Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas
Overview
 
Washington-on-the-Brazos (also known as Washington) is an unincorporated area
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 along the Brazos River
Brazos River
The Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios by early Spanish explorers , is the longest river in Texas and the 11th longest river in the United States at from its source at the head of Blackwater Draw, Curry County, New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico with a drainage...

 in Washington County, Texas
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...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was founded when Texas was still a part of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and the settlement became the site of the Convention of 1836
Convention of 1836
The Convention of 1836 was the meeting of elected delegates in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas in March 1836. The Texas Revolution had begun five months previously, and the interim government, known as the Consultation, had wavered over whether to declare independence from Mexico or pledge to...

 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence
Texas Declaration of Independence
The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the...

. The name "Washington-on-the-Brazos" was used to distinguish the settlement from "Washington-on-the-Potomac
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

".
Washington-on-the-Brazos is known as "the birthplace of Texas", a distinction it earned when on March 1, 1836 it became the meeting place of the Texas delegates who formally announced Texas' intention to separate from Mexico and who drafted the constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 of the new 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...

, organizing an interim government to serve until an officially elected government could be put in place.

The delegates declared independence on March 2, 1836.
Encyclopedia
Washington-on-the-Brazos (also known as Washington) is an unincorporated area
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 along the Brazos River
Brazos River
The Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios by early Spanish explorers , is the longest river in Texas and the 11th longest river in the United States at from its source at the head of Blackwater Draw, Curry County, New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico with a drainage...

 in Washington County, Texas
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...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was founded when Texas was still a part of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and the settlement became the site of the Convention of 1836
Convention of 1836
The Convention of 1836 was the meeting of elected delegates in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas in March 1836. The Texas Revolution had begun five months previously, and the interim government, known as the Consultation, had wavered over whether to declare independence from Mexico or pledge to...

 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence
Texas Declaration of Independence
The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the...

. The name "Washington-on-the-Brazos" was used to distinguish the settlement from "Washington-on-the-Potomac
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

".

History

Washington-on-the-Brazos is known as "the birthplace of Texas", a distinction it earned when on March 1, 1836 it became the meeting place of the Texas delegates who formally announced Texas' intention to separate from Mexico and who drafted the constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 of the new 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...

, organizing an interim government to serve until an officially elected government could be put in place.

The delegates declared independence on March 2, 1836. Their constitution was adopted on March 16. The delegates worked until March 17, when they had to flee, along with the people of Washington, to escape the advancing Mexican Army. The townspeople returned after the Mexican Army was defeated at 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...

 on April 21. Town leaders lobbied for Washington’s designation as the permanent capital of the Republic of Texas, but leaders of the Republic passed over Washington in favor of Waterloo, which later was renamed 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...

.

Washington County was created by the legislature of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and organized in 1837 and Washington-on-the-Brazos became the county seat. Although the county seat moved to Brenham
Brenham, Texas
Brenham is a city in east-central Texas in Washington County, Texas, United States, with a population of 16,147 according to the 2009 census. It is the county seat of Washington County...

 in 1844, the town continued to thrive as a center for the cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 trade until the mid-1850s, when the railroad
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 bypassed it. The strife of the 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...

 took another toll on the town, and by the turn of the 20th century it was virtually abandoned.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

The State of Texas purchased 50 acres (20.2 ha) of the old townsite in 1916 and built a replica of the building where the delegates met. The state acquired more of the site in 1976 and 1996.

Located between Brenham
Brenham, Texas
Brenham is a city in east-central Texas in Washington County, Texas, United States, with a population of 16,147 according to the 2009 census. It is the county seat of Washington County...

 and Navasota
Navasota, Texas
Navasota is a city in Grimes County, Texas, United States. The population was 6,789 at the 2000 census. In 2005, the Texas Legislature named the city "The Blues Capital of Texas," in honor of the late Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota native and blues musician....

 off State Highway 105
State Highway 105 (Texas)
State Highway 105, or SH 105, is a state highway in the U.S. state of Texas that runs from Brenham to the outskirts of Beaumont. The route was originally proposed in 1933 and took its current routing in 1984.-Route description:...

, the site is now known as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. It covers 293 acres (118.6 ha), and features three main attractions, Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and the Star of the Republic Museum
Star of the Republic Museum
The Star of the Republic Museum, in Washington, Texas, USA is the only museum in the state created specifically to collect and interpret the culture and history of the from 1836-1846...

, which is administered by Blinn College
Blinn College
Blinn College is a two-year academic institution based in Brenham, Texas with campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg, and Sealy. While the Brenham campus is Blinn's main campus, more than 70% of students attend the Bryan campus....

.

The site's visitor center is free and includes interactive exhibits about the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

 and the park's attractions, a gift shop, a conference center and an education center.

Barrington Living History Farm

The Barrington Living History Farm is a living museum
Living museum
A living museum is a type of museum, in which historical events showing the life in ancient times are performed, especially in ethnographic or historical views, or processes for producing a commercial product in terms of technical and technological developments are shown, especially the craft...

 farm homestead that represents the mid-19th century farm founded by Dr. Anson Jones
Anson Jones
Anson Jones was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."- Early life :...

, the last President 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...

. Costumed interpreters raise cotton, corn, cattle and hogs using period techniques. The 1844 Anson Jones Home was moved to the site in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial Celebration. The recreated outbuildings include two slave cabins, a kitchen building, a smokehouse
Smokehouse
A smokehouse is a building where meat or fish is cured with smoke. The finished product might be stored in the building, sometimes for a year or more.-History:...

, a cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 house and a barn. The farmstead opened in 2000, and is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is a Texas state agency that oversees and protects wildlife and their habitats. In addition, the agency is responsible for managing the state's parks and historical areas...

.

Names elsewhere

  • In Houston
    Houston, Texas
    Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

    , Washington Avenue was named after Washington-on-the-Brazos. It was the western route to Washington County. Following the present day road: Washington Avenue; Hempstead Highway; US 290 (Northwest Freeway) then outside of Harris County US 290 is called Houston Highway.

External links


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