Did you know that Austin was not always the capital of Texas? Several cities can lay claim to the honor.
On January 19, 1839 the tiny central Texas hamlet of Waterloo was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas and was renamed Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, who had recently passed away.
The city of Waterloo/Austin is the state’s capital to this day, though it has not held that position continuously since its selection. In fact, the matter was not settled until 1850 when Austin was chosen as the permanent capital by popular vote, as provided by the Constitution of 1845…and even then, they took another vote in 1872 to confirm the decision.
The photo above is featured in A History of Texas, or the Emigrant’s Guide to the New Republic written by A. B. Lawrence and published by Nafis & Cornish of New York in 1844. The book is part of a collection of rare books given by Dorothy Sloan to the Perry-Casteneda Map Collection at the University of Texas Library.