Harrisburg (Harrisburgh), on the right bank of Buffalo Bayou in eastern Harris County, was established before 1825 on the survey of New York entrepreneur John Richardson Harris. In 1826 Francis W. Johnson surveyed the town, and Harris formally named it Harrisburg, in honor, no doubt, of himself, as well as of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which had been founded by and named for his great-grandfather. A small sawmill cut local timber, and ships plied between Harrisburg and ports in the United States and Mexico. Freight for San Felipe de Austin went by water to Harrisburg and then moved overland to the Brazos River. On December 30, 1835, the General Council established Harrisburg Municipality and designated the town the seat of its government. Edward Wray, alcalde, and H. H. League and Nathaniel Lynch, judges, transacted municipal business in Harrisburg until April 16, 1836, when Antonio López de Santa Anna burned the entire town except the residence of John W. Moore. Shortly after the Texas Revolution the city of Houston was laid out on the bayou above Harrisburg and became the seat of Harrisburg (later Harris) County and the capital of the Republic of Texas.
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