Sunday, February 08, 2015

Descendants of the Signers Reunion and Luncheon - March 1, 2015

On March 1, 2015, The Descendants of the Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence will meet at Washington-on-the-Brazos for a luncheon to celebrate Texas Independence Day.  All descendants of the 60 signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and their families are welcome to attend this annual event.  The reunion and luncheon will be held in the Washington-on-the-Brazos Conference Center. Come and represent your ancestor at the Roll Call of the Signers in the amphitheater on Sunday afternoon.

The luncheon will feature a plate of Texas Bar-B-Que, two sides, dessert, and ice tea.  Tickets to this year’s luncheon are $18.00 for adults and $8.00 for children.  Reservations are required and seating is limited.  Come to the Reunion early and meet your "cousins" and share stories. The Descendants Reunion begins when the doors of the Conference Center open at 10:00 a.m. and the buffet line will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Last year's Descendants Reunion luncheon sold out early and was a huge success, so get your lunch tickets as soon as possible in order to guarantee a seat.

The Descendants Reunion and Luncheon is sponsored by The Star of the Republic Museum.  Click here to fill out the Descendants of the Signers Reunion luncheon ticket order form

This year, Descendants T-shirts are available in red for the first time.  Also this year for the first time, Polo shirts with the Descendants of the Signers 1836 logo embroidered on them are also available.  Click here for the Descendants of the Signers T-shirt order form.

Descendants of the Signers are all encouraged to join the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association to show their support for the preservation of this most important site in the history of Texas where Texas Became Texas when their ancestors declared the independence of Texas from Mexico on March 2, 1836. Besides the Reunion and Luncheon, there will be plenty of other activities throughout the Washington on the Brazos State Park all day long. Click here for a list of events.

For additional information regarding the Descendants Reunion, the Descendants Luncheon, or registering as a Descendant with The Star of the Republic Museum, contact Dr. Shawn Carlson at (936) 878-2461, or Dr. Shawn Carlson, Star of the Republic Museum, P.O. Box 317, Washington, Texas 77880.  Or email:


Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

You have probably heard of Manzanar and how the Japanese and the Japanese-Americans were rounded up following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but you have probably never heard of the internment camp at Crystal City, Texas.  At Crystal City, Texas, Japanese and German “enemy aliens” where were sent with their families to be traded for Americans in Germany and Japan.  

What makes this unusual piece of history even more unusual is that the German and Japanese families were composed almost exclusively of American-born children.  Yes, the United States of America, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, traded American-born German-Americans and Japanese-Americans for Americans who were trapped in Germany and Japan when World War II began.  In her fascinating book, The Train to Crystal City, Jan Jarboe Russell has done an amazing job of researching and presenting this amazing and obscure piece of American history.  

After I began reading this book, I put down everything else I was reading in my spare time and read this book cover to cover.  It was just that good!

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Internment Camp During World War II is published by Scribner, A Division of Simon & Schuster.  The Train to Crystal City is available everywhere including Amazon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Celebration of Texas Statehood and President Anson Jones - February 19, 2015

Celebration of Texas Statehood and Contribution of President Anson Jones On Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. the San Jacinto Chapter of The Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) will sponsor a ceremony at the grave of President Anson Jones to commemorate the 169th anniversary of Texas Statehood. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Kameron Searle, of the Sons of The Republic of Texas will be speaking about the impact that Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, had in getting Texas annexed into the United States of America. Members of the Texas Army will fire a musket salute, and we will conclude the ceremony by leading everyone in a toast to Anson Jones and all those brave men who worked to get Texas admitted into the USA. The toast will be with good old Texas water. 
A free and independent Republic of Texas was officially declared March 2, 1836, when the 56 delegates present at Washington-on-the-Brazos unanimously voted to declare independence. The citizens believed that Texas would be admitted into the USA in 1836, but due to the political ramifications of a new slave state, there was much disagreement about annexing Texas into the USA. In 1842, efforts were begun to obtain recognition of the Republic of Texas by foreign governments. Efforts were made to convince the USA that Texas was going to join up with England and create a large independent country from Canada to the Rio Grande. President Anson Jones conducted the affairs of the Republic of Texas in such a way as to convince James K. Polk, the new President of the USA in 1845, that Texas no longer wished to be part of the USA, and intended to enlarge the size of the Republic of Texas by joining with the Oregon Territory, then controlled by England. Anson Jones earned the title, Father of Texas Annexation. On December 29, 1845, President James K. Polk signed a letter to President Anson Jones telling him that both the U.S House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate had voted on a joint resolution to annex Texas into the USA. This letter was received by President Anson Jones in January of 1846 and he called both the Republic of Texas elected officials and the newly elected State of Texas officials together in Austin on February 16, 1846 to canvas the vote and arrange for a change of power in Texas. Then at high noon, on February 19, 1846, President Anson Jones gave a speech ending the Republic of Texas with the statement that "the Republic of Texas is no more." It was on that day that Texas became the 28th state in the USA. 
The Sons of the Republic of Texas is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the people who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas and to encourage historical research into the earliest records of Texas, especially those relating to the revolutionary and republic periods. The SRT encourages the preservation of documents and relics, the publication of historical records and narratives, and the celebration of important days in the state’s history. They also encourage the teaching of Texas history in schools and sponsor numerous scholarships. The public is invited to join us at 2:00 p.m. February 19, 2015, at the grave of President Anson Jones in Glenwood Cemetery, at 2525 Washington Avenue in Houston, to honor President Anson Jones, and all those brave men who took the important step toward making Texas what it is today! 

The general public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this event as well as public and home school teachers and students.

For additional details about the celebration, please contact Event Chairman, Tom Green, KSJ at 713-340-1965. Contact: The Sons of The Republic of Texas Contact Person: Tom Green, KSJ Telephone Number: (713) 340-1965 Cell Number: (832) 687-3474 Email Address: SRT Web Site Address:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Alamo Cannon Comes Home to Alamo - January 24, 2015

Huge crowd for the January 24, 2015 dedication of the McRae/Alamo cannon
A significant Spanish cannon has been returned to The Alamo. The barrel bears the Spanish royal crest and has the exact damage as other Alamo cannons that have been previously discovered to have been at the battle. Both of the cannon's trunnions have been broken off and the fire hole is not spiked. Researchers believe that this cannon was used by the Alamo defenders in February-March 1836. 

According to the cannon's provenance, it was sent from San Antonio to the French family in Philadelphia sometime in the 1880s as a payment for a debt. Howard B. French displayed the cannon on the lawn of his country estate called Aulderbrook.
Jan DeVault, President of the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy welcomes guests and donors to Alamo for dedication
In 1986, J.P. Bryan heard of the cannon's existence and went to Philadelphia to investigate. Although the cannon had been sold, Bryan was able to locate and buy it from the collector who had purchased it. He then shipped the cannon back to Texas and auctioned it to raise money for the Texas State Historical Association.

Mr. John McRae purchased the cannon and had a carriage constructed for the artillery piece.
McRae Cannon inside the Alamo

The cannon was donated to San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy. Under the direction of Mr. Jim Jobling, the Conservancy had the cannon conserved at the Texas A&M Conservation Research Lab. The cannon is on loan to the Alamo from the Conservancy.

An official dedication and "thank you" to donors will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at The Alamo. San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy's Dr. Gregg Dimmick will discuss the history of the cannon. All are welcomed.
Contributors to the preservation of the McRae/Alamo Cannon
The San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, reclaim, and restore the San Jacinto Battleground and build greater public awareness of the battle of San Jacinto, the culminating military event of the Texas Revolution. No other nonprofit organization is devoted entirely to these goals. In 2010, the San Jacinto Battleground was included on Preservation Texas' Most Endangered Places list. Preservation Texas is the statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To find out what you can do to help, visit 

San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy | | 808 Travis, Suite 1429P. O. Box 940536Houston, TX 77094-7536

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 26, 2015 Ceremony Honoring Mirabeau B. Lamar

On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, we will hold the 5th annual memorial ceremony honoring the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar.

On this very day, 176 years ago, President Lamar signed an Act reserving three (3) Leagues of land in each county to be used to pay for a public school system in Texas. Even thought it was years before Public Schools came into being in Texas, President Lamar is remembered as the “Father of Texas Education.” In addition, President Lamar reserved 50 Leagues of land for two state supported colleges in Texas, which continue to benefited both the University of Texas and Texas A&M University today. In fact, one of his most popular phrases President Lamar used in his speeches was: “A Cultivated Mind is the Guardian Genius of Democracy,” and this phrase remains the Moto of the University of Texas to this today.

On January 25, 1839, President Lamar signed an Act making the current State Flag of Texas the last flag of the Republic of Texas, and on January 29, 1839, President Lamar signed the first Homestead Act in the world! The Homestead Act keeps the home place from being taken from the widow by the mortgage company when the husband dies. This was a monumental week in Texas history, with three (3) important bills being signed in a five (5) day period, which continue to affect our lives today. Do you know of any other governmental entity that has acted on three important bills in a five-day period?

The ceremony will be at the grave of President Mirabeau B. Lamar in the Morton Cemetery, located just north of downtown Richmond, Texas. This is a historic cemetery with Jane Long also buried just to the south of President Lamar’s grave, and the first Masonic Burial Monument located just to the east of President Lamar’s grave. The major purpose of both the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) is to perpetuate the history of the Republic of Texas and educated our citizens, so please not only mark your calendar to attend this important event, but to forward this News Release to anyone you know who might be interested. P

lease contact Tom Green at 713-340-1965 or if you have any questions.

History Road Rally in Conroe, Texas January 24, 2015

Explore Life in the Past Lane - On January 24, 2015, the Montgomery County Historical Commission will conduct the second annual History Road Rally in historic Conroe, Texas. Check in will be between Noon – 1p.m. at the First Baptist Church Gymnasium located in downtown Conroe at Main & Cochran Streets. The History Road Rally will start at 1:30 p.m. Teams will begin to return at 3:30 p.m. There will be a free meal and team recognition at 4:30 p.m. Teams will be composed of 2-5 participants per vehicle. The pre-registration fee is $30 per vehicle and the registration fee on the day of the event will be $40. There will be trophies and prizes for the winning teams. This historic event will. This event is sponsored by Gullo Ford of Conroe, Gullo Mazda of Conroe & Gullo Toyota of Conroe. For more information, see the Montgomery County Historical Society website at: : or call 936-525-7311.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Montgomery County Historical Marker Program

Example of Montgomery County Historical Marker on Pole
Example of Montgomery County Historical Marker on Building
The Montgomery County Commissioners Court has approved a new Montgomery County Historical Marker Program sponsored by the Montgomery County Historical Commission to recognize historical structures and sites throughout the County and which will commemorate diverse topics of local and regional interest, including: the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations, and military sites; events that changed the course of local and county history; and individuals who have made lasting contributions to our state, county, community organizations, and businesses.

Larry Foerster, chairman of the County Historical Commission, explained that the marker program will complement and supplement the ongoing state historical marker program sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission. This county marker program will feature structures and sites that have historical significance at the local level, but may not otherwise be significant enough to qualify for a Texas historical marker. Foerster went on to explain that presently the Texas Historical Commission staff is overwhelmed with requests for state markers, and it is getting increasingly difficult to get an application approved for a state marker. As a result, more and more Texas counties are developing their own county historical marker programs. Walker County has had such a program for years, and Harris County recently started its own county historical marker program.

The Montgomery County Historical marker will feature the County Historical Commission’s emblem which incorporates the Texas flag on a dark blue background. It will be produced by the Southwell Company in San Antonio, the same company that produces the Texas historical marker along with numerous other county historical markers. Once the application is approved by the County Historical Commission, it is expected that the marker can be produced within four to six weeks after Southwell Company receives the approved order. Prices will start at $515.00 and will vary depending on the requested size and whether a post is requested.

Foerster emphasized that this marker program in not designed to replace the Texas historical marker program. The Montgomery County Historical Commission will continue to encourage applications for state markers when they are historically significant to the State and our region. Furthermore, just like state markers, the applications for the county markers will still require supporting primary and secondary sources to accurately document the historical significance of the topic, and will be critically reviewed by the County Historical Commission.
Any property owner can get more information about the Montgomery County Historical Marker program by going to the Historical Commission’s website at or by contacting marker committee chairperson Sharon Russell at 281-296-0905.

This press release was submitted to the Texas History Page by the Montgomery County Historical Commission, Larry L. Foerster, Chair, 414 West Phillips, Suite 100, Conroe, Texas 77301

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

K. K. Searle Receives San Jacinto Award and Appointed to WOB Park Association Board

Left to right: Kameron K. Searle,  
San Jacinto Descendants President General Robert "Scott" Patrick, 
and Executive Board Member  Russell Cartwright

Texas History Page editor, Kameron K. Searle, was awarded the San Jacinto Award by the San Jacinto Descendants on April 21, 2014. "The San Jacinto Award is presented to an adult citizen of the State of Texas who has demonstrated a commitment to preserving Texas history and who possesses the highest level of patriotism, leadership, and service to the State of Texas and their local community." Past recipients of the San Jacinto Award include Ray Miller (Eyes of Texas), Dr. Gregg Dimmick (Sea of Mud and General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea's Military Diary), and James L. Haley (Sam Houston and Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas).

In May 2014, Searle was appointed to the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association Board of Directors. The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association is the non-profit 501(c)(3) support group for the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site which includes Independence Hall, the Star of the Republic Museum, and the Barrington Living History Farm.  The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association was chartered in 1955 by the State of Texas and is a statewide volunteer organization dedicated to generate support to facilitate preservation projects, celebrations, and educational programming at Washington-on-the Brazos. Searle is very excited about his appointment as the Washington-on-the Brazos State Park Association is about to begin promoting the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site with the brand new campaign: Washington-on-the-Brazos - Where Texas Became Texas!.