San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park

By: Andrew F. Muir

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: February 22, 2017

San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park, the site of the battle of San Jacinto, which won independence for Texas, is adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel, where the USS Texas is moored, five miles northeast of the intersection of State highways 134 and 225 and ten miles east of Pasadena in southeastern Harris County. It is on the Arthur McCormick league, which after 1836, was sold to various individuals, including Magnus T. Habermehl, whose dwelling and family burial plot were near the scene of the battle. Although not public land, the battleground, from 1836 on, has been a tourist attraction, and early San Jacinto Day celebrations centered there. In 1856, at a meeting on the field, a fund was initiated for erecting a monument at the graves of those who fell in the battle, and the money, entrusted to Francis R. Lubbock, was supplemented by a state appropriation of $1,000. Around the graves grew up a community cemetery in which were buried persons who died in the neighboring town of San Jacinto. In 1860 a meeting on the battlefield nominated Sam Houston for the presidency of the United States. In 1881 J. S. Sullivan of Richmond initiated a second movement for placing a marker at the graves, and sufficient funds were collected for a red granite obelisk which was unveiled in Galveston and placed at the grave of Benjamin Rice Brigham, the only grave then ascertainable. As a result of agitation by the Texas Veterans Association and others, the legislature appropriated $1,500 for acquiring the ground on which the monument had been erected, and on May 16, 1883, ten acres of land were bought. In 1894 a committee of veterans, including survivors of the battle, located important sites of the battle events, and in 1897 these were relocated and marked with pipes, which in 1912 were replaced by granite boulders erected by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The state of Texas appropriated $10,000 to acquire the field, and James Monroe Hill, Waller T. Burns, and Sterling B. Hendricks were commissioned to make the purchase. By 1900 the state had acquired 336.28 acres; additional purchases in 1909 and in the 1930s brought the total park area to 402 acres. After 1907 the state administered the park through a three-member San Jacinto Park Commission, appointed by the governor, and a resident superintendent. Operating under the Board of Control, the commission had responsibility for the care and preservation of the park. Improvements on the field culminated in 1936 in a landscaping and building program, which included a monument erected by Texas Freemasons and a sundial built by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who utilized the funds collected by Lubbock in 1857. The building program was completed by the San Jacinto Monument and Museum, constructed between 1936 and 1939, including the construction of the 570-foot San Jacinto Monument. In 1948 the battleship Texas was presented to the people of Texas and permanently moored in the west end of the park. The park commission was abolished in 1965, and its duties were transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. During the 1980s additional land was donated to the park, and the battleship Texas became another component. By 1990 the park had 1,000 acres. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto Museum of History Association began development of a master plan for future growth and development of the park in 1994.

Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). George Alfred Hill, The Centennial Celebration of the Battle of San Jacinto (Senate Miscellaneous Documents, No. 253, 74th Cong., 2nd sess., 1936). Ray Miller, Texas Parks (Houston: Cordovan, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. WPA Writers Program, Houston (Houston: Anson Jones, 1942).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Andrew F. Muir, “San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 22, 2017

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