Early Texas port and trading post. Site of state's first steam saw, grist mills and railroad terminal. Town founded, 1826, by John R. Harris, who was first settler in 1823. Became shipping center for early colonies, established when Texas was part of Mexico, with boats carrying cargo to and from Texas ports and points in the United States and Mexico.
Became the seat of government of the Republic of Texas, March 22-April 13, 1836, when David G. Burnet, President of the ad interim government and several of his cabinet resided near here in the home of Mrs. Jane Harris (site marked), widow of town founder. Here President Burnet adopted the flag for the Texas Navy. In 1835, local resident, Mrs. Sarah Dodson, had made here the first tri-color lone star flag.
General Santa Anna attacked the town with 750 Mexican soldiers on April 16 attempting to capture Burnet and his cabinet. The whole town was burned.
After Texas gained its independence at nearby San Jacinto, the town was rebuilt and again thrived.
The Buffalo, Bayou, Brazos and Colorado, first railroad in Texas began here in 1852 and by the Civil War made the town a Confederate rail center.
Became a part of Houston, by annexation, in 1926.