At last Saturday’s Texas Heritage Day, Austin’s four town squares ownership was brought up for discussion. After 173 years, ownership of the squares may be resolved.
Mike Ward wrote an article in the Austin American-Statesman, dated March 31. Thanks to Carol Castlebury for sharing.
For the full story, click here.
Two votes in the Continental Congress prevented Franklin from being the fourteenth state in the Union. The State of Franklin existed from 1784-1789 in a parallel government with North Carolina. Those that favored breaking from North Carolina were called Franklinites. Those that didn’t were Anti’s, the issue divided westerners who had fought side-by-side during the revolution for independence.
The North Carolina Assembly voted in 1780 to cede western lands over the mountain to the federal government to settle the states war debt. The western settlers were left to fight hostile Indians on their own. They quickly formed the State of Franklin for protection, after being abandoned by North Carolina and the federal government. Only in desperation did they approach Spain for help. Many scholars have suggested Franklinites were treasonous by doing so. The Republic of Texas used a similar ploy many years later to become the twenty-eighth state in the union. Amazing how history repeats itself.
During a heavy snowfall, a rebellion broke out between the Franklinites, led by John Sevier, the Anti’s by John Tipton, two were killed, and several men were injured. The fighting was for naught as the North Carolina Assembly elected John Sevier as a delegate to reconsider ratification of the Federal Constitution. Western North Carolina became part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was annexed in 1796, becoming the sixteenth state in the union.
The Franklin constitution signed at Jonesborough, Tennessee on December 17, 1784; Section 31 states no clergymen or preacher of the gospel could hold public office. The next, Section 32 went into great detail that no person that did not believe in God could hold public office. I found those sections interesting.
Read more about the Franklinites in Spring House, Book 2 and the Children of the Revolution, Book 3 of the Westward Sagas series.
Capitol of the State of Franklin
Before the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, uniformity of time wasn’t a high priority. For horse drawn stage coaches, fifty miles before sun down was about the limit. Scheduling was pretty simple – West Bound Stage arrives Tuesday Evening-Departs Wednesday Morning.
A train crash in Kipton, Ohio in 1891 killed eleven people, due to a four minute error in time. A government commission was established to set guidelines and standards for the railroads. Watch makers made their time pieces railroad approved and railroad time became the official time until 1918.
The first government legislation had a lofty title An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States was enacted March 19, 1918. It was so unpopular that it was repealed the next year. President Franklin Roosevelt used WWII as an excuse for year round Daylight Saving Time (DST). After the war, 1945 until 1966 there was no DST.
The growing airline industry and television networks formed the ‘Committee for Time Uniformity’ in the early 1960’s. Their lobbyist did a great job. The fact that the world’s largest airline at the time, Braniff, was headquartered in President Lyndon Johnson’s home state, the President’s family owned radio and TV stations didn’t hurt their legislative efforts.
Lyndon Johnson signed the Time Act into law April 12, 1966. Standardization of time is needed, but it sure is a pain resetting my clocks.
I often use this old family saying in the Westward Sagas Series “daylight is burning.” Modern energy grids provide enough electricity to light airport runways, shopping malls, streets and highways. Not so during the early days I write about; long before daylight savings time (DST).
This Sunday, we spring forward one hour and thousands of people will arrive late for Church. Then on the first Sunday in October, we fall back one hour and thousands will be early to Church.
Who to blame for this twice a year correction of our clocks and disruption of our routines? It was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 in an essay entitled “An Economical Project.” Germany was the first to establish DST followed by Britain in 1916. The U.S. first adopted DST in 1918, it met with much resistance. It has been changed and modified several times since.
Politicians claimed they were doing it to give farmers more daylight to tend their crops and livestock. Anyone that ever lived or worked on a farm or ranch knows that you are in the fields by sun up and you quit when the sun goes down. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Few farmers even had a time piece and didn’t need one. When the sun was directly over head it was noon, when it was shining in your face, afternoon. Dinner was at dark thirty and you better not be late.
My next blog will reveal the real reasons for DST.
March 3, 1836, inside the walls of the Alamo, Lt. Col. William B. Travis sat at a small wooden desk and contemplated his predicament after sealing his letter to Sam Houston, his last request for reinforcements. Two thousand Mexican soldiers now surround the garrison. One hundred ninety defenders had sustained five days and nights of continuous bombardment; the shelling suddenly stopped. Travis must advise his men the fate that awaited them, the time was now. Travis assembled his men and emotionally announced that there would be no more reinforcements. Their fate was sealed.
With his saber, a line was drawn in the sandy loam soil. Lt. Col. Travis said “Who will be the first to stay and die with me?” Tapply Holland was the first, followed by every man, but one. Moses Rose climbed the wall and lived to tell this story.
Please join the Son’s of the Republic of Texas and San Antonio Living History Association, Wednesday, March 6, 2013 in front of the Alamo at 5:30 a.m. for “Dawn at the Alamo.” This 177th pre-dawn commemorative ceremony is a solemn event honoring all who died at the Battle of the Alamo.