June 22 is the last day for visitors to explore the exhibit, “On the
Run: Currency, Credit and Capitals of the Republic of Texas,” on
display at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center in Austin.
More than 43,000 visitors in February, March, and April have already
gotten a “taste” of Texas numismatics with a side of history. That
includes 23,764 students on guided tours, according to Kyle Schlafer,
program supervisor for the Texas Capitol Visitors Center.
The exhibit focuses on the financial history of Texas when it was an
The display, curated by James P. Bevill, author of The Paper
Republic: The Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the
Republic of Texas, includes more than 80 money-related documents, the
majority of them from private collectors.
The exhibit arranges the pieces largely in chronological order to
trace the economic, political and social history of Texas from the
revolution through the annexation by the United States in 1846.
The Austin exhibit “is almost entirely numismatic, and brings this
unique theme deep into the heart of Texas,” Bevill said. “It is part
of my long term efforts to bring the study of history through
numismatics out into the mainstream.”
Bevill said the exhibit was “brought together by a handful of
private collectors and with loans of material from the John N. Rowe
III Collection of Texas Currency at the DeGolyer Library at Southern
Methodist University, the University of Houston — Special Collections
Library and the American Numismatic Association.”
He said the exhibit uses numismatics “to tell the economic story in
a way that had not been done before. Each case has a theme which is
summarized in a storyboard panel illustrated with graphics, along with
a narrative on the state of the government at that point in time. The
narrative describes the attempts to finance the war effort and later
sustain its independence with an empty treasury.”
Those who want a preview of the exhibit or who will not be in Texas
to see the exhibit in person may take an online tour at www.tspb.state.tx.us/CVC/exhibits/new.html.
The Texas Capitol Visitors Center is located on the southeast corner
of the Capitol Grounds and is housed in the General Land Office
Building, which was completed in 1857.
To contact the visitors center, visit its website, www.texascapitolvisitorscenter.com.