Here’s a new years’ eve story from Texas history. In 1841, General Sam Houston was re-elected President of the Republic of Texas. By then, relations with the Mexican Government had deteriorated, and the attacks by bands of marauding Indians was incessant. There was fear on the Texas frontier.
The town of Austin, formerly known as Waterloo, had been designated by President Mirabeau Lamar as the new state capitol. As the seat of authority, all of the archives of the Republic were housed in the General Land Office on Congress Avenue. Across the street, the town had placed a six-pound cannon, to be used as an alarm in case of enemy attacks. It was always ready.
When Houston returned to the presidency, he was concerned that the frontier town of Austin was too vulnerable to attack. Houston has been quoted as saying that Austin was “the most unfortunate site on earth for a seat of government." It was well known that he preferred the town of Houston as the capitol. And incidentally, Houston was named after him! Coincidence?
Houston refused to move into the Presidents official residence, and stayed in the Eberly boarding house. Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly came to Texas with her first husband Jonathan C. Peyton, as a member of the Old 300. They owned a tavern that was lost when the city of San Felipe was burned. When Peyton died, Angelina married Captain Jacob Eberly, and they opened a boarding house where many officials lived while in Austin on business. It was a popular place.
It was commonly known that Angelina and Houston often disagreed. She vehemently opposed Houston’s desire to move the capitol back to Houston, because it would cause Austin to decline, and would hurt her business.
Sure enough, in the evening of December 29, 1842, Sam Houston sent state appointed couriers to the General Land Office to retrieve all of the archives, and move them to a temporary home at Washington-on-the-Brazos. All was going well until Angelina happened to notice the suspicious activity in the dead of night. She quickly fired the cannon that was loaded with grape-shot, and blew a whole in the General Land Office.
The Alarm frightened the couriers who grabbed what they could and rode off into the night. However, the cannon fire also woke up the whole town. The next day, they formed a vigilante posse and chased the couriers to Brushy Creek, where they surrounded them, and rescued the documents. Then, they returned to Austin and celebrated with a great New Year’s Eve party. That ended the Archives War of 1842!
Today, if you walk down Congress Avenue between Sixth and Seventh street, you will encounter the bronze statue of a woman getting ready to fire a six-pound cannonball across Congress Avenue. The statue was erected in 2004, so people would remember Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly, now memorized as “The savior of Austin.” She risked her life to sound the alarm.
As we approach 2018, it’s time to “fire the cannon” again! This time, we must alert our nation that there are those who wish to remove our revered archives of Godliness and Christianity. The sacred principles that made us the greatest nation on earth, are being eroded by sin and lethargy, and remain under constant threat. Once these valuable treasures are removed, our nation will lose its’ authority in the world. Don’t let that happen!
God is calling our nation back to the Biblical values that brought Divine favor upon our nation. Hosea 8: 1 (TLB) says, “Sound the alarm! They are coming! Like a vulture, the enemy descends upon the people of God!”
Jesus said in Luke 21:34 (NLT), “Watch out! Don't let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. The cannon of the Gospel message warns us again this New Years’ Eve. Stand up for the righteous principles that are found in the Word of God, or they will be taken away.