Archives War

Mexican Raids

A Mexican force led by General Rafael Vasquez with around 700 soldiers entered Texas. They attacked San Antonio, Goliad, Refugio, and Victoria. Unprepared for the attack, the Texans surrendered and the Mexicans took control of the cities.

Moving the Archives to Houston

Because of the Mexican raids on many cities, President Sam Houston decided that the capital, Austin was in danger and very vulnerable. The president called that all the archives be moved to Houston immediately.

Archive Rebellion

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When the citizens of Austin learned that the President wanted to relocate the archives to Houston, they were very aggravated. The citizens thought that the President wanted to make Houston the capital again, and was using the Mexican raids as an excuse. Because of this; Angelina Eberly became the leader of a rebellion to keep the archives in Austin. They warned department heads that any attempt to move state papers would be met with resistance. In December 1842 President Houston sent a company of rangers under the command of Col. Thomas J. Smith and Capt. Eli Chandler to Austin to retrieve the archives but under strict orders not to resort to bloodshed. The Austin vigilantes were unprepared for the raid, and the rangers loaded the documents on wagons and drove away, but not before Mrs. Angelina Eberly fired a cannon at them. (Picture above.) On Jan 1, 1843 the vigilante committee, under Capt. Mark B. Lewis, seized control of a cannon from the arsenal and overtook the wagons at Kenney's Fort on Bushy Creek. Only a few shots were fired before the rangers gave up the papers in order to avoid bloodshed. The archives were returned to Austin, which became capital again in 1844.