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Founding of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas

November 25, 2008

November marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which is “the oldest patriotic women’s organization in Texas and one of the oldest in the nation.”

During the summer of 1891, cousins Betty Ballinger and Hally Bryan met in Galveston to plan the creation of a commemorative association of women who were direct descendants of residents of the Republic of Texas. On November 6 of that year, sixteen women held an organizational meeting for the new group in the Houston residence of Mary Jane Briscoe. At the first annual meeting in April 1892, members changed the group’s name for a second time and adopted the name Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Minutes of the November 6, 1891 meeting, as reported by DRT Secretary M. P. Vasmer at the first annual meeting, April 20, 1892.

Minutes of the November 6, 1891 meeting, as reported by DRT Secretary M. P. Vasmer at the first annual meeting, April 20, 1892.


The DRT initially served as a companion organization to the Texas Veterans Association, which had been established in 1873 for men who had served “prior to, during, and immediately after the Texas Revolution.” However, with their numbers dwindling to six elderly men by 1907, the Veterans disbanded and resolved that the Daughters should continue their work of commemoration and remembrance.

According to Article II of the Daughters’ Constitution, the objectives of the association are:

(1) To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas.

(2) To encourage historical research into the earliest records of Texas, especially those relating to the revolution of 1835 and the events which followed; to foster the preservation of documents and relics; and to encourage the publication of records of individual service of soldiers and patriots of the Republic.

(3) To promote the celebration of March 2d (Independence Day), and April 21st (San Jacinto Day); to secure and hallow historic sports, by erecting monuments thereon; and to cherish and preserve the unity of Texas, as achieved and established by the fathers and mothers of the Texas revolution.

Daughters with members of the Texas Veterans Association in La Grange, April 21, 1905.

Daughters with members of the Texas Veterans Association in La Grange, April 21, 1905.

To find out more about the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the its history, please see:

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 90 Years of the Daughters: History of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, website

Madge Thornall Roberts, 100 Years of Custodianship

Randy Roberts and James S. Olson, A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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