One of the three first Texas municipalities. Old Aranama Indian village called Santa Dorotea by the Spanish. Presidio La Bahía and Mission Espiritu de Zuniga established 1749. Here early events leading to the Texas Revolution were expeditions of Magee-Gutierrez, 1812; Henry Perry, 1817; James Long, 1821. Name changed Feb. 4, 1829, from La Bahía (the Bay) to Goliad. Honoring (in anagram) Mexican patriot (H)idalgo.
Capt. George Collingsworth, Ben Milam and 48 men took Mexican garrison Oct. 8, 1835. Goliad Declaration of Independence signed Dec. 20, 1835, and Goliad flag unfurled. Defender Capt. Philip Dimmit succeeded by Col. James Walker Fannin, Feb. 7, 1836. On order of Gen. Sam Houston to evacuate Goliad, Fannin on Mar. 19, moved toward Victoria. Overtaken 9 miles out by a large Mexican army, Fannin and his men battled until night, surrendered next morning. From La Bahía Prison they were marched out, massacred and partially cremated on Palm Sunday, Mar. 27, 1836. After Texas won independence, Gen. Thomas Rusk's army gave them military rites and burial, June 1836.
Goliad County Seat since 1836. Incorporated 1840 and built on present site. Received 4 leagues of land in grant signed by President Sam Houston, 1844.