I thought that I knew a lot of Texas history, but this one threw me for a loop! In fact, I didn't know about many of these battles. Guess I wasn't as smart as I thought!
Texas Archive War
The Lone Star State suffered a few growing pains in its earlier days, not helped by the near constant threat of invasion from neighboring Mexico. In 1842, the capital of the Republic of Texas was Austin. After receiving a demand for surrender from a Mexican general backed by an army, Texas president Sam Houston and the state Congress decided Austin might be in danger and ordered the seat of government—and its accompanying archive of official public documents and records—moved to the city of Houston.
The citizens of Austin weren’t pleased. Fearing the president’s namesake city would become the new state capital, they formed a vigilante committee and swore armed resistance. The first attempt failed when the man appointed by the president to accompany the archive on its move was refused horses and wagons by the angry residents. The second attempt ended in humiliation when contemptuous citizens flouted the president’s authority, shaved the manes and tails of his messengers’ horses, and refused to let the men carry out their duty. At the end of 1842, a frustrated President Houston was forced to send a company of thirty Texas Rangers, with orders not to provoke bloodshed, to take the government archive from Austin.
The Rangers entered the town on the morning of December 29th and began quietly loading the archive into wagons, unnoticed by the citizens—except one. Upon witnessing the soldiers’ activities, Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly, who ran the local boarding house, hurried to a six-pound cannon kept loaded with grape shot in case of Indian attack, and set off the charge (fortunately, no one was injured). By the time the vigilante committee members assembled, the Rangers raced out of town, taking the precious archive with them.
Undaunted, the leader of the vigilantes, Captain Mark Lewis, commandeered a cannon from the nearby arsenal and took off after the Rangers with a couple of dozen furious citizens right behind him. They caught up to the company of Rangers the next day at Kenny Fort and at cannon-point, forced them to hand over the archive, which was returned to Austin.At that point, President Sam Houston gave up, the government archive remained in Austin, and the Archive War ended with only a few shots fired and no one hurt.
A more complete listing of some of the other "wars" can be found over at Listverse! Check them out and see if your state had one!
Coffee out on the patio today. I'll spray the patio down so it will feel a little cooler!