A Constitution, Inquistion Cell, and Chewing Gum

In 1833 (primarily) white colonists of Mexican-controlled Texas sent a new constitution to Mexico City under the care of Stephen F. Austin. The colonists wanted to create a new state that would be separate from the Coahuila region of which they were currently attached, but would still be part of Mexico. At first Austin was welcomed by the government, but was arrested after a letter he wrote encouraging the colonists back home to form their own government was intercepted by Mexican authorities, led by Santa Anna. He remained in an old Inquisition cell through most of the following year. By 1837 Austin was dead from pneumonia, but Texas was independent, having defeated Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. Santa Anna continued to live his colorful life, which included exiles to Cuba, Jamaica, Columbia, Saint Thomas, and Staten Island, New York until he died in June of 1876. While living in New York, Santa Anna is credited with importing the first shipment of chicle into the US, which would later be used as the base for chewing gum. Today, there is a university in the oldest town in Texas (Nacogdoches) named for Austin. 


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