This week in 1839, Austin won approval as the new capital of the Republic of Texas–only it wasn’t renamed “Austin” until after the final vote. At the time it was selected, the settlement on the banks of the Colorado River was called Waterloo. Not a very propitious moniker!
Nor was Austin…or Waterloo…the first or even the last Texas capital. The first capital of the republic was Columbia– then Houston, temporarily–then LaGrange, almost. President Sam Houston vetoed that. His successor, Mirabeau B. Lamar, suggested Waterloo. And during his second term as president, Houston ordered the government back to Houston and made Washington-on-the-Brazos capital by executive order. The capital returned to Austin in 1845, but it took two votes, the last in 1872, to make the decision permanent.