Washington-on-the-Brazos is the birthplace of Texas. It was here in 1836 that the provisional government of Texas met, and on March 2nd, of the same year, the Texas constitution was signed, declaring Texas' independance from Mexican rule.

In 1821 Andrew Robinson and his family joined Stephen F. Austin's colony and made their new home on the west side of the Brazos River at the La Bahia crossing. Although the old spanish road between Goliad and East Texas had been in use since the 17th century, the Robinsons were the first permanent settlers at the crossing. Robinson farmed, raised livestock and operated a ferry.

In 1835 John Hall purchased the property from Robinson, his father-in-law, and formed the Washington Town Company. Hall's partners in the enterprise were Asa Hoxey, Thomas Gay, Alexander Somervell and James B. Miller. The town was laid out near the ferry landing and lots sold at a public auction in Washington on January 8, 1836

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