Fort Anahuac, established in 1830 along a bluff above the mouth of the Trinity River and Galveston Bay, served as new headquarters for soldiers under the command of Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn, a native Kentuckian serving in the Mexican army. Bradburn’s orders were to enforce the Law of April 6, 1830, a set of decrees designed to control the independent-minded group of Texian colonists who had arrived to settle the Mexican-controlled territory. Among the unpopular mandates of the law, perhaps the most egregious to the Texians required that Colonel Bradburn end the flood of American immigrants, many of them entering illegally, into the Texas territory from other regions in the United States. The Mexican government preferred to populate the territory with fellow citizens (it was, after all, part of Mexico) and Europeans. The ruling was short-lived, however. Animosity between the garrison soldiers and the Texians grew, eventually culminating in gunfire and a series of skirmishes and finally driving Bradburn and his soldiers from the region. The wooden structures of Fort Anahuac burned, courtesy of the victorious Texians, and the confrontation served as the final and decisive one at Anahuac before a full-blown Texas Revolution exploded across the territory.
By the 1930’s, one hundred years after construction, little of the fort remained. The fort’s surviving brick, handmade on site, was confiscated over the years by locals for use in other buildings and the last remaining fort wall succumbed to a rechanneling of the Trinity River when it collapsed into the water. Today, Fort Anahuac Park offers a boat ramp, a wooden fishing pier, and a children’s playground. Preliminary archeological excavations at Anahuac have been carried out, and plans for a full-scale excavation and the construction of an interpretive museum are included in this historic site’s future.
Watch our The Fuse is Lit video to learn more about the history of Texas Independence. This video was produced for inclusion in our Texas: Forged of Revolution mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information:
Fort Anahuac Park