Texas was beautiful. The bluebonnet is the Texas state flower and they were all over. I learned a lot about Texas history this last week. We went to Washington-on-the-Brazos. You know, originally, the Spanish claimed this part of America -- we were part of their Mexico colony. Then the Mexicans fought for their independence so we were part of the country of Mexico. Everything went pretty well -- lots of Hispanic (Mexican or Spanish) people lived in the area and so did a lot of Anglos (people from the U.S.) Then the Mexicans got a really nasty leader and he did a lot of things that made the Tejanos (people living in Texas) mad.
He sent an army and the fought at the Alamo in San Antonio. While that was happening, a number of citizens met in Washington-on-the-Brazos. They wrote a declaration of independence (just like the American colonists did in 1776). The elected a president and wrote a constitution. Lots of Tejanos were killed at the Alamo. Then there was another battle at San Jacinto and the Tejanos won!
They called their new country the Republic of Texas. They didn't belong to Spain or Mexico or the United States. But lots of them wanted to be part of the U.S. That happened ten years later.
I visited Barrington Farm. This was the home of the last president of the Republic of Texas. You can go here and learn how people lived in the 1850s. Even the animals are like the animals they had then. This is a picture of me and a Piney Woods calf. Piney Woods cattle are a blend of longhorn cattle and domestic cattle. This little calf and his half-sister were learning how to be an ox team. The word oxen just means any kind of cattle used for pulling things -- like plows or wagons.
Then we went to the place where the delegates met to write the declaration. This isn't the real building -- but it's built just like it and on the same spot, too. It was very cold when the men met and the building wasn't completely finished -- no doors or glass in the windows. As you can see, the furniture wasn't fancy. But that wasn't important. What they did was!
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