Bullock Museum exhibition features Treaty from National Archives that shaped Texas borders

Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here to feature original American copy of Adams-OnÍs Treaty

DECEMBER 6, 2018 (AUSTIN, TX) — The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas, is pleased to announce a rare opportunity for visitors to view the original American copy of a key 19th century treaty on loan from the United States National Archives. The Adams-Onís Treaty will be featured in the Bullock Museum's new exhibition Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here, opening December 10.

"We are so honored to work with the National Archives in bringing this transformational document to the Bullock Museum," said Bullock Museum Director Margaret Koch. "At a time when there is so much focus on the separations between countries, it is important to gain a historical perspective on how our existing Texas borders came to be."

Signed on February 22, 1819 by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish minister Luis de Onís, the treaty gave Florida to the United States and established the Sabine River as the border between the U.S. and New Spain. This borderline formed the northern and eastern boundaries of Texas, establishing the state's famous shape as we know it today. As a key feature in Becoming Texas, the treaty helps to tell the story of how global politics influenced the growth of early Texas and ultimately formed its borders. It will be on view at the Bullock Museum until April 30, 2019.

"This is a limited time opportunity for Texans to see a true national treasure in person. We hope visitors will take this chance to view this singular document that has had such a long-lasting impact on our state and national history," said Koch.

Becoming Texas is a comprehensive exploration of more than 16,000 years of Texas history utilizing the most contemporary research available, beginning with one of the earliest known artifacts made by humans in the Americas. Visitors will discover the people, places and events that shaped Texas prior to Mexican Independence in 1821 through rare artifacts, original multimedia experiences, and hands-on interactives. 

The National Archives, established by Congress in 1934, is an independent federal agency that safeguards and preserves the records of the U.S. government through a network of archives, record centers, and presidential libraries. The holdings of the National Archives include documents ranging from the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans.

Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here opens to the public on Monday, December 10, with a special members-only preview and celebration on December 9. For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512)936-8746.


The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Becoming Texas exhibition

This press release is part of the Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here Media Kit

In December 2018, the Bullock Texas State History Museum will unveil the state's most comprehensive look at more than 16,000 years of Texas History with the permanent exhibition Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here. View Media Kit