Palo Pinto Old Jail Museum is presenting "Annexation: Celebrating Texas Statehood," another exhibition brought to the county by the Palo Pinto Historical Association, which displays original artifacts and documents created by the Texas Capitol Visitors Center and produced by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This fragile new Republic of Texas was still threatened by Mexico's boarder disputes, debt and lack of capital infusion, stifling the growth of the Republic. There was a ground swell for annexation, but many revolutionaries of Texas argued for continued independence. Slavery would also cloud the annexation process,"Would Texas be free or slave?" The annexation of Texas as the 28th member of the United States of America had a profound impact on world events and the course of democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries. "Annexation" tells the story of Texas as a Mexican colony and Republic, its campaign to join the United States, the vote for annexation and the consequences of that vote. Through photographs of historic documents, daguerreotypes, sketches, artifacts and concise texts, this exhibition invites audiences to become more familiar with one of the defining moments of Texas and U.S. history. Daguerreotypes are just one of the old artifacts included in the exhibit.


It is an obsolete photographic process, invented in 1839, in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapor. In 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas' border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory (known as the Mexican Cession of 1848), extending the nation's borders all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Texas claimed the eastern part of this new territory, comprising parts of present-day Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma. The resulting dispute among Texas, the federal government and New Mexico Territory was resolved in the Compromise of 1850 when much of these lands became parts of other territories of the United States in exchange for the U.S. federal government assuming the Texas Republic's $10 million in debt. The exhibition will be on display for the public through Saturday, Sept. 7. For more information about viewing hours or to arrange group visits, contact Ann Reagan at 940-659-2555. The Old Jail Museum is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.