The Leaning Tower of Pease - Texas Governor Series LbNA # 29865
|Placed Date||Apr 3 2007|
Elisha Marshall Pease, governor of Texas was the fifth and the thirteenth governor of Texas. Born in Connecticut, by early 1835 he had made his way to Texas. Almost immediately Pease became embroiled in the developing Texas Revolution. Pease fought in the battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the revolution, on October 2. He then served the new republic in various public offices before returning to Brazoria, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He took up the practice of law and son became successful and respected in his profession. After annexation to the United States, Pease represented Brazoria County in the first three legislatures and authored the Probate Code of 1846. In 1851 he made an unsuccessful run for the governorship. Two years later he won the office as a member of the Unionist party, thus becoming the only governor of Texas to be elected as member of any political party other than Republican or Democratic, and was reelected in 1855. Pease was an outstanding governor. Among his important achievements was his pioneering effort to persuade the legislature to establish a system of public education and a state university. Though this effort proved largely premature, Pease's administration did establish the permanent school fund, and his vision laid the groundwork for future achievement. He also worked to encourage railroad construction in Texas, to put the state penitentiary on a self-supporting basis, and to establish reservations to civilize and educate the state's Indian population. In addition, he supervised the building campaign that led to the completion of the Governor's Mansion, the General Land Office building, the State Orphan's Home (now the Corsicana State Home), and a new Capitol. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was the settlement of the public debt of the state, by which he made available funds for the establishment of a hospital for the mentally ill and schools for the deaf and blind, all of which he had recommended to the legislature. Upon his retirement from office in 1857, the state was in excellent financial condition. In 1859 Pease aligned himself with the Unionist faction in Texas politics. He remained active in this movement into the early months of the Civil War, after which he quietly maintained his loyalty to the Union until the end of the conflict. He lost a bid to become governor again in the first election of the Reconstruction era. Early in 1867 he helped organize the Republican party in Texas. Later that year Gen. Philip H. Sheridan removed Governor James W. Throckmorton from office and appointed Pease in his place. He resigned from the governorship in 1869 because of differences with Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds over Reconstruction policies that Pease considered radical and despotic.
This letterbox is at the Oakwood Cemetery, Austin’s, oldest and largest cemetery, located at 1601 Navasota Street in Austin, Texas. If you are coming from San Antonio on I-35, take exit 235A (15th/MLK), get into far right lane of the feeder road. Take a right onto 16th St. The street dead-ends into Navasota at the entrance to the cemetery. Drive through the gate and park across from the office, which is a short way up the road on the left.
To the box:
Find The Leaning Tower of Pease just east of the office. Stand in front of the pink granite monument and read about the Pease family. Continue down the road to your left. Find a large cedar tree on the left next to the grave of George Justus Thielepape. The box is in the hollow of the tree under a chunk of concrete?
When you see the logbook, you will notice that I originally called this box “The Unionist”, but after seeing his grave marker, I couldn’t resist the obvious name.