The annexation of Texas into the United States was more a process than an event.
The Texas Congress assented to it in June of 1845 and promptly adjourned.
A convention to draft a state constitution was convened in July, and in October the citizens of Texas voted nearly unanimously for both annexation and the new constitution.
In December, the people chose their representatives and cast 7853 votes to elect J. Pinkney Henderson as the first Governor of the State of Texas.
On December 29, President Polk signed the joint resolution of the United States Senate and House of Representatives for the admission of Texas into the Union.
The new Texas Legislature met at Austin on February 16, 1846. The old capitol building, which had been used as a church and schoolhouse since February, 1842, was now the legislative hall.
President Anson Jones rose and addressed the assembley, concluding with these words:
"The Lone Star of Texas, which ten years ago arose amid clouds over fields of carnage, obscurely seen for awhile, has culminated, and following an inscrutable destiny, has passed on and become fixed forever in that glorious constellation which all freemen and lovers of freedom in the world must reverence and adore—the American Union.
Blending its rays with its sister States, long may it continue to shine, and may generous heaven smile upon the consummation of the wishes of the two republics now joined in one. May the union be perpetual, and may it be the means of conferring benefits and blessings upon the people of all the States, is my ardent prayer. The final act in the great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more!"
The Lone Star banner was lowered and the Stars and Stripes raised. Texas had taken her place in the union.
Jones recalled the scene in his memoirs:
"...there was a smothering of sensations which all felt, yet few desired to display in public. Broad chests heaved—strong hands were clinched, and tears were flowing down cheeks where they had been strangers for long, long years.
It was a moment of deep, intense emotion. Had anyone doubted the affection of Texians for the beautiful land of their adoption, this scene would have removed all skepticism.
The old house is gone—it has disappeared before the resistless wave of progress—it is numbered with the things that were; yet there are loyal hearts which will beat faster when they think of the by-gone days when it was the capitol of a fearless people, who loved their own sunny land for itself alone, and were always in readiness to sacrifice property and life to sustain its honor and preserve its integrity."
But Jones was correct in his pronouncement of the Republic's demise only in a political sense.
It still exists in the hearts of Texans - both native born and adopted - who treasure her history and heritage. The Lone Star, though a part of the American constellation, cannot be outshined.