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FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
This region was originally the capital of the Miami nation. The first European settlers were French fur traders during the 1680s. The first French fort was built in 1697. It was annexed by the British in 1760, after the French and Indian War, but was taken over by the Indians following Pontiac’s Rebellion. Indian rule lasted for about 30 years, then the United States Army took control. Fort Wayne, the county seat of Allen County, derives its name from a U.S. military fort established in 1794 by Gen. Anthony Wayne. Fort Wayne was platted in 1824 and the city charter was obtained in 1840.
The region became an important center of trade with the arrival, in 1843, of the Wabash and Erie Canal, linking the Maumee River with the Wabash through the seven mile portage at Fort Wayne. Arrival of immigrants from Germany and Ireland during the 19th century brought about a mixed culture in the city.
Visit the History Center and the Old Fort, where history is brought to life. The restored Allen County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark, boasts magnificent art glass and murals. Surround yourself with nature at the Botanical Observatory; spark your imagination at Science Central.
The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne boasts the second most complete genealogical collection in the United States. The library’s holdings include family histories, census records, state, city and town histories, city directories, passenger lists, military records, Native American records, records for Canada, the British Isles, Germany and other countries, periodicals and PERSI (periodical index).
Austin, the capital of Texas, is a growing city on the Colorado River, established in 1835 when Texas won its independence from Mexico. The pink granite Texas State Capitol soars over the city. Nearby is the Bob Bullock History Museum with interactive exhibits.
Visit the grave of Stephen Fuller Austin, “The Father of Texas”, in the Texas State Cemetery. Nearby is the oldest wooden structure in Austin, the French Legation, built by the French as a diplomatic outpost during the Republic of Texas period, 1835-1845. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum has collections centered on this period. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The University of Texas is home to 17 libraries and museums, including the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum, the Briscoe Center for American History and the Blanton Museum of Art.
For research, the Texas State Library holds a variety of Texas government records, including Republic of Texas Pass- ports, the Index to Confederate Pension Applications, newspapers on microfilm and the 1897 Voters’ Registration, as well as printed family and county histories and city directories. It also has a good selection of materials for other states. The Texas General Land Office, established in 1837, archives land grant records and maps dating to the 18th century.