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2012 Archives

Texas Declaration and rare photos available
online for Texas Independence Day

Friday marks the 176th anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence

March 1, 2012

Texas Pioneer Lizzie Williams
Elizabeth Johnson Williams (1880), the first woman in Texas to ride up the Chisholm Trail with her own herd.
Quanah Parker
Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and W. C. Riggs at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show on March 19th, 1909.
DALLAS (SMU) Only one state celebrates its independence with an official holiday — Texas.

On March 2, Texans will celebrate the 176th anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence. DeGolyer Library at SMU possesses one of 12 existing copies of the Texas Declaration of Independence, as well as a 5,000-photo collection of Texas history ranging from 1846 to 1945. Anyone can view the Declaration or a sample of photos from the collection online.

“The people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic.”

The Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted     March 2, 1836, at Washington-on-the-Brazos. After it was signed by the 59 delegates to the convention, five copies were distributed to the towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria and San Felipe. The printer at San Felipe was asked to print 1,000 copies to be distributed as handbills. The DeGolyer copy, acquired in 1984, is one of the surviving handbills (See below.)

Historic Texas photos: From cattle roundups to cotton gins

The only original photo of kidnapped Texas pioneer Cynthia Ann Parker, formal portraits of  Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and photographs of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker are among the 5,000 Texas historical photos acquired by DeGolyer Library  in 2009 from Austin collector Larry Jones. The Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photography Collection also includes hundreds of photos of everyday life ranging from cattle roundups to cotton gins. Much of the collection can be viewed online.

SMU’s DeGolyer Library

DeGolyer Library began around 1913 as Everette L. DeGolyer Sr.’s private collection. DeGolyer, a major figure in the 20th-century oil business, also was an extraordinary book collector and philanthropist.  After his death in 1956, the family library was maintained by the newly incorporated DeGolyer Foundation and expanded by the son of the founder, Everett L. DeGolyer Jr.  In 1974 the DeGolyer Foundation gave the library to SMU, where it is housed in the original Fondren Library building.

Texas Declaration of Independence
(Click image for hi-res version.)

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

Media Contact:

Nancy George

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