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Provisional government declares Texas independence


On this day in 1819, a provisional Texas government headed by James Long declared independence from Spain. Long, a merchant from Natchez, was the leader of a filibustering expedition from that city organized in the wake of the controversial Adams-Onís Treaty. By the middle of July, he had more than 300 men under his command and had made overtures for assistance to Jean Laffite in Galveston. By the end of November, however, Spanish troops had succeeded in driving the American settlers out of Texas. The indefatigable Long withdrew to New Orleans, where he joined forces with José Félix Trespalacios and reestablished his base at Point Bolivar. Long soon broke with Trespalacios. He and his men captured La Bahía in October 1820, but surrendered four days later. Long was taken prisoner and sent to Mexico City, where he was shot and killed by a guard reportedly in the pay of his former ally Trespalacios.

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