Texas Capitol Monuments and Markers

Living downtown in Austin means that we see the Texas Capitol at the north end of Congress Avenue almost everyday. During the pandemic we had to walk up to get mail at our office which is close to the Capitol. We made it part of our exercise to walk around the Capitol grounds, and found quite a few monuments and markers that we did not know existed.

Like many places in our country in 2020, some of these sculptures, markers and memorials are controversial. With calls to remove some, this article shows what was present in the early summer of 2020. The Capitol building was closed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; the Capitol grounds were closed in June 2020 after the protests marches and demonstrations and remain closed as of this writing. For his always interesting and well-written perspective I highly recommend reading Stephen Harrington’s Texas Monthly Article “The Statues Are Coming Down.”

My wife and I had also recently finished reading the historical fiction novel A Twist At The End by Steven Saylor. The author O. Henry is the main character. The novel is based in the 1880s, around the time that the Texas Capitol was being constructed. The descriptions in the book of the streets, buildings and surrounding areas in that time period put the Capitol grounds in an interesting historical perspective.

Construction on the Texas Capitol was completed in 1888. The oldest of the monuments and markers at the Texas Capitol is the Heroes of the Alamo Monument, dedicated in 1891. The most recent monument is the Price of Liberty erected in 2018. Where possible, the article identifies the sculptor of each monument and provides a link to more information about them.

Map of Texas Capitol grounds

On the grounds surrounding the Capitol are a large number of monuments and markers (by my count, twenty-one on the grounds plus some off the property). Several displays on the grounds show the map in the image below which shows the location of the monuments and memorials.

Map of Texas Capitol and grounds

The Texas Capitol Building

The cornerstone for the Texas Capitol was laid in 1885. Construction was completed in 1888. Instead of regurgitating what has already been written about the Texas Capitol building, here are links to existing articles.

Below, a view of the Texas Capitol looking south.

Texas Capitol looking south

Below is a photo looking over the rose garden in the Capitol Grounds towards the Texas Capitol.

On June 16th, 2020, “BLACK AUSTIN MATTERS” was painted on Congress Avenue leading up to the Texas Capitol grounds.

Texas Capitol Black Austin Matters

Across 11th Street from the Texas Capitol is a marker in front of the ruins of another building that, at one time, was the temporary Texas Capitol.

This map shows where the temporary Texas Capitol (number 4 in the map below) was in relation to the current one. There are also dates when different buildings and other parts of the grounds were erected.

Texas Capitol map with years

South of the Texas Capitol

African American History

African American History Memorial at Texas Capitol

This history memorial is near the South entrance to the Capitol grounds on the left as you enter the gate.

There are seven plaques on the front of this memorial and three on the back. The seven plaques on the front read as follows:

First Contact and the Spanish Colonial Era 1528-1820

The first recorded people of African descent arrived in Texas with Spanish explorers and settlers. Estevanico, a Moorish slave from Azamor, Morocco, arrived in Texas in 1528 with a party of Spanish explorers who were shipwrecked on the Gulf Coast near Galveston Island. With three other survivors, Andres Dorantes de Castillo, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, he walked across southern Texas and northerm Mexico, showing a talent for Indian languages and acting as an interpreter for the party. Estevanico was later pressed into service by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, to guide an expedition into what is now Arizona. He was killed at Zuni Pueblo in 1539. His death may have been due to a sacred rattle given to him by Texas Indians, which the Zuni considered an offensive object.

Estevanico was one of the thousands of Africans who helped settle Spanish Texas over the course of 300 years. By 1792, African people in Texas comprised 13 percent of the population. Most arrived enslaved. The African-American cultural heritage is a significant legacy that has shaped both our state and national heritage.

Slavery During the Mexican National Era 1821-1836

During the Mexican national era, enslaved people of African descent were brought to Texas by the Anglo-American settlers introduced into Texas by Stephen F. Austin and other empresarios, land agents authorized by the Mexican government to help settle Texas.

In 1830, Mexican lawmakers prohibited further immigration into Texas from the United States and explicitly banned the introduction of enslaved people into the territory. This ban contributed to increasing tensions between United States settlers and the Mexican government, and was one of the causes of the Texas Revolution from 1835 to 1836. By the time Texas declared independence, there were approximately 5,000 enslaved Blacks in the region.

Slavery During the Republic and Early Statehood 1836-1860

Between 1836 and 1860, the slave population in Texas grew from 5,000 to 182,566. The greatest increase in the number of slaves brought to Texas occurred from 1850 to 1865.

Among the expanding slave population were children who were purchased and brought to the State, or born in captivity to enslaved parents. Enslaved children typically wore slave cloth shirts made of homespun cotton or wool and were expected to do chores until they were old enough for field work. Enslaved wơmen were expected to bear children and take care of their home life in the slave quarters, and to help farm cotton and other crops. Cotton produced by slave labor was the most important staple in the Texas economy, but slave labor was also integral to the economic growth of Texas in the lumber and construction industries. Several iconic Texas buildings including the 1853 limestone Texas Capitol, the 1856 Governor’s Mansion, and the 1853 Pease Mansion were built with Black slave labor. Most slaves showed skills in farming, animal husbandry, construction, masonry, cooking and blacksmithing.

Civil War, Emancipation and Juneteenth 1861-1865

On the eve of the Civil War, the number of enslaved people in Texas totaled 30 percent of the state’s population. This number continued to grow as slaveholders from other areas of the Confederacy came to Texas as refugees to escape the fighting and brought their enslaved property with them. Scholars estimate that more than 30,000 enslaved people were brought into Texas during the Civil War years alone. The conflict did not readily change the Black experience in Texas, as most African-Americans continued to be held in bondage and forced to labor.

Federal troops occupied Texas in June 1865 after the Civil War. General Gordon Granger issued General Order Number 3 at Galveston ơn June 19, 1865 to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation previously signed by President Abraham Lincoln. That day soon became recognized as Juneteenth or Emancipation Day, although many slaves in Texas were not freed until much later. Juneteenth was officially declared a state holiday in Texas in 198O, and today it continues to be celebrated here and in other states as a milestone of the African-American struggle for freedom.

After Emancipation, the former slaves entered the new stage of freedom with a mixture of joy, despair, elation, fear, hope, doubt, certainty and confusion. With little social infrastructure other than their families, they sought to make their way in a nation and state they helped to create, but in which they had very little ownership, input or power.

Reconstruction and the Post Slavery Experience 1865-1900

After Emancipation, Blacks in Texas, as in other southern states, became members of a society that was unwilling to accept them as equals. Despite efforts to be included in the fabric of Texas society, violence by hostile groups, the lack of access to courts and the ultimate withdrawal of federal troops resulted in the loss of equal protection under the law. In 1866-1867, Blacks could be arrested if they did not have employment, and once jailed, their labor could be forced. Prisoners, the majority of whom were African-Americans, were leased to contractors as convict laborers. These leased prisoners were used much like slaves, including during the construction of the current State Capitol. Although Blacks did serve on juries, vote and hold office for a few years from the late 1870s until the turn of the 20th century, their rights were constantly threatened at the local level and taken away statewide soon after 1900.

During the era of Reconstruction, African-Americans sought to live and prosper in the aftermath of slavery. Fifty-two African-American men served Texas as either state legislative members or Constitutional Convention delegates during the last half of the 19th century. They built communities with churches and schools. Some former slaves served in Texas in four African-American regiments with white officers formed in 1866, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. Native Americans gave these men the title of “Buffalo Soldiers.” Some African-Americans, including Bob Lemmons, Bill Pickett and Tige Avery became successful cowboys and horse wranglers on many Texas ranches, in part due to skills learned during their years of slavery.

Post Reconstruction Challenges and Achievements 1877-1954

The end of Reconstruction proved an uncertain and violent time for African-Americans living in Texas. Riots and lynchings were common occurrences. By the early 20th century, Texas ranked third in the nation for lynching. Violence, however, did not deter Texans of African descent from seeking to improve their economic, political and social status. This period saw major African-American contributions to aviation, sports and the arts–particularly in music. Folk music from the African-Americans in Texas made an important contribution to the development of blues, folk and country music in America.

Blacks were barred from attending public schools with Whites in Texas until 1954, when the United States Supreme Court ended public school segregation in the United States. Despite being forced to attend inferior public schools, African-Americans were able to attain higher education at traditionally black colleges including Huston-Tillotson University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University and Wiley College.

During and after World War II, Black Texans played a significant role in advancing Civil Rights. The landmark case Smith v. Allwright (1944) improved the voting rights for African-Americans in the South and Sweatt v. Painter (1950) paved the way for equal access to education by opening the doors of The University of Texas law school to African-American students. More groundbreaking changes followed. African-American voter registration peaked in the 1960s. Activists organized peaceful protests including lunch counter sit-ins, marches and business boycotts.

Major Achievements

African-American Texans have contributed to the state’s culture, and have gained prominence in a host of fields. Despite the tremendous challenges posed by the institution of slavery, Jim Crow segregation and discrimination, African-Americans overcame and continue to overcome great obstacles to make a place for themselves in the Lone Star State, and are an essential part of Texas history, life and culture.

Scott Joplin, a world class composer and pianist, was known as the “King of Ragtime Writers.” Jack Johnson was the first Black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Bessie Coleman broke historical barriers by becoming the first African-American woman aviator and one of the first licensed female pilots in the world. Navy Mess Attendant Second Class Doris “Dorie” Miller shot down four Japanese warplanes at Pearl Harbor and was awarded the Navy Cross.

Barbara Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate (1966) and later became the first African-American congresswoman from Texas (1972-1978). Congressman Mickey Leland held the office previously occupied by Barbara Jordan and was a champion for equal rights until his untimely death.

From exploration of unchartered lands in Texas to exploration of outer space, people of African descent contributed significantly to Texas history. This memorial is dedicated to their struggle and their accomplishments so that both will not be forgotten.

The three plaques on the back read as follows:

Battles for Texas Independence from Mexico 1836

Several notable individuals of African descent participated in the battles at the Alamo and San Jacinto in 1836. Joe, slave of William B. Travis, fought at the Alamo and survived. His account of the fighting is one of the most important Alamo narratives. Mack Smith, slave of Ben Fort Smith, and Dick the Drummer, a musician, both participated in the battle of San Jacinto.

A story recorded in 1842 by William Bollaert, an Englishman touring Texas, claimed that the Mexican Army probably lost the battle of San Jacinto because of the influence of a mulatto girl named “Emily,” who belonged to Col. James Morgan and was “closeted” in Santa Anna’s tent, detaining him when the Texans charged the Mexican Army camp. No other account of the battle mentions this story, but in 1836 a free woman named Emily D. West, who came to Texas from New York in late 1835, was employed by Col. Morgan as a house worker in New Washington (now Morgan’s Point) on Galveston Bay. Morgan’s settlement was occupied and burned by Santa Anna’s army on April 20, the day before the battle. His servants, unable to escape, were captured by the Mexican Army. Emily, sometimes known as “the Yellow Rose of Texas,” may have been among the prisoners because in 1837, when seeking a passport to leave Texas, she said she had lost her free papers at San Jacinto in April 1836.

Hendrick Arnold and Samuel McCulloch, Jr.

Hendrick Arnold and Samuel McCulloch, Jr. played important roles in the Texas Revolution and the formation of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became independent, both were considered free Blacks, but they were placed under severe legal restrictions. Samuel McCulloch, Jr., who lived near the Lavaca River with his family, has been called “a genuine Texas hero.” McCulloch volunteered to serve in the Texas Army and was wounded at the Battle of Goliad, the only Texan to be injured. After the war in 1837, he petitioned the Republic of Texas for citizenship rights and land. His petition was rejected, but McCulloch performed other military duties for the Republic of Texas, including serving as a spy during the Mexican invasion of San Antonio in 1842. After twenty years of petitioning the Congress of the Republic of Texas and the Texas State Legislature, McCulloch finally received his land in 1858 and settled at Von Ormy in Bexar County, where he farmed and ranched until his death in 1893.

Hendrick Arnold’s family resided in San Antonio. In 1835, Arnold and his father-in-law, Erastus Smith, went on a hunting trip. When they attempted to go home, Mexican soldiers, who had since occupied San Antonio, refused to let them return. Subsequently, both Arnold and his father-in-law joined the Texas Army under Stephen F. Austin and worked as soldiers, spies and guides. Arnold became known in military circles as an associate of Sam Houston, an efficient and brave spy, and was cited for his service in the Texas Revolution. With his commendation from the Republic of Texas, he acquired land outside of San Antonio where he is buried today.

The 21st Century

The State of Texas has thrived economically. Early history indicates that the development of the cotton industry, initially dependent on slave labor, aswell as the cattle market and the discovery of abundant supplies of oil contributed to this economic wealth. These three profitable industries facilitated Texas’ economic progress. However, such achievements were often at the expense of African-Americans who rarely reaped the benefits of such growth. For 200 years, Texans of African descent struggled for economic, social and political success. They fought to gain access to basic judicial and human rights to secure their enfranchisement and their role in Texas society. In some cases, they achieved some success. In other areas, there is work yet to be done. This Memorial is dedicated to both the struggles and achievements of African-American Texans and the impact of both on the economic and cultural vitality of the State of Texas.

Tejano History

This history memorial is near the South entrance to the Capitol grounds on the right as you enter the gate.

Tejano History memorial at Texas Capitol

The five plaques read as follows:

SPANISH TEJANOS 1519 – 1810

Tejanos are descended from the Spanish explorers and colonizers who settled Texas. They eventually took the name Tejano from the Spanish word Tejas, used by native American Indians who originally inhabited Texas. As early as 1519 Spaniards visited the Texas coast and a group led by Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was the first to describe the native peoples of Texas and the geography of Texas between 1528 and 1534. The Texas Panhandle region was explored by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1541, while the DeSoto-Moscoso expedition explored northeastern Texas the following year. Soon, Spaniards explored the coastal regions and established Texas as a province.

An attempt by France to establish a colony on the Texas coast in the 1680s, prompted Spain to send General Alonzo de León in search of the French settlement. On his expeditions into Texas in 1686-1690, De León founded the first Spanish mission in East Texas. These early expeditions named most of the major rivers in Texas and released many longhorn cattle which later became the foundation of the cattle industry in Texas. By 1718, a permanent community at San Antonio de Bexar had been established by soldier-settlers and Franciscan missionaries, later expanded by families from New Spain and the Canary Islands.

By the mid-1700s, Spanish settlements included the capital at Los Adaes (now Robeline, Louisiana), San Antonio and La Bahía (now Goliad) In the lower Rio Grande country, other settlers from the interior of Mexico and Spain, under the leadership of José de Escandón, founded a network of towns. Tejano ranchers provided thousands of longhorn cattle to Spanish soldiers and settlers and even drove cattle northeastward to aid the American Revolution. Tejano pioneers left a proud ranching legacy in Texas.

TEJANOS UNDER THE MEXICAN FLAG 1810 – 1836

Tejanos developed their unique identity, and sought to control their own destiny in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Following Father Hidalgo’s call for rebellion against bad government on September 16, 1810, many Tejanos rallied in support of the Mexican war tor independence. Tejanos and their Anglo allies first declared Texas independence in April, 1813, but suffered defeat at the Battle of Medina on August 18, 1813. It was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, Tejanos welcomed Anglo-American immigrants into Texas under the Republic of Mexico.

In 1824, the Mexican National Congress joined Texas to Coahuila as a combined state. Fearful that the arrangement would hurt Texas interests, Tejanos opposed this union. This view was shared by the new Anglo-American colonists, many of whom retained strong economic and political ties to the United States. After the Mexican Congress cut off trade and immigration from the U.S., Anglo-Texans and Tejanos revolted and declared Texas independence from Mexico. Two native Tejanos signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836.

In his march to defeat the independence movement in Texas in 1836, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna was opposed by many influential Tejano families, particularly the Seguín, Navarro, Ruiz, Benavides, Carvajal, and De León families. Many Tejanos fought bravely in the Texas Revolution, including the battles at San Antonio in 1835, the Alamo, and San Jacinto.

TEJANOS IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS 1836 -1848

As citizens of the Republic of Texas, Tejanos kept their language, culture, and traditions alive with a fierce determination despite many difficulties as Texans of Mexican heritage. The Republic of Texas had set the Rio Grande as its southern border, claiming the Mexican territories and settlements that had previously been part of the neighboring states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León. This increased the conflict with Mexico.

Despite the difficulties, Tejanos continued to serve in government and the military. Lorenzo de Zavala served as the first Vice President of an interim government of the Republic of Texas. Tejanos served in both houses of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Other Tejanos served in local government and as Texas Rangers. Tejanos also participated in the defense of Texas against Indian raiders and contributed to frontier settlements. They continued to be active participants in the ranching and agricultural economy of the Republic.

In 1845, the United States annexed Texas as its 28th state and re-asserted the claim to the Rio Grande as its border. This led to the United States – Mexican War of 1846-1848 and the United States victory over Mexico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo incorporated all of Mexico north of the Rio Grande into the United States, including Texas. The treaty made Tejanos and other Mexican settlers into United States citizens.

TEJANOS AND TEXAS IN THE U.S. 1848- 1920

After 1848, when all of Texas became part of the United States, most Tejanos adjusted to the new American laws and to the new economy. At times, change came too fast for Tejanos resulting In injustice and violence, and many experienced the loss of their lands. Rebellions broke out that attempted to right those wrongs. Many others adapted, and some even prospered in the new political and economic system, particularly in South Texas. In the 1850s, Mexican- Americans shared their ranching life and culture of vaqueros (the first cowboys) with Anglo settlers. While some of the original Tejano residents in cities such as Brownsville, Laredo, and San Antonio became merchants and leaders in local political organizations, many Mexican-Americans arriving from Mexico became laborers in the new economic system. Many of these new arrivals assumed identities as Tejanos. They participated in important national events, including the Civil War (1861-1865) in which Tejanos were recruited by the Union as well as the Confederacy. Many Tejanos fought honorably in the Spanish-American War and in World War I.

MEXICAN AMERICANS IN 20TH CENTURY AMERICA

World War II ushered in a new era for Tejanos and Mexican-Americans of other states. Tejanos were among the first American soldiers to volunteer and to be recruited to serve in combat. They fought bravely, earning a disproportionately high number of combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor. Tejanos served in an integrated Army with Mexican-Americans from other states and returned to Texas after the war to press for economic, political, and social equality. Struggles in various civil rights organizations produced new opportunities that resulted in the rise of a new professional class and greater political participation for Tejanos. Immigration from Mexico in the late 20th century resulted in larger Mexican-American populations in the western and midwestern states while it also augmented the Tejano community in Texas. By the end of the 20th century, Tejanos had served in the cabinets of presidents of both political parties, held elective public office at the statewide level, and led public colleges and universities. Tejanos also made significant contributions in the worlds of business and sports. Traditional Mexican cultural identity remained strong in Tejano families and achieved public expression in music, literature, and the arts.

The Tejano Monument Committee 2012

Confederate Soldiers

Confederate Soldiers memorial at Texas Capitol

The five figures are Jefferson Davis and four that represent that Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy. The base list battles of the Civil War and the states that withdrew from the Union.

Volunteer Firemen’s Monument

  • Sculptor: J. Segesman
  • Erected: 1896. Modified 1905
Volunteer Fireman's Monument at Texas Capital

There are errors and omissions in the list on the monument of volunteer firemen who have lost their lives. There is a complete list here. An expansion was completed in 2015 which included the surrounding granite panels, with space for over 500 new names.

Heroes of the Alamo

  • Sculptor: Crohl Smith
  • Erected: 1891
Heroes of the Alamo monument at Texas Capitol

Like the Volunteer Firemen’s memorial listed above, this memorial has mistakes and omissions concerning the defenders of the Alamo. According to the Texas Capitol website:

 The Alamo historical site recognizes 189 defenders. The monument includes only 90 from the official list with the correct spelling, 46 misspelled names and 47 other individuals listed but not recognized by The Alamo as having fought at the battle. After consulting with museum and historical professionals, the State Preservation Board determined not to alter the monument and leave it as a historic artifact of the period.

from https://tspb.texas.gov/prop/tcg/tcg-monuments/03-heroes-of-alamo/index.html

Terry’s Texas Rangers

  • Sculptor: Pompeo Coppini
  • Erected: 1907

This is a monument to the 8th Texas Cavalry which fought throughout the Civil War.

Terry's Texas Rangers monument at Texas Capitol

Texas Cowboy

Cowboy sculpture at Texas Capitol

The plaque on the base reads:

This statue was fashioned by Constance Whitney Warren of New York during her residence in Paris France.

This wonderful work of art was presented by this distinguished American artist through the solicitation of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas and Charles Gason, of New York as a memorial gift to Texas, the native home of the cowboy.

This bronze tribute to the rough and romantic riders of the range was unveiled by Governor Neff in the presence of state officials and the members of the legislature January 17, 1925.

North of the Texas Capitol

Disabled Texas Veterans

  • Sculptor/Designer: unknown
  • Erected: 1908
Disabled Texas Veterans memorial at Texas Capitol

The Disabled Texas Veterans monument, the Texas Peace Officers memorial and the Vietnam Veterans sculpture all sit in a nicely treed part of the Texas Capitol Grounds.

Texas Peace Officers Memorial

  • Designed: Linda Johnson
  • Erected: 1999
Texas Peace Officers Memorial at Texas Capitol

Vietnam Veterans

Vietnam Veterans memorial at Texas Capitol

The plaque reads:

Honoring the men and women of Texas who served with courage and dignity in the Armed Forces of the United States during the Vietnam War. Entombed herein are the names of the 3,417 Texans who gave their lives so that others might be free.

Welcome Home.

World War I Monument

  • Designer: unknown
  • Erected: 1961

Since my grandfather was in World War I, I’m kinda partial to this monument.

World War I monument at Texas Capitol

Korean War Veterans

Korean War Veterans at Texas Capitol

The plaque that is on the front pedestal reads:

Freedom is not free. You are not forgotten

TEXAS KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL

Dedicated to the more than 289,000 Texans who served in the Korean War June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953 and honoring the 1723 Texans killed in action or missing in action.

Presented to the State of Texas by Texas Lone Star Chapter – Korean War Veterans Association with the support of many fellow veterans, individuals and organizations.

1999

This memorial includes the inscribed names of the 1,723 Texans either killed in action or missing in action during the Korean War.

Statue of Liberty

  • Erected in 1951 by the Boys Scouts of America

The plaque at the base reads:

With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these United States the Boy Scouts of America dedicate this copy of the Statue of Liberty as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty.

The crusade to strengthen liberty. 1951

Pearl Harbor Monument

  • Designer: Scott Fields
  • Erected: 1989
Pearl Harbor Monument at Texas Capitol

World War II

  • Designer: unknown
  • Erected: 2007

This is a replica of the Texas pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C..

World War II monument at Texas Capitol

The plaque reads:

Texas World War II Memorial

This Memorial honors the 830,000 Texans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II, the more than 22,000 who gave their lives and the millions who supported the war effort from home. The Memorial honors the spirit, sacrifice and commitment of Texans to the common defense of our nation and to the broader cause of peace and freedom throughout the world. It serves as an inspiration to future generations of Texans, deepening their appreciation of what the World War II generation both sacrificed and accomplished in protecting freedom and democracy. As an exact replica of the Texas Pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. the Memorial standard as an abiding symbol of Texas contribution to the American national unity during World War II and a timeless reminder of the moral strength and awesome power that comes when a free people are united and bonded together in a common and just cause.

Texas Pioneer Woman

Texas Pioneer Woman sculpture at Texas Capitol

Texas School Children

Texas Schoolchildren Sculpture at Texas Capitol

The plaque reads:

TRIBUTE TO TEXAS SCHOOLCHILDREN

Dedicated June 1998

Authorized by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 62 in April 1993, the monument depicts six children on a field trip to the Texas Capitol. School children in more than 600 Texas schools raised the funds necessary to ensure the success of the tribute, which honors and celebrates children everywhere.

Though the plaque states six children, there are four statues (in the photo above there is one behind the boy on the left) and one empty base (on the ground behind the rightmost statue).

Ten Commandments

  • Designer: unknown
  • Erected: 1961

East of the Texas Capitol

Hood’s Brigade

  • Sculptor: Pompeo Coppini
  • Erected: 1910
Hood's Brigade monument at Texas Capitol

This is a memorial to the members of John B. Hood’s Texas Brigade who fought in the Civil War.

West of the Texas Capitol

Veterans of the 36th Infantry / Texas National Guard Monument

  • Designer: unknown
  • Erected: 1959

My grandfather was in the 132 Machine Gun Battalion in the 36th Division in World War I. An article on the letters he wrote back can be found here. The “T” represents the shoulder insignia that they wore.

Spanish-American War

Spanish American War monument at Texas Capitol

Just Outside of the Texas Capitol Grounds

The Price of Liberty

  • Sculptor: Sandra Van Zandt (who also did sculptures for Tomball, Texas, where my kids and wife went to school)
  • Erected: 2018

This sculpture is at the corner of San Jacinto and 12th Street, near the Texas State Library and Archives building.

The inscription reads:

This memorial is dedicated to the Texas military members and their families who answer their country’s call after September 11, 2001. They knew all too well The Price of Liberty.

World War II memorial and sculpture

Just outside the Texas Capitol grounds where Colorado street resumes, in the triangle median at 11th street is an unassuming, somewhat overgrown sculpture of a soldier. If you look at the map in the first section of this article, this memorial sits in that triangular median across 11th street from the Governor’s Mansion.

The plaque on the base reads:

“Greater love hath no man the this”

Sponsored by Austin Chapter, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

The clue that this is in honor of World War II soldiers is in the list of names to the right of the sculpture.

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