Burial Site: Texas
Section Republic Hill,
Section 1 Row A Plot 3
Source: Texas State
monument is erected to honor Joanna Troutman for the service she rendered
the case of Texas Indpendence. Born in Crawford County, Georgia, February
19, 1818. She lived to see Texas free and one of the mightiest states in
the American Union, and died August, 1880.
Texas was struggling to establish her rights as a state in the Mexican
Republic, she sent forth an appeal for help. Georgia responded by raising
a battalion of volunteers, and Mis Joanna Troutman then 18 years of age,
fired with her love of liberty and the zeal of the volunteer, with her
own hands made a beautiful lone star flag and presented it to the Georgia
Battalion and they landed in Texas with it in December, 1835. The flag
was symbolic of the lone struggle Texas was making. The flag was unfurled
at Velasco and later carried to Goliad where it proudly waved over the
Walls of that fortress. This flag was raised as National Flag on the walls
of Goliad when he heard of the Declaration of Texas
on March 8, 1836. It was constructed of white silk with an azure star of
five points, on one side was the motto: "Where liberty dwells, there is
my country." The tattered shred of this flag silently witnessed the murder
of Fannin and
his men at Goliad, Sunday, March 27th, following. Gentle, pure, patriotic,
the hands of Joanna Troutman wrought her love of liberty into the beautiful
star flag which witnessed the sacrifice of the men who brought it to Texas
as the emblem
by Claudia Hazlewood
"The Betsy Ross of Texas"
Joanna (or Johanna) Troutman, designer
of an early Texas Lone Star flag, was born on February 19, 1818, in
Crawford County, Georgia, the daughter of Hiram Baldwin Troutman. In
1835, in response to an appeal for aid to the Texas cause, the Georgia
Battalion, commanded by Col. William Ward, traveled to Texas. Joanna
Troutman designed and made a flag of white silk, bearing a blue, five-pointed
star and two inscriptions: "Liberty or Death"1
on the obverse and, in Latin, "Where Liberty dwells there is my
country" on the reverse. She presented the flag to the battalion,
and it was unfurled at Velasco on January 8, 1836, above the American
Hotel. It was carried to Goliad, where James W. Fannin, Jr., raised
it as the national flag when he heard of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
The flag was accidentally torn to shreds, however, and only its remnants
flew above the battle. Joanna Troutman married S. L. Pope in 1839, and
the couple moved to Elmwood, their prosperous plantation near Knoxville,
Georgia, in 1840. They had four sons. Her husband died in 1872, and
Joanna married W. G. Vinson, a Georgia state legislator, in 1875. She
died on July 23, 1879, at Elmwood and was buried next to her first husband.
In 1913 Texas governor Oscar B. Colquitt secured permission to have
her remains taken to Texas for interment in the State Cemetery in Austin.
A bronze statue by Pompeo L. Coppini was erected there as a monument
to her memory; her portrait hangs in the state Capitol.
George Pierce Garrison, "Another Texas Flag," Quarterly of the Texas State
Historical Association 3 (January 1900). Annie Doom Pickrell, Pioneer Women
in Texas (Austin: Steck, 1929). Henry David Pope, A Lady and a Lone Star
Flag: The Story of Joanna Troutman (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936). Vertical
Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Text: The Handbook of Texas, The Texas State Historical
Photo: Texas State Archives
1 The correct name of the flag designed by
Joanna Troutman is "Liberty or Death" not "Texas and Liberty" as
was originally noted in the The Handbook of Texas.