The Texan Tattle-Tale
Wednesday, May 11, 1842
Residents of Austin, Texas Fire at Texan Officials
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 10, 1842, Texan officials at Austin were fired at by residents while loading government archives onto wagons.
That morning, by the order of President Houston, the archives were to be moved to Houston, Texas. President Houston was alarmed by the attack of Mexican troops on San Antonio, Goliad, Refugio, and Victoria. His plan was to keep the archives safe from Mexican attacks, withdrawn from the capital.
Austinites viewed this the wrong way. When they heard that the archives would be transferred from Austin, they suspected that the capital would be moved back to Houston. They saw this as very important for the future of their city.
They formed a committee and warned department heads not to withdraw the archives, or they would fight for them. President Houston sent rangers under Col. Thomas I. Smith and Capt. Eli Chandler to Austin. The group of officials successfully removed the archives and were just driving away until the commotion set free. Ms. Angelina Eberly had spotted them.
Ms. Eberly led the passionate vigilantes as she fiercely fired a cannon at the wagon that was driving away. At once, the Austin residents were alerted and the officials were met with armed resistance. Chandler and Smith were forced to flee. The committee made the officials surrender at gunpoint, resulting in the archives back in Austin.
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The Republic of Texas has been facing many problems deciding where the capital would permanently be. The new Congress was strong on the idea of having a capitol in Central Texas, but Houston (in his first term) desired for it to be in Houston, Texas. During Lamar's term of presidency, Lamar agreed with the Congress's idea of a Central Texas government. Thus, the capital city of Austin was established.
Now, with this sudden Archives War, Austin as a capital city was doubted by some, even President Houston. Sonali Reddy, an expert on developing countries, says that young countries often come with indecision and disagreement with citizens and the government.