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Stephen F. Austin's The Registro: Texas Society Helps Save Texas History

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This is an in depth article on the generous donation of $25,000 by the Texas Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (TSDAR) for the conservation of Stephen F. Austin’s Registro, or Register of the Old 300, and several other related land grant documents from the Archives of the Texas General Land Office. The article explains that: Under the leadership of State Regent Joy Dabney Hagg, the TSDAR helped conserve the 615 page Registro, along with twenty-seven land grant documents for twenty-two American citizens who came to Texas after service in the American Revolution. The TSDAR helped the General Land Office Save Texas History, and in the process, helped preserve the memory of American pioneers who helped settle Texas. In 2010, State Regent Joy Dabney Hagg approached the GLO with the vision of conserving the Registro as part of her State Regents Project, as she was aware of the importance of this priceless historical artifact. The Save Texas History program was created for this exact reason — to develop corporate and private partnerships with the public to conserve Texas history. Because the General Land Office receives no money for conservation from the Legislature, partnerships like this one are necessary for saving our shared heritage. In their generous partnership with the GLO, TSDAR was able to fulfill two of their stated missions — historic preservation and education. The Registro is a monument to Stephen F. Austin’s meticulous recordkeeping, and has long been acknowledged as being of primary importance in the history of Mexican Texas.[1] “The land and other records of this colony, present abundant evidence of his [Austin’s] neatness and accuracy; and the register, or record book, in which the land documents, and title deeds, are recorded, will forever afford proof, of the labor, care, and precaution that have been devoted for the perpetuation of those important documents,” stated historian and former Texas State Archivist David B. Gracy II. “It will be remembered, that this labor, the formation of the register was gratuitous on the part of Austin, and the Secretary Williams…[whom] considered it necessary for the future security of the settlers, that the records should be placed in such a shape, as would render them less liable to be lost or defaced, than they would be, in their original state.”[2]
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