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Republic of Texas Violin Displayed at UT Fine Arts Library 2.28.14 | by Texas State Library and Archives Commission
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Republic of Texas Violin Displayed at UT Fine Arts Library 2.28.14

A violin originating in the Republic of Texas was displayed on February 28, 2014, during the 9th Annual Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama and Literature at UT-Austin’s Fine Arts Library. The violin, which resides with TSLAC in the Texas State Archives, was handcrafted in 1842 by a Texan named Henry Journeay while imprisoned in a Mexican castle. Mexico captured Journeay and hundreds of his compatriots during a raiding expedition prompted by Texas President Sam Houston to the Mexican town of Mier. Journeay is said to have crafted his violin from wood scraps left over from a chair made for Santa Anna, using glass and a razor as his tools. According to legend, the 27-year-old wood worker played the fiddle to entertain the Texan prisoners. Learn more about the violin on our website: It was previously displayed in TSLAC’s lobby in 2012: photo.


The Nilsson Lecture at UT’s Fine Arts Library was held in conjunction with the international Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists that took place at UT from February 21 to March 2, 2014. More info:

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Taken on February 28, 2014