14 May 1836

The ‘Treaties of Velasco’ are signed in Velasco, Texas.

The Treaties of Velasco were two documents signed at Velasco, Texas on May 14, 1836, between Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, in the aftermath of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. The signatories were Interim President David G. Burnet for Texas and Santa Anna for Mexico. The treaties were intended, on the part of Texas, to provide a conclusion of hostilities between the two enemies and to offer the first steps toward the official recognition of the breakaway republic’s independence.

Santa Anna signed both a public treaty and a secret treaty, but neither treaty was ratified by the Mexican government because he had signed the documents under coercion, as a prisoner. Mexico claimed Texas was a breakaway province, but it was too weak to attempt another invasion. The documents were not even called “treaties” until so characterized by US President James K. Polk in his justifications for war some ten years later, as Representative Abraham Lincoln pointed out in 1848.

Although Gen. Vicente Filisola began troop withdrawals on May 26, the government of President José Justo Corro in Mexico City resolved, on May 20, to disassociate itself from all undertakings entered into by Santa Anna while he was held captive. Mexico’s position was that Santa Anna had no legal standing in the Mexican government to agree to those terms or negotiate a treaty;

Santa Anna’s position was that he had signed the documents under coercion as a prisoner, not as a surrendering general in accordance with the laws of war. In fact, he had no authority under the Mexican Constitution to make a treaty, and in any case, the treaties were never ratified by the Mexican government.

Santa Anna was not given passage to Veracruz. He was kept as a prisoner of war in Velasco and, later, in the Orozimbo plantation, before being taken to Washington, D.C., in the United States to meet with President Andrew Jackson. Sailing on the frigate USS Pioneer, the guest of the U.S. Navy, he did not arrive in Veracruz until February 23, 1837.

Because the provisions of the public treaty were not met, the terms of the secret agreement were not released until much later. Although a fait accompli since mid-1836, neither the independence of Texas nor its later annexation by the U.S. was formally recognized by Mexico until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War that resulted from the annexation and recognized the Rio Grande as the Mexico – United States border.

4 May 1836

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is formed.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization. Members must be Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York City in 1836. Its name was adopted by groups of Irish immigrants in the United States, its purpose to act as guards to protect Catholic churches from anti-Catholic forces in the mid-19th century, and to assist Irish Catholic immigrants, especially those who faced discrimination or harsh coal mining working conditions. Many members in the coal mining area of Pennsylvania had a background with the Molly Maguires. It became an important focus of Irish American political activity.

The order was founded in the United States on 4 May 1836, at St. James Church in New York City, near the old Five Points neighbourhood. A branch was formed the same year at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The existence and activities of the order were concealed for some years.

During the late 1860s and early 1870s many of the lodges of the order in Pennsylvania were infiltrated by the Molly Maguires. However the Molly Maguires and their criminal activities were condemned at the 1876 national convention of the AOH and the order was reorganised in the Pennsylvania coal areas.

In 1884 there was a split in the organisation. The order had previously been governed by the Board of Erin, which had governed the order in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States, but was composed of officers selected exclusively by the organisations in Ireland and Great Britain. The majority left in 1884 and became the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, while the small group called itself Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin. In 1897 the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin, had approximately 40,000 members concentrated in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, while the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America had nearly 125,000 members scattered throughout nearly every state in the union. The two groups reunited in 1898.

A female auxiliary, the Daughters of Erin, was formed in 1894, and had 20,000 members in 1897. It was attached to the larger, “American” version of the order. The AOH had 181,000 members in 1965 and 171,000 in 736 local units of “Divisions” in 1979. John F. Kennedy joined the AOH in 1947.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians raised $50,000 to build the Nuns of the Battlefield sculpture in Washington, DC, which the United States Congress authorised in 1918. The Irish-American sculptor, Jerome Connor, ended up suing the order for non-payment.

AOH shield without flags
In 1982, in a revival of Hibernianism, the Thomas Francis Meagher Division No. 1 formed in Helena, Montana, dedicated to the principles of the order and to restoring a historically accurate record of Brigadier General Meagher’s contributions to Montana. Soon after, six additional divisions formed in Montana.

The order organised the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 150 years until 1993, when control was transferred to an independent committee amid controversy over the exclusion of Irish-American gay and lesbian groups.

The Brothers of St. Patrick Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was established at Brother’s of St. Patrick in Midway City, California, in 1995.

In 2013, The Ancient Order of Hibernians raised and distributed over $200,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In 2014, the AOH called for a boycott of the retailer Spencer’s for selling products the AOH says promote anti-Irish stereotypes and irresponsible drinking.

On 10 May 2014 a memorial to Commodore John Barry, an immigrant from Wexford who was a naval hero of the American Revolution and who holds commission number one in the subsequent U.S. Navy, was dedicated on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. The memorial and associated “Barry Gate” was presented to the academy by the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Several buildings of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places or are otherwise notable.

14 December 1836

The Toledo War come to an end.

The Toledo War (1835–36), also known as the Michigan–Ohio War, was an almost bloodless boundary dispute between the U.S. state of Ohio and the adjoining territory of Michigan.

Poor geographical understanding of the Great Lakes helped produce conflicting state and federal legislation between 1787 and 1805, and varying interpretations of the laws led the governments of Ohio and Michigan to both claim jurisdiction over a 468-square-mile region along the border, now known as the Toledo Strip. The situation came to a head when Michigan petitioned for statehood in 1835 and sought to include the disputed territory within its boundaries. Both sides passed legislation attempting to force the other side’s capitulation, while Ohio’s Governor Robert Lucas and Michigan’s 24-year-old “Boy Governor” Stevens T. Mason helped institute criminal penalties for citizens submitting to the other’s authority. Both states deployed militias on opposite sides of the Maumee River near Toledo, but besides mutual taunting, there was little interaction between the two forces. The single military confrontation of the “war” ended with a report of shots being fired into the air, incurring no casualties.

During the summer of 1836, Congress proposed a compromise whereby Michigan gave up its claim to the strip in exchange for its statehood and about three-quarters of the Upper Peninsula. The compromise was considered a poor outcome for Michigan. Voters in a state convention in September soundly rejected the proposal. But in December, the Michigan government, facing a dire financial crisis and pressure from Congress and President Andrew Jackson, called another convention which accepted the compromise that resolved the Toledo War.

The later discovery of copper and iron deposits and the plentiful timber in the Upper Peninsula more than offset Michigan’s economic loss in surrendering Toledo.