Daughters of the Republic of Texas
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) is a sororal association dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 pioneer families and soldiers of the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is best known for its role as caretakers of The Alamo
Alamo Mission in San Antonio
The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, and now a museum, in San Antonio, Texas....

. They also operate a museum in Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 on the history of Texas
History of Texas
European conquistadors first arrived in the region now known as Texas in 1519, finding the region populated by various Native American tribes...

. Membership is limited to descendants of ancestors who "rendered loyal service for Texas" prior to February 19, 1846, the date the Republic ceased to exist and Texas handed over authority to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...



DRT was formed in 1891 by cousins Betty Eve Ballinger (1854-1936) and Hally Ballinger Bryan Perry (1868-1955). The organization was originally called the Daughters of the Lone Star Republic before taking its present name.

Hally's father Guy Morrison Bryan (1821-1901) had emigrated to Texas in 1831. In March 1836, Bryan became the courier for at least one of William Barret Travis's Alamo letters from Bell's Landing to Velasco
Velasco, Texas
Velasco was a town in Texas, United States, that was later annexed by the city of Freeport. Founded in 1831, Velasco is situated on the east side of the Brazos River in southeast Texas. It is sixteen miles south of Angleton, Texas, and four miles from the Gulf of Mexico.The town's early history is...

. He was an army orderly under Alexander Somervell, and in the Brazoria
Brazoria, Texas
Brazoria is a city of Brazoria County in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 2,787.Brazoria was originally founded as a port for Stephen F...

 volunteer company under John Coffee Hays
John Coffee Hays
Col. John Coffee "Jack" Hays was a Texas Ranger captain and military officer of the Republic of Texas. Hays served in several armed conflicts, including the Indian and the Mexican-American War.-Biography:...

. He served in both the Texas House of Representatives
Texas House of Representatives
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House is composed of 150 members elected from single-member districts across the state. The average district has about 150,000 people. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits...

 and Texas State Senate. Bryan was a veteran of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He was a charter member and president the Texas Veterans Association and charter member of the Texas State Historical Association
Texas State Historical Association
The Texas State Historical Association or abbreviated TSHA, is a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to documenting the rich and unique history of Texas. It was founded on March 2, 1897. As of November 2008, TSHA moved from Austin to the University of North Texas in Denton.The executive...


Betty's grandfather William Houston Jack (1806-1844) had served in the Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 state legislature and emigrated to Texas in 1830. He was one of the authors of the Turtle Bayou Resolutions
Turtle Bayou Resolutions
The Turtle Bayou Resolutions were signed by settlers during the Anahuac Disturbances, which played a role in the secession of Texas from Mexico and the creation of the Republic of Texas....

. Jack participated in the capture of Goliad
Goliad Campaign
The Goliad Campaign refers to a series of battles which occurred in 1836 as part of the Texas Revolution, which ultimately led to the Goliad massacre...

, later joined Sam Houston's
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 army and was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto
Battle of San Jacinto
The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen...

. He served in both the Texas House of Representatives
Texas House of Representatives
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House is composed of 150 members elected from single-member districts across the state. The average district has about 150,000 people. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits...

 and Texas State Senate.

Saving the Alamo

By the late 1880s the historic San Antonio missions were falling into disrepair and becoming subject to vandals. Two dedicated DRT women stepped forward to restore and preserve the Alamo for future generations.

The public entrance known as the Alamo's mission chapel was already owned by the State of Texas, which had purchased the building from the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 in 1883 and had given custody to the City of San Antonio. The city had made no improvements to the chapel structure, and ownership did not include the long barracks (convento).

In 1903, Adina Emilia De Zavala
Adina Emilia De Zavala
Adina Emilia De Zavala was a teacher, historian and preservationist of Texas history. Her efforts led to saving the Alamo Long Barrack Fortress for future generations. She was born to Augustine De Zavala , son of Lorenzo de Zavala, the first Vice President of the Republic of Texas...

 enlisted heiress and philanthropist Clara Driscoll to join the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and chair the De Zavala fund raising committee to negotiate the purchase of the long barracks (convento) that was owned by wholesale grocers Charles Hugo and Gustav Schmeltzer. The asking price was $75,000, most of which came out of Clara Driscoll's bank account.

In early 1905, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. drafted the Alamo Purchase Bill which included a provision that The Alamo be overseen by Daughters of the Republic of Texas. On January 26, 1905, the Texas State Legislature approved, and Governor S.W.T Lanham signed, the Alamo Purchase Bill for state funding to preserve the Alamo property. The state reimbursed Clara Driscoll and, on October 4, 1905, the governor formally conveyed the Alamo property, including the convento and the mission church, to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

A divide between two factions erupted over how the long barracks property was to be used. Driscoll and others believed it was not part of the original structure and should be turned into a park. Clara offered to raze the building at her own expense. De Zavala was adamant that the long barracks was part of the original building and where the major part of the battle had occurred. In 1908 De Zavala had a stand-off with authorities inside the structure. By 1911, Governor Oscar Branch Colquitt
Oscar Branch Colquitt
Oscar Branch Colquitt was the 25th Governor of Texas from January 17, 1911 to January 19, 1915. He was a member of the Democratic Party. Gov...

 ordered the long barracks be restored to its original condition as it was in mission days. During the 1912 restoration, workers discovered foundation work that verified De Zavala's instincts that the structure had indeed been an original part of the Alamo.

In 1931, Clara again put up $70,000 of her own money to help the state legislature purchase more city property surrounding the shrine. In 1933, she backed down city engineers who wanted to purchase a portion of the Alamo property to widen Houston Street. By 1935, the persuasive Driscoll talked the San Antonio Fire Department
San Antonio Fire Department
The San Antonio Fire Department is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of San Antonio, Texas, United States, the second largest city in the state of Texas and the seventh largest city in the United States...

 out of putting a new fire station adjacent to the Alamo. As president of the DRT in 1936, she oversaw Centennial celebrations of the shrine.

When Clara died in 1945, her body lay in state in the Alamo chapel. Adina died in 1955 and her casket draped with the flag of Texas was carried past the Alamo one last time.

Later years

The DRT opposed filming of the 1969 Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter...

 comedy Viva Max!
Viva Max!
Viva Max! is a 1969 comedy film starring Peter Ustinov, Jonathan Winters and John Astin, directed by Jerry Paris. The film was written by Elliott Baker and based on a 1966 novel by Jim Lehrer.-Plot:...

, asking the San Antonio city council not to allow the filming.

In 2009, a division arose between the DRT and former members over the DRT's administration and financial vision for the Alamo.


Membership in DRT is open to women only, who must meet the following criteria:
  • at least sixteen years of age,
  • must be personally acceptable to the association, and
  • who can prove lineal descent from men and women who rendered loyal service to Texas prior to its annexation in 1846 by the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    . Acceptable loyal service can be obtained by one of the following four criteria:
    • colonization with Stephen Fuller Austin’s “Old Three Hundred
      Old Three Hundred
      The Old Three Hundred is a term used to describe the 297 grantees, made up of families and some partnerships of unmarried men, who purchased 307 parcels of land from Stephen Fuller Austin and established a colony near present day Brenham in Washington County, Texas.Moses Austin was the original...

      ” or by the authority of the Spanish, Mexican, or Texas Republican governments,
    • military service to the Spanish, Mexican, or Texas Republican governments during the appropriate era
    • loyal citizenship of the Republic of Texas prior to annexation
    • receipt of land grants authorized by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Texas.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.