Why is San Antonio, Bexar County
Not the Capitol of Texas?
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
February 27, 2003
This may seem like an academic question to some, but by all rights San Antonio should have stood a better chance to be the State's Capitol. So why was San Antonio, Bexar County not chosen? This question is seldom asked but seems to require some answer, speculative or otherwise.
It seems as though Bexar County has been at the forefront of the earliest efforts to set Texas free. In 1813, the Battles of Rosillo Creek in Southeast Bexar County and of the Medina in South Bexar County were the first efforts to declare independence from Spain. Perhaps revolution was in the air at that time since in was just three years before on September 16, 1810, that Father Miguel Hidalgo issued the grito de Dolores, declaring the independence of Mexico from Spain.
The success of the Battle of Rosillo Creek was quickly unraveled by the Spanish at the Battle of the Medina. It took another twenty-three years before the independence of what was to become Texas was attempted again. Again, Bexar County was the sight of much bloodshed in the cause of Texas Independence.
Although the first fight of the Texas revolution was in Gonzalez, Texas, the first series of fights that culminated in Texas' independence were in Bexar County. They were the Grass Fight, the Battle of Bexar (San Antonio) and the most heralded battle, the Battle of the Alamo, March 6, 1836.
Even after the Battle of San Jacinto though, the Treaty of Velasco that settled the Texas Revolution was inadequate to the task of satisfying Mexico that the final battle for Texas' freedom was over. Of course, the Second President of the Republic, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar had visions of appending most of New Mexico and California to our State. In any event, Mexico decided to retaliate or perhaps to get our attention by attacking San Antonio, Bexar County at the Battle of the Salado.
As if Bexar County had not a sufficient reputation for being a bloody venue, The Council House Fight in 1842 (Hugh McCleod's official report on the fight is appended to the Journal of the Fifth Legislature of the Republic of Texas.) shed more blood. Julian Hood, the Sheriff of Bexar County was attempting to meet with area Indians to secure the return of local citizens taken from the outskirts of the town. The meeting erupted into a fight over the Indians failing to bring back certain citizens with them to the meeting. After all was said and done, a number of the participants were killed including the Sheriff who according to reports, was beheaded in this massacre.
Small wonder that Texans of that era chose not to select San Antonio, Bexar County as the Capitol of Texas. I suppose we will have to live with the fact that we were not chosen. It is of significance that if we did not earn the prize of being the Capitol, we will always be remembered as the workhorse and the warhorse of the Texas Revolution.
P.S. San Antonio was the provincial capitol of the previous government to the Republic of Texas. The province of Coahuila y Tejas flew a twin star representing both provinces against the backdrop of the red, white and green of the Mexican flag. When the Texas Revolution separated them, each took its star. Today, the State of Coahuila flies its flag with a single star against the backdrop of the red, white and green Mexican flag while Texas flies its lone star against the backdrop of the red, white and blue American colors. May each ever live in peace and harmony with a fond memory of our long history together as a province and now as sister states!