January 9, 1840

The Republic of Texas becomes a state of the United States of America.

Governor: None

Drawing of Austin 1844

1932/5-21, Courtesy of Texas State Library and Archives Commission


January 1, 1846
  • War between the United States and Mexico.
  • Elias Howe patents the sewing machine.
  • Iowa becomes a state.

Governor:  James Pinckney Henderson

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1847
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, are published.
  • Marx and Engels issue the Communist Manifesto.

Governor: George T. Wood

Image: Andy Lidstone / Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1849
  • Zachary Taylor becomes the 12th US President in 1849, dies in 1850 and is succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
  • The Compromise of 1850 resolves some slavery issues and Texas border disputes.
  • California becomes a state in 1850.
  • The Taiping Rebellion takes place in China.

Governor: Peter Hansborough Bell

Historic Map of California

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1853
  • Franklin Pierce becomes the 14th US President.
  • Births of Vincent van Gogh and Sigmund Freud.
  • Introduction of the Bessemer process in steel production.
  • Guiseppe Verdi debuts his operas Il Trovatore and La Traviata.

Governor: Elisha Marshall Pease

Vincent Van Gogh

Image: Everett – Art / Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1854

Construction begins on the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

Master Builder Abner Cook, circa 1870

Image Courtesy: PICB01890, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library


March 7, 1856

The Governor’s Mansion completed in June, 1856.

Governor’s Levee


March 7, 1857
  • James Buchanan becomes the 15th US President.
  • Laying of the transatlantic cable begins.
  • Minnesota becomes a state in 1858.

Governor: Hardin R. Runnels

President James Buchanan

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1859
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is published.
  • The first oil well is drilled in Pennsylvania.
  • Abraham Lincoln elected as 16th president.
  • U. S. population is approximately 32 million.
  • Pasteur develops the germ theory of fermentation.

Governor: Sam Houston

H.B. Hillyer – One of the earliest photos of the Mansion in 1860s

1932/5-50, Courtesy of Texas State Library and Archives Commission


March 7, 1861
  • Texas secedes from US; Sam Houston forced from the office of governor.
  • Civil War begins when Confederates take Ft. Sumpter on April 12, 1861.
  • Publication of Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables.
  • West Virginia becomes a US state in 1863.

Governor: Francis R. Lubbock

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1863
  • Mexico City is captured by the French who install Maximilian as emperor.
  • Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, gives the Gettysburg Address, 1863.
  • Lee surrenders at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.
  • President Lincoln assassinated on April 14, 1865; succeeded by Andrew Johnson.

Governor: Pendleton Murrah

President Lincoln

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1865
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
  • Premier of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde.
  • Invention of dynamite by Alfred Nobel.

Governor: Andrew J. Hamilton (provisional governor)

Alice in Wonderland, vintage engraving

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1866
  • Nebraska becomes a US state.
  • Diamond field discovered in South Africa.

Governor: James W. Throckmorton


March 7, 1867
  • Texas Governor’s Mansion occupied by military commander Gen. J. J. Reynolds.
  • Gen. Sheridan restores military rule in Texas.
  • Ulysses S. Grant becomes the 18th president of the US
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is published.

Governor: Elisha Marshall Pease

President Ulysses S. Grant

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1870
  • Standard Oil Company is founded by John D. Rockefeller.
  • Salt Creek Massacre led by Kiowa chief Satanta, Young County, Texas.
  • Publication of Anna Karenina, written by Tolstoi.

Governor: Edmund J. Davis


March 7, 1874
  • First modern toilet facility installed in the Governor’s Mansion.
  • First gas lights installed in the Mansion.
  • In Paris, France, first exhibition of Impressionist paintings takes place.
  • First zoo in America started in Philadelphia.

Governor: Richard Coke


March 7, 1876
  • Texas drafts a new state constitution; Reconstruction ends.
  • First performance of the opera Carmen, composed by Bizet.
  • Telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes becomes the 19th US President.
  • Birth of Albert Einstein.

Governor: Richard B. Hubbard

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1879
  • Running water first installed in the Governor’s Mansion.
  • Rodin sculpts The Thinker
  • James A. Garfield becomes 20th President.
  • Chester A. Arthur sworn in as President after the assassination of Garfield.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is published.

Governor: Oran M. Roberts

The Thinker, Rodin

Image: Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1883
  • Buffalo Bill Cody organizes his Wild West Show.
  • The Texas Capitol building burns down.
  • Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn is published.
  • Dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Governor: John Ireland

Image Courtesy: neftali / Shutterstock.com


March 7, 1887
  • Dedication of the newly completed Texas Capitol.
  • Queen Victoria celebrates her 50th year as queen of England.
  • “Kodak” box camera design completed by George Eastman.
  • Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison as the 23rd President.
  • Hollerith creates the first punch card system.
  • Wyoming and Idaho become US states.

Governor: Lawrence Sullivan Ross

Goddess of Liberty, February 1888

1965/90-1, Courtesy of Texas State Library and Archives Commission


  • Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 1991. Jean Daniel, Price Daniel and Dorothy Blodgett. The Texas Governor’s Mansion.
  • Austin: Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 1984.
  • The Governor’s Mansion of Texas: A Tour of Texas’s Most Historic Home. Austin: Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, 1997.