Texas Declaration of Independence

On March 2, 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was presented to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Like the United States Declaration of Independence, the Texas Declaration has a statement on the nature of government, a list of grievances and a declaration of independence.

After signing the original document (which is in the collection at the Texas State Archives), five other copies were made and sent to the designated towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria and San Felipe to post as notification of Texas's independence. In addition to the five copies, one thousand copies of the declaration were ordered in broadside form (a large sheet of paper printed on one side only) to be distributed across Texas.

Pictured is Samuel A. Maverick’s copy of the broadside, which is part of the DRT Library Collection. Maverick, a representative from the Alamo, arrived at Washington-on-the-Brazos after the order for the broadsides had already gone to the printer. Maverick appended his name, along with the names of the other late arrivals, to his copy. In the turmoil that accompanied the advance of the Mexican army after the fall of the Alamo, the retreat across Texas and the deciding battle of San Jacinto, few printed copies of the declaration survived. Maverick’s copy, which remained in the possession of his descendants, is one of about 13 known examples. Of the 13 known copies, the DRT Library has two. The second copy was given to the library by Hamilton and Billy Laster Fish.