Happy 175th Birthday, Texas
175 years ago today - 2 March 1836, 59 representatives of the various colonies in the Mexican province of Texas, meeting at Washington-on-the-Brazos, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, declaring Texas to be a free and sovereign Republic.
Although the signers were overwhelmingly of Anglo-American stock (probably Scotch-Irish would be more precise), there were among the founding fathers of Texas participating in the signing such Tejanos as José Antonio Navarro, José Francisco Ruiz, and Lorenzo de Zavala. Also signing the Declaration was General Sam Houston, who would lead the Texas army to victory over Santa Anna a month-and-a-half later at San Jacinto, thus preserving Texas' independence. Houston would later that same year become the first President of the Republic of Texas.
The Republic of Texas they created that March day - though it would be shaken in the coming days by the twin slaughters of the Texan garrisons at the Alamo and Goliad - would be a sovereign nation for almost a decade.
For more information on this topic, I recommend:
Texas Independence, an interactive website that "brings the struggle, compromise and sacrifice of the Convention of 1836 and the men who founded that new nation to a new generation and takes Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site into every classroom in Texas."
The Texas Revolution (Fred H. and Ella Mae Moore Texas History Reprint Series) by William C. Binkley
Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic by William C. Davis
Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence by H.W. Brands
Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution by Stephen L. Hardin and Gary S. Zaboly
The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston by Marquis James
Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas by Gregg Cantrell