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First black Texas Catholic bishop installed
February 19, 1988

On this day in 1988, Louisiana native Curtis Guillory, the first black Catholic bishop in Texas, was installed as auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston.The first blacks to arrive in what is now the United States came with the Spaniards and were Spanish-speaking members of the Catholic Church. Estevanico, the first known black Catholic in Texas, was a guide and interpreter for Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. In more recent times Louisiana, with its French Catholic heritage, contributed many black Catholics to Texas, first as refugee slaves during the Civil War and later as migrants to Texas cities. In 1993, of the two million black Catholics nationwide, approximately 54,000 lived in Texas. The largest number resided in the Houston-Galveston Area. After his service as auxiliary of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Guillory became ordinary of the diocese of Beaumont.

Texas Congress is history; Texas Legislature up and running
February 19, 1846

On this day in 1846, the First Legislature of the state of Texas convened in Austin. The flag of the Republic of Texas was lowered, and the flag of the United States was raised. The Lone Star Republic had become the Lone Star State.

Indian captive reunited with husband
February 19, 1838

On this day in 1838, Indian captive Rachel Plummer was reunited with her husband after spending over a year with the Comanches. Born Rachel Parker in Illinois in 1819, she moved to Texas with her father, James W. Parker, and her family and married Luther Plummer in 1833. In May 1836 their settlement was attacked by a large group of Indians. Five settlers were taken captive: Rachel and her son James Pratt Plummer, Cynthia Ann and John Parker, and Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg. James Pratt was taken from Rachel, and she never saw him again. Rachel became a slave to the Comanches, and traveled thousands of miles with the band. She was pregnant at the time of her capture and bore a second son about October 1836. The Indians thought that the baby was interfering with Rachel's work, so they killed him when he was about six weeks old. Rachel was ransomed by Mexican traders north of Santa Fe in June 1837. Several months later, Rachel's brother-in-law escorted her back to Texas, where she was reunited with her husband. In 1838 she published an account of her captivity entitled Rachael Plummer's Narrative of Twenty One Months Servitude as a Prisoner Among the Commanchee Indians. This was the first narrative about a captive of Texas Indians published in Texas. Rachel bore a third child in 1839 and died in Houston shortly thereafter; the child died two days later.