Mr. Speaker, Texas is distinctive in many ways. Texas was an independent nation for nine years. In fact, some Texans still think we’re an independent country.

Texas had gained independence from Mexico in 1836 and had immediately set up a republic. The reason for the call for independence was because Mexico had abolished its democracy and set up a dictatorship with Santa Anna as the Supreme Dictator.

Texans and Tejanos—Mexican or Spanish person born in Texas—were determined not to live under an imperial dictatorship and went to war with Mexico to gain independence. This was a fight for liberty.

Independence was gained on April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston and his boys defeated a superior Mexican army under the leadership of Santa Anna. After Texas set up a government, it then built an army and a navy.

Texas then sought official recognition of the Republic of Texas from other nations. On this day, September 25, 1839, King Louis Philippe of France formally recognized the Republic of Texas.

This was the first country after the United States to recognize the republic. This treaty allowed Texas commerce to be admitted to France on a most favored nation basis.

Great Britain soon followed in recognizing Texas as an independent nation. Texas would proceed to engage in commerce with the United States, Mexico, France, and Great Britain.

Dubois De Saligny of France was appointed as charge´ d’affaires and soon moved to Austin. He bought 21 acres just east of the Texas Capitol in Austin and began construction of the house known today as the French Legation.

Today, there is a similar site where the Texas Legation was in Paris, France. The French residence is now a historical site in Texas.

It acts as a reminder that Texas was once a country.

And that’s just the way it is.