Happy Texas Independence Day! On March 2, 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos even as Santa Anna’s army laid siege to the Alamo. The convention elected David G. Burnet as interim president to oversee the young Republic until an election could be held. Seven months later, with the Mexican army defeated and a new president elected, Burnet gave his farewell address to the legislators of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, on October 4, 1836. The state Legislature is in session today, so I thought I’d share some of Burnet’s words with them:

“In the course of your labors for the public weal, you may experience trials and vexations that will be calculated to discourage your hearts, and diffuse distrust into your minds. Your best exertions, and most elaborate productions may receive reproach instead of approval, and your motives may be impugned when they are pure as the snow on the mountain top; but let not these things dishearten you; ‘it is but the rough brake that virtue must go through.’ Banish from your councils all party spirit and political intrigue, and armed in the panoply of an honest patriotism, move forward in the path of duty, and onward to the goal of our country’s redemption.”