Angelina Eberly

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Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly (July 2, 1798 – August 15, 1860) was an innkeeper and a hero of Austin, Texas in the Texas Archive War.

Statue of Texas hero Angelina Eberly in downtown Austin, Texas, north of 6th and Congress.

Angelina was born to John and Margaret (Hamilton) Peyton in Sumner County, Tennessee. In 1818 she married her first cousin, Jonathan C. Peyton, and moved with him to New Orleans, Louisiana. They opened an inn and tavern in San Felipe de Austin from 1825 until 1834, when Jonathan Peyton died. Angelina continued to operate the inn and tavern until the Texas Revolution, when the town was destroyed to prevent capture by Mexican forces.

In 1836 she met and married Captain Jacob Eberly, a widower. They lived briefly in Bastrop, Texas and moved to Austin in 1839, opening the Eberly House. On October 18, 1839, President Mirabeau B. Lamar and his cabinet dined in her tavern and his successor, Sam Houston, resided at Eberly House rather than the presidential mansion. Jacob Eberly died in 1841.

In December 1842, Houston ordered the secret removal of the archives of the Republic to safekeeping in Washington-on-the-Brazos. Mrs. Eberly, realizing that the symbols of national government were being removed from the city, fired a six-pound cannon into the General Land Office Building, arousing the town to what they considered theft. The ensuing conflict became known as the Archive War, which was won by the Austinites, preserving Austin as capital of Texas and keeper of the archives.

In April 1847 Angelina moved to Port Lavaca and operated Edward Clegg's Tavern House. The next year, she moved to Indianola and ran the American Hotel there until her death in 1860 at the age of 62. She was buried in a cemetery outside Lavaca and left her $50,000 estate to her grandson, Peyton Bell Lytle.

A statue of Angelina Eberly, created by Pat Oliphant, stands near the place where Eberly helped preserve Austin as Texas' capital city.

References[edit]

  • Angelina Eberly at the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Austin American-Statesman, July 11, 1937. Mary Austin Holley Papers, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Louis Wiltz Kemp (January 1933). "Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly," Southwestern Historical Quarterly. No. 36
  • C. Richard King (1981) The Lady Cannoneer. Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press.