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Texas Independence Timeline

Updated on February 27, 2013
Flags of Texas
Flags of Texas | Source

March 2 - The Anniversary of the Republic of Texas

In Texas, it's a holiday. March 2 is Independence Day for the Lone Star State. Every year there are exuberant festivals and events to celebrate March 2, the day that American settlers in the part of Mexico known as Texas officially declared their independence and declared themselves the citizens of an independent republic - the Republic of Texas.

Some of the stories about Texas won its freedom from Mexico have become the stuff of legend. Who has not heard the stirring rallying cry, "Remember the Alamo?" Other details have been lost in the shuffle; fewer people are aware that the Texians (for that is what they called themselves in those early days) rebelled from Mexico at least in part because Mexico had outlawed slavery and the settlers did not wish to comply. This timeline marks some of the most significant moments that led to the overthrow of Santa Anna and the establishment of a new Republic. To this day, Texas remains the only American state to have ever been a separate country entirely on its own.

Treaty of Cordoba

Treaty of Cordoba
Treaty of Cordoba | Source

1821 - Mexico Becomes Independent

In 1810, Mexico begins a fierce conflict against mother country Spain for its independence. After eleven years of bitter fighting, Mexico becomes an independent nation.

August 24 - This is made official by the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba, pictured right.

1824 - The General Colonization Law

August 18 - In an effort to populate some of the more isolated areas of the northern frontier, the Mexican government passes the General Colonization Law, which allows immigrants to settle in Texas, Coahuila, and other sparsely populated areas.

October 4 - Mexico passes the Constitution of 1824. Texas combines with Coahuila to become one state.

Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas"

Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin | Source

1825 - Stephen F. Austin and the Old 300

One of the people who takes advantage of the new invitation to immigrant settlers is Arkansas empresario Stephen F. Austin. Austin leads over 300 new families into Texas to settle an area he calls the Austin Colony.

1827 - 1829 - American Colonists Begin to Alarm Mexico

Between 1827 and 1829 the United States government makes two attempts to buy Mexican Texas from Mexico. The Mexican government sends general Mier Y Teran to observe Texan settlements on the border; he returns with a report that Americans in that part of the state outnumber Mexicans by a ratio of ten to one, and they are not assimilating well. Fearing American plots to annex Texas, the Mexican government decides to act.

The Law of April 6, 1830

April 6 - The Mexican government passes new restrictions on the Texian settlements.

  • The border between Mexico and the United States is closed; no new citizens may enter.
  • Heavy taxes are placed on all U.S. imports into Mexico.
  • Slavery, which has already been outlawed in most of Mexico, is now prohibited in Texas.
  • Mexican troops are sent to secure the border. Mexican military officer Juan Davis Bradburn creates a military post called the Anahuac at the mouth of the Trinity River.

1832 - The Texians Rebel

June 13 - In an altercation known as the Anahuac Disturbances, local Texians skirmish with commander Bradburn over two slaves that Bradburn had taken into his protection.

July 23 - Settlers publish the Turtle Bay Resolutions, decrying Bradburn's government and calling for the rise of general Antionio Lopez de.Santa Anna.

October 1 - The Convention of 1832. Settlers meet to put together a list of resolutions, including a request for Mexican statehood separate from Coahuila, a relaxation of immigration restrictions and permission to form a militia. The Mexican government declares the convention illegal.

General Santa Anna
General Santa Anna | Source

1833 - 1834 The Rise of Santa Anna

April 1, 1833 - The Convention of 1833 is held in San Felipe de Austin. They draw up a state constitution for Texas as a separate state from Coahuila and petitions asking for relaxed immigration laws and customs regulations. Stephen F. Austin travels to Mexico City to present these petitions. .

On the same day, Santa Anna is elected President of Mexico.

December 10, 1833 - Austin is arrested for treason in Mexico City. He will remain incarcerated for all of 1834.

May 14, 1864 - Santa Anna declares Mexico unready for democracy, and declares himself dictator.

1835 - The Fighting Begins

October 2 - Mexican official attempt to confiscate a cannon belonging to the settlement of Gonzales. The citizens of the settlement create a flag that says "Come and Take It" and resist with military force, repelling the Mexicans. The war has begun.

October 9 - Texians seize a Mexican fort in Goliad, creating problems for those attempting to ship supplies to the Mexican troops.

October 11 - The Permanent Council convenes to begin planning a transitional government for Texas. It is quickly replaced by The Consultation.

October 28 - Texian forces seize Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, beginning the seige of Bexar.

December 5 - Texian troops conquer the town of Bexar.

The Alamo

The Alamo
The Alamo | Source

1836 - Texas Declares Its Independence

February 16 - Santa Anna and his armies invade Texas, intent on recapturing Bexar.

February 24 - The Siege of the Alamo begins.

March 1 - The Fourth Convention meets at Washington-on the-Brazos. While there, they declare themselves independent from Mexico and draw up a Texas Declaration of Independence that is heavily influenced by the American Declaration of Independence.

March 2 - The delegates formally adopt the Texas Declaration of Independence. The Republic of Texas has begun.

March 4 - Sam Houston is appointed Major General of the Army.

March 6 - The Mexican Army Storms the Alamo

Fall of the Alamo
Fall of the Alamo | Source

Every soldier inside, including commander William Travis and folk hero Davy Crockett, are killed. Military losses for Santa Anna's troops are surprisingly heavy.

Sam Houston

Sam Houston
Sam Houston | Source

1836 - Texas Wins the War for Independence

March 19 - Mexican general Urrea captures Colonel James Fannin and his men as they retreat from Goliad.

March 27 - Fannin and 344 of his men are massacred at Santa Anna's orders. Texians are outraged.

April 15 - Santa Anna burns Harrisburg.

April 20 - Houston's army skirmish with Santa Anna's troops around Buffalo Bayou.

April 21, 1836 - The Texian Army Defeats Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto

Battle of San Jacinto
Battle of San Jacinto | Source

Santa Anna is captured.

May 14 - Santa Anna signs the Treaty of Velasco. The war is over.

The Republic of Texas in 1836

Map of the Republic of Texas
Map of the Republic of Texas | Source


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