Situated in Washington County, along the Brazos river sits “The Birthplace of Texas”. It was founded while Texas was still a part of Mexico. The settlement was the site of the Convention of 1836 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico. The name, “Washington on the Brazos” was used to distinguish this small Texas settlement from the “Washington on the Potomac”.
In 1836, Washington on the Brazos became the meeting place of Texas delegates, who formally announced the separation of the state from Mexico. These same delegates drafted a new constitution for the Republic of Texas and organized an interim government until an official government could be elected.
On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and on March 16, adopted the new Constitution of the Republic of Texas. The next day, everyone within the settlement fled because of the advancement of the Mexican army, but returned after the Mexicans were defeated at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21. Despite the lobby efforts of the town’s people, Washington on the Brazos was passed over as the State Capitol in favor of Austin. It did, however, become the county seat of Washington County until being bypassed by the railroad in favor of Brenham.
In 1916, the State of Texas purchased 50 acres of the old town site and erected a replica of the building where the delegates met. Located between Brenham and Navasota off State Highway 105, the site is now known as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site and consists of 293 acres. The site features three main attractions, Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and the Star of the Republic Museum, not to mention the nature walk near the Brazos River, where, during the spring, you can see many of the native Texas vegetation and wildlife.