Replica of building at Washington on the Brazos

Replica of the building where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos signed Texas' Declaration of Independence from Mexico March 2, 1836.

Texans celebrate the 184th anniversary of the event on Tuesday with fireworks and proclamations around the state.

“The 56 men who signed the document continued to draft a constitution, pledging their lives and fortunes in securing a free and independent Texas, despite the disastrous events occurring at the Alamo and Goliad," stated Clayton Starr, President of the Athens Chapter of the Sons of the Texas Revolution.

Henderson County has numerous ties to the battles that led to the creation of the new republic.

Historical accounts recall the first shot of the Texas Revolution, was fired by J.C. Neill, who set off the cannon at Gonzales with the cry of "Come and Take it."

After the war, Neill was was deeded a parcel of land in Henderson County, near the Trinity River for his efforts during the fight for independence. He later moved to Navarro County, where he died in 1848. The city of Corsicana rests on land donated by Neill and two business partners.

The Sons of the Republic of Texas report that many Henderson County residents are descended from settlers who lived in the Republic during its almost 10 years in existence.

One hundred years after the signing, descendants of the delegates gathered in Washington-on-the-Brazos for a re-enactment of the original signing.

An Athens Weekly Review story reports A.S. Ford, of Henderson County, was present in memory of his great grandfather Benjamin Briggs Goodrich.

The SRT urges Texans to take a little time each year to remember the sacrifices of those who created the republic that after a decade became the 28th to join the United States of America.

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