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Cool Name of Texas' First Newspaper

The first English language newspaper in Texas was published on August 14, 1819.

The newspaper was published in Nacogdoches in support of a private invasion of Texas by Americans not happy with the Florida Treaty between the United States and Spain. In that treaty (also called the Adams-Onis Treaty because John Quincy Adams represented the U.S. and Luis de Onis represented Spain), Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. in exchange for a renunciation of any U.S. claim on Texas. See the pictured map that resulted from the treaty. The treaty was signed on February 22, 1819.

There were a number of Americans unhappy with that. And they decided to do something about it. Under the leadership of James Long, they decided to invade and take Texas. These private expansion / invasions are called filibusters.

An advance force of 120 men, led by Eli Harris, crossed the Sabine on June 8 and traveled on to Nacogdoches. James Long arrived on June 21, establishing a camp in Nacogdoches called Camp Freeman. The men created a provisional government and then, on June 23 declared Texas to be independent of Spain.

The newspaper was published to report on the efforts of the budding independence movement, and included discussions of the land available to those who participated in the invasion / revolution. The new government made the pirate Laffite governor of Galveston.

And then the empire struck back. Spain sent an army of 500 under Col. Ignacio Perez northward to drive out the invaders. By October 28, 1819, Nacogdoches was retaken by the Spanish, driving the invaders back into the U.S.

But James Long was undeterred. He sailed from New Orleans and set up base (with his wife) at Point Bolivar, staying there until September, 19, 1821 when he sailed to La Bahia (which was then located on LaVaca Bay at the mouth of Garcitas Creek in what is now Victoria County) where he captured the fort only to be himself captured after 4 days. He was taken to Mexico City where after 6 months he was shot, ending the filibusters into Texas by Americans.

Moses and Stephen Austin would start the colonization movement next.

But back to the name of that first Texas newspaper. What else would a people who loved liberty and considered themselves to be carrying on the spirit of the American Revolution call it? The Texas Republican of course!

Tom Glass lives in Northwest Harris County. Click here to reach his email. He is also on Facebook as Tom G Glass. He leads a group called Texas Constitutional Enforcement which can be explored at its website or Facebook group. And given the recent Facebook censorship, there are now Texas Constitutional Enforcement groups on Texan owned and operated Freedom Lake and Blabbook, as well as MeWe, Gab, and Wimkin.


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