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The money trail that followed the fight for independence from Mexico, the establishment of the Republic of Texas and eventually annexation is filled with fascinating documents. A war for independence and building a new nation cannot be achieved without funding. As noted by guest curator James Bevill in his book The Paper Republic, "the history of early Texas was as much of an economic struggle as it was a military one." It is documents such as hand-written treasury warrants issued at San Felipe de Austin in 1836 and Texian Loan Scripts signed by Stephen F. Austin or a promise of 640 acres in exchange for a loan signed by Sam Houston that tell this story.
Following the money trail also shows how the seat of the Texas government was constantly on the move as the printed bills included "Houston" or "Austin" depending on the year they were issued. Although the Texans struggled to keep the coffers filled, today these documents represent priceless and tangible pieces of Texas history.
On view through May 16.