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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Washington: Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site


Washington-on-the Brazos State Historic Site
Independence Hall, Photo by Kathlyn Dragna

In early March 1836, the unlikely town of Washington, a small, rough-hewn, ramshackle town, which had sprung up around a ferry landing next to the Brazos River, entered the history books as the birthplace of Texas. It was here that on March 1, 1836, delegates elected from each municipality in Texas convened in an unfinished frame building. While the forces of General Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo, the Convention of 1836 declared Texas' independence from Mexico, wrote a new constitution which established the Republic of Texas, and organized an ad interim government.

The convention members signing the Declaration were as good as signing their death warrants if the Revolution failed. They were also putting their families at risk and jeopardizing everything they owned. The Texas Revolution could have easily become a long series of Alamos and Goliads as the Mexican army advanced across Texas completely obliterating the rebellion. To the delegates assembled in Washington, that scenario was not just an apocalyptic nightmare, but a very real possibility. Yet these men stood their ground. They worked 17 straight days and nights to forge a constitution and a government, a government which served the Republic of Texas well during the decade from 1836 to 1846.

Today, the site marks the original town location of Washington and maintains a replica of the original Independence Hall. It also serves as a gateway to two more state historic sites – Barrington Plantation and the Star of the Republic Museum.

Watch our Texas: The Republic Era video to learn more about the history of Texas Independence.  This video was produced for inclusion in our Texas: Forged of Revolution mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Explore the app for more videos and travel information:


Location

  • 12300 Park Road 12
  • Washington, Texas
  • 77880

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Day use: 8 a.m. - sunset

    Visitor Center/Headquarters: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Free


Map


 

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Read more about Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site in the Handbook of Texas Online.