- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 6, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The first page of what a state archivist says is part of the original draft of the Republic of Texas Constitution is on display after years in a box labeled “miscellaneous 19th-century papers.”

Jerry Drake, director of archives and records for the state General Land Office, said he found 13 pages of the constitution three years ago among maps, land grants and other documents in the box in the land office’s vault.

After discovering the documents, Mr. Drake said he spent lunch breaks at the Texas State Library trying to determine whether the pages were part of the constitution’s original draft.

From his studies, Mr. Drake determined that most of the pages bore the handwriting of Herbert S. Kimble, secretary of the Constitutional Convention of the Republic of Texas in 1836.

“It took a long time … to be able to document it,” Mr. Drake said.

The brittle first page will be on display at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Texas won its independence from Mexico and was a republic for nine years before becoming part of the United States in 1845.

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