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SONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

SONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. The Sons of the Republic of Texas was first organized in April 1893 at Richmond, Texas, by several sons and grandsons of veterans of the Texas Revolution. By April 20, 1893, a state society was organized in Houston with W. A. Craddock as president. The society met with the Texas Veterans Association in Waco the following year and continued to meet in conjunction with that organization for several years before becoming inactive. In March 1922 the society was reactivated in Houston by Odin M. Kendall, along with several members of the original group and other descendants of early Texans. Andrew Jackson Houston was elected president. Membership was thirty-five in the first year. The objectives of the society have been to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who founded Texas, to encourage research and publication of historical records and documents prior to and during the Republic of Texas, to promote the observance of Texas holidays, to preserve historic documents and artifacts and mark historical sites, to participate in community activities, and to foster comprehensive knowledge of the state. In October 1934 the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) was incorporated under the laws of Texas as a non-profit corporation. With the help of Jesse H. Jones, the society was influential in securing funds in 1936 for the San Jacinto Monumentqv. It helped found the San Jacinto Museum of History and promoted the observance of San Jacinto Day. In 1953 the organization began publication of The Texian, a periodical containing news of the society and historical articles. The organization established the David G. Burnet Park in east Harris County and assisted in establishing the New Kentucky Park in the western part of the county. They also contributed to the erection of the entrance gates at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park. In 1957 a committee met with Governor Marion Price Daniel, Sr., and discussed plans for a state archives and library building; the group was influential in helping persuade the legislature to build the structure and to give statutory standing to the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (now the Texas Historical Commission).

Annually, the SRT administers and awards monetary gifts and presents medals and certificates for the purpose of fostering and encouraging Republic of Texas history scholarship and literary works. Beginning in 1951, the Sons introduced the Summerfield G. Roberts Award, given to the author of the outstanding work published on early Texas during the year. The society also grants three annual scholarships to high school seniors through an essay writing contest and presents a monetary award to the educator of the year who, through outstanding efforts or activities, has promoted the study of the history of the Republic of Texas. Since 1970 the society has awarded the Presidio La Bahía Award, established by the Kathryn Stoner O'Connorqv Foundation, for research into the Spanish colonial period of Texas. In that same year the organization began financing the Spanish Texas Microfilm Center, which is located in the restored Calabozo rooms at the Presidio La Bahía. With an initial grant from the O'Connor Foundation, the Sons established the center for the collection of microfilmed primary resource materials for the study of the Hispanic influence on Texas culture. The Kathryn Stoner O'Connor Spanish-Mexican Manuscript, Document and Book Collection, a rare 5,400-piece collection of Spanish Colonial documents and manuscripts, is available for historical research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In 1972 the society's membership was 1,000, with 572 junior members and 33 honorary members. An honorary unit is the Knights of the Order of San Jacinto, established by Sam Houston in 1842 or early in 1843; this degree is conferred for outstanding service to the state of Texas and for contributing to the development of Texas heritage. The society offers junior membership to persons under eighteen and posthumous membership for families wishing to enroll their ancestors. The SRT remained active into the twenty-first century. In 2003 the society and other historical groups worked with the Texas legislature to designate March as Texas History Month, and the SRT lobbied for the designation of the third Saturday in September as Texian Navy Day in 2005. In 2007 the Sons of the Republic of Texas had more than 4,000 members. Fifty-eight chartered chapters were located throughout Texas, and one chapter was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, once part of the Republic of Texas. The organization is governed by an executive committee comprised of elected volunteer officers, is recognized by the IRS as a 501(C) (3) tax exempt organization, and is headquartered at 1717 8th Bay Street, Bay City, Texas 77414.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Galveston News, April 13, 1893. Houston Chronicle, March 2, 1922. Houston Post, April 1, 1922. The Sons of the Republic of Texas (http://www.srttexas.org), accessed July 2, 2007. Sons of the Republic of Texas Yearbook. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"SONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/vss02), accessed August 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.