On December 4th, 1844, Anson Jones was elected president of the Republic of Texas. After gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, the republic was an independent sovereign nation. The United States didn’t recognized the independent nation nor did it want to annex Texas for fear of a war with Mexico. Jones wanted the United States to make their position known– it was either recognition or annexation.
When James Polk was elected President of the United States, Jones had been in office as president of the Republic of Texas and Polk had promised him that his sovereign state would be annexed. But, Jones decided to wait for offers from other countries for annexation. This proved to be unpopular with the people of the republic. Even when the Texas Congress voted to allow the United States to annex them, Jones waited it out. When the people supported the annexation decision and burned effigies of Jones, he still waited.
In June of 1845, Jones broke his silence. He called for the people to make a decision: allow the United States to annex them or sign the Mexican independence document and allow them to stay independent. Jones was in denial. The people had already spoken: annexation.
On February 16th, 1846, a ceremony in Austin, Texas was held to welcome Texas to the United States. Jones, whose role as president diminished over the waning months of the republic, took down the republic’s flag. He also delivered a speech, in which he closed with, “The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more.” Jones left Austin and retired to Brazoria, Texas.
On January 9th, 1858, Anson Jones shot himself in the Capitol Hotel, the former building of government for the Republic of Texas. He was 59.