By vote of Congress, Nov. 30, 1836, chosen temporary capital for new Republic of Texas. At the time a small townsite at the head of Buffalo Bayou navigation. Into a "Houston City" of mud, tents, cabins on April 1, 1837, came President Sam Houston and his government. Finding its quarters unfinished, Congress postponed its opening session until May 1. The capitol building was a 2-story plantation style house, with columned porches. It was scene of many important Indian treaties, diplomatic negotiations, legislative functions. As no church yet graced the city, it also was used for religious services
That muddy April saw the city hold its first big social event—the anniversary celebration of the San Jacinto victory, with parade, reception and ball.
On Dec. 5, 1837, some war heroes and other leaders founded in the capital the Texas Philosophical Society, the Republic's first learned organization.
In a powdered wig, and dressed to resemble George Washington, President Houston made a 3-hour farewell address, after which Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was inaugurated his successor on Dec. 10, 1838.
In 1839, removed to Austin, the capital returned here, but only briefly, 1842, in Mexican invasion.