5th President of the Republic of Texas
Anson Jones (January 20, 1798 - January 9, 1858) was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."
He was a member and Past Master of the Masonic Harmony Lodge #52 of Philadelphia.
In September 1844, Jones was elected president of the Republic of Texas, despite running a virtually silent campaign. That November, James K. Polk was elected President of the United States on a promise of Texas annexation. However, Jones held his silence on the subject, preferring to wait for the ideal outcome of simultaneous annexation and independence offers. This proved unpopular. Late in 1844, the Texas Congress declared for joining the United States, and popular sentiment in the republic for annexation grew. As the months went on with no word from Jones, his citizens burned him in effigy and threatened to overthrow his government. Through this Jones continued to wait.
Finally, in June 1845, Jones's emissary to Mexico returned with a treaty recognizing the republic's independence. At last he put the question before the people ? accept the offer of annexation from the United States, or sign the independence treaty from Mexico and remain an independent state. The Congress and the people went for annexation.
Preparations began for annexation, and Jones's role as president was greatly diminished. On February 19, 1846, a formal ceremony was held in Austin to bring Texas into the United States. Jones delivered a speech that he concluded by declaring, "The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more." In his final official act as president, Jones lowered the Texas flag from its pole; Sam Houston, with tears in his eyes, stepped from the crowd to gather the flag in his arms. Upon Texas statehood, Jones retired to Brazoria.