Texas won its independence from Mexico and officially became the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836, remaining an independent nation until February 19, 1846 when it entered the Union. On October 1, 1837 a year and a half after independence, the new nation had to struggle with its first large-scale national disaster. A hurricane formed off the coast of Africa and took more than a week to make the journey into the gulf of Mexico. Then on October 1 the storm wrought destruction along the entire coast of Texas.
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