“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

West Columbia in Brazoria County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Columbia in 1836

Columbia in 1836 Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, May 7, 2020
1. Columbia in 1836 Marker

When ad interim President David G. Burnet selected Columbia to serve as the capital for the first elected Congress of the Republic of Texas, Columbia had a population of approximately 3,000. A group of businessmen promised accommodations for use by the government. Mary Austin Holley, a cousin of Stephen F. Austin, wrote in The Texas Diary, 1835-1838, that Columbia had:

"a building or two constructed while it was the seat of the courts, for a courthouse, and offices, etc. and a few dwelling houses...there was also a new hotel kept by Bell, new and spacious the largest building there."

Francis Lubbock came to Columbia from the "large and gay city of New Orleans” and took great pride in the name of Columbia, "the same honored name as the capital of my native South Carolina.” Lubbock described his experiences in Columbia:

"All the while no shelter could be obtained. I took my meals with Fitchett & Gill, the tavern-keepers, sleeping under a liveoak tree at night. This was the lodging place of many...There was something in it new and attractive the fine old liveoaks, other majestic trees of the forest, the

Columbia in 1836 Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, May 7, 2020
2. Columbia in 1836 Marker
woods near the town filled with bear, Mexican lions, deer, turkey and game of every kind."

Not all citizens were happy that Columbia was selected as capital. Responsibility for the promised accommodations fell to the citizens; the government did not offer to pay rent. Josiah Bell felt that it interfered with the raising of his red hogs. Some citizens were concerned with the "riff raff” that had come to Columbia. Others who had promised accommodations had actually withdrawn them, creating the shortfall that necessitated the movement of the capital.

Accommodations promised:
- Store house formerly occupied by Mr. W. C. White with five rooms
- House formerly occupied by J. C. Cole - Rooms
- Old Alcalde's office with fire place
- Mrs. Sledges 1 Room and Stove
- House of Mr. Beards 20 feet square with stove
- Mr. Sampson (Sampier) with 2 rooms and 1 fireplace
- Hendricks Rooms with 2 fire places
- Mrs. Carson room with stove
- Col. Eberlys 2 Rooms
- All the chairs and tables necessary for both Houses of Congress
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, Texas Independence.
Location. 29° 8.672′ N, 95° 38.83′ W. Marker is in West Columbia, Texas, in Brazoria County. Marker is on East Brazos Avenue (State Highway

Columbia in 1836 Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, May 7, 2020
3. Columbia in 1836 Marker
35) west of North 16th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Columbia TX 77486, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Brazos River and the Steamboat Yellowstone (here, next to this marker); Masons of the Republic of Texas (here, next to this marker); Stephen Fuller Austin (here, next to this marker); From Republic to Statehood (a few steps from this marker); The Capitol Oak (a few steps from this marker); Religion in the New Capital (a few steps from this marker); Accomplishments of the First Congress (a few steps from this marker); Telegraph and Texas Register (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Columbia.
Columbia in 1836 Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, May 7, 2020
4. Columbia in 1836 Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 13, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021