Moving Forward After the Lawsuit, New Operations Administrator
It has been a historic year for the DRT. This year marks our 125th anniversary, which we’ll celebrate on Saturday, November 5 at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall. Our mission to preserve and tell the story of Texas is still as important as ever – and we haven’t let any obstacle deter us from our efforts.
As you are probably aware, the DRT and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush recently reached a legal settlement to our yearlong dispute over the DRT Library Collection housed on the Alamo grounds since 1950.
We held fast and our prayers were answered. With this behind us, we can refocus on our mission to ensure the next generation of Texans understand and appreciate our unique history as a sovereign republic.
As a result of the settlement, the General Land Office dropped any ownership claims to the DRT Library Collection. The collection closed to the public on June 1 to prepare for its move from its home adjacent to the Alamo Shrine. Through the agreement, Bush also agreed to reimburse the Daughters $200,000 for our legal expenses.
Shortly after taking office in 2015, Bush ordered the Daughters and staff to be locked out of the library after he terminated their management contract for the Alamo. DRT staff were only able to re-enter the library after the Daughters received a temporary restraining order against Commissioner Bush and the GLO.
Lamont Jefferson, who negotiated the settlement on behalf of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, said he was pleased with the result.
“The Daughters of the Republic of Texas are a respected organization of women who honor and preserve our state’s history. This lawsuit was about protecting individual liberties against the overreach of the state,” Jefferson said. “This settlement will allow the Daughters to return to their work telling the story of Texas, which they have done so well now for almost 125 years.”
Our 6,996-plus membership is more than up to the task. We may just be a nonprofit organization of women, but we are Texas women. We will persevere, and we will succeed.
We are pleased the lawsuit is behind us and are moving forward as we prepare to transition the collection to its new home.
In other news, I am pleased to report that the organization is making progress with several other important initiatives. We continue to work on marking the old boundaries of the Republic of Texas. Additionally, headway is being made by playwright Barre Gonzales on the production entitled “Runaway Scrap Families.”
DRT has also hired its first operations administrator. Effective October 3, Jana Moussette has joined the DRT staff in this important role overseeing the DRT administrative functions and the organization’s operations. Welcome, Jana.
Don’t forget to make plans to join us for our 125th anniversary celebration at the LBJ National Historical Park on November 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will have an impressive lineup of activities, food and entertainment. Everyone is invited to attend – it’s going to be a can’t-miss event!