Barrington Living History Farm
Park Rd. 12
Washington TX 77880
The Last President of Texas
The Washington area
was the site of the final home of the last president of the Republic
of Texas. Anson Jones had arrived in Texas in 1833. Settling in
Brazoria, he practiced medicine and his business thrived. Like other
prosperous men he was drawn into the political conflicts of his era.
Actively serving the Republic of Texas, he was Congressman, Minister
to the United States, Senator, and Secretary of State. In 1844, at the
height of his political career, Jones was elected president of the
It was a bittersweet legacy of Jones's short
tenure as president for during that time the Republic of Texas ceased
to exist. Instead, Texas became the 28th State of the United States.
It was left to Jones to declare, "The final act in this great drama is
now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more." -- Anson Jones,
President, Republic of Texas February 19, 1846.
With these words Jones ended his public life and
political career, retiring with his family to Barrington, the home he
had built near the town of Washington. Anson Jones's star rose briefly
with the Republic's "Lone Star" and faded quickly with annexation.
Anson Jones farmed near Washington during and
after his presidency. Jones named his farm "Barrington" after his
Massachusetts home, Great Barrington. There he lived with wife Mary,
their four children, his sister, sister-in-law, and five slaves. The
family home, two slave cabins, a kitchen building, smokehouse, cotton
house and barn made up Barrington Farm.
The economy of the farm relied upon the work of
the five slaves. Entries that Jones himself made in his daybook
show the variety of the tasks, the efforts of the slaves, and ongoing
nature of farm work. His words reflect a sense of good fortune and
delight in the bounty of his farm.
- March 1847
Peach and plum trees commenced
blossoming this week. Continued planting corn on the east
side of the field, Jerry and Mary breaking up cotton land with
- June 1850
Cucumbers from the garden &
roasting ears from the corn field in abundance.
- August 1852
Cotton opening freely,
weather favorable all hands picking & at the rate of between two
and three bales pr week.
- November 1855
Set out Bermuda grass in
S.E Quarter of the House Yard. Finished gathering corn crop of
2000 bushels. Finished picking Cotton. Dug Sweet Potatoes in house
- December 1856
Finished the year at
Barrington, superintending my farm & the education of the younger
Barrington Living History Farm
With Jones's daybook as their guide, the interpreters at Barrington
Living History Farm conduct themselves much as did the earliest
residents of the original farmstead. The Jones home is original; the
outbuildings are replicas constructed by Texas Parks and Wildlife
using Jones's own journal and drawings.
Step into the lives of Barrington Farm's earliest
residents. Experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the 19th
century. The scene is complete with heritage breeds of livestock.
Interpreters, dressed in period style clothing, help visitors better
understand what life was like 150 years ago.
You are encouraged to participate in the work of
the farm and become a part of the exhibit. Learn how to drive oxen,
help plant and harvest crops, and try your hand at spinning or making
soap. Explore the farm and experience the daily lives of those who