Friday, August 30, 2013

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas - Book Review

According to author, Jeffrey Stuart Kerr, "the government of the Republic of Texas assembled at seven different locations in nine years [and] the state of Texas has had only one seat of government in its 161 year history." Have you ever wondered how Austin became the capital of the state of Texas? Kerr's new book Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas answers this question in a very entertaining way. Kerr relates one unlikely event after another to tell the story of how the tiny village of Waterloo, struggling for its very existence along the far edge of the western settlements in the Republic of Texas, went on to become the permanent capital of Texas.

Seat of Empire explains how the town of Austin became a political football between two ideologies competing for dominance during the Republic of Texas era.  On one side was the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, who was strongly in favor of annexation and statehood for Texas.  On the other side was the second President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who hid his dreams of a Texian empire extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean from no one.  In the 1830's, the vast majority of the population of the Republic of Texas was located in the east. This was where Sam Houston wanted the capital.  In accordance with Mirabeau B. Lamar's aspirations of empire, Lamar wanted the capital of Texas to be established as far west as he could possibly push it so that it would be more centrally located within his envisioned empire. Austin was his choice.

You may think you know this story, but you don't. There is a lot of new information here gleaned from previously untapped primary sources. Buy, read and enjoy Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas.  Seat of Empire is published by Texas Tech University Press (2013) and is included in the Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest series. Seat of Empire is available in fine bookstores everywhere and at

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pattison Area Heritage Society - August 26, 2013 Meeting

Pattison Area Heritage Society
Date: Monday Evening - August 26, 2013 
Time: 7:00 PM 
Location: Pattison Area Volunteer Fire Department (2950 FM359, Pattison, Texas)
Mark your calendars so that you don't miss this special presentation.  Topic/Presentation - Special Guest Speaker: Raymond Mathis
He worked for Waller County for many years and we consider him one of the top 2 or 3 historians in the county. He is full of Waller County history and knows where things are that most people don't have a clue about. So if you are interested in learning more about Waller County and some gems of historical value, come out on Monday evening, August 26, 2013.

Hope to see ya there.