This Day in Texas History:
Convention of 1836 Breaks Up in a Hurry
March 17, 1836
The convention, which met on March 1, drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander-in-chief of the republic’s military forces before the delegates evacuated Washington-on-the-Brazos.
Their hurried departure was part of the so-called Runaway Scrape, in which Texans fled the advancing troops of Antonio López de Santa Anna. Richmond was evacuated about April 1, and Houston’s subsequent retreat toward the Sabine left all of the settlements between the Colorado and the Brazos unprotected. The settlers in that area at once began making their way toward Louisiana or Galveston Island.
The section of East Texas around Nacogdoches and San Augustine was abandoned a little prior to April 13. The flight was marked by lack of preparation and by panic caused by fear both of the Mexican Army and of the Indians. The flight continued until news came of the victory in the battle of San Jacinto.