In the year 1850, separatists in Brownsville tried to rally support for the creation of the Territory of the Rio Grande, separate from the state of Texas. What would the people of the region choose: become a separate territory or stay a part of Texas? Learn more about this controversial issue during the Sunday Speaker Series presentation, “Texas or Territory? The 1850 Brownsville Separatist Movement,” featuring Joseph Fox on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m.

With the Rio Grande recognized as the border between Mexico and the United States, by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the town of Brownsville was established opposite of Matamoros and quickly grew into the largest city on the north side of the river. In the midst of this boom, the 1850 Brownsville Separatists tried to rally support for the creation of a “Territory of the Rio Grande” separate from the state of Texas. This question embroiled the region in national conflicts between the Democrats and Whigs, as well as giving birth to the factions such as the Reds and the Blues that dominated early Brownsville politics.

Fox, who earned a master’s degree in history from Texas State University, is the associate education officer at the Museum of South Texas History. His areas of research include borderland and Texas music history. He has written articles for the Handbook of Texas History and a historical marker for the Texas Historical Commission.

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.

About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.