Orange County Has the Historical Ties to Texas Independence

Upcoming events in Texas 188 years ago, Texas moved quickly towards becoming an independent nation. Orange County played a significant role in this. One person who lived in Texas signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, and another person fought in the battle of San Jacinto.

The anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto is celebrated on April 21st. The battle, which lasted only 18 minutes, was led by General Sam Houston and resulted in the surrender of the Mexican president and leader, Santa Anna. Prisoner Santa Anna was taken to the United States and New Orleans through the Opelousas Trail, which went through Orange County and crossed the Sabine River.

In 1836, Texas was a part of Mexico. Mexico had gained independence from Spain. People from America who were moving to Texas didn’t like the laws in Mexico, which included a rule that required all immigrants to become Catholic. What is happening currently Orange County was created from Jefferson County in 1852, after Texas joined the United States.

The first house in what is now Orange, Texas, was built in 1824 by Michel Peveto. He had fought for the United States in the War of 1812 and took part in the Battle of New Orleans in early 1814. He and his first wife, Suzanne Hargrave Peveto, constructed the house for their young children next to the Sabine River. One of those children was Michel Peveto II, who later fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.

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Many people living in Southeast Texas may have noticed that there are a significant number of individuals with the last name “Peveto.” However, historical records indicate that there are many different ways the family’s name was spelled when they immigrated from France to fight in the American Revolution against England.

Other ways to spell it include French versions like Piveauteau, Pivauteau, Pevoto, or Pevauteau. Michel is the French equivalent of the English name “Michael”. Some sources may refer to Michael as the English version of the name. There might have been another person named Michel Peveto before, so the ones mentioned here might have an additional number after their name.

Michel Peveto, the person who constructed the house in Orange, was born in 1798. He would have been around 15 or 16 years old when he fought for the United States. His son was also very young when he fought for Texas Independence.

The Michel Peveto family initially constructed a house in Orange. However, they eventually relocated to a land grant they obtained west of the Neches River, close to the present-day location of LaBelle. Michel II probably lived in that area when he joined General Sam Houston’s Texas Militia.

The revolution among immigrants in the United States had been gaining momentum since 1835 and continued to intensify in 1836. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who was the president of Mexico and also a general in its army, went to Texas to stop the rebellion.

On February 23, 1836, his army surrounded an old mission in San Antonio that had been taken over by a group known as “Texians,” who were fighting for independence. During the Alamo siege, representatives from different settlements gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos (River). On March 2, they wrote and signed a Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.

Claiborne West helped Jefferson County with preparing and signing the declaration. At that time, he lived in an area that would later become Orange County. He lived in a place called the Cow Bayou Settlement, but the exact location has been forgotten, according to the late historian Dr. Howard Williams.

The park in Orange County, called Claiborne West Park, is named after him. There is also a Texas Historical Marker about him located at the park. Four days after the declaration was signed, Santa Anna ordered a strong attack on the Alamo early in the morning on March 6. All of the soldiers who were fighting were either killed or, if they were captured, they were quickly executed by a firing squad.

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