The Republic of Texas was born here on Oct. 3, 1836, with the swearing in of the republic’s first congress and the inauguration of Sam Houston as the first president. Today, a replica of the First Capitol and other historic sites combine with shops, hotels and restaurants to make this a popular tourist destination. The Brazos Belle offers historical tours of the river, when weather and currents are favorable, from Belle’s Landing at the intersection of the Brazos River and Texas 35.