the Republic of Texas
Guest Curator James P. Bevill
February 18−May 16, 2015
The money trail that followed the fight
for Independence from Mexico, the establishment of the Republic
of Texas and eventually annexation is filled with fascinating
documents. A war for independence and building a new nation
cannot be achieved without funding. As noted by Guest Curator
James Bevill in his book The Paper Republic, “the history
of early Texas was as much of an economic struggle as it was a
military one.” It is documents such as hand-written treasury
warrants issued at San Felipe de Austin in 1836 and Texian Loan
Scripts signed by Stephen F. Austin or a promise of 640 acres in
exchange for a loan signed by Sam Houston that tell this story.
Following the money trail also shows how the seat of the Texas
government was constantly on the move as the printed bills
included “Houston” or ”Austin” depending on the year they were
issued. Although the Texans struggled to keep the coffers
filled, today these documents represent priceless and tangible
pieces of Texas history.
The Heritage Society is funded in part by a grant from the City
of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.
Image: The "Government of Texas" $5 bill featured
the stand Liberty goddess and the City of Houston as the seat of
government. Permanent Collection of The Heritage Society; Estate
of John Corley Silvey, Jr.