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On March 2, 1836—180 years ago today–The Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted by the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Fifth-nine delegates signed the six-page document declaring the republic’s independence from Mexico. The convention delegates had gathered the day before, 1836, a month after they were elected, at the growing town on the Brazos River, which offered an escape route in case of a Mexican raid. The U.S. officially recognized the Republic of Texas as an independent nation a year and a day later, on March 3, 1837. Twenty-five years to the day after the Declaration was signed, Texas having been granted statehood and then having seceded from the Union, was admitted to the Confederacy on March 2, 1861 (March 2 is also the birthday of Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas—he was born in 1793 in Virginia).