No. 1 - Texas Governor Series LbNA # 59364
|Placed Date||Aug 22 2011|
|Location||Santa Fe Park, San Augustine, TX|
|Last Found||Jul 2 2012|
James Pinckney Henderson was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, on March 31, 1808. After attending Lincoln Academy and the University of North Carolina he was admitted to the bar to practice law in 1829 -- at 21 years of age. He joined the state militia and rose to the rank of colonel before moving to Mississippi in 1835. That is where he caught the "Texas Fever." Henderson arrived in Velasco in June 1836, a bit late for the military phase of the Texas Revolution, but he joined the army anyway. His first assignment was to recruit Americans for similar service, which he did in North Carolina, and then was appointed Texas' attorney general and eventually secretary of state by President Sam Houston. Next came diplomatic service as Texas' minister to England, where Henderson married Frances Cox of Philadelphia in 1839. The next year they settled in San Augustine and Henderson opened a law office. In 1844 he joined Isaac Van Zandt in Washington to help negotiate a treaty of annexation, which was rejected by the US Senate. Good old-fashioned politics resolved the annexation issue more favorably for Texas within a year and Henderson was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1845. He was elected governor in November, and became the first governor of the State of Texas in February 1846. Mexico and the US went to war that spring over annexation and other issues, so Henderson persuaded the legislature to allow him to take the field as head of the Second Texas Regiment and led troops in the Battle of Monterrey. Henderson resumed civilian gubernatorial duties late in 1846 but declined to run for reelection in 1847. Henderson returned to his legal practice in San Augustine until the legislature selected him as successor to Senator Thomas J. Rusk in 1857. He served only a few months in the US Senate, and died in Washington on June 4, 1858. He was buried in Washington, but his remains were moved to the State Cemetery in Austin in 1930.
Directions: Start at the courthouse in San Augustine, Texas and admire the fine statue of the governor. From the front of the courthouse, drive west on W. Columbia Street for 1/2 mile or so. You’ll notice off to your left a red Santa Fe caboose in a little area called Santa Fe Park. Turn in and park in front of it. Walk around the caboose and look for the “water fill”. Underneath the corner of the caboose at that point, you should find the No. 1 letterbox.