Austin News Today
The choice remained in uncertain until 1839, when Mirabeau B. Lamar replaced Houston as president and pushed the Central Texas plan. A site was chosen along the Colorado River near the tiny settlement of Waterloo.
Within the year, Lamar had moved to the new capital, now called Austin, and Congress was meeting in log buildings in the frontier town. Forty wagons carried the government archives from Houston to their new home. Over the next several years, the archives would become a highly visible symbol of a tug-of-war for government power in Texas.
In December 1842, Houston announced that Austin was no longer the capital and ordered Colonel Thomas I. Smith and Captain Eli Chandler to Austin to remove the archives. Smith and Chandler and 20 men loaded three wagons without incident before being spotted by Mrs. Eberly. She fired a cannon to alert the citizens of Austin.
Smith and Chandler fled with their wagons, with the vigilantes in hot pursuit. At Brushy Creek in Williamson County, just north of Austin, Chandler and Smith were forced to surrender at gunpoint. The archives were returned to Austin, where the citizens celebrated with a New Year's Eve party.
Sam Houston: Presidential Candidate of Texas