… lots of cheering and a big feast Moral of the story? Houston may run the country, but the capital of Texas was run by the people of AUSTIN!!!!