In September 1836 Columbia, now known as West Columbia, became capital of the Republic of Texas. This took place with the removal of the ad interim government here from Velasco. After the election called by ad interim President David G. Burnet, the first permanent government of the Republic went into operation here in Columbia in October.
Inaugurated were President Sam Houston and Vice-President Mirabeau B. Lamar. Under their leadership the first duly elected congress convened and the first constitution of the Republic was ratified.
Citizens of this vicinity served the Republic. Henry Smith of nearby Brazoria prior to this time had been the first Anglo-American Governor of Texas, in the 1835-1836 revolutionary provisional government. In President Houston's cabinet, he was Secretary of the Treasury.
Stephen F. Austin, colonizer and Father of Texas, was Secretary of State; under the heavy demands of that office, his health broke and he died here on December 27, 1836.
In April, 1837, at the wish of President Houston, the seat of government was moved to more adequate quarters in the City of Houston.