Mayor's Roundtable Benefits Austin History Center

Luncheon named for Angelina Eberly

Scene of the six pounder fired by Angelina Eberly to keep the government archives at the capital in Austin. Courtesy Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, PICB 07906.
Scene of the six pounder fired by Angelina Eberly to keep the government archives at the capital in Austin. Courtesy Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, PICB 07906.

Why is there a statue of Molly Pitcher downtown? It’s not. That's a statue of Angelina Eberly, heroine of Texas’ "The Archives War." Tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 1, is the Angelina Eberly Luncheon at the Driskill Hotel, 11am. Reservations are still available at $125, with proceeds benefiting the Austin History Center.

Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly was an astute Austin innkeeper in December 1842, when Sam Houston announced the city was no longer the capital of Texas. His namesake town Houston was. He dispatched the Texas Rangers led by Texas Land Commissioner Thomas William "Peg Leg" Ward to remove the Republic of Texas archives from Austin and bring them east.

The furtive effort was spotted by Eberly, who lit a town cannon to alert citizens of the theft. Local Austinites chased the wagons north into Williamson County, where the Rangers were forced at gunpoint to surrender the archives. “The Archives War” preserved Austin as the capital of Texas and was still good PR for "Peg Leg," elected three times as mayor of our young town.

The lunch program at Wednesday’s fundraiser is "The Mayor’s Roundtable," to be emceed by Charles Betts, executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance. Former Austin Mayors attending include Ron Mullen (1983-1985), who spanned the High Tech Boom and co-founded the Greater Austin/San Antonio Corridor Council; Lee Cooke (1988-1991), a shepherd of the construction of the Austin Convention Center and Austin Technology Incubator; and Senator Kirk Watson (1997-2001), whose terms ushered in the Austin Bergstrom Airport, funding for the Palmer Events Center, and awards for Austin as “Best City for Business” from Fortune and Forbes magazines.

Closing date for reservations was January 28, but I bet a quick call to the Austin History Center Association office at 512-974-7499 will find some seats left. That Angelina was a sharp cookie.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Angelina Eberly, Austin History Center

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