In 1839 Austin became the Capital of the Republic of Texas. The National Archives - state papers and land titles - were housed on Congress Avenue. In 1842, after Mexican armies seized San Antonio and seemed likely to capture Austin, many residents fled in what was called "The Breakup". From his home in Galveston, President Sam Houston ordered removal of the government papers. A local "Archive Committee" responded by burying them. The President then tried unsuccessfully to have Congress create a new Capital near the coast. Later his men came secretly to haul the papers to the interim Capital, Washington-on-the-Brazos. Loading them before dawn on Dec. 30, 1842.
Mrs. Angelina Eberly, a noted innkeeper and one of the few women in Austin during The Breakup, found the men loading the archives in darkness. Running to the city cannon on Congress Avenue at Pecan (6th) Street, she fired at the wagons. The 26 men departed with the records. About 68 citizens rode after them, hauling along the city cannon. Some 20 miles from Austin they retrieved the archives without bloodshed.
Because the archives remained here, the President and the Congress returned in 1845, preserving Austin as the Capital of the Republic and (later) the state.