of Texas History
Source: Lone Star Junction
Section 1: Early
Exploration and Development
Before 1500 -- Prior to the arrival of the first European
explorers, numerous tribes of the Indians of Texas
occupied the region between the Rio Grande to the south
and the Red River to the north.
Mid-1519 -- Sailing from a base in Jamaica, Alonso
Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish adventurer, was the first
known European to explore and map the Texas coastline.
November 1528 -- Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked on what is
believed today to be Galveston Island. After trading in
the region for some six years, he later explored the
Texas interior on his way to Mexico.
1540-1542 -- In search of the fabled Seven Cities of
Cibola, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado lead an expedition
into the present southwestern United States and across
18 February 1685 -- Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle
established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, and thus
formed the basis for France's claim to Texas. Two years
later, LaSalle was murdered by his own men.
22 April 1689 -- Mexican explorer Alonso de Leon reached
Fort St. Louis, and found it abandoned, during an
expedition planned to reestablish Spanish presence in
1716-1789 -- Throughout the 18th century, Spain
established Catholic missions in Texas, and along with
the missions, the towns of San Antonio, Goliad and
8 August 1812 -- About 130-men strong, the
Gutierrez-Magee Expedition crossed the Sabine from
Louisiana in a rebel movement against Spanish rule in
1817-1820 -- Jean Laffite occupied Galveston Island and
used it as a base for his smuggling and privateering
3 January 1823 -- Stephen F. Austin received a grant from
the Mexican government and began colonization in the
region of the Brazos River.
Mid-1824 -- The Constitution of 1824 gave Mexico a
republican form of government. It failed, however, to
define the rights of the states within the republic,
6 April 1830--Relations between the Texans and Mexico
reached a new low when Mexico forbid further emigration
into Texas by settlers from the United States.
26 June 1832--The Battle of Velasco resulted in the first
casualties in Texas' relations with Mexico. After several
days of fighting, the Mexicans under Domingo de
Ugartechea were forced to surrender for lack of
1832-1833 -- The Convention of 1832 and the Convention of
1833 in Texas were triggered by growing dissatisfaction
among the settlements with the policies of the government
in Mexico City.
Revolution and the Republic
2 October 1835 -- Texans repulsed a detachment of Mexican
cavalry at the Battle of Gonzales. The revolution began.
9 October 1835 -- The Goliad Campaign of 1835 ended when
George Collingsworth, Ben Milam, and forty-nine other
Texans stormed the presidio at Goliad and a small
detachment of Mexican defenders.
28 October 1835 -- Jim Bowie, James Fannin and 90 Texans
defeated 450 Mexicans at the Battle of Concepcion, near
3 November 1835 -- The Consultation met to consider
options for more autonomous rule for Texas. A document
known as the Organic Law outlined the organization and
functions of a new Provisional Government.
8 November 1835 -- The Grass Fight near San Antonio was
won by the Texans under Jim Bowie and Ed Burleson.
Instead of silver, however, the Texans gained a worthless
bounty of grass.
11 December 1835 -- Mexicans under Gen. Cos surrendered
San Antonio to the Texans following the Siege of Bexar.
Ben Milam was killed during the extended siege.
2 March 1836 -- The Texas Declaration of Independence was
signed by members of the Convention of 1836. An ad
interim government was formed for the newly created
Republic of Texas.
6 March 1836 -- Texans under Col. William B. Travis were
overwhelmed by the Mexican army after a two-week siege at
the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio. The Runaway
10 March 1836 -- Sam Houston abandoned Gonzales in a
general retreat eastward to avoid the invading Mexican
27 March 1836 -- James Fannin and nearly 400 Texans were
executed by the Mexicans at the Goliad Massacre, under
order of Santa Anna.
21 April 1836 -- Texans under Sam Houston routed the
Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of San
Jacinto. Thus, independence was won in one of the most
decisive battles in history.
November 1839 -- The Texas Congress first met in Austin,
the frontier site selected for the capital of the
11 August 1840 -- The Battle of Plum Creek, near
present-day Lockhart, ended the boldest and most
penetrating Comanche challenge to the Texas Republic.
June 1841 -- The Texan Santa Fe Expedition set out for
New Mexico. Near Sante Fe, they were intercepted by
Mexican forces and marched 2000 miles to prison in Mexico
5 March 1842 --A Mexican force of over 500 men under
Rafael Vasquez invaded Texas for the first time since the
revolution. They briefly occupied San Antonio, but soon
headed back to the Rio Grande.
11 September 1842 -- San Antonio was again captured, this
time by 1400 Mexican troops under Adrian Woll. Again the
Mexicans retreated, but this time with prisoners.
Fall 1842 -- Sam Houston authorized Alexander Somervell
to lead a retaliatory raid into Mexico. The resulting
Somervell Expedition dissolved, however, after briefly
taking the border towns of Laredo and Guerreo.
20 December 1842 -- Some 300 members of the Somervell
force set out to continue raids into Mexico. Ten days and
20 miles later, the ill-fated Mier Expedition surrendered
at the Mexican town of Mier.
29 December 1842 -- Under orders of Sam Houston,
officials arrived in Austin to remove the records of the
Republic of Texas to the city of Houston, touching off
the bloodless Archives War.
25 March 1843 -- Seventeen Texans were executed in what
became known as the Black Bean Episode, which resulted
from the Mier Expedition, one of several raids by the
Texans into Mexico.
27 May 1843 -- The Texan's Snively Expedition reached the
Santa Fe Trail, expecting to capture Mexican wagons
crossing territory claimed by Texas. The campaign
stalled, however, when American troops intervened.
Statehood and Beyond
29 December 1845 -- U. S. President James Polk followed
through on a campaign platform promising to annex Texas,
and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the
25 April 1846 -- The Mexican-American War ignited as a
result of disputes over claims to Texas boundaries. The
outcome of the war fixed Texas' southern boundary at the
Rio Grande River.
25 November 1850 -- In a plan to settle boundary disputes
and pay her public debt, Texas relinquished about
one-third of her territory in the Compromise of 1850, in
exchange for $10,000,000 from the United States.
May 1852 -- The first Lone Star State Fair in Corpus
Christi symbolized a period of relative prosperity in
Texas during the 1850's. Organizer Henry L. Kinney
persuaded Dr. Ashbel Smith to be the fair's manager.
29 April 1856 -- Backed by the US military, a shipment of
32 camels arrived at the port of Indianola. The resulting
Texas Camel Experiment used the animals to transport
supplies over the "Great American Desert."
1 February 1861 -- Texas seceded from the Federal Union
following a 171 to 6 vote by the Secession Convention.
Governor Sam Houston was one of a small minority opposed
22 October 1861 -- Advance units of the newly formed
Brigade of General H. H. Sibley marched westward from San
Antonio to claim New Mexico and the American southwest
for the Confederacy.
1 January 1863 -- After several weeks of Federal
occupation of Texas' most important seaport, the Battle
of Galveston restored the island to Texas control for
remainder of Civil War.
13 May 1865 -- The last land engagement of the Civil War
was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south
Texas, more than a month after Gen. Lee's surrender at
1866 -- The abundance of longhorn cattle in south Texas
and the return of Confederate soldiers to a poor
reconstruction economy marked the beginning of the era of
Texas trail drives to northern markets.
30 March 1870 -- The United States Congress readmitted
Texas into the Union. Reconstruction continued, however,
for another four years.
17 January 1874 -- Coke-Davis Dispute ended peacefully in
Austin as E. J. Davis relinquished the governor's office.
Richard Coke began a democratic party dynasty in Texas
that continued unbroken for over 100 years.
4 October 1876 -- The opening of the Agricultural and
Mechanical College of Texas marked the state's first
venture into public higher education. Tuition totaled $10
15 September 1883 -- The University of Texas opened its
doors in Austin for its inaugural session. First courses
were offered in the Academic Department and a Law
16 May 1888 -- The dedication of the present state
capitol in Austin ended seven years of planning and
construction. The building was funded with 3,000,000
acres of land in north Texas.
20 January 1891 -- Based on a campaign platform calling
for the regulation of railroads and big business, James
Hogg took office as the first native-born governor of
10 January 1901 -- The discovery of "black
gold" at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont
launched Texas into a century of oil exploration,
electronics, and manned space travel.
Don Alberts (editor), Rebels on the Rio Grande,
Albuquerque, NM, Merit Press, 1993
D. W. Baker (Compiler), A Texas Scrapbook, New York, A.
S. Barnes & Company, 1875
Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft,
Vol. XV: North Mexican States and Texas, 1153-1800, San
Francisco, A. L. Bancroft & Co., Publishers, 1884;
Vol. XVI: North Mexican States and Texas, 1801-1889, San
Francisco, A. L. Bancroft & Co., Publishers, 1889.
Donaly E. Brice, The Great Comanche Raid, Austin, Eakin
John Henry Brown, History of Texas: 1685-1892, 2 Volumes,
St. Louis, L. E. Daniell, 1892
__________, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, Austin, L.
E. Daniell, 1895
L. E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government,
San Antonio, Maverick Printing House, 1892
David C. Edmonds, Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, Lafayette,
LA, The Acadiana Press, 1979
Odie Faulk, General Tom Green: A Fightin' Texan, Waco,
Texian Press, 1963
John Salmon Ford, Rip Ford's Texas, Austin, University of
Texas Press, 1963
Donald S. Frazier, Blood & Treasure: Confederate
Empire in the Southwest, College Station, Texas A&M
University Press, 1995
Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders, Austin, Eakin Press, 1990
Martin Hardwick Hall, The Confederate Army of New Mexico,
Austin, Presidial Press, 1978
__________, Sibley's New Mexico Campaign, Austin,
University of Texas Press, 1960
Cleburne Huston, Deaf Smith: Incredible Texas Spy, Waco,
Texian Press, 1973
John H. Jenkins and Kenneth Kesselus, Edward Burleson:
Texas Frontier Leader, Austin, Jenkins Publishing
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of Texas Press, 1958
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West, New York, Knopf, 1991
Francis Richard Lubbock, Six Decades in Texas, Austin,
Ben C. Jones & Co. Printers, 1900
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extremely rare original were published in the early
W. C. Nunn, Texas Under the Carpetbaggers, Austin,
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Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, Austin, H.P.N.
Andrew J. Sowell, Rangers and Pioneers of Texas, San
Antonio, Shepard Brothers and Company, 1884
William Preston Stapp, Prisoners of Perote, Philadelphia,
E. B. Zieber, 1845
Ralph W. Steen, The Texas Story, Austin, The Steck
Richard Taylor (Richard Harwell, ed.), Destruction and
Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War, New
Youk, Longman Green and Co., 1955
Jerry D. Thompson, Henry Hopkins Sibley: Confederate
General of the West, Natchitoches, Northwestern State
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__________, Westward the Texans: The Civil War Journal of
Private William Randolph Howell, El Paso, Texas Western
Ron Tyler (editor-in-chief), The New Handbook of Texas,
Austin, Texas State Historical Association, 1996
Herbert Weaver (editor), Correspondence of James K. Polk,
5 Volumes, Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press, 1975
Gifford White, 1830 Citizens of Texas, Austin, Eakin
__________, 1840 Citizens of Texas, Vol. 1: Land Grants,
Austin, Self-Published, 1983; Vol. 2: Tax Rolls, St.
Louis, Ingmire Publications, 1984.
J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas, Austin,
Hutchings Printing House, 1889
Ernest William Winkler (editor), Journal of the Secession
Convention of Texas, Austin, Austin Printing Company,
John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge,
LSU Press, 1963
Dudley G. Wooten (editor), A Comprehensive History of
Texas: 1685-1897, 2 Volumes, William G. Scarff, Dallas,
This page was last updated July 30,