Fredonia (and Nacogdoches) Set the Stage for Texas' Independence


Texas settler and land speculator Haden Edwards declared independence from Mexican Texas and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches. Edwards is the namesake of Edwards County, Texas.

On December 21, 1826, the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Fredonia was signed at Nacogdoches, Texas. By the next January, the so-called Fredonian Rebellion was the first attempt to separate the colony from Mexico.

Initially, a group of 800 Anglo families, led by Empresario Haden Edwards, declared independence from Mexican Texas and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches. Relations between Mexico and Texas continued to deteriorate until Texas declared independence, lost a pivotal battle at the Alamo, but won elsewhere, and set up the Republic of Texas in 1836.

Since Fredonia was an county-like area instead of one specific location, visitors can view three historic markers to learn more about the Fredonia story. The locations are:

  • Downtown historic Nacogdoches next to the old post office
  • East of San Augustine on State Highway  21
  • Corner of FM2081 and IH20 in Longview

In an sign that art truly does imitate life, nearly 100 years later, the comic team The Marx Brothers starred in the classic movie Duck Soup, set in the fictitious country of "Freedonia" [sic], a name they probably learned of while performing in Nacogdoches in the early days of their on-stage act.

Movie lovers can still sing the Freedonia national anthem from that movie. 

The Marx Brothers (right three) in a scene from the movie Duck Soup.


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