– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Austin 3

My last Austin post is about an important moment in the archival history of Texas, and illustrates the legal, political and symbolic significance of administrative archives.

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You will find this statue of Angelina Eberly (2004, by Patrick Oliphant) on Congress Street, within view of the Capitol building. The caption below it reads:

‘ In 1842, Texas was an independent nation, and Austin was its capital. Sam Houston, the President of the Republic of Texas, regarded Austin as a vulnerable and unsuitable location for the seat of government and waged an unsuccessful campaign to have it moved to his namesake city. As a last resort, the President dispatched a delegation of Texas Rangers to Austin to steal the government archives. An innkeeper named Angelina Eberly heard the Rangers loading their wagons in the middle of the night. She rushed to the corner of what is now Sixth and Congress and fired off the town cannon, blowing a hole in the Land Office building and rousing the populace. The citizens chased down Houston’s men, recovered the archives, and gave them to Mrs. Eberly for safekeeping. This statue honors a bold woman whose vigilance and short temper preserved Austin as the capital of Texas.’

This text and more information about the statue and its creator can be found here.

 

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