Washington County election results, September 12, 1836
Many of Stephen F. Austin's old colonists settled in Washington County but did not help his bid to be the first president of Texas
Washington County was one of the oldest settlements in the Republic of Texas when the first election was held in September 1836. Many, but not all, of Stephen F. Austin’s old 300 colonists settled there. Their presence did not help him in his bid to become Texas’s first president — Austin had only 23 votes supporting his presidential candidacy out of the 485 total votes cast.
The contrasts between Austin and the eventual presidential winner, Sam Houston, were great. While Houston lead Texas to its decisive victory at San Jacinto, Austin was in Washington D. C. with fellow commissioners William Wharton and Branch Archer, trying to convince U.S. authorities to recognize Texas independence and annex the Republic should it defeat Mexico. Neither Austin nor former Texas governor Henry Smith were enthusiastic about running against Houston, who entered the race 11 days before election day. Under President Houston, Austin was appointed Secretary of State and served Texas in that capacity until his death in December 1836.
Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin
September 12, 1836
This artifact is not on view.