Galveston County Historical Markers

Texas Independence Trail Region
Map of Galveston County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Near Campsites of Louis-Michel Aury and Francisco Xavier Mina | Austin, William Tennant | Old Bay Lake Ranch | Bishop's Palace | Frank J. Brown Museum | Burial Site of David G. Burnet | Site Of Landmark Campbell's Bayou | Cronea, Charles | Fort Travis | Galveston County Historical Museum | Early History of Galveston County | Galveston in the Republic of Texas | Galveston Island | Battle of Galveston | Galveston, C.S.A. | Galveston: Gateway to Texas | Hall, Warren D.C. | Jones, William Jefferson | Journeay, Henry | Karankawa Campsite | Labadie, Nicholas D. | Lafitte's Grove | Lafitte, Jean | Moody Mansion and Museum | First Navy of the Republic of Texas | Bolivar Point | Point Bolivar | Powhatan House | Sherman, Sidney | Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith | Texas City Museum | Texas Revolution and Civil War, Galveston County | West Galveston Island
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Fort Crockett | Fort de Bolivar | Fort Las Casas | Maison Rouge

Near Campsites of Louis-Michel Aury and Francisco Xavier Mina

Marker Title: Near Campsites of Louis-Michel Aury and Francisco Xavier Mina
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: on 14th St., just north of Harborside Dr.
Marker Text: A bivouac in late 1816 and early 1817 for an oddly mixed group of soldiers from many nations joined in the common purpose of freeing Mexico from Spain. Under two spirited leaders-- Mina (1789-1817), an impetuous young Spanish general, and Aury (about 1788-1821), a French privateer and soldier of fortune-- the forces drilled while waiting reinforcements and the best time to strike. For six years Mexico had been trying to wrest power from Spain but lacked military leadership and supplies. These items the two young adventurers hoped to furnish. Aury had already been chosen by Mexican rebel leaders as "Commissioner" of Galveston Island, from which he preyed on Spanish shipping. At the campsite, Mina's cargo was stored in the hulk of an abandoned ship and, under a torrid sun, he set up tents west of "Galvez Town." Aury, from his store of booty, supplied all with excellent rations. On April 7, 1817, Mina's invaders sailed, with eight ships and about 235 men, for Soto la Marina; Aury stayed at Galveston. At first victorious, Mina moved inland but was defeated at Venadito on October 27. Three years later, having gained from early rebel efforts such as these, Mexico won her freedom.

William Tennant Austin

Marker Title: William Tennant Austin
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: Lakeview Memorial Park, 3015 57th St.
Marker Text: (January 30, 1809 - february 25, 1874) Born in Connecticut. Moved to Texas in 1829. Took part in Texas Revolution, participating in siege of Bexar, 1835. Served as aide to Stephen F. Austin, "The Father of Texas" (a distant relative), Gens. Edward Burleson and Sam Houston. Commander at Port of Velasco. Was elected clerk of Brazoria County, 1837. Later collector of customs at Velasco. In 1854 moved to Galveston, becoming commission merchant, cotton factor. Officer under Confederacy, Civil War (1861-65).

Old Bay Lake Ranch

Marker Title: Old Bay Lake Ranch
Address: Bay St. Park at 14th Ave. N
City: Texas City
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Text: Established by Guy M. Bryan (1821-1901), nephew of Stephen F. Austin, "Father of Texas." Bryan was one of couriers for Wm. B. Travis's Alamo letter. Served in State Legislature (where he was a Speaker of the House) and U. S. Congress. Aide to Confederate President Davis and a colonel in army in Civil War.

Bishop's Palace

Museum Name: The Bishop's Palace
Street Address: 1402 Broadway
City: Galveston
Zip Code: 77550
Area Code: 409
Phone: 762-2475
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Frank J. Brown Museum

Museum Name: Frank J. Brown Museum c/o Friendswood Historical Society
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 474
City: Friendswood
Zip Code: 77549-0474
Street Address: 108 Skyview
Area Code: 713
Phone: 482-7390
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Burial Site of David G. Burnet

Marker Title: Burial Site of David G. Burnet
Address: 57th Street
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1987
Marker Location: Lake View Cemetery, on 57th Street between Avenue S and Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Marker Text: Provisional President of Texas (March 16, 1836 - Oct. 22, 1836). A man of strong principle who carried a gun in one pocket and a Bible in the other, Burnet (1788-1870) acted as a cohesive force in the chaotic days of early Texas independence, though his dour, quick-tempered disposition kept him from ever winning wide popularity. As an idealistic youth, he took part in the Miranda Expeditions (1806 and 1808) to free Venezuela from Spain, almost losing his life to yellow fever. He bought a trading post, 1817, in Louisiana, but had to sell it after developing tuberculosis. Though weak from the disease, he rode to West Texas, where he fell into the hands of unusually friendly Comanches. He lived with them for 18 months, thus becoming an expert on the pre-settlement days of these Indians. Burnet began his statesman's career in 1833 when Texas was beginning her fight for independence from Mexico. In 1836, he ran as a compromise candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Texas and won by 6 votes. His interim government was mainly concerned with winning military victory and escaping, sometimes only by minutes, Mexican troops. In later years, he held various offices under the Republic and State of Texas. He married Hannah Hste in 1830 and they had four children.

Site Of Landmark Campbell's Bayou

Marker Title: Site Of Landmark Campbell's Bayou
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: IH 45, north end of Galveston causeway, Galveston
Marker Text: Settled 1821 by privateer James Campbell (1791-1856), U. S. Navy veteran, War of 1812, who after discharge was lieutenant and close friend of buccaneer Jean Lafitte, operating out of Galveston (then called Campeche). In Karankawa Indian rituals about 1817, Mary Sabinal (1795-1884) became Campbell's bridge. When Lafitte left Texas in 1821, Campbell pleased his wife by settling here as a rancher. Community remained until its second destruction by hurricane, 1915. Graves of the Campbells and many other early Texans are in cemetery at Campbell's Bayou.

Charles Cronea

Marker Title: Charles Cronea
City: High Island
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: High Island Cemetery, 56h at Gulfway Dr.
Marker Text: (January 14, 1805 - March 4, 1893) Born in Marseilles, France, Charles Cronea came to America on a French frigate as a cabin boy in 1818. Soon after, boarding a ship out of Charleston, South Carolina, Cronea and several companions entered the service of Jean Laffite off Galveston engaged in privateering cruises off the coast of Spanish Mexico. After nearly a year under the command of Capt. James Campbell, he left the ship when it was burned at the mouth of the Mermentau River in Louisiana. Cronea married Amanda Richey in 1830. By 1835 he had settled in the Mexican municipality of Jefferson. The Texas revolution broke out that fall. Cronea joined Capt. David Garner's company of frontier farmers and participated in the Siege of Bexar. Some records say Cronea's company joined with the forces of Sam Houston in 1836, and that during the Battle of San Jacinto, Cronea was guarding prisoners nearby. In 1846 he entered the U.S. Army in the war against Mexico under Gen. Zachary Taylor. Later a farmer in Sabine Pass, Cronea married Mary Louisa Elender in 1845. They moved their family to High Island in 1876. Cronea was awarded 1,280 acres as a surviving soldier of the Texas revolution in 1885. Cronea is buried in this cemetery.

Fort Travis

Marker Title: Fort Travis
Address: Ft. Travis Park, Hwy. 87, Port Bolivar
City: Port Bolivar
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1993
Marker Text: In early 1836, soon after Texas declared independence from Mexico, Republic of Texas President David Burnet dispatched Colonel Ed Harcourt to Galveston Island to erect a fort. Using army recruits and slave labor Harcourt built an octagonal earth and timber fortification armed with six and twelve-pound gun mounts appropriated from the Texas Navy vessel CAYUGA. Named Fort Travis in honor of William B. Travis (picture above), famous defender of the Alamo, it was located at the east end of the island. After high winds damaged the fort in 1837 the site was converted into a gun battery called Fort point, its present name. In 1898-99, with the beginning of Federal development of the Port of Galveston, a second Fort Travis was established across Galveston Bay at Bolivar Point near the former site of a Civil War Confederate fortification called Fort Green. Two batteries, named Davis and Ernst, were completed in 1899 and a third, named Kimble, completed in 1922. Coastal defense facilities were added to the fort during World Wars I and II. Fort Travis was decommissioned and sold as war surplus in 1949. Besides its obvious military uses, Fort Travis also served as a refuge from hurricanes and as a Civil Defense shelter for area residents. Incise on back: Funding for this replacement marker was provided through a generous grant from the Hoblitzelle Foundation and the Texas Historical Foundation.

Galveston County Historical Museum

Museum Name: Galveston County Historical Museum
Street Address: 2219 Market Street
City: Galveston
Zip Code: 77550
Area Code: 409
Phone: 766-2340
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Archeology, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Early History of Galveston County

Marker Title: Early History of Galveston County
Address: Courthouse
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Text: Galveston Island, for centuries a crossroad for Indians, privateers, Spanish and French explorers, for a time was capital of the Republic of Texas. This was during the Texas War for Independence, when Santa Anna was making his 1836 invasion. On March 17, the hastily organized ad interim Cabinet of President David G. Burnet evacuated Washington-on-the-Brazos, moving to Harrisburg, and then in April to Galveston. Here it remained until after the Texas Victory at San Jacinto on april 21, 1836. From January, 1836 until U. S. annexation in 1846, Galveston was the naval base for the fleet which protected shipping and sought to prevent Mexican invasion of Texas by way of the sea. By September, 1837, the four ships of the Texas Navy had all been lost. Not until April, 1840 was the Navy reorganized, under President M. B. Lamar. A former U. S. Naval officer, Edwin W. Moore, was made commodore. Afterward, when Moore became involved in a bitter controversy with President Sam Houston, Houston ordered the Navy to be sold. At the sale, the incensed people of Galveston used forceful means to prevent bidding. The ships at annexation were all transferred to the U. S. Navy.

Galveston in the Republic of Texas

Marker Title: Galveston in the Republic of Texas
Address: Courthouse, 722 Moody
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Text: Galveston Island, for centuries a crossroads for Indians, privateers, Spanish and French explorers, for a time was capital of the Republic of Texas. This was during the Texas War for Independence, when Santa Anna was making his 1836 invasion. On March 17, the hastily organized and interim cabinet of President David G. Burnet evacuated Washington-on-the-Brazos, moving to Harrisburg, and then in April to Galveston. Here it remained until after the Texas victory at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. From January 1836 until U. S. annexation in 1846, Galveston was the naval base for the fleet which protected shipping and sought to prevent Mexican invasion of Texas by way of the sea. By September 1837 the 4 ships of the Texas Navy had all been lost. Not until April 1840 was the navy reorganized under President M. B. Lamar. A former U. S. Naval officer, Edwin W. Moore, was made commodore. Afterward, when Moore became involved in a bitter controversy with President Sam Houston, Houston ordered the Navy to be sold. At the sale, the incensed people of Galveston used forceful means to prevent bidding. The ships at annexation were all transferred to the United States Navy.

Galveston Island

Marker Title: Galveston Island
Address: SH 87 at Galveston Ferry Landing
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Text: Few spots have played a more exciting role in the life of Texas than Galveston Island. Cabeza de Vaca, the Spanish explorer, wrote of the cannibalistic Karankawa Indians when he was shipwrecked here in 1528. The island became headquarters for Jean Lafitte and other adventurers between 1815 and 1821. Importance of the harbor was recognized as early as 1825 when Stephen F. Austin petitioned the Mexican government to establish a port. Galveston became temporary capital of the Republic in April, 1836, when President David G. Burnet fled here at the approach of Mexican Gen. Santa Anna. After the revolution Galveston's place as first city of the Republic became fixed. Immigrants poured through the port. The Texas Navy was berthed here. With statehood in 1845 came continued growth; Texas first telegraph (1854), first national bank (1865), first electric lights (1888). Capture and recapture of Galveston were principal Texas engagements of the Civil War. The port fell to blockading Union troops Oct. 4, 1862. It was retaken Jan. 1, 1863, by Gen. John B. Magruder and remained in Confederate hands. Galveston was again on the nation's lips Sept. 8, 1900, when a hurricane packing winds of 120 mph swept a vast tidal wave across the island, killing 5,000. No other American disaster has taken a greater toll. The storm had two immediate results -- construction of a protective seawall 17 feet high and 7-1/2 miles long and creation of a commission form of city government, an innovation that spread to other American municipalities. The port remains one of the state's most important, handling more sulphur than any in the world. Important to sightseers and motorists are the toll-free ferries operated by the Texas Highway Department across the 2-1/2-mile strait between the island and Port Bolivar.

Battle of Galveston

Marker Title: Battle of Galveston
Address: Pier 22 of Galveston Seaport Museum
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1998
Marker Location: Pier 22 of Galveston Seaport Museum
Marker Text: As part of the Union blockade of the Texas coast, Commander W. B. Renshaw led his small fleet into Galveston harbor to demand the surrender of this most important Texas port on October 4, 1862. Largely unguarded, as it was considered indefensible, the city surrendered after an exchange of gunfire. Major General J. B. Magruder was placed in charge of the Confederate forces in Texas after the loss of Galveston. He quickly organized a plan for the island's recapture. Improvising a navy, he refitted two steamers as gunboats by lining their hulls with cotton and manning them with cavalry. Foot soldiers were sent into Galveston in the darkness of early morning on January 1, 1863. Though the ground forces failed to seize the wharf, they engaged some of the Union ships as the makeshift Confederate fleet surprised the Union navy from behind. The rebel ship "Neptune" was sunk in shallow water. The Federal "Harriet Lane" was boarded by the steamer "Bayou City." Renshaw's flagship, the "Westfield," was destroyed in an explosion that killed the commander and several crewmen. Remaining Union ships fled Galveston Bay despite demands for surrender. Galveston remained under Confederate control for the duration of the war. (1998)

Galveston, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Galveston, C.S.A.
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: at Galveston Yacht Club - 4th St. (Holiday at Albacore Ave. Marker is near office after entering club; take first left, marker is up on left.)
Marker Text: Most important Texas seaport during the Civil War. Had consulates of England, France and Spain and worldwide recognition as a cotton exporter. Set up defenses including 10 mud forts and gun batteries on beaches, at railroad depot and on Pelican Spit. Continued shipping cotton in spite of Federal blockade which began in July 1861. Blockade runners used speed, shallow draft ships, wit and courage to escape the Federal ships and haul cotton to Nassau, Havana or Europe and return with guns, medicines and other goods essential to the Confederacy. In Oct. 1862, lack of guns large enough to stop a Federal bombardment caused Gov. F. R. Lubbock to call for evacuation of civilians. The 42nd Massachusetts regiment occupied the city Dec. 25. A week later, Jan. 1, 1863, Confederates recaptured it with forces led by Gen. John B. Magruder, Col. Tom Green and Capts. Leon Smith and Henry Lubbock with "Horse Marines" (mounted Rangers) and "Cotton Clads" (ships walled in cotton bales with gun embrasures). The Trans-Miss. Dept., last Confederate force to surrender, signed terms here June 2, 1865. Federal occupation on June 19 proclaimed Emancipation, and ex-slaves afterwards celebrated "Juneteenth."

Galveston: Gateway to Texas

Marker Title: Galveston: Gateway to Texas
Address: 2106 Seawall Blvd.
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Moody Civic Center
Marker Text: From days of European conquest, the Gulf of Mexico was the main road to Texas. Some settlers of the 1820s even came by keelboat, going ashore along the way to kill game, in the same way an overland party would live off the country while traveling. Planters from the Old South and some farmers from the mid-continent came by land. But roads, wet and rough, had too many rivers crossed only by costly, ill-tended ferries; and cutthroats haunted many of them. Galveston in the 19th century was chief port of entry. It was sister city to New Orleans, so well organized was passage from one to the other. Texas ports of entry included also Velasco, Quintana, La Vaca, Indianola, Matagorda, Point Isabel, Houston and Corpus Christi. Yet Galveston -- with the best natural between Pensacola and Vera Cruz -- dominated travel into Texas. This port welcomed statesmen, speculators, teachers, soldiers, clergymen, doctors, merchants, craftsmen, tourists, European immigration. Col. Wm. Lewis Moody (1828-1920), a Virginian, landed here in 1852, entered business world, courageously led unit in the Civil War, founded a fortune. Gifts of his family to Texas for education and humane purposes have included facilities at this site. Incise in base: Replaced 1982; Hoblitzelle Foundation / Texas Historical Foundation.

Warren D.C. Hall

Marker Title: Warren D.C. Hall
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: EpiscopalCemetery, 40th and Avenue L
Marker Text: (1788 - April 8, 1867) North Carolina native Warren DeWitt Clinton Hall was an early immigrant to Texas who took part in several military expeditions against Spain and Mexico. He served as acting secretary of war for the Republic of Texas at the time of the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. A successful attorney and active supporter of Masonic activities, Hall lived in Galveston from 1842 until his death in 1867. Hall County in the Texas Panhandle is named in his honor.

William Jefferson Jones

Marker Title: William Jefferson Jones
City: Texas City
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1993
Marker Location: Bay St. Park, Bay St. at 14th Ave.
Marker Text: (September 27, 1810 - May 5, 1897) Virginia native William Jefferson Jones received his license to practice law at age 19. He was an associate of Mirabeau B. Lamar, future president of the Republic of Texas, in a Georgia newspaper enterprise. Urged by Lamar to move to Texas, Jones traveled to Galveston in 1837 and in 1839 joined Lamar's military campaign to remove the Cherokee Indians from East Texas. Chosen as associate justice to the Texas Republic's first Supreme Court about 1840, Jones would later render the court's second decision. He married Elizabeth Giberson in 1841 and moved to Columbus in Colorado County to serve as district judge. He retired about 1852 and came to Virginia Point where he became the first person to successfully harvest valuable sea-island cotton in Texas and make use of its cottonseed oil. With William R. Smith in 1853, and again with his son, Walter C., in 1885, Jones produced plans for a city at Virginia Point. Although his proposals failed he is nevertheless credited with being among the first to envision the potential for a deep water port city on Galveston's mainland. Jones, whose generous land terms led to the development of La Marque's post-Civil War African American Highland Station community, is buried in Galveston's Lakeview Cemetery.

Henry Journeay

Marker Title: Henry Journeay
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: City Cemetery #1 - Episcopal, Rt. 87 / Broadway and 42nd.
Marker Text: Who served in the army of Texas, 1836 and was a member of the Mier Expedition, 1842. Born in New York, June 23, 1815; died July 2, 1870

Karankawa Campsite

Marker Title: Karankawa Campsite
Address: Bob Smith Rd. and Jolly Roger, Jamaica Beach
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Text: Discovered 1962. One of the few known campsites or burial grounds of the Karankawa. Now extinct, these Indians lived on the Texas Coast, the sea giving them sustenance. In 1528 they rescued Cabeza de Vaca, but from the time of La Salle's expedition in 1685, they resisted all intruders. Indians and white men were sacrificed in "Kronk" forms of ceremonial cannibalism. In 1825 Stephen F. Austin sent armed men to drive these tall tribesmen from the coast. Last survivors were seen apparently migrating to Mexico in 1844.

Nicholas D. Labadie

Marker Title: Nicholas D. Labadie
Address: Avenue L at 41st
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 2002
Marker Location: Old Catholic Cemetery, Ave. L and 41st
Marker Text: Nicholas Descomps Labadie was born in Canada in 1802. In Missouri, he trained for the priesthood and later changed to the study of medicine. In 1831, he moved to Texas, serving as post surgeon at Anahuac. He served in the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers as surgeon and infantryman during the Texas Revolution and, at San Jacinto, interpreted Santa Anna's surrender to Sam Houston. He moved his family to Galveston and became a prominent physician and business leader. He was a strong supporter of the first local Catholic Church and the charity hospital. After long service to Galveston and Texas, he died of pneumonia in 1867. Recorded - 2002

Lafitte's Grove

Marker Title: Lafitte's Grove
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: take Stewart Rd., 11 mi. west from Galveston
Marker Text: Fort and settlement established here in 1817 by the freebooter Jean Lafitte who maintained headquarters here while preying on shipping in the Gulf of Mexico. The Battle of the Three Trees was fought here between Lafitte's men and Karankawa Indians, February, 1821. Fort abandoned and burned in 1821 by Lafitte after his departure was ordered by the United States government.

Jean Lafitte

Marker Title: Jean Lafitte
Address: 1417 Avenue A
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Text: Notorious pirate. Settled here in 1817 with his buccaneers and ships; under Mexican flag, continued his forays against Spanish shipping in the Gulf. On this site, he built his home, Maison Rouge (Red House), which was part of his fort; and upper story was pierced for cannon. It was luxuriously furnished with booty from captured ships. Leaving Galveston in 1821, upon demand of the United States, he burned his home, fort and whole village; then sailed to Yucatan. In 1870, present structure was built over old cellars and foundations of Maison Rouge.

Moody Mansion and Museum

Museum Name: Moody Mansion and Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1300
City: Galveston
Zip Code: 77553
Street Address: 2618 Broadway
Area Code: 409
Phone: 762-7668
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

First Navy of the Republic of Texas

Marker Title: First Navy of the Republic of Texas
Address: Pier 21
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Dedicated to the first navy of the Republic of Texas established by Governor Henry Smith November 25th, 1835. The Fleet: BRUTUS, INDEPENDENCE, LIBERTY and INVINCIBLE. Commemorating the heroism of its personnel; defenders of an empire.

Bolivar Point

Marker Title: Bolivar Point
Address: US 87
City: Port Bolivar
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: Bolivar Ferry landing on US 87, Port Bolivar
Marker Text: In 1815 Colonel Henry Perry established a military camp here as part of a plan to invade Spanish Texas. In 1816 Galveston-based privateer Louis-Michel de Aury forced shiploads of captured African Slaves to walk from this point to New Orleans along old Indian Trails. Aury is credited with naming the point after South American liberator Simon Bolivar. While commanding a filibuster to win Texas independence, James Long established Fort Las Casas on Bolivar Point in 1820-21. His wife, Jane Herbert (Wilkinson), gave birth to a daughter, Mary James, in December 1821 at the fort. Mary James Long is often referred to as the first Anglo child born in Texas. A lighthouse, erected here by the Federal government in 1852 and later dismantled by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, was rebuilt after the war. Many area residents sought shelter within the lighthouse during the damaging storms of 1900 and 1915. The Gulf and Interstate Railroad was completed from Beaumont to Bolivar Point in 1896. A boon to peninsula farmers, the railroad was destroyed in the 1900 storm, then rebuilt in 1903. Ferry service, purchased by the Texas Highway Department in 1933, continues to provide free public access to Galveston Island. (1995)

Point Bolivar

Marker Title: Point Bolivar
Address: at foot of old lighthouse
City: Port Bolivar
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Headquarters for Long's Expedition which attempted to free Texas from Spanish rule in 1819. Named in honor of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), leader in the Spanish-American War for independence. Here Mrs. Long and a small group remained until news of her husband's death came in 1822. A light house was erected here by the Republic of Texas.

Powhatan House

Museum Name: 1847 Powhatan House
Street Address: 3427 Avenue O
City: Galveston
Zip Code: 77550
Area Code: 409
Phone: 763-0077
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Sidney Sherman

Marker Title: Sidney Sherman
Address: Broadway at 7th
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Born in Massachusetts July 23, 1805. Came to Texas February 1836 as captain of a company of volunteers he had recruited in Kentucky and Ohio. Commanded the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers at San Jacinto. First to sound the immortal war cary opening the battle. Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad. Member of the Congress of the Republic 1842-1843, 1846. Commandant Port of Galveston C. S. A. 1861-1862. Father of railroads in Texas, having built the first one west of the Sabine River. Died in Galveston, Texas, on the first day of August

Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith

Marker Title: Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith
Address: Courthouse grounds, 722 Moody
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Text: "Lion" of Texas coastal defense during the Civil War. Commanded marine department of military district. Born in New England, went to sea at 13. By age 20 was a captain. In 1850s commanded on the Galveston to New Orleans run of Southern Mail Steamships. In Feb. 1861, when Texas had seceded, commanded ship taking Col. John S. "Rip" Ford to Brownsville to take military possession of the Rio Grande. In April, with ship and crew, volunteered in Confederate navy. With 2 days' notice, prepared water-born part of offensive that won Battle of Galveston on Jan. 1, 1963. Walled his ships with cotton bales; in brief fighting captured the pride of the Federal navy. On Sept. 8, 1863, ordered a Confederate ship into sea battle. Then personally rode through enemy fire to join Dick Dowling's 47-odd-men on land, and fight in the battle that turned out to be victory of Sabine Pass. He and his ships helped prevent Federal landings to take food, water and wood from Texas coasts. They also ran Federal blockade and aided other ships in slipping past enemy patrols with Texas cotton to exchange overseas for goods scarce in the South: guns, ammunition, shoes, coffee, cloth, medicines. Died in Alaska, December 26, 1869.

Texas City Museum

Museum Name: Texas City Museum
Street Address: 409 N. 6th Street
City: Texas City
Zip Code: 77590
Area Code: 409
Phone: 643-5799
County: Galveston
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Aviation, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Other

Texas Revolution and Civil War, Galveston County

Marker Title: Texas Revolution and Civil War, Galveston County
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: 21st at Winnie St.
Marker Text: Following Laffite's expulsion from Galveston, settlers from the West Indies began to arrive. Within a few years, Galveston became a principal port to the Republic of Texas. Galveston was declared a port of entry in 1825 by Mexico and a customs house was established. The city served as Capital of the Republic of Texas when President David G. Burnett and his Cabinet were forced to abandon the interior at the time San Houston's forces met and defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto in 1836. Michel B. Menard purchased what is now the present site of Galveston from the Republic of Texas in 1836 for $50,000. Galveston County was created in 1838 by an act of the Texas Congress. The city of Galveston was incorporated in 1839. During the next decade, Galveston shared in the rapid growth and development of Texas. Churches were established and banks were founded. The Galveston "News" began publication and the first Federal court in Texas was established. The city was soon to become the most important cultural and commercial center in the state. In 1858, trackage of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad was completed between the Island and Houston. By July, 1861, the Federal blockade was extended to Texas. Confederate forces evacuated Galveston in October, 1862, but in 1863, with General John Bankhead Magruder in command, the Confederate forces occupied the city, capturing four vessels and some 300 Federal troops. The Confederate forces remained here until the end of the Civil War.

West Galveston Island

Marker Title: West Galveston Island
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: At Junction of 13 mi Rd-Termini Rd.
Marker Text: Earliest known inhabitants of this area were the now extinct Karankawa Indians, alleged to be the only American tribe to practice cannibalism in rituals. Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked near here in 1528, and is credited as the first European to visit the island. He, and other explorers including La Salle, are known to have touched land in this area without harm from the Karankawas. However, buccaneer Jean Lafitte was not well received by the Indians and a major battle was engaged between the pirates and the natives. Stage coach service was once established between Galveston and Freeport, with West beach as highway, and a ferry at San Luis Pass. This area was a significant point of debarcation for slave traders who were prohibited from sailing directly into Galveston City's harbor although a major slave market existed there. Near the turn of the century a railroad carried hundreds of visitors to a race track near the center of the island, and an important lace manufactory was located here. The West Island is an important site for migratory shore birds, with more than 95% of America's species inhabiting the area during the year. Since 1957 West Island has rapidly become a major recreational and resort area with hundreds of leisure homes fronting Gulf, canals and bay.

Fort Crockett

Fort Crockett was first established in Galveston around 1834. It was rebuilt in 1897 in the vicinity of present-day 45th Street at Seawall Boulevard. It was not manned until 1898, then destroyed by the hurricane of 1900. A new Fort Crockett was subsequently built in the twentieth century for a training facility for artillerymen. The buildings are being used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Texas A & M University and also Galveston College.

Fort de Bolivar

Serving as a rendezvous place for Indians, pirates, freebooters, privateers, filibusters, explorers, and settlers, the peninsula of Point Bolivar found its place in the history of Texas. Francisco Xavier Mina built an earthwork fortification there in 1816 and after Mina's defeat by Mexico, the French pirate, Pierre Laffite recruited Mina's troops. Pierre made a base, Fort de Bolivar, on the peninsula. There is evidence that both Laffite brothers may have been in conspiracy with French settlers at Champ d' Asile in what was later revealed to be a Napoleonic plot to invade Mexico. Confederate troops destroyed the Point Bolivar lighthouse to avoid assisting the enemy.

Fort Las Casas

In 1818, Dr. James Long came to Texas with 300 troops to liberate the land. In 1819, he established his headquarters, Fort Las Casas, on the bay side of Bolivar Peninsula at the present site of Fort Travis. Las Casas was made of the only material available; mud and sticks.

Maison Rouge

Maison Rouge, at the present-day site of Saint Mary's Infirmary, was a block long and was armed with 36-pound cannons inside and a battery of 42-pounders outside. Pirates Jean and Pierre Laffite considered Maison Rouge their fortress. Maison Rouge was destroyed by one of the hurricanes that ripped Galveston in the 1800s.


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