From the Annals of the French – In keeping with this week’s museum theme, in 1956, the restored French Legation was opened to the public. The site is in East Austin adjacent to the Texas State Cemetery. France was the only country other than the United States to recognize the Republic of Texas. France sent Jean Pierre Isidore Alphonse Dubois, from the French Legation in Washington, to be the chargé d’affaires in Texas. Dubois was instructed to to remain in Austin to maintain an official presence there. The legation building was completed in 1840-1841, and probably was the finest structure in Austin at the time. Dubois entertained dignitaries (such as were available) and worked with the government to bring French settlers to Texas. After the capital was temporarily moved from Austin, the legation was abandoned. It was then occupied by the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese Galveston. Dr. Joseph W. Robertson later bought the estate where he and descendants lived 1940. In 1945, the State purchased the site and gave custody to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who established the French Legation Museum in 1949. The DRT restored the legation building and grounds and opened the site to the public on this date in 1956. It is the oldest house in Austin.
From the Annals of the DRT – In 1891, the organizational meeting of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was held in the Houston home of Mary Jane Briscoe.
Mary S. M. Jones, widow of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, was selected to serve as president. The rather awkward first name chosen for the new association was the Daughters of Female Descendants of the Heroes of ’36. The group quickly changed its name to the Daughters of the Lone Star Republic, then Daughters of the Republic of Texas at the first annual meeting in April 1892. The stated objectives of the association are to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the people who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas, to encourage historical research into the earliest records of Texas, especially those relating to the revolutionary and republic periods and to promote Texas Honor Days. However, membership is limited to descendants of ancestors who “rendered loyal service for Texas” prior to February 19, 1846, the date the Republic ceased to exist and Texas became part of the U.S. The DRT was most famous for its custody of the Alamo – but it has now been displaced by the state of Texas.
Photo of DRT members in 1932 at Laguna Gloria, home of notable member Clara Driscoll from KayKeys.