This Day In Texas History

Matters Of Interest Concerning Texas.

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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:46 pm

March 2 in Texas History…..

Texas declares independence from Mexico

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On this day in 1836, Texas became a republic. On March 1 delegates from the seventeen Mexican municipalities of Texas and the settlement of Pecan Point met at Washington-on-the-Brazos to consider independence from Mexico. George C. Childress presented a resolution calling for independence, and the chairman of the convention appointed Childress to head a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence. In the early morning hours of March 2, the convention voted unanimously to accept the resolution. After fifty-eight members signed the document, Texas became the Republic of Texas. The change remained to be demonstrated to Mexico.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

CONVENTION OF 1836. The Convention of 1836 wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander in chief of the military forces of the republic. The call for the convention to meet at Washington-on-the-Brazos was issued by the General Council of the provisional government over the veto of Governor Henry Smith in December 1835, and the delegates were elected on February 1, 1836. The convention met on March 1, 1836, in near-freezing weather in an unfinished building belonging to Noah T. Byars and Peter M. Mercer, his business partner. The building was rented for use of the convention by a group of Washington business men who, incidentally, never got around to paying the rent. Forty-four delegates were assembled on the first day of the convention. Fifty-nine delegates finally attended its sessions. Andrew Briscoe did not arrive until March 11. Twelve of the members were natives of Virginia, ten of North Carolina, nine of Tennessee, six of Kentucky, four of Georgia, three of South Carolina, three of Pennsylvania, three of Mexico (including two born in Texas), two of New York, and one each of Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Only ten of the delegates were in Texas as early as January 1830; two of them arrived in 1836. Sam Houston, Robert Potter, Richard Ellis, Samuel P. Carson, Martin Parmer, and Lorenzo de Zavala had all had political experience in Mexico or the United States in state or national government, several in both. James Collinsworth presided as temporary chairman, and Willis A. Faris was secretary pro tem. After the examination of credentials of the members, the permanent officers were elected; Richard Ellis was president and Herbert Simms Kimble was secretary. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on March 2, and members began signing it on March 3. The convention then proceeded to the writing of the constitution and election of ad interim government officials. With the report of the approach of the Mexican army, the convention adjourned in haste in the early morning hours of March 17.

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The Unanimous
Declaration of Independence
made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas
in General Convention
at the town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836.

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.

When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.

Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is therefore submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken, of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.

The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America.

In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood.

It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.

It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens, for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution, and the establishment of a state government.

It has failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.

It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.

It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyrrany, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and rendering the military superior to the civil power.

It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriving us of the fundamental political right of representation.

It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial, in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and the constitution.

It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.

It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true and living God.

It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.

It has invaded our country both by sea and by land, with intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our homes; and has now a large mercenary army advancing, to carry on against us a war of extermination.

It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defenseless frontiers.

It hath been, during the whole time of our connection with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions, and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrranical government.

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.

The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.

We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers of the people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:09 pm

March 2 in Texas History…..

U.S. appoints its first diplomat to the Republic of Texas

On this day in 1837, President Andrew Jackson appointed Alcée Louis La Branche to be the first diplomat from the United States to the Republic of Texas. As United States chargé d'affaires, La Branche negotiated the settlement of the cases concerning the brigs Pocket and Durango and a temporary commerce agreement. He aggressively defended the United States claim to disputed territory in Red River County. On April 25, 1838, the two countries signed the Convention of Limits, which recognized Texas claims to the contested county and the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Texas. However, tension continued between the Republic of Texas and the United States regarding Indian depredations along the northern border. La Branche protested Texas army crossings of the border in pursuit of Indians. He believed that the majority of Indian attacks were caused by Texans' trespassing and surveying Indian lands. La Branche's reports on real or rumored Mexican attacks expressed optimism about the Texans' ability to retain their independence. On April 2, 1840, La Branche resigned his post to attend to personal affairs. His clear, calm reports enabled his government to be sensitive to the Texas position on various issues.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

ALCÉE LOUIS LA BRANCHE (1806–1861). Alcée Louis La Branche, United States chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas, son of Alexandre La Branche, was born on his father's plantation on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1806. The family, earlier named Zweig (the German equivalent of French branche), had come from Bamberg, Bavaria, to Louisiana in 1721. Alexandre La Branche fought as a regimental commander in the Revolutionary War and the battle of New Orleans. He married Marie Jeanne Piseros, daughter of a prominent Louisiana trader, on November 10, 1778, and Alcée was the fourth of their five children. The Piseros family was French, but of Spanish ancestry.

Alcée developed an interest in politics early, since his father was a delegate to the first constitutional convention of the state of Louisiana in 1812. After he attended the University of Sorreze in France, he became a sugar planter in St. Charles Parish. He served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1831 to 1833, and that body elected him speaker of the House on January 7, 1833. Finding him a man of exceptional ability, President Andrew Jackson appointed him on March 3, 1837, to be the first diplomat from the United States to the Republic of Texas. Texas received him enthusiastically, eager to hear about the question of the annexation of Texas to the United States. The capital city, Houston, named a street in La Branche's honor.

As United States chargé d'affaires, La Branche negotiated the settlement of the cases concerning the brigs Pocket and Durangoqqv and a temporary commerce agreement. He aggressively defended the United States claim to disputed territory in Red River County (the present Bowie, Red River, Franklin, Titus, Morris, and Cass counties), although Texas maintained a land office there and Red River County had sent representatives to the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Eventually, on April 25, 1838, the two countries signed the Convention of Limits, which recognized Texas claims to the contested county and the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Texas. However, tension continued between the Republic of Texas and the United States regarding Indian depredations along the northern border. La Branche protested Texas army crossings of the border in pursuit of Indians. He believed that the majority of Indian attacks were caused by Texans' trespassing and surveying Indian lands. To determine which Indians belonged to which country and to install a United States military post at Shreveport would have solved the problem, he thought. La Branche's reports on real or rumored Mexican attacks expressed optimism about the Texans' ability to retain their independence. On April 2, 1840, La Branche resigned his post to attend to personal affairs. His clear, calm reports enabled his government to be sensitive to the Texas position on various issues.

In the 1842 election for United States representative from the Second District of Louisiana, La Branche ran on the Democratic ticket. John Hueston, the Whig editor of the Baton Rouge Gazette, wrote a slanderous attack on him. After publicly quarreling, they fought a duel, using double-barreled shotguns, and Hueston died of his wounds. La Branche took his seat in the Twenty-eighth Congress on December 4, 1843, but served only one term. On February 28, 1845, he voted for the joint resolution annexing Texas to the United States. Mexico immediately protested the annexation, particularly the claim of the Rio Grande as the southern border. On April 26, 1846, Gen. Zachary Taylor called for 5000 volunteers from Louisiana and Texas to defend the new state. La Branche recruited men and helped to organize a mass meeting held in New Orleans on May 5, 1846.

Very little is known of La Branche's life after he became a naval officer in New Orleans in 1847. He continued to operate his sugar plantation, and Aimée Sarpy, daughter of Jean Pierre and Félicité Portier Sarpy, became his bride. They had three children. La Branche died in Hot Springs, Virginia, on August 17, 1861. He was buried in Red Church Cemetery of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, and reinterred in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:53 pm

March 4 in Texas History…..

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Cactus Jack becomes vice president

On this day in 1933, John Nance Garner of Texas left his position as speaker of the House to become vice president of the United States. Garner was born in 1868 in a log cabin near Detroit, Texas. He was admitted to the bar in 1890 and moved to Uvalde, where he joined the law firm of Clark and Fuller. Garner served as a county judge and as a state senator before heading for Washington as a congressman in 1903. During his early years in Congress he adhered to his number-one rule for success: get elected, stay there, and gain influence through seniority. By 1909 Garner had become party whip, and he became speaker of the House in 1931. He campaigned for president in 1932 and, after throwing his support to Franklin D. Roosevelt, became FDR's running mate. Garner was a master of congressional politics and helped get much of the early New Deal legislation enacted, but he ultimately split with Roosevelt and the liberals over the court-packing plan and the direction of the Democratic party. Garner became a leader of the conservative Democrats, and, though he was reelected vice president in 1936, he worked against further New Deal legislation. After retiring from public life in 1940, Garner spent the rest of his years in Uvalde in relative seclusion. He died in 1967, a few days before his ninety-ninth birthday.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

JOHN NANCE GARNER (1868–1967). John Nance (Cactus Jack) Garner, the thirty-second vice president of the United States, the first of thirteen children of John Nance and Sarah (Guest) Garner, was born on November 22, 1868, in a log cabin near Detroit, Texas. He went to school at Bogata and Blossom Prairie. At eighteen he went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he stayed only one semester, possibly because of ill health. He returned to Clarksville, Texas, read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1890. After an unsuccessful run for the office of city attorney he moved to Uvalde, where he began law practice.

In Uvalde Garner joined the law firm of Clark and Fuller and was appointed to fill a vacancy as county judge. When he ran for the regular term in 1893 his opponent was Mariette (Ettie) Rheiner, whom he married on November 25, 1895. He served as county judge from 1893 to 1896. A son, Tully, was born to the Garners on September 24, 1896.
Broadening his political horizon, Garner was elected in 1898 to the state legislature, where he served until 1902. While in the legislature he had the opportunity to establish a new Fifteenth Congressional District and at thirty-four was elected its representative. He entered the Fifty-eighth Congress as a Democrat on November 9, 1903, and served continuously for fifteen terms, until March 4, 1933.

Garner's early career in the legislature was without distinction, for he spent most of his time listening and examining the legislative process. Indeed, it was January 5, 1905, before he uttered a word in the House, and eight years before he made his first speech. His main efforts appear to have been devoted to obtaining a federal building for Eagle Pass and a new post office in his district. During his early years in Congress he adhered to his number-one rule for success: get elected, stay there, and gain influence through seniority. By 1909 Garner had become party whip. During World War I he was recognized as a leader and became the liaison between President Woodrow Wilson and the House of Representatives.

After the war Garner pursued his policy of saying little while acquiring friends in both houses. As a result he served as minority floor leader in the Seventy-first Congress, and when the Democrats organized the House in 1931 he became speaker. With his prominence as speaker and with William Randolph Hearst's backing, Garner became a serious candidate for president in the spring of 1932. Although he did not pursue his campaign vigorously, as convention time approached he acquired the ninety Texas and California votes, which a candidate had to have to be nominated. When he gave his votes to Franklin D. Roosevelt on the fourth ballot, Roosevelt became indebted to Garner and to the state of Texas. As a result Garner was offered the vice-presidential nomination, which he reluctantly accepted. On November 8, 1932, he was simultaneously elected to the vice presidency and reelected to Congress. He resigned from Congress on March 4, 1933.
Next to the president Garner was the single most important man in the New Deal. When he became vice president he had thirty years' experience in the House, including two as speaker. Now his ability to make friends and his political knowledge combined to give him respect and great persuasive powers. Moreover, he was talented in other areas tangential to politics, such as whiskey drinking and poker playing.

Because of Garner's knowledge of the legislative process the president made him his liaison with Congress. This decision proved to be a wise move, for Garner had his own congressional machine. Moreover, nineteen members of the Senate had served with him in the House, and he was a personal friend of virtually every legislator. Garner also had tremendous influence with the Texas congressional delegation and especially with Samuel T. (Sam) Rayburn. This was invaluable, for from 1933 to 1938 no fewer than eight Texans held regular committee chairmanships, and two chaired special committees. Also, Rayburn became House majority leader in 1937. The Texas delegation probably had no peer in congressional history. With this force behind him Garner was ready to add a new dimension to the office of vice president.

He was influential in undercover work. Because he knew the strengths and weaknesses of both houses he was able to push bills through or bury them. He was, as one writer stated, "a mole rather than an eagle." A master at circulating on the Senate floor or buttonholing a friend, he was the "wise old man of Congress." On most evenings after a legislative session Garner would hold court over bourbon and branch water and counsel reluctant congressmen in his "Board of Education," or, as some called it, his "Dog House." He was in his element here, and most of his contemporaries agreed that his persuasive tactics made him the most powerful vice president in history. In the course of the "Hundred Days," the special session of the legislature called by Roosevelt to inaugurate New Deal programs, Garner was extremely effective in helping to push through the legislation that characterized this phase of the Roosevelt program. Although Garner was not always in accord with administration programs, especially deficit spending, he continued to support the New Deal until the spring of 1937. One of his methods was to make certain that the right men were appointed to conference committees in order to assure that New Deal legislation would pass. He was, moreover, especially good at gaveling bills through the Senate. His activity was thus of paramount importance to the administration.
Garner's relationship with Rayburn was especially fruitful. On their shared rides to the Capitol they often discussed and settled issues of decisive importance to the administration. Although they disagreed on some issues, they remained fast friends who were at the apex of the New Deal power pyramid.

It was inevitable that Garner would split with the president, for his view of the Democratic party differed considerably from Roosevelt's. As an old-line Democrat with Progressive Era background, Garner distrusted Wall Street, and so he championed New Deal legislation aimed at correcting the putative excesses of the financial markets. But as the New Deal drifted toward welfare-state concepts, he demurred. From the beginning of his association with Roosevelt he had never tried to conceal his philosophy. In the spring of 1934 he had warned the president to slow down. By 1935 he began to refer to some programs as "plain damn foolishness." The sit-down strikes that closed 1936 marked a breaking point in the Garner-Roosevelt relationship. Garner thought the strikers had violated property rights, and he became furious because he thought that Roosevelt gave tacit support to the unions. Early in January 1937 Garner had an angry discussion with the president over this issue. Their disagreement emphasized the differences between them. Afterward, Garner believed that Roosevelt preferred the suggestions of liberal advisors rather than his own or those of congressional leaders. Therefore, he began to oppose the president in the cloakrooms.

The event, however, that sealed the split between Garner and the president was the Court-Packing Plan of 1937, whereby the president was to receive unprecedented powers in the appointment of Supreme Court justices. The shock waves radiating from the proposal split the Democratic party. Garner, whose loyalty was first to the party, vehemently opposed the plan. In the midst of the struggle he went on vacation to Uvalde, an act that publicized the rift between him and the president. Moreover, the split was exacerbated by Garner's growing hostility to New Deal programs in general.

As 1937 drew to a close Garner was recognized as the second most powerful man in Washington. He was the leader of a group of conservative Democrats and Republicans dedicated to retard, change, or scuttle various phases of the New Deal. One commentator called Garner the "conniver-in-chief" of the opposition. Now almost anything that did not meet with Garner's approval was in trouble. By 1938 he was opposed to most of the New Deal proposals, especially those involving government spending. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes said that Garner was "sticking his knife into the President's back." The final blow to the fast-fading Garner-Roosevelt friendship was the proposed purge of conservative Democratic congressmen by the president. Garner used all his influence to prevent the action. With him at the head, an opposition bloc now began to vote against almost everything the president desired. After the failure of the purge Garner, in the interest of party harmony, was willing to seek a reconciliation. He met with Roosevelt on December 17, 1938, for the first time in six months. No one is certain what happened, but the meeting did nothing to restore Roosevelt's confidence in Garner.

Though Garner never openly acknowledged his split with Roosevelt, their mutual hostility continued, and the president grew to despise Jack. Garner reciprocated by transferring his dislike of the New Deal to the president himself. Because of their mutual distrust, during the last two years of Roosevelt's second administration Garner opposed virtually everything the president wanted. In effect he became "the leader and the brains of the opposition" to the man with whom he had been elected.
Opinions about Garner's vice presidency vary widely. John L. Lewis characterized him as a "labor-baiting, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking, evil old man," but the New York Times praised his "political miracles." James Farley thought Garner was "more responsible than anyone" for implementing Roosevelt's programs, yet it is realistic to state that Garner prevented completion of the New Deal.

In spite of his age Garner's political stature made him a prominent Democratic candidate in the 1940 election. As early as 1938 the Texas state Democratic convention endorsed him as a candidate. By March 1939 both houses of the Texas legislature followed suit, and in June a Garner-for-president committee was formed. Polls indicated that Garner would be the leading candidate if Roosevelt did not run. Even though Garner declared in December 1939 that he would accept the nomination, his actions indicate he did so primarily because he opposed a third term for Roosevelt. The president's machine, however, was too powerful, and Garner was handily beaten in the primaries he entered. After the convention he packed his belongings and prepared to return to civil life. After the inauguration, at age seventy-two, after thirty-eight years of government service, he crossed the Potomac for the last time.

Garner spent the rest of his years in Uvalde in relative seclusion. In the late 1940s his wife burned his public and private papers, leaving only his scrapbook collection, which is housed in the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin. John Nance Garner died on November 7, 1967, a few days before his ninety-ninth birthday, and is buried in Uvalde.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:44 pm

March 5 in Texas History…..

Day Twelve – Saturday March 5, 1836

Santa Anna issues orders for the assault to begin on the following day utilizing four assault columns and one reserve column.

Santa Anna calls for reconnaissance to determine Mexican attack positions and approaches.

A messenger arrives at the compound with the grim news that reinforcements aren't coming.

Travis gathers his men and informs them of their options.

At midnight the Mexicans begin moving into attack position.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:01 pm

March 5 in Texas History…..

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Richard Henry Boyd born into slavery

On this day in 1843, Richard Henry Boyd began his remarkable life. He was born in Mississippi and named Dick Gray, a slave of B. A. Gray, and was later taken to his owner’s new plantation near Brenham, Texas. Boyd accompanied Gray and his three sons as a servant in the Confederate army. After Gray and his two older sons died in battle near Chattanooga, Boyd carried the youngest son, who was badly wounded, back to the Texas plantation. Boyd took charge of the plantation and managed cotton production and sales until emancipation. He then worked as a cowboy and in 1867 changed his name from Gray to Richard Henry Boyd. Self-taught, he enrolled in Bishop College at Marshall and was later ordained a Baptist minister. He organized six churches into the first black Baptist association in Texas in 1870 and went on to represent the group at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Boyd rose to prominence in Texas as a religious leader, established more churches, and published literature for black Baptist Sunday schools. In the mid-1890s he moved to Nashville, where his accomplishments included organizing a bank, a publishing company, and a doll company. He also wrote or edited fourteen books.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

RICHARD HENRY BOYD (1843–1922). Richard Henry Boyd, Baptist leader, publisher, and entrepreneur, was born into slavery as Dick Gray on March 5, 1843, at the B. A. Gray plantation in Noxubee County, Mississippi. His mother, Indiana Dixon, had six other boys and three girls. In 1849 Gray began a plantation near Brenham in Washington County, Texas. Boyd worked there until the outbreak of the Civil War and then accompanied Gray as a servant in one of the Confederate armies fighting around Chattanooga, Tennessee. After Gray and his two eldest sons were killed near Chattanooga, Boyd carried the youngest son, who was badly wounded, back to the Texas plantation. Boyd took charge of the plantation and became an efficient manager in the production and sale of cotton. He traded cotton successfully in Mexico. After emancipation (see JUNETEENTH) he continued to trade cotton, then began work as a cowboy. He later worked as a laborer at a sawmill in Montgomery County. In 1867 he changed his name from Dick Gray to Richard Henry Boyd.

He began to educate himself after emancipation with Webster's Blue-Backed Speller, McGuffey's First Reader, and the assistance of white friends. In 1869 he entered Bishop College at Marshall, married Hattie Moore, and in the latter part of the year was ordained a Baptist minister. He did not remain at Bishop College long enough to complete his degree. In 1870 he organized six churches into the first black Baptist association in Texas. In 1876 black Texas Baptists selected Boyd as their representative to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He also served as secretary of the Missionary Baptist General Convention in Texas and as its superintendent of missions in Texas. While serving in these positions he promoted the idea of publishing literature for black Baptist Sunday schools. He brought out his first pamphlets in 1894 and 1895. During Boyd's residence in Texas he established churches at Waverly, Old Danville, Navasota, Crockett, Palestine, and San Antonio.
In 1896 participants at the National Baptist Convention in St. Louis elected Boyd secretary of home missions in the United States. In this position he fostered the development of four Panamanian churches during the construction of the Panama Canal. He served as secretary of home missions until 1914. In 1905 he served as a delegate to the World Baptist Alliance meeting at London. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1896 and founded the National Baptist Publishing Board in January 1897. The board issued the first series of Baptist literature for blacks ever published. Boyd and his followers received the assistance of influential white friends to finance the venture. The National Baptist Publishing Board soon developed into the main source of religious literature for black Baptists throughout the world. In its first eighteen years, the publishing board issued more than 128 million periodicals. Its physical plant was valued at over $350,000 in 1912.

Boyd was also an organizer of the Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company of Nashville and served as its first president, from 1904 until 1922. In 1906 he became the first president of the Nashville Globe Publishing Company and financed the publication of the Nashville Globe. He also founded the National Baptist Church Supply Company and the Negro Doll Company, which were housed at the plant of the National Baptist Publishing Board. The National Baptist Church Supply Company manufactured and sold church furniture. The Negro Doll Company began distributing black dolls in 1911. The National Negro Business League listed Boyd as a member for life.

In 1915 the National Baptist Convention split over the question of whether to incorporate. E. C. Morris led the move for incorporation, while Boyd opposed it. Boyd feared that incorporation would alter the voluntary nature of Baptist organizations and give the convention legal control over all entities identified with it, including his own enterprises. Morris's faction formed an incorporated convention, while Boyd's followers formed an unincorporated convention and retained control of the National Baptist Publishing Board. The incorporated convention filed an unsuccessful suit to take control of the publishing board.
Boyd wrote or edited fourteen books, including Baptist Catechism and Doctrine (1899), National Baptist Pastor's Guide (1900), National Jubilee Melody Songbook (n.d.), and, at the request of the National Baptist Convention, The Separate or "Jim Crow" Car Laws, or Legislative Enactments of Fourteen Southern States (1909). Boyd's compilation of Jim Crow legislation included an introduction that urged blacks to make legal protests wherever separate accommodations were not equal as provided by law.
Richard and Hattie Moore Boyd had nine children. Their most prominent child was Henry Allen Boyd, who managed almost all of his father's ventures and was an influential teacher, civic leader, and businessman in Tennessee. Boyd suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on August 19, 1922, and died at his Nashville home on August 23. Masonic rites were held for him on August 26. On August 27, 1922, 6,000 people attended a public service for him in the Ryman Auditorium at Nashville. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:54 am

March 6 in Texas History…..

MARCH 6, 1836: DAVY CROCKETT AND THE FALL OF THE ALAMO

By: WILLIAM GRONEMAN III Date: MARCH 6 , 2013

Santa Anna’s plan called for the assault on the Alamo to begin at 4:30 A.M., March 6, but the complexity of moving, positioning, and coordinating an attack of nearly fifteen hundred men caused a delay. He may have intentionally pushed the time back so his men would benefit by some feeble daylight while entering the hostile compound.

The Mexican cannonade ceased during the evening of March 5 while the troops prepared to move into battle position. The Texans did not get a chance to rest with the respite in the shelling, working long into the night strengthening their defenses.


Travis had only settled into his bunk in the headquarters of the Alamo after making his rounds in the early morning hours when the post’s adjutant, Captain John J. Baugh of Virginia, burst into the room. “Colonel Travis, the Mexicans are coming!” he yelled. The colonel bolted from his cot, grabbing his double-barreled shotgun and sword, and calling to his slave, Joe, to follow him. Joe, taking his own rifle, rushed with him into the dawn and the growing din of battle at the north wall.

It is not known where Crockett was stationed at this moment or to what area of the fort he had been assigned. It is likely that he was near the church, where the noncombatants were quartered, since Enrique Esparza remembered seeing him there. “Crockett was one of the few who were wide awake when the final crisis and crash came,” he said.

Travis and Joe reached the north wall as the rest of the garrison came to life and the Alamo erupted in cannon and small-arms fire. The Texan commander had just enough time to yell some encouragement to his men—”Come on, boys, the Mexicans are upon us, and we’ll give them hell!” He aimed his shotgun over the wall but only managed to fire once before being struck by Mexican bullets and tumbling onto the earthen artillery ramp.

Santa Anna’s columns struck the exposed north wall in the prescribed pincer movement, enduring punishing fire from within the fort. He had intended his advance to be rapid and silent so that his force would reach the walls before the Texans could respond. However, one unit, caught up in the excitement of the moment, raised a noisy cheer for their general and the Mexican Republic, eliminating any chance for surprise.

Fire from the fort brought down Colonel Francisco Duque, leading the column on the north side, with a severe wound, causing his men to falter momentarily. At the same time the Alamo defenders drove the Mexicans attacking the northeast corner to their right, forcing them to merge with the north column. General Cos, who had been ordered back to Texas by Santa Anna, fared no better with his column to the northwest. His men veered to their left in the storm of gunfire, adding to the chaos of the other columns. The commanding general, at the artillery battery to the north, saw his columns in a jumbled mass and feared his entire attack was in danger of stalling. He reluctantly committed his reserve units, the grenadier companies of each battalion, which he had held out of the original plans, and his combat engineers, the Zapadores.

With Colonel Duque wounded, one of his aides, Lieutenant Jose Enrique de la Pena, an officer with a troubled career, had a chance to prove himself. Although he held an official rank of captain of cavalry, the Mexican military saw fit not to use him in that capacity in the Texan campaign. In the months before Santa Anna marched north, De la Pena had preoccupied himself with making a number of urgent requests to be assigned legation duty in Europe in the rank of lieutenant colonel, which he felt he deserved. Instead, his superiors ordered him north, with the rank of lieutenant, and he arrived with Duque only two days earlier.

De la Pena rushed to the rear to summon General Manuel Fernandez Castrillon, leading the rear guard of Duque’s force, to take over the column. While Castrillon moved forward, assumed command, and restored some order and discipline to the attack, De la Pena ran across the front of the attack several times delivering important messages.

The fresh units launched themselves into the confused tangle at the north wall, giving the already overtaxed defenders more to handle. By sheer weight of numbers the Mexican reserves and the men from the original columns began clambering up the scaling ladders and the uneven timbers bracing the outside of the wall. On the south, the diversionary column veered from its original target, the wooden palisade connecting the church and low barracks, bypassed the outerworks protecting the main gate, and struck the southwest corner of the fort.

These men, a hundred in number, struggled up their two ladders, overcoming the Texan artillery crew in that position. With footholds at opposite ends of the Alamo, Mexican soldiers were able to surmount the walls unimpeded, flowing over, as one survivor described them, “like sheep.”

Since the beginning of the siege, Travis and his men had hoped to hold the Mexican force in check until reinforcements reached them, but, with the Texan commander dead, and Mexican soldiers pouring over the walls in increasing numbers, the Alamo ceased to be either a fortress or a rallying point for the Texas army. Now it became nothing more than a killing ground.

Santa Anna’s troops fanned out through the compound, turning captured cannon against the defenders, resorting to the bayonet when the action moved too swiftly for them to reload their cumbersome Brown Bess muskets. Texans on the walls, with the enemy closing in on them from both sides, made split-second, life-or-death decisions. Some jumped from the walls to seek cover in rooms or buildings within the compound, others jumped outside for a chance at survival in the countryside. At least three groups of Texans chose the latter course: one leaving on the east side, another from the south, and the last from the west side of the fort. General Sesma, commanding the cavalry around the Alamo, reported that the Texans did not flee in blind panic but “marched with organization to the plain trying to avail themselves of adjoining brush country.” Lancers charged to intercept each group, trapping and cutting them down in ditches outside the fort. One fleeing defender, armed with a double-barreled shotgun and pistol, managed to kill a Mexican corporal before being skewered on a lance. Another, concealed under a bush, had to be shot when he could not be flushed out to the waiting lances, and another was killed after hiding under the bridge crossing the San Antonio River. Years later, Maria de Jesus Buquor of San Antonio reported that she saw seven Texans make it as far as the river before being shot or sabered on the bank.

Inside the Alamo, Mexican infantrymen cleared each building and room, killing any man they found, including the sick and wounded. Jim Bowie had been out of action during the entire siege due to his illness and it is generally agreed that the Mexicans killed him while he lay in his sickbed. The details of his death, however, as well as his location in the Alamo at the end, are subject to question. Susannah Dickinson stated that he killed two of the enemy with pistols before being sabered to death. Enrique Esparza claimed that Bowie had been placed in a small room on the north side of the church, and fired on the Mexicans with a rifle and pistols, killing one with his famous knife before he was riddled with bullets. Juana Navarro Alsbury, a cousin of Bowie’s late wife, had entered the Alamo with her infant son, Alejo Perez, Jr., and her younger sister Gertrudis Navarro, under Bowie’s protection. Alsbury, a widow who had married an American doctor, Horace Alsbury, in December, later stated that she witnessed enemy soldiers carrying Bowie into the Alamo plaza, where they tossed him about on their bayonets until his blood ran down their arms and clothing. The torture continued until a Mexican cavalry officer dashed among them, lashing the soldiers with his sword, and forcing them to cease.

Travis’s slave, Joe, who had taken cover in one of the rooms, fired on the enemy until his ammunition ran out. Santa Anna’s soldiers had to have been aware that there were slaves, with whom they were not at war, within the Alamo, since after the gunshots had died down a Mexican officer appeared at the room’s door, calling out in English, “Are there any Negroes here?” Joe stepped out from concealment and answered, “Yes, here’s one.” This response startled two soldiers, one of whom fired, slightly wounding him, while the other nicked him with a bayonet. Only the intervention of the officer, who beat the soldiers back with the flat of his sword, saved Joe’s life.

For the most part, the action within the walls moved too quickly and furiously for any defender to attempt to surrender or to expect mercy if he tried. Juana Alsbury and her sister were sheltered in a room separate from the other noncombatants. She was comforted only by knowing that her husband had been sent on a scouting mission before the Mexican army arrived, and was not present during the battle. When she realized that the Texans were being overwhelmed she asked her sister to open the door of their room to show the Mexican soldiers that only women and children were inside. When the soldiers stormed into the room, a Texan named Mitchell, who had been ill, ran to protect her and she watched in horror as the soldiers bayoneted him to death by her side. Other Mexicans pursued a young Tejano defender into her room, stabbing him with bayonets then firing into his lifeless body.

Most of the noncombatants endured the battle within the walls of the church, the Alamo’s sturdiest building. There, Susannah Dickinson remembered sixteen-year-old Galba Fuqua, a neighbor of hers from the town of Gonzales, run into her room with his jaw broken by a bullet and blood flowing from his mouth. He tried to tell her something but could not make himself understood, even while holding his jaws together with his hands. Finally, he gave up, shaking his head and running back to rejoin his comrades.

She believed the fight had raged for two hours before her husband, Almeron, rushed to her exclaiming, “Great God, Sue, the Mexicans are inside our walls! All is lost! If they spare you, save my child.” He kissed her, drew his sword, and plunged back into the fight. She did not see him again until Mexican soldiers escorted her through the Alamo compound after the battle, where she witnessed soldiers plunging bayonets into the dead bodies of the Texans. She fainted when she recognized Almeron’s body among them.

No one knows how Travis’s trusted courier, James Butter Bonham, died. Susannah Dickinson believed that he was killed while working one of the cannons.

Enrique Esparza stated that when the Mexicans finally burst into the room where the women and children were sheltered, an American boy, not much older that himself, stood up and drew a blanket around his shoulders. In a reflex move the jumpy soldiers shot him down.

The last aggressive act by a Texan came when the garrison’s thirty-six-year-old master of ordnance, Major Robert Evans, attempted to set a torch to the Alamo’s gunpowder supply. When the soldiers shot him before he could set fire to the barrels, active resistance within the fort ceased, and the battle of the Alamo ended.

A room-by-room search of the compound followed in which Santa Anna’s men rounded up stray noncombatants and slaves, looted property, and flushed out and finished off any surviving defenders. The general entered the fort with his staff and entourage during this cleanup operation, just as his men brought out a prisoner whom Joe described as a “little weakly body named Warner.” Santa Anna ordered the man’s immediate execution and the soldiers carried out the order.

Ramon Martinez Caro, a civilian secretary accompanying the generalissimo into the Alamo, reported another incident in which General Castrillon, who had taken over Colonel Duque’s column during the attack, brought five survivors out into the open. Santa Anna reprimanded the general for not having killed them on the spot, and as he turned his back, his soldiers put the men to death. Dickinson said that two of the five prisoners ran to her room, where the pursuing Mexicans tortured and killed them with bayonets. In a later interview, she described three unarmed defenders she believed were artillerymen, being shot down in her presence.

Crockett probably died in the courtyard in front of the Alamo church. Susannah Dickinson saw his body in that area.

“I recognized Colonel Crockett lying dead and mutilated between the church and the two story barrack building, and even remember seeing his peculiar cap lying by his side,” she was quoted as saying. Enrique Esparza stated that Crockett “was everywhere during the siege and personally slew many of the enemy with his rifle, his pistol and his knife. He fought to his last breath. He fell immediately in front of the large double doors which he defended with the force that was by his side. . . . When he died there was a heap of slain in front and on each side of him. These he had killed before he finally fell on top of the heap.”

Eualia Yorba, a young woman protecting her children at the time of the battle, had taken refuge in the house of a San Antonio priest, where she witnessed the battle. When the firing and cries had died down at about 9 A.M., a Mexican colonel appeared at the house requesting the priest proceed to the Alamo to comfort Santa Anna’s wounded and dying. Yorba accompanied the priest, entering the scene of carnage, and providing aid for the maimed and moaning men. She remembered seeing Crockett, whom she knew from his time in San Antonio before the siege. She said, “He lay dead by the side of a dying man, whose bloody and powder-stained face I was washing. Colonel Crockett was about fifty years old at that time. His coat and rough woolen shirt were soaked with blood so that the original color was hidden, for the eccentric hero must have died of some ball in the chest or a bayonet thrust.”

According to Travis’s slave, Crockett and a few of the men who entered the Alamo with him were found lying together with twenty-one of the enemy dead around them. Santa Anna had become aware of Crockett’s presence as one of the leading figures of the garrison during the course of the siege. It is unlikely that the general would have known of the Tennessean as a congressman or of his prominence in the United States. Joe never mentioned it, but Susannah Dickinson later said that Santa Anna had Joe point out Crockett’s body along with that of Travis. In his victory report to the Mexican government, the generalissimo wrote, “Among the corpses are those of Bowie and Travis, who styled themselves Colonels, and also that of Crockett, and several leading men.”

Santa Anna had the bodies of the Texans removed to a stand of trees called the Alameda, a short distance to the southeast of the fort, where his soldiers and civilians from town stacked the bodies and piled wood on them. In the early evening the ghastly pyres were ignited, burning for two days and consuming the remains of the defenders of the Alamo.

…..Another chapter in Texas History
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby MartyB on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:04 pm

Rough day in Bexar 178 years ago today...
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Marty Brazil
Our past is not a dead past, but still lives. Our forefathers created the present by their sacrifice of the past. What they dreamed, we live…and…what they lived we dream.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:13 pm

Bluebonnet proclaimed state flower

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On this day in 1901, the Texas legislature proclaimed the bluebonnet the state flower. In the 1930s the state began a highway-beautification program that included scattering bluebonnet seed beside roadways, thus extending the flower's range. The flower-called in some Indian lore a gift from the Great Spirit-is the subject of countless photographs and paintings. It usually blooms in March and April.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

BLUEBONNET. On March 7, 1901, the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet, flower of the annual legume Lupinus subcarnosus, as the state flower. The flower's popular name derives from its resemblance to a sunbonnet. It has also been called buffalo clover, wolf flower, and, in Spanish, el conejo ("the rabbit"). On March 8, 1971, the legislation was amended to include L. texensis and "any other variety of bluebonnet not heretofore recorded." At least four other species of bluebonnet grow in Texas: L. havardii, L. concinnus, L. perennis, and L. plattensis. Contrary to various folk stories and legends claiming that the plant originated outside the state, L. texensis and L. subcarnosus are native to Texas. In 1933 the legislature adopted a state flower song, "Bluebonnets," written by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett. Also in the 1930s the Highway Department began a landscaping and beautification program and extended the flower's range. Due largely to that agency's efforts, bluebonnets now grow along most major highways throughout the state. The flower usually blooms in late March and early April and is found mostly in limestone outcroppings from north central Texas to Mexico. Its popularity is widespread. Although early explorers failed to mention the bluebonnet in their descriptions of Texas, Indian lore called the flower a gift from the Great Spirit. The bluebonnet continues to be a favorite subject for artists and photographers, and at the peak of bloom, festivals featuring the flower are held in several locations.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:40 pm

March 8 in Texas History…..

Birthday of the "Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution"

On this day in 1798, Mathew Caldwell was born in Kentucky. He settled in Dewitt County, Texas, in 1831. Caldwell earned the name "Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution" because he rode from Gonzales to Bastrop to call men to arms before the battle of Gonzales in October 1835. He was also called "Old Paint" because his whiskers were dappled. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Caldwell commanded a company in the defense of Goliad. He was captured during the Santa Fe expedition and imprisoned in Mexico. He died at his home in Gonzales in 1842 and is buried there. Caldwell County was named in his honor.

Another chapter in Texas History

MATHEW CALDWELL (1798–1842). Mathew Caldwell, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and soldier in the Texas army, was born in Kentucky on March 8, 1798. He moved to Missouri with his family in 1818 and settled in Texas in the DeWitt colonyqv in 1831. He has been called "the Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution" because he rode from Gonzales to Bastrop to call men to arms before the battle of Gonzales in October 1835; he was also called "Old Paint" because his whiskers were spotted. Caldwell served as one of the two delegates from Gonzales Municipality at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. On March 2, 1836, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the convention dispatched couriers with the news and sent Caldwell with one of the couriers to the Texas army in order to ascertain the condition of the force and the movements of the enemy on the frontier.

On January 15, 1839, President Mirabeau B. Lamar named Caldwell captain of a company of rangers to be raised for the defense of Goliad. On March 23, 1839, Caldwell became captain of a company in the First Regiment of Infantry. He was wounded at the Council House Fight in March 1840 but headed a company at the battle of Plum Creek on August 12. As captain of Company D of the scouting force on the Texan Santa Fe expedition in 1841, he was captured with the expedition and imprisoned in Mexico. Upon release he hastened to the relief of San Antonio and on September 18, 1842, commanded a force of 200 men who met and defeated Adrián Woll in the battle of Salado Creek.

Caldwell was noted as married in the list of DeWitt colony settlers in 1831, but his first wife's name is not known; he married Mrs. Hannah Morrison in Washington County on May 17, 1837, and had at least three children. He died at his home in Gonzales on December 28, 1842, and was buried with military honors. Caldwell County, established in 1848, was named in his honor. In 1930 the state of Texas erected a monument at his grave in the cemetery at Gonzales.

MATHEW CALDWELL

Fight for your Homes and Families and give the Hell---there was something very solom with great courage as well as Chivaraly mixed with a little of the comic in the appearance of the Col---above the common hight of men a little slim dark hair now mixed with white patches mor partulary in the Beard by which he got the Sobriquite of Old Paint....James Ramsay at the Battle of Salado.

Mathew (Old Paint) Caldwell was born in Kentucky about 1798 and is said to have acquired the nickname because of white spots in his hair, beard and on his breast like a paint horse. According to Kemp in The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Caldwell is thought, like the Burkett, Zumwalts, Kents and DeWitts, to have come from Missouri. Baker in Texas Scrapbook says he came from Tennessee. Other records indicate that Caldwell and his family were part of the party who came to the colony as part of the Tennessee-Texas Land Company. Land records indicate that Caldwell arrived in the DeWitt Colony with a family of 5 on 20 Feb 1831. He received title to a sitio of land on 22 Jun 1831 southwest of current Hallettsville in Lavaca County near the Zumwalt Settlement. In Gonzales Caldwell acquired the original James Hinds residence on Water St. across from the Guadalupe River south of the Dickinson and Kimble Hat Factory. Dixon in The Men Who Made Texas states that Caldwell was born 8 Mar 1798, moved with his parents to Missouri in 1818, became a skilled Indian fighter in Missouri and was involved in trading with local Indians in the territory. Dixon further states he came to Texas from Missouri via Natchitoches by horseback in 1833 and first settled in current Sabine County where he was elected along with Stephen Blount and Martin Parmer to represent the area at the Independence Convention of 1836. Election returns in Gonzales County show Caldwell and John Fisher were elected delegates from that municipality for the convention. On 2 Mar, Caldwell along with William C. Crawford and William D. Lacy were appointed by the President to procure couriers to send expresses to the army "Believing it of vital importance that this convention know correctly the true situation of our enemy on the frontier, and also the condition of our army, they would recommend the convention to accept the services of Major Caldwell, who purposes to start this day to the frontier."

In Nov 1835, he was appointed a subcontractor by William Pettus, main contractor appointed by the Provisional Government of Texas, to supply a Volunteer Army. On 1 Feb 1836, he and John Fisher were elected delegates from the Gonzales Municipality to the Texas Independence Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the Brazos and both were signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Caldwell was one on the committee of three appointed to assess the situation of the enemy on the frontier and the condition of the Texian army. Capt. Caldwell's reports and letters give insight into his activities:

Report to Provisional Governor Henry Smith
Gonzales 19th Dec. 1835 His Excellency Govr Smith San Felipe De Austin Sir I have now the honor to give you a report of my proceedings in the discharge of my public duty as Sub-Contractor to the Volunteer Army of Texas which I hope will receive your approbation. I am on the point of sending out a company in pursuit of the Indians, who committed last night depredations on this neighborhood, and they have also been seen between this and Cibolo Four wagons will leave this day for the Army at Bexar with supplies, consisting of Coffee, Sugar, Soap, Salt, Corn Meal and blankets, forty beeves will also leave at the same time, with about 5 Cwt of iron, and I intend contracting with Capt Bateman for 10,000 lbs Pork, all which I trust will be of seasonable relief Considering that two pieces of Artillery are requisite for the protection of this frontier, I shall request the Commander at Bexar to furnish me with them, say one 6 and one 4 pounder. The funds placed at my disposal, are nearly exhausted, as per account annexed and I have respectfully to suggest a further supply in order to meet immediate and pressing wants. Five Kegs powder and some lead remain on hand to be forwarded when required, Permit me to recommend to your Excellency my Assistant Mr Edward Gritton, whose services have been useful, and who lately performed an important one, in conveying supplies of powder and lead to the army before Bexar I have the honor to remain with great respect Yr Ob Svt. Mathew Caldwell Sub Contractor Since my last of the Ist Instant I have given the following order on the Provisional Government of Texas, viz: Decr 18th 1835. To Horace Eggleston for $212,50, No. 512---To Jno Lowell for $15---To Horace Eggleston for $46,50. Mathew Caldwell Sub Contractor

Attack by Joseph P. Lawler
Gonzales Dec 22 1835 To The provisional Council

Honoured Gentlemen On Saturday evening last I was rudely assailed by an assassin in this place and unfortunately receiv'd several wounds one of which has caused much apprehensions and fear for my safety. This is to request that public advertisement may be made and that a reward of one hundred dollars be offered (which I hereby authorize) for his apprehension. Cats. Clemons & Barrett are particularly requested to attend to the above as a peculiar favor and act of friendship, which will be greatfully acknowledged. The perpetrator of the act was Jos P Laller Doct Jos E Field happoned to be passing through this place on his way to San Philip but was, by me, and my friends prevailed upon to remain with me but I hope this delay will not prevent his obtaining the appointment of surgeon in the regular army which I am told he wishes to obtain Mathew Caldwell

9 Jan 1836 Appeal for funds
To the President and Perminent deputation of Texas in Convention Convened
I now must inform you something of the present situation of this country. I have endeavored to Give assistance to the army every way in iny power that is now in Bexar, Yesterday I have in Order to comply with the comdt of that place sent fifty Bushels of corn meal, and some beef cattle are now collecting for that place, therefore I must now inform you, that articles necessary to furnish that army are Scarce here as the Volunteers ever since the war has been Furnished with verry much from this place and there is now no more than is immediately needed for the families in this Munity and there is no funds here in my hands which has not been applied to public use, therefore I must say it is Out of my power to comply in contracting for the army any longer without funds being placed in my hands, to disbirs as the people here cannot longer render their services individually nor their property or teams without pay, as they are for the preservation of their families bound to use their Money to their own individual purpose. I have seen your Resolves regulating and providing for Rangers on tlie frontier, I only say to You, that in regard to the appointing thec officers to command the rangers in this division the people will not organize under that regulation but if your Honourable body will See fit to permit us to Elect our own officers to command the company, up to a Captain in that Event I think a company may be made, which we much need, I am at this time much recovering from my wounds & afflictions, that I informed you of in my last communication, having nothing more of importance to inform you of at present, but remain Your Humble Sevt. &c Gonzales Jany the 9th 1835 [1836] Mathew Caldwell

On January 14, the council voted that it could not take action on this request stating "Mr. Caldwell is not known to this house as a contractor, and if he has been appointed subcontractor, it is his duty to settle with the individual who appointed him." On 4 Feb 1836, a letter signed by D.C. Barrett, J.D. Clements, Alexander Thompson and G.A. Patillo agreed with Capt. Caldwell's latter suggestion concluding the organization of the Ranger Corp was not working and proposed solutions to acting governor Robinson. Caldwell, Byrd Lockhart and William A. Mathews were appointed commissioners on the issue for Gonzales.

Authorization of funds. In a letter of 20 Jan 1836, acting provisional governor James W. Robinson in San Felipe authorized Caldwell to draw money from alcalde Andrew Ponton for supplies purchased by the government. A letter from Robinson to Ponton of 21 Jan stating that Gen. Burleson has been given $300 from government funds to deliver to Ponton.

Receipt for supplies
The Provisional Government of Texas To Mathew Caldwell.
1835 October 1st For 75 measured bushels of Corn, furnished to the Army when at Gonzales at 75.00
Decr. 1st For 5 do. do. furnished to Capt. Read's company from the Neches 5.00
Deer. 16. For 3 hogs and I beef steer, killed to supply soldiers coming from the Army with meat at $8 each 32.00
$112.00
Gonzales 23d January 1836 Mathew Caldwell

Receipt to Simon Bateman
Provisional Government of Texas To Simeon Bateman
Jany 10 To 175 bushels Corn at 1$ 175.00
Hawling and sucking 5 loads to Gonzales at 10 cents 50.00
Jany 15 To Hawling 50 bushels Corn to San Antonio 2500 lbs at 2$ 50.00
Jany 19 To Hawling 2 Cannon from San Antonio to Gonzales 1000 lbs at 1.75 17.50
Jany 19 To Hire of Negroes Hearding Cattle 2 mo. 2lds, at 20$ per mo. 53.35
$345.85
Gonzales Feb 7, 1836 At Sight please pay Mr. Simeon Bateman or order Three Hundred and forty five 85/100 dollars for value received. Mathew Caldwell Sub Contractor

On 2 Mar 1836, Capt. Caldwell signed the Texas Declaration of Independence at the General Independence Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. On 17 Mar, he signed the Constitution of the Republic of Texas at the same convention.

Robinson to Mirabeau Lamar 1839
Gonzales Feb 24. 1839 To His Excellency Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic of Texas
Dr Sir Capt. Mathew Caldwell of this place accepts the appointment you were pleased to extend to as Captain for the term of 3 months to range on the frontiers of Gonzales county, & will proceed to raise the company as soon as possible. He also wishes me to inform you that he accepts the appointment of Capt. in the Regular Regt. commanded by Col. Burlison, as you were pleased to request me to inform him, and the assignment of the post on the San Marks River- But he is informed through Col. Wells that all the officers of Burleson's Regt has been appointed, and no place left for him, nor has he been appointed. If so your Excellency must have forgotten the promise made to me for Capt. C. & also to Col. Burleson & to Switzer, & I hope he can yet be provided for, as I do think him the best Capt. of Spies in Texas, even superior in many respects to the old veteran Deaf Smith. He caught a mustang stallion the other day, & held him until his fellow hunter shot an other, & skinned a larriette to tie him, & they have him here now, an exploit not surpassed by Gen. Putman's wolf story. Your friend truly James W. Robinson [Addressed] [Endorsed] To His Excellency J. W. Robinson Mirabeau B. Lamar Gonzales-City of Houston Feb. 24, 1839. Texas

In 1839, he was appointed by President Mirabeau B. Lamar to raise a company of rangers to defend Goliad in response to increased attempts of the Mexican Army to take back Texas. On 23 March 23 1839, he became Captain of a company in the 1st Regiment of Infantry of the army of the Texas Republic. Capt. Caldwell was known as an exceptional and skillful Indian fighter. He was wounded at the Council House Fight in March 1840 and a key commander in the defeat of the Comanche force at Plum Creek on 12 Aug under Gen. Huston and Burleson. Caldwell was captured and spent time in prison in Mexico leading Company D of the scouting force in the Santa Fe Expedition in 1841 under Gen. McLeod. Soon after his release he participated in the Battle of the Salado in San Antonio 18 Sep 1842 when Gen. Adrian Woll’s forces. Caldwells personality and style was also described by the author's uncle Nathan Boone Burkett in his memoirs Early Days in Texas, who served under him at Salado:

"In getting ready for the battle on the Salado, Captain Caldwell prepared us by saying that the test had come. He rolled up his sleeves and stopped in front of the men with a red handkerchief tied around his head, and made us a speech something like this: Boys, I have longed to see the day when I would have a chance to fight these rascals, ever since I spent some time in a Mexican prison, Now boys, the time has come, and I do not want you to shoot until you can see the whites of their eyes. If every one of you will pick your men and make a sure shot, we will whip h--- out of them before they know it.'"

His spirit and personality is further exhibited in his official report of the engagement:

"September 17, 1842, 7 PM, at the Salado, two miles above the old crossing. We commenced fighting at eleven o'clock to-day. A hot fire was kept up until about one hour by the sun, when the enemy retreated, bearing off their dead on the ground, and very many dead and wounded were taken from the field by their friends. We have a glorious band of Texas patriots, among whom only ten were wounded, and not one killed. The enemy are around me on every side, but I fear them not. I will hold my position until I hear from reenforcements. Come and help me--it is the most favorable opportunity I have ever seen. There are eleven hundred of the enemy. I can whip them on any ground, without any help, but can not take any prisoners. Why don't you come? Huzza! huzza for Texas! MATTHEW CALDWELL, Colonel Commanding."

Robert Hall in his memoirs related his view of Capt. Caldwell:

"President Lamar concluded that he wanted to open up some sort of communication and trade with Santa Fe, and he sent Capt. Paint Caldwell with about one hundred men to that far away city. This was very a very strange piece of diplomacy. Caldwell was one of the most remarkable men that ever lived. He had a heart of gold, and the word fear conveyed no meaning to his soul. In open violation of every principle of international comity and courtesy, the whole force was made to surrender as prisoners of war in the city of Santa Fe. They were never treated as prisoners of war. Most of the men were loaded with chains and thrown into dungeons. After some time they were started on the long march to the City of Mexico on foot. In a few days the burning sun and the scorching sand began to crush the poor worn out prisoners. One who understood the Spanish language heard an officer say to the guards, "If the Americano diablos drop in the road, cut their throats as you would a dog, and bring me their ears that I may account for my prisoners." This act of butchery and inhumanity was performed several times. One day Capt. Caldwell himself fell in the road on the hot sand. A Mexican officer more humane than the others had become attached to the brave old veteran, and he bent over the prostrate and as he thought dying soldier and whispered: "If you desire I will cut your ears off and report you dead. Possibly you may hobble to some ranch and survive." The old captain could not bear the idea of losing his cars, and he struggled to his feet and rejoined his miserable comrades. I think he was gone about eighteen months. The Mexican government released these prisoners, but mad ethem swear that they would never again bear arms against Mexico. Capt. Caldwell got home just in time to participate in the battle of Salado. He regarded the oath that he had taken under duress as nothing, but always said that he never intended to surrender again to any Mexican soldiers."

George W. Kendall related the following story illustrating Capt. Caldwell's storytelling and character while they were on the forced march just out of San Miguel in New Mexico to Mexico after capture on the Sante Fé Expedition:

I cannot leave our encampment among the cottonwoods near the Casa Colorada without relating an amusing story told that evening by "Old Paint" Caldwell. The time appeared ill-assorted with merriment and laughter, yet laugh we did, and heartily too, at the recital of the old captain's anecdote. Among the passengers in the cart with poor McAllister were the narrator and a man who went by the soubriquet of "Stump"; there may have been others, but if there were I have now forgotten their names. In the morning, before starting, Stump had declared that he could not walk a mile-to save his life, even-and so positive was he upon this point, that a place was provided for him in the cart. When this vehicle met with the accident, of course Stump was thrown upon his feet with the rest. While the few words were passing between McAllister and Salezar, and previous to the inhuman murder of the former [McAllister, who was unable to stay on his feet, was shot on the spot by Salezar after an invitation by McAllister to go ahead and kill him--WLM], Stump was hobbling about, apparently unable to walk at all: his feet were sore, his knees were stiff, and not a bone was there in his body that did not pain him at every movement-he was curled up, the picture of despair; but no sooner did he see his comrade fall, and feel the certainty that he, too, would meet with a similar fate unless he put his powers of locomotion in immediate action, than, to use the old captain's own words, Stump straightened up and started at a pace that would have staggered Captain Barclay, Ellworth, or the greatest pedestrian mentioned in the annals of "tall walking." Stump went by, first one, then another of his companions, and never abated his stride until he was in the lead of the whole party of prisoners: a position he pertinaciously kept through the remainder of the day, and, in fact, during the march. In the morning he could not walk a mile; he afterward did walk something like eighteen hundred, and without flagging. This story of the old captain's through, we cast our weary limbs upon the earth, and as the grove of trees in which we were encamped materially deadened the force of the wind, we were enabled to pass a more comfortable night than any since we left San Miguel.

According to Miles S. Bennet relating Caldwell's expertise as an Indian fighter:

"His perceptions were so acute that while hunting with him his companions often declared they believed that "Old Paint" could smell Indians when in their vicinity; yet withal he was courteous and genial in his demeanor, and especially considerate to the young."

Capt. Caldwell died at his home in Gonzales on 28 Dec 1842 at the age of 43, just three months after his victory as commander at Salado. The controversy and criticism surrounding the decision of the Texian force not to attack, pursue and capture the retreating Mexican force under Gen. Woll at the Hondo River is thought by most historians to have weighed heavily on the Captain in addition to the collective toll of illnesses suffered during and after his imprisonment as a consequence of the Santa Fe Expedition. Although Caldwell accepted responsibility for breaking off the pursuit, it is clear that he was not in full command of the force which suffered from bickering among multiple officers for leadership. Collective factors including the lack of cohesive leadership, poor supplies, fatigue and the distance from home near Mexican territory are thought to influenced Capt. Caldwell's to consent to break off the action and eventually return north to home.

In his official report in which he apparently assumed fault for not pursuing and attacking Woll's army, Capt. Caldwell pointed out that he at no time was able to determine the Mexican troops front and

....owing to the boggy situation of the ground and tired horses, I failed to support him [Capt. John C. Hays in capture of a cannon, an action for which Caldwell had approved]. I then found General Woll with his command formed in the prairie, ready for action, and owing to the situation he had taken, I considered that I was not able to attack him, without suffering severe loss---nor was I able at any time, to force him to fight, only on his own ground, and owing to the situation of tired horses, tired men, and scarcity of ammunition, I deemed it prudent to fall back to San Antonio. I also had the best reasons to believe that General Woll had re-enforcements near at hand to cover his retreat.

John Holland Jenkins wrote in his reminiscences of Texas history: ".....There seemed to be a strange want of discipline or system or harmony among the officers....who could not agree as to the proper line of policy, and stood discussing and debating questions, while the soldiers were all the time growing more perplexed and impatient." Others related that although Col. John H. Moore had consented earlier to Caldwell's leadership, he insisted the right to command at the moment. Col. James S. Mayfield's men indicated they would fight behind no one but him. Col. Caldwell indicated that he would follow Moore or any other leader into the battle.

Jenkins described Caldwell's response to an apparent unilateral action on the part of Capt. Billingsley's company:

Captain Billingsley understanding the situation, and knowing the value of prompt action, called out to the soldiers--"Boys do you want to fight?" A loud "Yes" was the instant reply. Then "Follow Me!" he called, and marched on, leading a considerable force. We were already approaching very near the Mexican infantry drawn up in line of battle, and in two minutes the charge would have been made and the fight commenced. But at this juncture superior authority interfered. Col. Caldwell galloping up, called out to Billingsley, asking, "Where are you going?" "To Fight!" was the answer. "Counter march those men back to ranks," Caldwell commanded, and we were forced to take our places back in the standing army, all worried and disgusted with what seemed to us then a cowardly hesitation and still seems a disgraceful confused proceeding without motive or design.

A Dawson prisoner in the Woll camp agreed that ".....four hundred men [Texians] would have fallen a sacrifice to rashness.....I then as now thought that the Texans acted very prudently. Sacrifices made were already sufficient; and I must here bear testimony to the officer-like conduct of the brave Caldwell and his men. We were near them on the Salado, but they were not strong enough to venture out to our aid. They have my thanks for their good conduct." Although the latter statement refers to Dawson's troop at the Salado, the former comment is thought to refer to Caldwell's actions on the Hondo.

Eyewitness reports of participants on the scene vary in their assessment of Capt. Caldwell's actual position in whether to continue the attack on Woll's forces or break off and return home. Uncle Nate Burkett says:

Mayfield and Captain Caldwell made speeches that morning, but Caldwell told us he was not in favor of following this Mexican army any further. He stated his desire had been accomplished at the Salado, he said he knew we could whip them, but we could not do it without losing a good many of our men, and added: "I would not give ten of my men for the entire Mexican army." Mayfield attempted to make a speech in opposition to Caldwell, then they both stepped out in front and called for volunteers to decide the question. Captain Caldwell got at least two-thirds or three-fourths of the men, so we decided to return to our home.

The Rev. Z.N. Morrell, whose son survived the Dawson Massacre and was among the prisoners in Gen. Woll's army, and who had made great effort to encourage engagement in hope of release of the prisoners, placed full blame on Mayfield against whom he held a grudge throughout his life. He mentions that Ben McCulloch influenced the decision to not attack late on the first day in support of Hay's spy company going after one of Woll's cannons. Morrell relates:

The men were called up early in the morning, knowing that a council of war had been held, and that Caldwell was advised to lead his command in pursuit of the enemy. Feeling anxious to overtake the enemy early in the day, lest the coming night might interfere with the capture, as on the evening before, I did all I could to assist both Hays and Caldwell to get the men ready......In spite of all that Colonel Caldwell, Captain Hays, and others could do, the contest was abandoned. It required at this time the combined strength of our little army to compete with the enemy, and as Mayfield had succeeded in intimidating quite a number of the command, it became necessary to give up the pursuit.

Morrell was a close associate of Caldwell at home in Gonzales. Morrell relates the following story concerning Capt. Caldwell's support of his early ministry in Gonzales in the fall of 1837 in Flowers and Fruits in the Wilderness:

These preachers [Robert Alexander, Dr. Smith, Roark and Andrew McGowan] were now present, intending to hold a protracted meeting [in Gonzales]. This was the first meeting of days ever held in the town, and it was rather more than the fiends and mockers could willingly submit to. The house in, which they proposed to hold the meeting was a vacated billiard-room on Main Street, with a long gallery in front. On the second night of the meeting there was a general attendance of the citizens, loafers and gambler's of the place. We soon discovered that the disturbers of our peace on former occasions were present, with the intention of interfering with the worship of the congregation, without the fear of God or man before their eyes. A man was stationed on the side of the house, just behind where the preacher stood, with a hen in his arms. While the preacher was lining out his hymn he would hold the chicken by the neck. When the congregation would sing he would make it squall. A large copper-colored negro man was stationed on the gallery in front, with some twenty or more of these lewd fellows around him, partly intoxicated. When the congregation sang and the hen squalled, the negro, acting under orders, would put his head in at the window and shout at the top of his voice, "Glory to God." The response from outside was given, "Amen and amen!" I was sitting near by the window from whence the disturbance came; iny wife and daughter were near by me. I arose and stood by the window with the walking-cane in my hand that I bad brought from Tennessee, made of hickory, with a buck-horn head. My bosom heaved with holy indignation, and as the negro put his head into the window the second time, as the congregation sang and the hen squalled, I struck him just above the left eye, making a scar that he carried to his grave. This band had always treated me with courtesy, yet it was clear to my mind that they intended to drive these preachers from the town, and I felt confident my time would come next. After the stroke with my cane, they were peremptorily ordered away, with the statement that there were more dangerous weapons than the stick behind. It had been customary with us, since the Indians killed two of our men during religious service at Nashville the year before, to take our weapons with us to church, as well as to other places. Some usually stood guard while others worshipped. There was no farther disturbance of consequence until the services were over. The sermon was preached by Mr. Roark; Mr. Alexander closed.

Before the congregation was dismissed, I claimed the right to make a short but plain speech. In this speech I stated that I had often tendered my thanks to the people of the town for their politeness and good behavior in the house of God, regretted that the thanks tendered on other occasions were not due on this. Before me are sons from the battlefield of San Jacinto, coming from the various parts of the United States. For what did you traverse the prairies of the west, under the command of the gallant Houston? And for what did you charge the enemy's cannon and burn the bridges behind him, unless it was for civil and religious liberty? Santa Anna has been captured, and priestcraft driven from the land; and yet, in less than two years, you have commenced to pull down what you have built up by so much toil and sacrifice. We are determined, as ministers of the gospel, that we will not be run out of Texas, nor out of this town. For one I can say, let Texas rise or fall, live or die, her fate shall be mine; and I believe God will yet overrule all this to his glory. I have looked for something in the Scriptures to justify my hasty conduct on this occasion. The Saviour, driving the thieves from the temple, is the nearest I can find. In this case the house of God was made the house of mockery. After the congregation was dismissed, fears were entertained by my friends for my personal safety. The band of mockers hung round the door to the last. Col. Matthew Caldwell, who, at the head of his command, distinguished himself on so many hard-fought battle-grounds against both Mexicans and Indians, was present with his family on this occasion. He stopped at the door before passing out, and addressed the miserable crew. "Gentlemen, I have a wife and daughters here, as well as Mr. Morrell, and this state of things shall be broken up. If there is any fighting to be done, you can put me down on the side of civilization and religious liberty." No violence was attempted upon any of us; but, quite a crowd of these men followed close upon the heels of the preachers, as they retired, and barked at them like dogs.

A feeling of righteous indignation was felt in the bosom of every worthy citizen of the place, and the community was called together the next morning, at the instance of Col. Caldwell. At this meeting, and in the presence of these ministers, that had labored for us the previous evening, resolutions were offered and passed, condemning in severe terms the manifestations and interruptions of this wicked crew on former occasions, and strongly in favor of morality and social order. I have lived in Texas thirty-four years since then, and have witnessed no more such demonstrations.

Author Joseph Milton Nance in Attack and Counter-Attack referring to a report in the Telegraph and Texas Register, 1842 says "many were loud in their complaints of Caldwell and openly reproached him. Their reproaches so annoyed him that 'he went off by himself as a private soldier,' during their retreat to San Antonio, and on the bank of the Medina he was seen sitting alone by a little camp fire that he had built with his own hands, roasting a piece of meat on the end of a stick, the only food that he could obtain!" Nance points out that the blame for the failure to continue the pursuit and engage the Mexicans in a general fight was cast principally upon Caldwell by those military leaders whose ambitions made them jealous of the "hero of the Salado." "'Old Paint' ought to have been left untrammeled as he had fought and won the battle of the Soldau [Salado]," recorded Harvey Adams in his diary, for he "would have captured Woll's entire army and rescued all the prisoners, if left to his own choice, but that would have added too many Laurels to the brow of the old hero." Although Houston had lauded Caldwell for the action at Salado approving of the pursuit of Woll and even crossing the border if necessary, when he learned that the enemy had been allowed to withdraw without a serious attempt being made to annihilate his army, Houston stated "A little Cast Steel or steel without the soap, well applied would have prevented the Mexicans ever leaving Texas---but so the world wags!!" "What a pity they did not reconnoiter the force at San Antonio--ere they hallowed wolf. This won't make a Major General...."

Capt. Caldwell married Mrs. H. Morrison in Washington County on 17 May 1837 with Rev. W.P. Smith officiating. After her death he married Mrs. Lily Lawley. He was the father of three or more children, Martha (m. Isham D. Davis), Ann (m. Johnson Baker Ellison) and Curtis who died young. . Caldwell County, Texas is believed to have been named in honor of Mathew Caldwell. At his military funeral in 1842, D.C. Vanderlip delivered the following oration:

...when the events of the present day become matters of history--when the present generation are in their graves and other men occupy our placed, posterity will read, with wonder and admiration, that the gallant Caldwell with a handful of undiscipled volunteers, fearlessly took a position in immediate neighborhood of a disciplined army of the enemy of more than six times his own number, checked their progress and encountered their attacks, and compelled them to return from the field and the country, and then saved, the destruction of our capitol.

In 1930, the State of Texas erected a monument at his grave in Gonzales cemetery.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:15 pm

March 9 in Texas History…..

Spanish expedition enters Texas

On this day in 1707, the Ramón expedition, with thirty-one soldiers and citizens, 150 horses, and twenty pack mules, left Mission San Juan Bautista for a trek north of the Rio Grande. Diego Ramón was sent on this excursion by Coahuila governor Alarcón to punish raiding Indians, to gather neophytes for the smallpox-ravaged Rio Grande missions, and to explore the region. After a successful expedition that reached up to the site of present-day Webb and Dimmit counties, Ramón and his men arrived back at San Juan Bautista on April 3, 1708.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

RAMÓN EXPEDITION. On February 25, 1707, Coahuila governor Martín de Alarcón ordered Diego Ramón, commandant of the San Juan Bautista Presidio, to undertake an expedition north of the Rio Grande. The effort was to serve several ends: to punish hostile natives who had been raiding the Coahuila and Nuevo León settlements; to obtain a new crop of neophytes for the smallpox-ravaged Rio Grande missions; and to explore the country. Less than a month previously, Alarcón had proposed removal of San Bernardo Mission from its site adjacent to San Juan Bautista Mission to the Frio River in the area of present-day Texas. With authority to proceed as far as the "San Marcos" River-identified as the present-day Colorado River-Ramón marched from San Juan Bautista on March 9, 1707, with thirty-one soldiers and citizens, 150 horses, and twenty pack mules. Fray Isidro Félix de Espinosa went along as chaplain. After crossing the Rio Grande at a ford called Paso de Diego Ramón, the expedition traveled toward the Nueces River, recruiting Indians of various Coahuiltecan bands who professed an interest in becoming Christians. Encamped at the mouth of San Roque Creek in the area of eastern Dimmit County, Ramón received news of the enemy Indians he sought, and native scouts were dispatched to learn their exact location. On March 22 he took part of his force and moved four leagues downstream, to a point southeast of present-day Cotulla. Four days later, having received the scout reports and advanced on the enemy in stormy, overcast weather, Ramón's force of forty-four Spaniards and Indian allies attacked an Indian encampment, killing five men and taking twenty-five prisoners, mostly women and children. From the captives the Spaniards learned of a large enemy encampment (ranchería grande) nearby. Advancing a league, probably into the area of northwestern Webb County, they were met by twenty-six warriors drawn up for battle, each armed with bow, a shield, and two quivers of arrows. In the ensuing skirmish the Spaniards killed five and wounded several others, then advanced on the encampment, which consisted of fifteen huts made of the hides of stolen Spanish horses.

Ramón released an old Indian man to carry gifts and a message to his people: the soldiers, as emissaries of the king, had come to bring peace among the Indians and to save their souls; if they would gather in pueblo and mission, they would enjoy many conveniences, both spiritual and temporal, and would be favored by the king. The troop began its withdrawal on March 31, still gathering in small bands of Coahuiltecans willing to enter the missions. It reached San Juan Bautista on April 3. Firing a volley to announced its triumphant return, it marched in formation around the plaza de armas, deposited the new mission subjects at San Juan Bautista Mission, and put the prisoners under guard at the presidio. Ultimately, the captives, too, were turned over to the missionaries to receive instruction in the Christian faith and to be baptized. If they remained in the mission, they were told, they would be clothed and fed and accorded good treatment: "otherwise, they would be punished with all rigor of justice."
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:18 am

March 10 in Texas History…..

Explorer promises each Texan a silver mine

On this day in 1756, Bernardo de Miranda y Flores, lieutenant governor of Texas, returned to San Antonio after his expedition to Los Almagres Mine in present-day Llano County. He announced the discovery of “a tremendous stratum of ore,” and he proclaimed the promise of “a mine to each of the inhabitants of the province of Texas.” Even though the samples he collected were too small for accurate analysis, his bold guarantee sparked dreams of a rich silver mine for decades. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, presidio captain at San Sabá, soon obtained more samples in an attempt to convince authorities that he should move his garrison to Los Almagres Mine. Those plans died with the destruction of the Apache mission and presidio in 1758, but in the confusion, later prospectors erroneously deemed the mine to be near the San Saba River. By the 1830s Stephen F. Austin depicted the legendary “lost” silver mine on maps, and James Bowie was among the fortune hunters who tried to find the mother lode. Finally in the early 1900s, after examining Miranda’s journal, historian Herbert E. Bolton found the site near Honey Creek in Llano County. Even though geologists classified the mine as unproductive, romantic tales of Hill Country riches continued to abound.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

BERNARDO DE MIRANDA Y FLORES (?–?). Bernardo de Miranda y Flores was lieutenant governor of Texas on November 15, 1755, when he was commissioned by Governor Jacinto de Barrios y Jáuregui to explore the Llano and Colorado regions in search of two rich mineral deposits, the Cerro del Almagre and the Almagre Grande. On February 17, 1756, after delay due to jealousies and rivalries, Miranda set out from San Antonio with twelve soldiers, an Indian interpreter, and five others. On March 4, 1756, after exploring up Honey Creek to the Llano River and down the Llano to the Colorado, he started back for San Antonio. On March 29, 1756, he sent glowing accounts to Barrios of his discovery of a "silver mountain" and requested that an assay be made of the ore. On November 23, 1757, the viceroy granted his request and made him captain of a presidio to be established in the region. But the plan was abandoned before it materialized. Miranda was a surveyor and a careful observer; his report was widely used both for its geographic information and for the data on Indian tribes.

LOS ALMAGRES MINE. An expedition seeking a site for an Apache mission in 1753 led to the discovery of Los Almagres Mine in what is now Llano County. Traversing the Central Mineral Region, Lt. Juan Galván heard from Indians of a cerro de almagre, a hill of red ocher, indicating the presence of mineral-bearing ores. Upon Galván's return to San Antonio, several men from that settlement were guided to the hill by Apache Indians in August 1753. No valuable ore was found, but interest in the hill containing gossan refused to die. Governor Jacinto de Barrios y Jáuregui, fearful that the use of Apache guides by unauthorized prospectors would arouse the Comanches, decided to send an official expedition. To lead it, he chose Bernardo de Miranda y Flores, who left San Antonio with twenty-three soldiers and citizens on February 17, 1756.

After locating the cerro de almagre (now known as the Riley Mountains, a quarter league from Honey Creek), Miranda's men opened a shaft and found "a tremendous stratum of ore." They named the mine San José del Alcazar. So abundant were the ore veins, Miranda reported, that he guaranteed "a mine to each of the inhabitants of the province of Texas." Following Miranda's return to San Antonio on March 10, Barrios sent a three-pound ore sample to the viceroy in Mexico City for assay, but the sample was deemed too small for accurate analysis. The assayer suggested that thirty mule-loads of the material be sent to Mazapil for further testing. Miranda sought a subsidy for extracting the thirty cargas of ore and a presidio at the site, with himself as captain, to protect the workers. His bid was not successful.

In the meantime, the Apache mission and a presidio were established on the San Saba River near the site of present-day Menard. The presidio captain, Diego Ortiz Parrilla, seeking permission to move his garrison to Los Almagres to work the mine, obtained ore samples and smelted them at his post. He calculated a yield of 1½ ounces of silver from seventy-five pounds of ore. After destruction of the San Sabá Mission by hostile Indians in March 1758, Ortiz Parrilla was reassigned. The mine was never officially opened. Parrilla's interest, combined with Miranda's report, gave birth to an enduring legend. The slag heap the Spaniards left on the bank of the San Saba River when the presidio was abandoned a decade later fired the imagination of later treasure seekers, who supposed the mine to be in that area.

Interest in the mines continued to surface from time to time throughout the colonial period. Fray Diego Jiménez and Capt. Felipe de Rábago y Terán, Ortiz Parrilla's successor at San Sabá, proposed reestablishing the San Sabá Mission on the Llano River, so that the mineral veins might be worked. The Barón de Ripperdáqv, as governor, sent an expedition to examine the mines in 1778; ore samples were extracted and sent to the commandant-general of the Provincias Internas, Teodoro de Croix. In 1788–79 a French sojourner, Alexandre Dupont, extracted ore samples from the site and took them to Mexico for assay. He never returned. On the heels of his last visit, six prospectors from San Antonio were attacked at Los Almagres by Apaches. All but one were slain. Indian hostilities thereafter put a damper on such activity.

Stephen F. Austin, on his first trip to Texas, heard from Erasmo Seguínqv that there was a rich silver mine on the San Saba River and a gold mine on the Llano. Hearing again in Mexico City of the unworked ore deposit called Los Almagres "in the territory of Sansava," he sent soldiers to inspect it. They probably went to the wrong place. In 1829 the mythical "lost" silver mine of San Sabá began appearing on Austin's maps. A year later, Henry S. Tanner borrowed Austin's designation for his own famous Texas map. Its wide distribution resulted in "a rash of maps showing silver mines near the old Spanish fort." Austin, doubtless realizing the value of the legend in attracting immigrants, repeated it in an 1831 promotional pamphlet. For years afterward it was mentioned in nearly every book about Texas.

James and Rezin Bowie, on their sallies into the Hill Country, reinforced the legend. Los Almagres was transformed into the "lost San Saba mine," then the "lost Bowie mine." After 1895 some prankster (presumably) appended the word mine to the Bowie name on the presidio's stone gatepost at Menard. Today, the legend is the focus of an annual Menard festival called Jim Bowie Days, which, like Austin's pamphlet, has a promotional intent. The fact is that the Los Almagres mine that inspired the legend was at another location more than seventy miles away.

In 1842 two Anglo-Texans found the old Spanish diggings on the cerro de almagre but associated them with neither the nearby Arroyo de los Almagres (Honey Creek) nor the legendary San Sabá mine. After the name Almagres was brought forth in a translation of Antonio Bonilla's summary of Texas history in 1904, Herbert E. Bolton obtained a copy of Miranda's journal from a Mexican archive. Miranda's route description led Bolton, accompanied by J. Farley of Dallas, to what had become known as the Boyd shaft on Honey Creek. Farley formed the Los Almagres Mining Company. In 1909 members of the United States Geological Survey visited the site, which they entered on a geologic map of Llano County. They described the mine as being unproductive. Bolton's claim of having found the lost San Sabá mine has not deterred the romantics. Among those who prefer an imaginative tale to historical fact, the search for the mythical lode goes on-in a region of non-mineral-bearing limestone. Fortunes and lives have been wasted in chasing the chimera. Ortiz Parrilla's slag heap left by the old presidio, coupled with Bolton's discovery, emphasizes the futility of their quest.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:52 pm

March 11 in Texas History…..

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Pappy O'Daniel born in Ohio

On this day in 1890, future Texas governor and U.S. senator W. Lee (Pappy) O'Daniel was born in Malta, Ohio. He came to Texas in 1925 as sales manager of the Burrus Mill and Elevator Company in Fort Worth, manufacturer of Light Crust Flour. He took over the company's radio advertising in 1928 and hired and named the Light Crust Doughboys, the influential western swing band that featured Bob Wills and Milton Brown. O'Daniel organized his own flour company in 1935 and filed for governor in 1938. Accompanied by his band, the Hillbilly Boys, he attracted huge audiences, especially in rural areas. He won the 1938 election and was reelected in 1940. In a special U.S. Senate election in 1941, he edged Lyndon Johnson in a flurry of controversial late returns. In a desperate reelection fight the next year, O'Daniel charged that the professional politicians, the politically controlled newspapers, and the "communistic labor leader racketeers" were conspiring against him, but he hung on to enough rural and elderly voters to eke out a win. O'Daniel was ineffective in the Senate, however, and by 1948, with public opinion polls giving him only 7 percent support, he announced that he would not run again since there was only slight hope of saving America from the communists. He bought a ranch near Fort Worth, invested in Dallas real estate, and founded an insurance company. He attempted comebacks in the Democratic gubernatorial primaries of 1956 and 1958, but failed to make the runoff on both occasions. O'Daniel died in Dallas in 1969.

WILBERT LEE [PAPPY] O'DANIEL (1890–1969). Wilbert Lee (Pappy) O'Daniel, governor of Texas, United States senator, and music factor, known as Pappy O'Daniel, was born in Malta, Ohio, on March 11, 1890. He was one of two children of William Barnes and Alice Ann (Thompson) O'Daniel. His father, a Union veteran, was killed in an accident soon after Wilbert's birth. Before the boy was five years old his mother remarried and went to live on a farm in Reno County, Kansas. O'Daniel was educated in the public schools of Arlington, Kansas, and completed the two-year curriculum at Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1908. At eighteen he became a stenographer and bookkeeper for a flour-milling company in Anthony, Kansas. Later he worked for a larger milling company in Kingman, rose to the post of sales manager, and eventually went into the milling business for himself. On June 30, 1917, in Hutchinson, he married Merle Estella Butcher; they had three children.

He moved to Kansas City in 1919, and then to New Orleans in 1921. In 1925 he moved to Fort Worth, where O'Daniel became sales manager of the Burrus Mills. He took over the company's radio advertising in 1928 and began writing songs and discussing religious subjects on the air. When Burrus Mills sponsored a band of musicians on a radio show, O’Daniel, who did not like the group’s hillbilly music, canceled the program after two weeks. The resulting outcry from listeners forced him to bring the band back on the air. The Light Crust Doughboys, whose early members included Bob Wills and Milton Brown, were one of the pivotal groups that defined the new western swing sound. O'Daniel served as president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 1933–1934. After being fired by Burrus Mills, Hhe organized his own flour company, Hillbilly Flour, in 1935. He also established his own band, the Hillbilly Boys.

At the behest of radio fans, he filed for governor on May 1, 1938. During the Democratic primary campaign in one-party Texas, he stressed the Ten Commandments, the virtues of his own Hillbilly Flour, and the need for old-age pensions, tax cuts, and industrialization. While posing as a hillbilly, he acted under the professional direction of public-relations men. Accompanied by his band, the Hillbilly Boys, and the Bible, he attracted huge audiences, especially in rural areas. In the primary he smashed the other candidates and eliminated the usual necessity of a runoff. He had pledged to block any sales tax, abolish capital punishment, liquidate the poll tax (which he had not paid) and raise old-age pensions; but he reneged on all these promises. He unveiled a tax plan, secretly written by manufacturing lobbyists, that amounted to a multiple sales tax, but the legislature voted it down.

Solons laughed at the vaudevillian atmosphere of the O'Daniel administration, but most of his legislative opponents were defeated in their bids for reelection. O'Daniel won again in 1940, after divulging that he had wired President Franklin Roosevelt that he had confidential information about a fifth column in Texas. No one ever found the traitors. The governor and several Texas business leaders began attacking organized labor in the spring of 1941, but most of the provisions of the ensuing O'Daniel Anti-Violence Act were eventually discarded by the courts. O'Daniel began packing the University of Texas Board of Regents with people who wanted to limit academic freedom and ferret out alleged subversion on campus. These regents, along with those selected by his successor, Coke Stevenson, eventually fired University of Texas president Homer Rainey and provoked a nine-year censure of UT by the American Association of University Professors. As governor, O'Daniel enjoyed little success in putting across his agenda. He was unable to engage in normal political deal-making with legislators, vetoed bills that he probably did not understand, and was overridden in twelve out of fifty-seven vetoes—a record. But he was able largely to negate his ignorance, his isolation, and his political handicaps with masterful radio showmanship.

O'Daniel ran for the Senate in a special election in 1941. He edged his leading opponent, New Deal congressman Lyndon Johnson, in a flurry of controversial late returns. After taking office in August, O'Daniel introduced a number of antilabor bills, all of which were defeated overwhelmingly. In running for reelection the next year, he faced former governors James Allred and Dan Moody.qqv He charged that there was a conspiracy among Moody, Allred, the professional politicians, the politically controlled newspapers, and the "communistic labor leader racketeers" to smear and defeat him. Some prominent conservatives and conservative newspapers, embarrassed by O'Daniel, endorsed New Dealer Allred in the runoff. But posturing as a supporter of President Roosevelt, O'Daniel hung on to enough rural and elderly voters to win barely. During the war years he and Senator Tom Connallyqv supported the Republican–Southern Democratic coalition more often (seventy-four votes) than any other Southern duo in the Senate. O'Daniel was the leading campaigner for the Texas Regulars, a third-party effort to siphon off enough Democratic votes in Texas in 1944 to deny Roosevelt a fourth term. The president carried Texas and was reelected despite O'Daniel's inflammatory "educational" broadcasts. O'Daniel was shunned and ineffective in the Senate. With public opinion polls giving him only 7 percent support in 1948, he announced that he would not run again since there was only slight hope of saving America from the communists.

He bought a ranch near Fort Worth, invested in Dallas real estate, and founded an insurance company. He attempted comebacks in the Democratic gubernatorial primaries of 1956 and 1958; in the campaigns he ranted about blood running in the streets because of the "Communist-inspired" Supreme Court decision desegregating the nation's schools. He failed to make the runoff on both occasions, although in 1956 he carried sixty-six counties with almost 350,000 votes. O'Daniel died in Dallas on May 12, 1969, and was buried in Hillcrest Memorial Park. His contribution to music—paradoxically the most positive aspect of his career—was the Light Crust Doughboys, the Hillbilly Boys, and their own musical progeny.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:50 pm

March 12 in Texas History…..

Falvel given command of Flash

On this day in 1836, Luke A. Falvel was commissioned captain of the Flash. On the same day, the crew was sworn in. The vessel was a privateer fitted out for service in the Texas Revolution. Privateers, private ships carrying letters of marque from the Republic of Texas, were used to supplement the small Texas Navy. The Flash was ordered to proceed to the Brazos River to pick up victims of the Runaway Scrape, take them to Morgan's Point, and defend that place in case of a Mexican attack. The ship sailed on several more missions before it ran aground and was lost in May 1837.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

FLASH. The Flash, a privateer, was fitted out for Texas in the spring of 1836; the crew was sworn in and Luke A. Falvel was commissioned captain on March 12, 1836. With the cannons known as the "Twin Sistersqv" on board, the ship was ordered to proceed to the Brazos River to pick up victims of the Runaway Scrape, take them to Morgan's Point, and defend that place in case of a Mexican attack. At Morgan's Point the "Twin Sisters" were sent to Harrisburg on the Opie, and the Flash picked up members of the ad interim government and took them to Galveston Island. She proceeded to Fort Point on April 20, 1836, and on April 26 was prepared to sail for New Orleans when news was received of the battle of San Jacinto. The vessel was stranded on shore in May 1837, when her pilot mistook San Luis Pass for the entrance to Galveston harbor, and lost. The Tenth Texas Legislature made an appropriation to pay Falvel for his services as sailing master in the Texas Navy.

TEXAS NAVY. The majority of early settlers coming to Texas came by sea from New Orleans or Mobile to Galveston, Matagorda Bay, or the mouth of the Brazos River. Lumber, wool, and cotton from Texas were sent back to New Orleans by sea. Thus, when hostilities broke out between Texas and Mexico, the General Council of the provisional government of Texas realized the need for a navy to protect the lines of supply between New Orleans and Texas. On November 25, 1835, the General Council passed a bill providing for the purchase of four schooners and for the organization of the Texas Navy. The same bill provided for the issuance of letters of marque to privateers until the navy should become a reality. Several letters of marque were issued in late 1835 and early 1836, and the small privateers helped the Republic of Texas greatly through captures and protection of the coast. In January 1836 the schooners were purchased, and the Texas Navy came into being. The vessels were the 60-ton William Robbins, a former privateer that was rechristened Liberty, the 125-ton Invincible, which had been built in Baltimore for the African slave trade, the 125-ton Independence, which had been the United States Revenue Cutter Ingham, and the 125-ton Brutus. On March 12 President David G. Burnet appointed officers for the ships, naming Capt. Charles E. Hawkins, who was senior captain, commodore.

This first Texas Navy lasted until the middle of 1837, by which time all of the ships had been lost. The Liberty took its first cruise from January to May 1836 and made several captures. In May it convoyed the schooner Flora with the wounded Sam Houston aboard to New Orleans. There the Liberty was detained for repairs and in July had to be sold because the Texas government could not pay the repair bill. A like fate was narrowly missed by the Brutus and the Invincible, which were in New York in September 1836 for repairs. When it became evident that Texas could not pay the bills, the ships were to be sold, but Samuel Swartwout, customs collector in New York City, saved them by paying their expenses. The Independence made its first cruise from January to March 1836, sailing up and down the Mexican coast and capturing a number of small vessels. The vessel was later ordered to Galveston to ward off an expected invasion and eventually went to New Orleans for repairs; there Commodore Hawkins died at the age of thirty-six, leaving the ship in charge of Capt. George W. Wheelwright. In April the Independence, though undermanned, left New Orleans for Galveston and on the seventeenth was attacked by two Mexican ships. After a four-hour running battle, the Texas vessel was forced to surrender in sight of its destination.

The capture enlarged the Mexican navy to eight ships. With half of the fleet gone, Secretary of the Navy Samuel Rhoads Fisher and H. L. Thompson, who succeeded Hawkins as commodore, decided that the proper action was to take a cruise with Fisher along "to inspire confidence in the men." Sam Houston opposed any cruises by the navy because he thought that the best way to defend a coast was to stay close to it. Nonetheless, the two ships left Galveston on June 11, 1837, and cruised about the Gulf raiding Mexican towns and capturing vessels until August 26, when they returned to Galveston. The Brutus was able to cross the bar and enter Galveston harbor, but the Invincible, being of greater draft, chose to wait for more favorable conditions. Early the next morning, the vessel was attacked by two Mexican ships. The Brutus, in going out to aid, ran aground on a sandbar. The Invincible continued to fight until evening and then attempted to enter the harbor but in so doing also went aground. The Invincible was destroyed that night, but the Brutus was saved, only to be lost in a storm in October 1837.

Between September 1837 and early 1838, Texas had no ships. Then the brig Potomac was bought. It never made a cruise and was used only as a receiving ship at the Galveston Navy Base. Thus there was virtually no Texas Navy between September 1837 and March 1839, when the first ship of the second navy was commissioned. Texas was fortunate in that several factors prevented Mexico's making a sea attack during this period. These included the effects of the panic of 1837 on Mexico, the revolt in northern Mexico resulting in the establishment of the Republic of the Rio Grande, and the French blockade and seizure of the Mexican fleet at Veracruz. In October and November 1836, Congress realized the necessity for a larger navy and passed an appropriation bill for $135,000 to buy four new ships. President Houston approved the bill, but no action was taken until the first navy had been completely lost. On November 4, 1837, another bill was passed providing for the appointment of a commissioner who was to go to Baltimore to contract for the building of six ships to cost $280,000. The bill was approved, and Samuel M. Williams was appointed commissioner. In November 1838 Frederick Dawson, of Baltimore, agreed to build the ships. In the same month the steam packet Charleston was bought and renamed the Zavala. In March 1839 its fitting out was completed, and it was commissioned in the second Texas Navy.

In June 1839 the first ship of the Dawson contract, the 170-ton schooner San Jacinto, arrived in Galveston. The 170-ton schooner San Antonio arrived in August, the 170-ton schooner San Bernard in September, the 400-ton brig Wharton in October, the 600-ton sloop-of-war Austin in December, and the 400-ton brig Archer in April 1840. In his choice of officers for the new navy, President Mirabeau B. Lamar attempted to appoint on merit rather than to make the commissions political plums. Edwin Ward Moore, who was only twenty-nine, was appointed commodore and chose the Austin as his flagship. By the early summer of 1840 the northern Mexican revolt was dying out, but a new one was flaring in Yucatán. In June the fleet sailed, leaving the brigs Archer and Wharton and the receiving ship Potomac in Galveston for protection against invasion. Moore had been ordered by Lamar to initiate friendly relations with the Yucatecans, which he did. James Treat was in Mexico City in the meantime negotiating for recognition and an end to the war. The Mexicans continued to lead him on until October, when he gave up.

During this time the Texas fleet was ordered not to capture or fire on ships unless they fired first. In late 1840, Congress had been lulled by this unofficial armistice and had cut naval appropriations. Consequently, all of the fleet was decommissioned except the San Antonio and San Bernard, which were making a survey of the Texas coast from May to October 1841. The San Jacinto had been wrecked on the night of October 31, 1840, and after some more cruising the navy had returned to Galveston in April 1841. On September 18, 1841, an alliance was made between Texas and Yucatán. The latter agreed to pay Texas $8,000 a month for the upkeep of the Texas fleet. Lamar approved of this arrangement and ordered the fleet to leave for Yucatán. Moore left Galveston on December 13, 1841, with the Austin, the San Bernard, and the San Antonio for Sisal, Yucatán. Houston, who was inaugurated on the same day, promptly ordered the fleet to return. These orders did not reach Moore until March 1842, and he returned in May to Texas. The Yucatecans did not expect a Mexican attack for eight months or a year, so they suspended the agreement with the understanding that it could be renewed when the Texas Navy was needed again.

The San Antonio, in the meantime, had been ordered to New Orleans for refitting. On February 11, 1842, as the vessel was lying opposite the city of New Orleans, the only mutiny in the Texas Navy occurred. The crew, led by a marine sergeant, armed themselves, attacked the officers, killed one of them, and locked the others in the wardroom. The mutineers were quickly captured by United States authorities and were eventually punished. The San Antonio left New Orleans for Yucatán in September 1842 but never reached its destination and is presumed to have been lost in a storm.

About this time the Zavala, which had been allowed to rot because of lack of funds for repair, was run aground in Galveston to prevent sinking. In 1844 the vessel was broken up and sold for scrap. The rest of the fleet went to New Orleans to refit. Moore constantly had difficulty obtaining enough money to keep his ships sailing. One of Houston's ideas of economy was to withhold all naval appropriations made by Congress. Moore raised almost $35,000 on his own signature to repair the ships. The secretary of the navy wrote him saying that if Moore could not refit to go to sea, he should return to Galveston. Moore had no intention of returning to Galveston, however, since he feared that Houston would sell the navy. He therefore renewed negotiations with Yucatán, which was again being threatened by Mexico and was eager for the Texas Navy to lend its aid. Moore was ordered to report to William Bryan, Samuel M. Williams, and James Morgan, the naval commissioners. Houston had sent them to bring Moore back, but Moore talked them into letting him go to sea. In fact, Morgan accompanied the fleet on its cruise.

One of Moore's greatest problems while in command of the navy was the recruiting of sufficient men. The scarcity of paydays in the Texas Navy discouraged prospective recruits. Finally enough men were obtained, and the fleet, composed of the Austin and the Wharton, sailed for Yucatán. On April 30, 1843, the vessels engaged a Mexican fleet including two large steamers, one of which was an ironclad. The battle was indecisive. Other engagements followed on May 2 and May 16. Meanwhile, on March 23, Houston had proclaimed the navy to be pirates and requested any friendly country to capture the ships and return them to Galveston. Moore set sail immediately upon receiving the news and docked at Galveston on July 14, 1843. The people of Galveston hailed Moore as a hero despite Houston's proclamation that he was a pirate. But Houston, still angry, dishonorably discharged Moore without so much as a court-martial. Moore appealed to Congress and finally got a fair trial in August 1844, in which he was found not guilty.

In January 1843 Houston had Congress pass an act authorizing the sale of the navy, and in November the entire fleet (the Austin, Wharton, Archer, and San Bernard) was put up for auction. The people of Galveston, incensed at the thought of selling the navy, attended the auction and by force prevented the submission of bids. Thus the navy was returned to the Republic of Texas. Nevertheless, the cruise ending in July 1843 marked the end of the operative career of the Texas Navy, as a truce with Mexico came that summer and the United States undertook to protect Texas until her annexation. In June 1846 the ships of the Texas Navy were transferred to the United States Navy. The officers of the Texas Navy desired to be included in the transfer, but seniority-minded United States naval officers opposed the proposal. After the transfer the Wharton, Austin, and San Bernard were declared unfit for service. In 1857 the claims of the surviving Texas Navy officers were settled, and the Second Texas Navy was no more.

Both the armed privateers and the first navy authorized by the General Council had accomplished a remarkable job of controlling the sea lanes along the Texas coast, thus allowing for supply of the Texas land-war effort while hindering and denying sea-borne logistic support to the invading Mexican forces. In particular, the denial of supplies to Antonio López de Santa Anna's forces on their way to San Jacinto was a major factor in the Texas victory. Similarly, the second navy achieved remarkable success in maintaining sea control of the Texas coast. Because of it the Republic of Texas was able to keep its ports open for urgently needed imports and vital exports to and from the United States. Simultaneously, Texas was able to contribute to keeping the Mexican navy bottled up in its own ports. This achievement clearly inhibited any realistic attempts by the Mexicans to mount a sea invasion to reconquer Texas during that period. The story of the hardships faced by those small fleets of battered ships and the intrepid seamen who manned them was largely forgotten until 1958, when Governor Marion Price Daniel, Sr., established a Third Texas Navy. Headquarters of the Third Texas Navy was reestablished at its original base in Galveston by Governor Preston Smith in October 1970. This largely commemorative, nonprofit organization was chartered by the Texas secretary of state in October 1972. It was designed to assure the survival of Texas naval history and has brought together people interested in preserving the history, rights, boundaries, water resources, and civil defense of Texas.

The Role of the Texas Navy, 1835-1838

Texas revolted against Mexico in the autumn of 1835, but it was not until 2 March 1836 that it formally seceded. The roots of the rebellion were in the differences of race, religion, language, law, and the ideals of government between the Spanish-Indian civilization and the culture of the former citizens of the United States. Yet the immediate causes lay very much in maritime and tariff problems.

A particularly inflamatory incident took place on 1 September 1835 when Texans embarked in the American merchant ship San Felipe and steam tug Laura, engaged the Mexican treasury vessel Correo de Mejico at Brazoria. After wounding her captain, they accused him of piracy when he could not produce his commission and took him and his vessel to New Orleans. The court there delayed the Correo de Mejico, as well as her officers and men, for three months before Mexico secured their release. During this period, the Texas coast remained unpatrolled by Mexico and was wide open for the introduction of men and munitions for the revolt. Without the ships to keep their own coast open the Texans had succeeded in substituting American courts for the seapower they so urgently needed.

The Correo de Mejico incident, however, also greatly aroused Mexican public opinion and was probably a contributing factor to the punitive invasion of Texas by Lopez de Santa Anna in 1836.

The Mexican Navy did have ships available in northern Mexican waters to replace the Correo de Mejico while she was inactive at New Orleans. But the vessels were not used to their best advantage — primarily because of the activity of Texas privateers. By Christmas 1835 the Texas Consultation, a provisional congress, had authorized the issuance of six letters of marque and reprisal. One of the privateers, William Robbins, on 19 December 1835 recaptured the small American schooner Hannah Elizabeth, which had been seized by the Mexicans for having on board two cannons and other contraband for rebellious Texas.

The capture of Hannah Elizabeth, the seizure of Correo de Mejico, and the threat of other losses at sea caused Mexican authorities to commence convoying their ships along their own coast. Just how many ships comprised the Mexican Navy at this time is unknown, but the schooners Bravo and Vera Cruzana were the only two mentioned as stationed on the Texas coast in early 1836. In any case the Navy was small, and the diversion of even one or two vessels to protect Mexico's own shipping could — and did — prevent an effective blockade of the defiant state's seaports.

Meanwhile, more spectacular and dramatic events were taking place ashore. By the end of 1835, irregular Texas military forces had driven the Mexican garrison across the Rio Grande. Both sides began recruiting new, larger, and better-equipped armies for the more serious and bloody war they knew would ensue. The Texans relied upon adventurers from the United States, and they were not disappointed. Most of the men who died in the Alamo came to Texas in the winter of 1835-1836. Whole companies brought their own arms and equipment in chartered vessels from New Orleans and Mobile. By sea Texas grew swiftly in strength.

As for the Mexicans, President Lopez de Santa Anna came north from Mexico City, raised an army and took personal command of a three-pronged attack on Texas. His columns destroyed or drove before them virtually every vestige of the Anglo-American civilization. By 6 March 1836, the Alamo had fallen; a week later Goliad succumbed. The only sizable force remaining to the Texans was the haphazardly organized group of less than a thousand men under Sam Houston, the new Commander-in-Chief. This small army retreated steadily before Santa Anna's troops while keeping close to the sea and between the Mexicans and the fleeing women and children in what Texans termed the "Runaway Scrape." Texas appeared doomed.

However, Texas had begun to build a Navy. The General Council of the provisional government authorized a fleet consisting of four schooners on 24 November 1835. From this date the Navy of the Republic of Texas may be said to exist, although formal independence was not declared until 2 March 1836.

The first commisioned ship was the former United States Treasury cutter Ingham, which the Texans rechristened Independence. This small ship, only 89 feet in length, was commanded by Charles E. Hawkins, a former U.S. midshipman. Hawkins also became unit commander of other ships as they were acquired. Cruising between Galveston and Tampico during the first three months of 1836, he captured a number of small coasters and fishing craft and generally disrupted the vital seaborne communications of Santa Anna's army.

About twice as large as Independence, the second ship in this first squadron was the Brutus, commanded by Captain W. A. Hurd, the former master of the privateer William Robbins. The latter also was taken into the regular Texas Navy, renamed Liberty, and assigned to Captain W. S. Brown. His brother Jeremiah Brown received command of a fourth warship named Invincible. Hurd and the two Browns were former masters of small vessels which sailed the Texas coast. This experience made them ideal commanders in these early, rough, and ready days when local navigational and political knowledge was a definite prerequisite for success.

During the crucial months of March and April 1836, the four-ship "fleet" played a decisive role in preserving the independence which Texas had just proclaimed. On 3 March, W. S. Brown's Liberty was on a semipiratical cruise to Yucatan when she encountered the Mexican merchant schooner Pelican and captured her under the guns of the fortress at Sisal. The prize proved to contain 300 kegs of powder and other military supplies concealed inside cargo owned by the New Orleans firm of J. W. Zacharie. Pelican ran aground and was lost on the bar at Matagorda, Texas, but her cargo was salvaged and used to good advantage in the San Jacinto campaign.

A short time later, Liberty also seized the American brig Durango which was similarly loaded and falsely manifested. Brown's men appropriated her cargo and destroyed her.

During this period, Invincible captured the American brig Pocket, carrying contraband under a false manifest to the Mexican Army at the mouth of the Rio Grande. Her charter also included an agreement to carry Mexican troops to the Corpus Christi area.

Such action involving American ships, however, justified by the exigencies of the war effort, was bound to antagonize the United States. And, when Invincible sailed into New Orleans a few weeks after taking Pocket, Commodore Alexander J. Dallas USN, ordered her captain and crew arrested on charges of piracy. The naval charges were dropped several weeks later, but a civil suit remained in litigation for a number of years. Meanwhile, the Republic of Texas bought Pocket and used both her and her cargo against the Mexicans.

Every source of strength was desperately needed by the Texans, for in these early spring months, Mexico's armies were everywhere victorious. Santa Anna pushed northward, keeping close to the Gulf, and hoping to use the sealanes to provide him with logistic support. Throughout the campaign, the Mexican President kept looking for ships that never came. The activity of the small but active Texas Navy spelled the difference.

Finally, on 21 April 1836, General Sam Houston turned on his pursuer, penned Santa Anna's army against Buffalo Bayou which it could not cross — and completely destroyed it, capturing Santa Anna himself. Houston's soldiers justly received credit for the decisive battle of San Jacinto; but nevertheless the victory could not have been won — or the battle even fought — had temporary naval superiority not been achieved. Santa Anna was trapped due to his need to stay near the sea. Weakness afloat prevented his escape. He was inadequately supplied because his ships could not reach him.

Like the French fleet at Yorktown in an earlier American revolution, the Texas squadron did not see the final land battle. But neither the decisive engagement in 1781 nor the one in Texas 55 years later could have been fought successfully without the victor having first achieved at least a momentary naval superiority.

The defeat at San Jacinto forced the other two wings of the Mexican Army to withdraw from Texas. This retreat ended for all practical purposes any Mexican pretense of retaining authority in Texas — and made the task of reconquering it by land prohibitively difficult. The almost impassable arid area across northern Mexico and southwestern Texas served as an effective impediment to the use of land-power alone. The prevention of necessary communications between central Mexico and the Texas coast remained the key to successful defense of the new Republic.

Warship Invincible brought to President Burnet his first information of the victory at San Jacinto. Afterward, the little fleet continued its operations along the coast. Liberty escorted Flora when she took the wounded General Houston to New Orleans for hospitalization. While there Liberty, unable to meet her refitting bills, was detained in May 1836 and later sold to satisfy her creditors — an event which illustrated the shoestring budget under which the Texas Navy was forced to work despite the demands on it.

The other three vessels (Invincible, Brutus and Pocket) began a blockade of Matamoros at the mouth of the Rio Grande in an effort to interfere with attempts of the Mexican Army to return to Texas. In early September 1836, all three ships went to New Orleans or New York for overhaul because Texas lacked the industrial and commercial facilities to do the work locally.

A typically derring-do Texan incident occurred on 3 June 1836 when a detachment of twenty Texas Rangers captured three merchant ships near Corpus Christi. The Rangers, under Major Isaac Burton, had been scouting the retreating Mexican Army when they learned a strange ship was offshore. They enticed her to send a boat in and, in short order, captured the boat and the American vessel Watchman, which was carrying supplies for the Mexicans. Shortly thereafter, two more American merchant­men, Comanche and Fanny Butler, also came in with supplies for the Mexican Army. The Rangers surprised the crews and seized the ships. The Admiralty court at Velasco condemned all three vessels and their cargoes.

By the spring of 1837, while all three Texas warships were repairing in the United States, Mexico had a squadron of three brigs and two schooners blockading Galveston and other Texas ports. In their zeal to close the coast, the Mexican ships seized a number of American merchant vessels suspected of carrying contraband to the enemy. The United States consul at Matamoros requested naval assistance to protect the nation's shipping, and Commodore Dallas ordered Commander William Mervine's sloop-of-war Natchez to investigate.

Mervine entered the Rio Grande in time to witness the Mexican brig General Urrea escorting the captured merchantman Louisiana into port. He swiftly obtained Louisiana's release and then had a sharp engagement with the Mexican brigs, General Urrea, General Teran, and General Bravo, which were supported by fire from the Mexican-manned fort. Mervine closed the battle by capturing General Urrea and retaking the American merchant ship Climax. He took the former to Pensacola where Commodore Dallas ordered a court of inquiry to look into what he regarded as Mervine's precipitous action. He returned the Mexican brig and apologized for the incident.

On 17 April 1837, the Texas warship Independence, now commanded by George W. Wheelwright (Charles Hawkins had died of smallpox in New Orleans) , was entering the Brazos River when she was intercepted by the brigs of war Vencedor del Alamo and Libertador. After a skillful six-hour chase, Commodore Francisco Lopez forced Independence to surrender. Although Wheelwright was wounded during the engagement, his ship was so slightly damaged that she soon saw service in the Mexican fleet as the Independencia, thus flying her third national flag in two years. Before her career was over, she became a part of the navy of rebellious Yucatan and was even manned again for a few days in 1843 by the Texas Navy.

S. Rhodes Fisher, Secretary of the Texas Navy, had seen part of the battle involving Independence from the beach. He knew that President Houston and the Texas Congress were at odds over naval strategy. The Congress and the general public favored aggressive action, while Houston believed that if the Mexicans were not attacked, they would leave Texas alone. Fisher agreed with Congress and, without consulting the President, he went to Galveston where he ordered Brutus, commanded by J. D. Boylan, and Invincible, under H. L. Thompson, to sea. The audacious secretary accompanied the expedition as a volunteer, but he left Thompson in command of the two-ship squadron.

The cruise began on 11 June 1837; it was short, spectacular, and extremely controversial. The first stop was Mujeres Island, off Yucatan, which they claimed for Texas. During the process, the Texans stocked up on the abundant supply of turtles and departed without paying for them. Continuing up the Yucatan coast, the expedition boarded ships and landed shore parties until finally they were attacked by a cavalry force and driven back to their ships. The Texans burned two villages in reprisal, then tried to force Campeche to pay $25,000 in tribute. However, the city was surrounded by heavy stone walls and was well fortified. After an inconclusive three-hour exchange of gunfire, the two ships departed.

At sea the Texans met with more success — and diplomatic difficulty. They not only captured the small Mexican vessels Union, Telegrafo, Adventure, Rafaelita, and Correo de Tabasco, but also seized the British merchantman Eliza Russell. The latter action precipitated a serious diplomatic strain with Great Britain.

Sailing some of the Mexican vessels with prize crews and scuttling or burning the rest, Invincible and Brutus headed back for the Texas coast. They succeeded in evading a superior Mexican squadron off the coast until 27 August. Then the Mexican brigs Iturbide and Libertador sighted Brutus as she was entering Galveston Harbor, and Invincible anchored off shore awaiting high tide to go in. Although the exact characteristics of the Mexican vessels remain unknown, Libertador was said to have mounted sixteen 18-pounders. In any case, they were considerably larger and greatly out-gunned the Texans. Invincible ran aground in the poorly charted channel into Galveston, and Brutus beached inside the harbor while trying to come to her aid. Both later broke up in storms. The last two ships of the early Texas Navy were gone.

Nevertheless, their cruise was a strategic success because it had drawn Mexican blockaders away from the Texas coast for several vital weeks while men and munitions continued to pour into the new Republic. The longer the informal reinforcements in the form of individual adventurers could continue, the better Texas was able to gird itself against future assault. The existence of the Republic was still precarious, but life remained in it. In this sense, Texas seapower, whatever its shortcomings, was a success.

The year 1838 found Texas without any of the warships that had served her so well. Indeed, she was without any navy at all until Potomac, an old merchant brig, was purchased from L. M. Hitchcock of Galveston. It was an acquisition of dubious wisdom at best, for her entire service was as a station and receiving ship at Galveston. Inasmuch as there were few sailors to spare, Potomac served little purpose, constantly needing repair and requiring more men to keep her secure than she ever had available for transfer.

With its naval forces in such a state, Texas was saved from serious difficulty in 1838 by two circumstances beyond her control. The first was internal trouble in Mexico which required a concentration of security forces at home and diluted efforts that might have been made to retake Texas.

The second was the "Pastry War" between France and Mexico, so-called because one of its causes was a French baker's claim against the Mexican government. The conflict ended with the bombardment and partial destruction of Fort San Juan de Ulua at Vera Cruz and the capture of virtually the entire Mexican Navy by the French. Even though Vera Cruz was returned to Mexican rule when peace was restored in 1839, the French retained the captured warships. Thus, during 1838 the naval power of both Texas and Mexico became almost nonexistent.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:56 pm

March 13 in Texas History…..

Fort Inge established on Texas frontier

On this day in 1849, frontier artist and military officer Capt. Seth Eastman and his companies established Camp Leona on the Leona River in southern Uvalde County. The outpost, which was soon renamed Fort Inge, was part of a federal line of forts in Texas. Army troops and Texas militia used the camp as a base while they provided protection for settlements and escorted supply trains and mail carriers. For most of its history Fort Inge operated as a one-company, fifty-man post. Notable officers through the years included captains John G. Walker and Edmund Kirby Smith, as well as William A. A. (Bigfoot) Wallace and his Texas Rangers. The presence of Fort Inge brought a greater sense of security to the Hill Country frontier, and by the late 1850s farmers had established the nearby community of Uvalde. Fort Inge was closed for federal service in 1869. Today Fort Inge County Park includes the site of the old outpost.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

FORT INGE. Fort Inge (Camp Leona) is on the east bank of the Leona River a mile south of Uvalde in southern Uvalde County. The site is dominated by Mount Inge, a 140-foot volcanic plug of Uvalde phonolite basalt. Archeological evidence indicates the place has been intermittently occupied since the Pre-Archaic period, about 6,000 B.C. It is possible that ranching occurred there in the Spanish colonial and Mexican periods (see SPANISH TEXAS, MEXICAN TEXAS). On March 13, 1849, frontier artist Capt. Seth Eastman and fifty-six soldiers of companies D and I, First United States Infantry, established camp on the Leona, four miles above Woll's Crossing. In December 1849 the post was renamed Fort Inge in honor of Lt. Zebulon M. P. Inge, United States Second Dragoons, a West Point officer killed at the Mexican War battle of Resaca de la Palma.

Fort Inge was established as a part of the first federal line of frontier forts in Texas. It was to serve as a base of operations for army troops and Texas militia. The missions of the soldiers included security patrols for the construction of the San Antonio-El Paso military road, escorts for supply trains and mail, protection for frontier settlements from bandits and Indian raiders, and guarding the international boundary with Mexico. The fort was a typical one-company, fifty-man post for most of its history. For a brief period in 1854 it was the regimental headquarters for the United States Mounted Rifle Regiment with a garrison of 200. One staff inspector reported that Fort Inge "is justly regarded as one of the most important and desirable positions in Texas. No station of the line possesses so many advantages as this . . . in point of wood, water, and soil . . . It is pre-eminent as a military site. [It is in] a state of constant warfare and constant service."

Army units and officers of the post include the First Infantry Regiment (1849); Capt. William J. Hardee and Company C, Second Dragoons (1849–52); William A. A. (Bigfoot) Wallace's Texas Ranging Company (1850); the United States Mounted Rifle Regiment, under Col. William Wing Loring and captains Gordon Granger and John G. Walker (1852–55); and the Second United States Cavalry, with Capt. Edmund Kirby Smith and lieutenants Fitzhugh Lee, Zenas R. Bliss, and William B. (Wild Bill) Hazen (1856–61). During the Civil War the post was occupied by Confederate and state units including Walter P. Lane's rangers; Company A, C.S.A. Cavalry; and John J. Dix's company, Norris Frontier Regiment. The fort was reoccupied by federal troops in 1866, and its final garrisons included Company K, Fourth United States Cavalry (1866–68); Company L, Ninth United States Cavalry; and Lt. John L. Bullis and Company D, Forty-first Infantry (1868–69). The Ninth Cavalry and Forty-first Infantry were black units.
The dozen buildings of the post were arranged around the rectangular parade ground with an enclosed stable at the south end of the post. The most substantial building was constructed of cut limestone and was used as a hospital and later as a storehouse. Most structures were of jacal construction-upright log pickets plastered with mud and whitewashed. A low, dry-stacked stone wall was built around the fort during or after the Civil War.

The establishment of the post in 1849 immediately attracted a number of farmers to the area. In 1853 Reading Wood Black bought land a mile upstream and began the settlement of Encina in 1855. The community was renamed Uvalde in 1856. Fort Inge was closed for federal service on March 19, 1869, and the garrison transferred to Fort McKavett. In 1871 United States troops returned to tear down some of the buildings and recover the timber and stone to be used in construction at Fort Clark. The site was used as a camp by the Texas Rangers until 1884. It was farmland until 1961, when it became Fort Inge Historical Site County Park. From 1980 to 1982 the Uvalde County Historical Commission and local donors sponsored archival research and an archeological project to establish an accurate and detailed history of Fort Inge.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:20 am

March 14 in Texas History…..

Ruby found guilty

On this day in 1964, Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby was convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. On November 24, 1963, Ruby, then proprietor of the Carousel Club, had shot and killed Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in the basement of the Dallas City Jail, during Oswald's transfer to the county jail. Millions of witnesses watched on national television. Although he was defended by Melvin Belli on the grounds that "psychomotor epilepsy" caused him to black out consciously while functioning physically, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice. His conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and Ruby was awaiting a retrial when he died in prison in 1967. Ruby denied involvement in any conspiracy, and maintained to the end that he shot Oswald on impulse from grief and outrage.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

JACK RUBY (1911–1967). Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, was born Jacob Rubenstein on March 25, 1911, in Chicago, Illinois, to Polish immigrants Joseph and Fannie (Rutkowski or Rokowsky) Rubenstein. Upon his parents' separation, he was placed in a foster home. At age sixteen he dropped out of school and became part of the street life on Chicago's West Side. There he worked at various odd jobs, which at one time included delivering sealed envelopes for Al Capone at a dollar an errand, and engaged in years of street-fighting, often in response to anti-Semitic taunts. He moved to California in 1933 and for a while sold subscriptions to the Examiner in San Francisco. After returning to Chicago in 1937, he was hired by Leon Cooke to assist in organizing a union of junkyard workers. After losing control of the union to Chicago racketeers, Cooke was murdered by the union president in 1939. Ruby left a few months later, and it is unclear whether or not he was connected with the Chicago syndicate. In 1941 he worked for the Spartan Novelty Company and in late 1942 for the Globe Auto Glass Company and the Universal Sales Company. During World War II he was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps (1943) and spent the war at southern bases working as an aircraft mechanic. He received a good-conduct medal and was discharged in 1946 as a private first class. He then joined his brothers in the Earl Products Company, which manufactured and distributing punchboard gambling devices, miniature cedar chests, key chains, and small kitchen items. In 1947 the men changed their name to Ruby, and the brothers bought Jack out. He moved to Dallas and went into the nightclub business with his sister.

Over the next sixteen years he ran a series of mostly unsuccessful nightclubs, sold items ranging from liquid vitamin formulas to log cabins, and was arrested nine times, although no serious charges were filed. On November 24, 1963, Ruby, then proprietor of the Carousel Club, shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy (see KENNEDY ASSASSINATION), in the basement of the Dallas City Jail, during Oswald's transfer to the county jail. Millions of witnesses watched on national television. Although he was defended by Melvin Belli on the grounds that "psychomotor epilepsy" caused him to black out consciously while functioning physically, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice on March 14, 1964, and sentenced to death. In October 1966, however, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the necessity of a change of venue. The arrangements for a new trial in February, in Wichita Falls, were under way, when, on December 9, 1966, Ruby was admitted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, apparently suffering from pneumonia. Testing quickly revealed terminal lung cancer. He died at Parkland on January 3, 1967, of a blood clot in his lungs and was buried in Chicago. He never married. He espoused no political affiliation or party preference, denied any involvement in a conspiracy, and maintained to the end that he shot Oswald on impulse from grief and outrage.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:50 pm

March 15 in Texas History…..

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Sensational court-martial convenes for Alamo hero's son

On this day in 1856, the court-martial of Capt. Charles Edward Travis, one of the most sensational courtroom dramas in history, convened at Fort Mason. Charles, son of beloved Alamo hero William Barret Travis, was born in Alabama in 1829 and reared by his mother and stepfather in New Orleans after his father’s death. He moved to Brenham in 1848 and became an attorney and Texas legislator. Travis received a commission as captain in the Second United States Cavalry in 1855. At Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, a fellow officer charged Travis with slander, and he was also charged with cheating at cards and unauthorized absence from camp during a subsequent journey to Texas. Col. Albert Sidney Johnston relieved him of command and confined him to quarters. At the court-martial at Fort Mason, Travis conducted much of his own defense and pleaded not guilty to “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” Col. Johnston himself and other officers testified against Travis, and Johnston’s wife Eliza commented in her diary that Travis was “a mean fellow.” He was pronounced guilty and dismissed from service. After attempts to exonerate himself he died of consumption in 1860.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

CHARLES EDWARD TRAVIS (1829–1860). Charles Edward Travis, Texas Ranger, United States Army officer, and son of Rosanna (Cato) and William Barret Travis, was born in Alabama in 1829. After his father's death at the Alamo young Charles lived in New Orleans with his mother and stepfather, Dr. Samuel B. Cloud, but upon their deaths in 1848 moved to Brenham to live with his sister, Mrs. John (Susan Isabella) Grissett. After becoming a member of the Texas bar he was elected to the legislature to represent Caldwell and Hays counties in 1853–54. He served briefly as captain of Company E of the Texas Rangersqv, which was stationed at Fort Clark, and was commissioned captain in the Second United States Cavalry on March 5, 1855, and appointed to the command of Company H, which he recruited at Evansville, Indiana. On August 6, 1855, he reported with his new command at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where Second Lt. Robert C. Wood, Jr., preferred charges of slander against him. On the march to Texas charges of cheating at cards and unauthorized absence from camp were brought against him. Eliza G. Johnston remarked in her diary that Travis was "a mean fellow...no one respects or believes a word [he] says," and on December 10, 1855, Col. Albert Sidney Johnston relieved him of command and placed him "under arrest in quarters." To a formal charge of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman," Travis pleaded not guilty. He retained H. M. Lewis as his counsel; as an attorney himself, however, Travis mainly handled his own defense. Capt. Eugene E. McLean of the Quartermaster Department was appointed judge advocate, and Lt. Col. Henry Bainbridge of the First Infantry served as president. The court-martial, which convened on March 15, 1856, at Fort Mason, proved one of the most sensational in Texas history with Colonel Johnston and many of Travis's fellow officers testifying against him. After almost a month of testimony and deliberation, Travis was found guilty of all three charges on April 11 and was dismissed from service on May 1, 1856.

Claiming that the graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point had discriminated against him as an appointee to the regiment from civilian life, Travis enlisted the assistance of the Texas legislature to help clear his name. A joint committee examined the testimony and recommended that he be publicly vindicated. On August 30, 1856, the legislature issued a joint resolution stating that "the sentence was not sustained by the testimony," and requesting that President Franklin Pierce reexamine the proceeding and reverse the findings of the court martial. When Pierce refused to reopen the case, Travis took the unwise step of attempting to force several of the officers who had testified against him to recant. This tactic led to a backlash of public sentiment against Travis, who thereupon returned to his sister's home in Washington County, where he died of consumption in 1860. William B. Travis's "little boy" was buried in the Masonic Cemetery at Chappell Hill.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:11 pm

March 16 in Texas History…..

Indians attack San Sabá mission

On this day in 1758, some 2,000 Comanches and allied North Texas Indians descended on Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá, on the San Saba River near the present site of Menard. The mission had been established the previous year to Christianize the eastern Apaches. The attackers killed two priests, Fray Alonso Giraldo de Terreros and Fray José de Santiesteban Aberín, and six others, then looted and set fire to the log stockade. In late summer 1759 Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, commander of the nearby Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas, undertook a military campaign to punish the Norteños but suffered an ignominious defeat near the site of present-day Spanish Fort. With French firearms and Spanish horses, the northern tribes now constituted a stronger force than the Spaniards themselves could muster. The attack on the mission marked the beginning of warfare in Texas between the Comanches and the European invaders and signaled retreat for the Spanish frontier. In 1762, Mexican mining magnate Pedro Romero de Terreros, who had financed the ill-fated mission with the stipulation that his cousin Alonso de Terreros be placed in charge, commissioned a huge painting to honor the memory of his martyred cousin. The Destruction of Mission San Sabá in the Province of Texas and the Martyrdom of the Fathers Alonso Giraldo de Terreros, Joseph Santiesteban now hangs in the Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia in Mexico City.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

SANTA CRUZ DE SAN SABÁ MISSION. Franciscan missionaries established Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá in 1757 to Christianize the eastern Apache Indians. The site, rediscovered in the fall of 1993 and proved by archeologists in January 1994, is on the San Saba River about three miles east of the present town of Menard and four miles from the ruins of San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio, which was built to protect the mission. A mission for the Apaches had been advocated for years by the Franciscans at San Antonio to end the perpetual warfare that had plagued that settlement almost from its beginning in 1718. As early as 1725, Fray Francisco Hidalgo sought permission to go unescorted into Apachería to spread the gospel as an antidote to that tribe's hostility. The petition was denied. After Hidalgo's death the following year, fathers Benito Fernández de Santa Ana and Mariano Francisco de los Dolores y Viana took up the cause.

After several military campaigns against the Apaches, peace between the Spaniards and the Indians was celebrated at San Antonio in November 1749. Explorations for a site for the Apache mission were made into the region to the northwest in 1753 and 1754, and reports focused on the broad San Saba River valley, which was suitable for irrigated farming. As additional incentives, prospects of mineral veins in the intervening central mineral region were noted, and warning was given that, without a Spanish entry, the area might soon be overrun by the French. Against admonitions from the reigning Spanish governor, Jacinto de Barrios y Jáuregui, who warned that the eastern Apaches were interested only in the Spaniards' ability to protect them from their hostile Comanche enemies, plans for the undertaking advanced. Further support came from two events. The end of the San Xavier missions and the presidio on the San Gabriel River provided the religious ornaments and furnishings for the mission and part of the military garrison needed to protect it; and Pedro Romero de Terreros, wealthy mine owner of Pachuca, offered to underwrite the cost of up to twenty missionaries from the colleges of Santa Cruz de Querétaro and San Fernando de México for three years. Romero stipulated that his cousin, Fray Alonso Giraldo de Terreros, should head the enterprise.

Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, appointed commander of the San Sabá presidio, was ordered in September 1756 to take charge of and transfer the San Xavier garrison of fifty men to San Sabá and to enlist others at San Antonio and in Mexico. With 100 men, his presidio was to become the largest in Texas. The group spent the winter of 1756–57 in San Antonio, a season marred by a bitter feud between two priests over control of the new mission. After repeated delays, Ortiz at last ordered the march for the San Saba River on April 5, 1757. Most of the soldiers, the six missionaries, and others, a total of about 300, arrived at their destination on April 17. No Apaches were there to greet them. After Ortiz Parrilla had spent five days exploring the riverbanks in search of the most suitable site, he laid out his presidio on the north side of the San Saba. From available timber the friars built quarters for themselves and a temporary church downstream 1½ leagues from the presidio on the opposite bank. The priests hoped that the distance between the presidio and the mission would reduce the possibility of military harassment of the Indians, but they failed to realize that such placement would make the mission vulnerable to attack.
Although work on the first of the two projected missions had begun, the Indians still failed to appear. In mid-June, however, the Franciscans were heartened when some 3,000 Apaches, traveling north to hunt buffalo and fight the Comanches, camped near the nascent mission; but the Indians were unresponsive to the missionaries. When the Indians moved on, they left two of their number who were ill and promised to join the mission after their foray. Three of the missionaries from Querétaro, meanwhile, decided that the project was doomed to failure and withdrew. Plans to begin a second mission, for the friars of San Fernando, were shelved.

When small bands of Apaches began to return, they stayed only briefly. Rumors were heard that the northern tribes were gathering to make war on the Apaches and to destroy the new mission and presidio. A bitter winter killed the livestock. On February 25, 1758, Indians raided the pasture and ran off fifty-nine horses. Soldiers sent in pursuit found large numbers of hostile Indians throughout the surrounding countryside. Terreros turned aside Ortiz Parrilla's urging that the three missionaries and thirty-three others at the mission take refuge inside the presidio. The father president agreed to effect certain security measures, but too late. On the morning of March 16, the mission gates swung closed as 2,000 Indians-some Comanches among several Wichita bands and others, including Tejas, Bidais, and Tonkawas-surrounded the log enclosure. Many were armed with muskets, swords, or lances. The presence in the throng of groups formerly friendly to the Spaniards helped the Indians to convince some of the missionaries of their friendly intentions. While dispute over whether to allow the Indians inside the mission continued, the Indians somehow managed to remove the bars from the gate and enter the compound.

To maintain a peaceful atmosphere, the priests gave the Indians gifts of tobacco and trinkets, which led to a demand for additional gifts and horses. Unable to supply the animals and beginning to feel alarm, Terreros granted the Indians' request for a note of safe passage to the presidio, where the Indians hoped to obtain more. Meanwhile, looting and a search of the compound for Apaches began. After some time the Indians who had left for the presidio returned, saying they had been fired upon and had lost three men. Father Terreros then offered to return with the Indians to the presidio, but he and an accompanying soldier were shot dead at the mission gate. The rest of the mission company took refuge inside the buildings, leaving two dead in the patio, while the attackers set fire to the stockade. Ortiz Parrilla, with his garrison of 100 soldiers reduced to a third by various assignments, was unable to send effective relief. A patrol dispatched after dark created a diversion that enabled the mission survivors-including the two Apaches, the mission's only converts-to escape the burning structure. The Indians then moved to the vicinity of the presidio and waited for an opportunity to attack. They withdrew, however, sometime during the night of March 17–18, after the presidio had been reinforced by a supply train. After the fighting Ortiz Parrilla determined that seventeen Indians and eight Spaniards had been slain. The charred, headless body of Father José de Santiesteban Aberín was found in the chapel, where he had remained at prayer. Of the three missionaries, only Father Miguel Molina, who was severely wounded, escaped. As late as April 8 five soldiers wounded in the attack remained in grave condition and were given little chance of survival. Terreros later commissioned the San Sabá Mission painting to commemorate the attack.

In the fall of 1759 Ortiz Parrilla and a force of about 600, seeking to punish the attackers, were repulsed at the Taovaya (Wichita) village on the Red River near the site of present-day Spanish Fort. That failure, added to the destruction of the mission, emphasized the changes European influence had brought to armed conflict in the area. With French firearms and Spanish horses, the northern tribes now constituted a stronger force than the Spaniards themselves could muster. As Governor Barrios had foreseen, the Apache mission attempt marked the beginning of warfare in Texas between the Comanches and the European invaders. It signaled retreat for the Spanish frontier. Though historians have often ascribed to the Comanches the dominant role in the San Sabá Mission attack, there is strong evidence to the contrary. A key participant in the 1759 expedition, Juan Ángel de Oyarzún, seems to credit the Taovayas as the instigators; he provides a partial list of other tribes that took part "as their friends and companions": "Cumanches, Yascales, Taguacanas, Paisas, Quichais, Yanes, Caudachos, Yatase, Nochonas, Nasones, Nacaudachos, Ainai, Nabaidachos, Bidas, and many other nations." The participants thus ranged from the Comanches of the Texas high plains to members of the Natchitoches confederacy of Louisiana. A later attempt to missionize the Apaches on the upper Nueces River (El Cañón) was more enduring but hardly more successful. The San Sabá mission itself was never rebuilt. The Presidio de San Sabá, as it came to be called, managed to remain for another decade.

Discovery of the mission site, on property owned by Dionitia and Otis Lyckman, culminated a search begun in 1965 by Kathleen Gilmore and Dessamae Lorrain. The quest had been carried on since then by a variety of individuals and agencies. The find, more than a mile east of the 1936 historical monument that tentatively marked the site, ultimately resulted from genealogical research of Mark Wolf, a descendant of one of the soldiers assigned to the mission when it was destroyed. Wolf enlisted the aide of Kay Hindes, a historian, and Grant D. Hall, a Texas Tech University archeologist. Hall directed the 1993 archeological work at the site, which authenticated it with recovery of more than three hundred Spanish artifacts. These included musket balls, religious ornaments, majolica shards, and fired-clay daub, as well as nails, hinges, and other hardware. The site discovery was one of two episodes that renewed interest in the San Sabá Mission in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The other was controversy surrounding the painting, The Destruction of Mission San Sabá, which was confiscated by United States customs agents and returned to Mexico after having been offered for sale in Texas. The painting, done soon after the mission attack and evidently based on eyewitness accounts, is said to be "the earliest extant easel painting by a professional artist depicting an event in Texas history."
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:56 pm

March 17 in Texas History…..

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Convention of 1836 breaks up in a hurry

On this day in 1836, the Convention of 1836 adjourned in haste as the Mexican army approached Washington-on-the-Brazos. The convention, which met on March 1, drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander-in-chief of the republic's military forces before the delegates evacuated Washington-on-the-Brazos. Their hurried departure was part of the so-called Runaway Scrape, in which Texans fled the advancing troops of Antonio López de Santa Anna. Richmond was evacuated about April 1, and Houston's subsequent retreat toward the Sabine left all of the settlements between the Colorado and the Brazos unprotected. The settlers in that area at once began making their way toward Louisiana or Galveston Island. The section of East Texas around Nacogdoches and San Augustine was abandoned a little prior to April 13. The flight was marked by lack of preparation and by panic caused by fear both of the Mexican Army and of the Indians. The flight continued until news came of the victory in the battle of San Jacinto.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

CONVENTION OF 1836. The Convention of 1836 wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander in chief of the military forces of the republic. The call for the convention to meet at Washington-on-the-Brazos was issued by the General Council of the provisional government over the veto of Governor Henry Smith in December 1835, and the delegates were elected on February 1, 1836. The convention met on March 1, 1836, in near-freezing weather in an unfinished building belonging to Noah T. Byars and Peter M. Mercer, his business partner. The building was rented for use of the convention by a group of Washington business men who, incidentally, never got around to paying the rent. Forty-four delegates were assembled on the first day of the convention. Fifty-nine delegates finally attended its sessions. Andrew Briscoe did not arrive until March 11. Twelve of the members were natives of Virginia, ten of North Carolina, nine of Tennessee, six of Kentucky, four of Georgia, three of South Carolina, three of Pennsylvania, three of Mexico (including two born in Texas), two of New York, and one each of Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Only ten of the delegates were in Texas as early as January 1830; two of them arrived in 1836.

Sam Houston, Robert Potter, Richard Ellis, Samuel P. Carson, Martin Parmer, and Lorenzo de Zavala had all had political experience in Mexico or the United States in state or national government, several in both. James Collinsworth presided as temporary chairman, and Willis A. Faris was secretary pro tem. After the examination of credentials of the members, the permanent officers were elected; Richard Ellis was president and Herbert Simms Kimble was secretary. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on March 2, and members began signing it on March 3. The convention then proceeded to the writing of the constitution and election of ad interim government officials. With the report of the approach of the Mexican army, the convention adjourned in haste in the early morning hours of March 17.

TEXAS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The Texas Declaration of Independence was framed and issued by the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. As soon as the convention was organized a resolution was introduced for appointment of a committee to draw up a declaration of independence. Richard Ellis, president of the convention, appointed George C. Childress, James Gaines, Edward Conrad, Collin McKinney, and Bailey Hardeman to the committee. Childress was named chairman, and it is generally conceded that he wrote the instrument with little help from the other members. In fact there is some evidence that he brought to the convention a proposed declaration that was adopted with little change by the committee and the convention, a view which is substantiated by the fact that the committee was appointed on March 1 and the declaration was presented to the convention on March 2. The Texas edict, like the United States Declaration of Independence, contains a statement on the nature of government, a list of grievances, and a final declaration of independence. The separation from Mexico was justified by a brief philosophical argument and by a list of grievances submitted to an impartial world.

The declaration charged that the government of Mexico had ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people; that it had been changed from a restricted federal republic to a consolidated, central, military despotism; that the people of Texas had remonstrated against the misdeeds of the government only to have their agents thrown into dungeons and armies sent forth to enforce the decrees of the new government at the point of the bayonet; that the welfare of Texas had been sacrificed to that of Coahuila; that the government had failed to provide a system of public education, trial by jury, freedom of religion, and other essentials of good government; and that the Indians had been incited to massacre the settlers. According to the declaration, the Mexican government had invaded Texas to lay waste territory and had a large mercenary army advancing to carry on a war of extermination. The final grievance listed in justification of revolution charged that the Mexican government had been "the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrannical government." After the signing of the original declaration by fifty-nine delegates, five copies of the document were dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. The printer at San Felipe was also instructed to make 1,000 copies in handbill form. The original was deposited with the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., and was not returned to Texas until some time after June 1896. In 1929 the original document was transferred from the office of the secretary of state to the Board of Control to be displayed in a niche at the Capitol, where it was unveiled on March 2, 1930.

Texas Primer: The Runaway Scrape
WHEN SANTA ANNA’S ARMY NEARED, WHAT DID STALWART TEXAS COLONISTS DO? RUN LIKE RABBITS.

by JAN REID
MAY 1989…TEXAS MONTHLY

“Remember the Alamo!” right?“ Remember Goliad!” With battle cries of vengeance and honor, revolutionaries at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836 created a myth of Texas character that persists even today: blood for blood and to hell with the odds. Texans were the bravest and most indomitable fighters of all. But in history and mythmaking, all’s well only when it ends well. When the Texans first heard stories of Mexican troops swarming through the land, they reacted in standard and utterly human fashion—with panic and hysteria. When the chips were down, our forefathers hauled ass for the Sabine River.

Participants called the exodus the Runaway Scrape. It first took hold in January of that year in San Patricio, Refugio, and San Antonio, as news spread that Santa Anna was approaching the Rio Grande. He crossed in mid-February with his best generals, about 4,000 men, and artillery. The tiny Texan garrison at the Alamo was annihilated, and the rebellious colonists began to run for their lives. When Texas army commander Sam Houston received word of the tragedy on March 11, he was in Gonzales, a town that had sent 32 of its own men to join William Barret Travis at the Alamo. “There was not a soul left among the citizens of Gonzales who had not lost a father, husband, brother or son in that terrible massacre,” wrote colonist John M. Swisher. “I shall never forget the scene which followed the confirmation of the dreadful news. The mad agony of the widows and the shrieks of the childless and fatherless beggars all description.”

Expecting Mexican troops to overrun Gonzales at any moment, Sam Houston burned the town and ordered all civilians to follow his army eastward. People left so fast that one house was found with fried chicken, a coffeepot, and a pitcher of milk on the dinner table. Near Hallettsville, Indians killed and scalped two Irish immigrant families as they packed their belongings. Rumors spread that an alliance of Cherokees, Comanches, Kiowas, Caddos, and Wichitas had joined the Mexicans. The settlers believed that Santa Anna would kill them all: Hadn’t he ordered the execution of more than three hundred prisoners at Goliad on March 27, Palm Sunday? Houston continued to retreat, provoking desertions and mutinous grumblings among his rain-soaked troops. One of his officers set San Felipe on fire when scouts mistook a small cattle drive for a squadron of Mexican cavalry.

By April 1 the tall-grass prairie was a scene of absolute chaos. The spring rains fell in sheets; every river crossing was a terrifying ordeal. Women floundered waist-deep in mud, babies in their arms. At the Brazos, some families gave up running and simply cowered in the bottomland canebrakes. One woman described campsites full of people singing, dancing, and laughing at the ridiculousness of their plight. There was even a wedding. But the comic relief did not last. Many refugees sickened and died along the trail. Children were abandoned. Press-gangs requisitioned horses for Houston’s army; as often as not, those men were horse thieves. As the exodus reached the East Texas forest, some settlers headed for Galveston Island. More slogged through the Big Thicket. All they wanted was the safety of American soil beyond the Sabine. Wrote sixteen-year-old Guy M. Bryan, himself a hapless refugee, “Often times you would pass for hundreds of yards the prairie white with feathers emptied out of the bedticks to lighten the wagons. … O! the cruel runaway scrape—how much of distress, suffering and loss it caused!”

On April 21 Houston’s army surprised Santa Anna’s troops during their siesta at San Jacinto. Bryan recalled receiving the news: “I could see what seemed a horseman coming rapidly towards us, he passed along the swaying line of people, they shouted and jumped about throwing up hats, bonnets … at length he passed our wagons his horse all covered with foam shouting hoarsely the Texas army has killed and captured all the Mexican Army, stop, go back to your homes.”

The Texans had, in a single day, transformed themselves from victims to victors, and the legend of virility and martyrdom that they were shaping could not admit the embarrassment of the Runaway Scrape. Almost before the episode was over, it was relegated to the fine print of history. As he departed from his home, one Major Bynum locked up his china and valuable furniture. When he returned, he found that other refugees had broken in and butchered a hog on his fine mahogany table. They were, after all, only human.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:04 pm

March 18 in Texas History…..

Groce's plantation becomes temporary capital of Texas

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On this day in 1836, the new government of Texas began a three-day stay at Groce's Retreat, Jared E. Groce's plantation home, in what is now southwestern Grimes County. President David G. Burnet and his cabinet sought sanctuary there as they retreated from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg. Groce's house was used as the capital of the Republic of Texas until March 21.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

GROCE'S RETREAT. Groce's Retreat, Jared E. Groce's plantation home in what is now southwestern Grimes County, was built in 1833 when Groce moved to the site on Wallace Prairie, retreating from the malaria of the Brazos River bottoms. The house was located on a three-acre tract twelve miles south of Navasota on an elevation in prairie country that later was part of the farms of S. D. Mason and N. W. Lyles on the east bank of the Brazos River. While residing at the plantation in early 1836, George C. Childress drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence, which was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2. President David G. Burnet and his cabinet stayed at Groce's Retreat from March 18 to March 21, 1836, on their way from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg; for three days it was thus the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. William Fairfax Gray described the houses of the plantation as numerous but small and crowded. Groce died there on November 20, 1836. His heirs sold the property to a family named Dunham. The property was later purchased by Dugald McAlpine who built his residence a mile north of the former plantation house. Some of the Groce buildings were standing in 1852. A state historical marker on Highway 6 commemorates the site.

JARED ELLISON GROCE (1782–1839). Jared Ellison Groce, planter, public official, and the wealthiest settler in Stephen F. Austin's colony, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, on October 12, 1782, the son of Jared Ellison and Sarah (Sheppard) Groce. In 1802 he moved to South Carolina, where he acquired valuable property and married Mary Ann Waller, daughter of Texas pioneer Leonard Waller, on August 29, 1804. Later that year he moved to Lincoln County, Georgia, where he purchased a large estate. There he became a delegate to the convention that drafted the Georgia constitution. After his wife's death in 1814, Groce moved to Alabama and established a settlement known as Fort Groce. He heard of Austin's colonization scheme in 1821 and decided to move to Texas.

With the aid of some fifty wagons and ninety slaves, Groce and his effects reached the Brazos River in January 1822. He began constructing a homestead, which soon became Bernardo Plantation, on the east bank four miles south of the site of present-day Hempstead. In recognition of the extensive property that he had brought with him, he was granted title to ten leagues of land by the Mexican government, on July 29, 1824. These original holdings were soon augmented by shrewd purchases. It is said, for example, that in 1828 Groce acquired the league on which Courtney was founded in exchange for a riding pony and a bolt of cloth. In 1822 he cultivated what may have been the first cotton crop in the Austin colony and in 1825 constructed one of the earliest gins in Texas, on the Brazos River, now in southwestern Grimes County. By the end of 1822 he had built a large house at Bernardo on a hill overlooking the Brazos near the mouth of Fish Pond Creek; here he resided until 1833, when the malarial environment of the Brazos bottoms compelled him to divide his estate among his children and move several miles northward to Wallace Prairie, now in Grimes County. Here, accompanied by twenty slaves, on an open hill in a three-league tract of land on the east bank of the Brazos, Groce constructed a new home known as Groce's Retreat. The establishment included a primitive sawmill for processing logs hewn from nearby junipers. During the 1830s, in order to defend his home against occasional Indian raids, Groce armed a company of his slaves.

He had been a participant in the affairs of the Austin colony since 1824, when he chaired a committee to petition the Mexican congress for the protection of slave property in Texas. He actively opposed the Fredonian Movement and placed his ferry, wagons, teams, and slaves at the disposal of Col. Mateo Ahumada as he marched to Nacogdoches to suppress the uprising in 1827. Groce was selected as a delegate from the District of Viesca (later Milam County) to the Convention of 1832, where he opposed the resolution seeking independence for Texas and chaired a committee to draft petitions for tariff reduction. He was returned to the Convention of 1833, where he again participated actively.

But whatever the grounds of his earlier reluctance, by 1836 Groce had espoused revolution. Though he was crippled in both arms and unfit for military duty, he is reported to have personally outfitted five men for service in the Texas army. The draft of the Texas Declaration of Independence was completed before March 2 by George C. Childress at Groce's Retreat, whence it was returned to Washington-on-the-Brazos for ratification. Between March 18 and March 21, 1836, the Retreat served as the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas, while the interim government of David G. Burnet stopped there en route from Washington to Harrisburg. In April before the battle of San Jacinto, Gen. Sam Houston and his army camped on the west bank of the Brazos opposite Bernardo, which Groce's son, Leonard Waller Groce, had inherited. For two weeks Leonard Groce supplied the army with provisions, shelter, and medical attention. After San Jacinto, Groce's Retreat was among the venues considered to become the permanent capital of the republic.

Groce won a wide reputation for hospitality and generosity; his home was reported to be continually filled with weary travelers, whom he unfailingly received as his guests. He encouraged and assisted the immigration of many families and individuals to Texas, the most notable of whom was his friend Sam Houston. Groce and his first wife had three sons and a daughter. In 1814 Groce married Ann Waller, Mary's sister, and they had two additional children. Ann died in 1818. Austin County records contain a copy of Groce's will dated October 24, 1838; he died in 1839 and was buried at Bernardo. The present community of Retreat was established in 1851 two miles east of Groce's Retreat on the route of a stage line from Houston to Anderson.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

March 19 in Texas History…..

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Council House Fight irreparably damages Comanche-white relations

On this day in 1840, Republic of Texas soldiers killed some thirty Penateka Comanche leaders and warriors and five women and children in the Council House Fight in San Antonio. The Comanches had come to San Antonio seeking to make peace. Texas officials had demanded that the Comanches return all captives, but the Penatekas brought only a few prisoners, including the severely abused Matilda Lockhart. After a dispute about the other captives, Texas soldiers entered the Council House, where the peace talks were being held, and informed the assembled chiefs that they were to be held as hostages until the remaining captives were released. The Comanche chiefs attempted to escape and called to their fellow tribesmen outside the house for help. In the ensuing melee, the soldiers killed most of the Comanches who remained in the Council House courtyard. Six whites were killed and twenty wounded as well. Texas authorities freed a single Comanche woman with orders to secure the release of the remaining white captives in exchange for twenty-seven Comanches captured in the fight. The Penateka leaders refused to respond to Texas demands, and most of the Texans' captives escaped. The Council House Fight outraged Comanche sensibilities, for they considered ambassadors immune from acts of war. Led by Buffalo Hump, the Penatekas retaliated by raiding deep into Texas. Comanche hatred of Texans deepened and contributed much to the violence of the frontier.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

COUNCIL HOUSE FIGHT. In the Council House Fight thirty Penateka Comanche leaders and warriors, as well as some five women and children of the tribe, were killed by Texas troops at San Antonio on March 19, 1840. The event is said to have hardened Comanche hostility to whites in Texas. From the time of the first white settlements in Texas Comanche warriors and American frontiersmen had skirmished. In 1840 the Penatekas, driven by the fear of Cheyenne and Arapaho attacks along the northern frontier of Comanche territory, the losses suffered in several smallpox epidemics, and the successes of Texas Rangersqv against them, sought to make peace with Texas. When Comanche peace representatives arrived at San Antonio in January 1840, commissioners of the Texas government demanded the return of all captives held by the Penatekas. In addition, Texas officials insisted that the Comanches abandon Central Texas, cease interfering with Texan incursions, and avoid all white settlements.
In response to the Texans, thirty-three Penateka chiefs and warriors, accompanied by thirty-two other Comanches, arrived in San Antonio on March 19, 1840. The prominent peace chief Muk-wah-ruh headed the delegation, which brought only a few prisoners, namely several Mexican children and Matilda Lockhart, a sixteen-year-old white girl. Matilda, who had been captured with her sister in 1838, claimed that her captors had physically and sexually abused her. Burn scars, coupled with the mutilation of her nose, supported her stories. She also said that fifteen other captives remained in Comanche hands and that the tribe's leaders intended to ransom these hostages one at a time .

When Texan commissioners demanded the release of the other captives Matilda had mentioned, Muk-wah-ruh replied that these prisoners were held by Comanche bands beyond his authority. Failing to comprehend the diffuse nature of Comanche political authority, the commissioners rejected the chief's explanation. Texas soldiers entered the Council House, where the peace talks were being held, and the commissioners informed the assembled chiefs that they were to be held as hostages until the remaining captives were released. In response to these threats, the Comanche chiefs attempted to escape and called to their fellow tribesmen outside the house for help. In the ensuing melee, Texans attacked several Indians while soldiers killed most of the Comanches who remained in the Council House courtyard. A single Comanche woman was freed by Texas authorities and ordered to secure the release of the white captives in exchange for twenty-seven Comanches captured in the fight. The Penateka leaders refused to respond to Texas demands, and most of the Texans' captives escaped.

The Council House Fight outraged Comanche sensibilities, for they considered ambassadors immune from acts of war. Led by Buffalo Hump, the Penatekas retaliated by raiding deep into Texas. Comanche hatred of Texans, who were regarded as treacherous, continued throughout the warfare era and contributed much to the violence of the frontier.

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Council House Fight Comanche warriors

The San Antonio Council House Fight

by Jeffery Robenalt

In March of 1840, a meeting took place in old San Antonio between representatives of the government of the Republic of Texas and the Penateka Comanches to discuss terms of a peace treaty. The meeting was held in a small, one-story limestone building on the corner of Main Plaza and Calabozo (Market) Streets know as the Council House. The flat-roofed, earthen-floor structure adjoined the old stone jailhouse where the City Hall now stands. The yard back of the Council House was later the City Market. The disastrous results of this meeting would soon lead to the Great Comanche Raid of 1840 and the Battle of Plum Creek.

Sam Houston, the first president of Texas, had a policy of negotiating treaties and territorial boundaries with the Republic's various Indian tribes, including the Cherokees and Comanches, believing that a peaceful settlement of disputes between the races would lead to a permanent and inexpensive solution to the Native American problem. However, this was an unpopular position with many Texans, and Houston's successor in office, Mirabeau Lamar, was elected in part by expressing an opposing view. Rather than negotiations, Lamar insisted the only permanent solution to the Indian problem was to expel the tribes from Texas, and to kill all those Indians who refused to leave peacefully.

Immediately after assuming the Presidency, Lamar moved to implement his policy of expulsion or eradication with a vengeance. The first step was to order Chief Bowles to lead his Cherokees out of Texas. When Bowles refused as Lamar suspected he would, the President authorized militia General Kelsey Douglass to use force to drive the Cherokees out of the Republic.

On July 16, 1839, the militia, bolstered by a few soldiers from the Texas Army, attacked the main Cherokee village located on the Nueces River. Chief Bowles was among those killed during the fighting, and the Cherokees were forced to hurriedly pack up a meager portion of their possessions and move to present-day Oklahoma, leaving behind homes, livestock, and crops ripening in the fields.

However, General Douglas refused to limit Lamar’s policy to the Cherokees alone, and by July 25, the militia had also driven the Caddo, Kickapoo, Muskogee, Creek, Delaware, Shawnee, and Seminole tribes into Oklahoma or across the Arkansas line. Only the small and inoffensive Alabama and Coshatta tribes were permitted to remain inside the borders of the Republic, and they were moved to less fertile lands on what was to become one of the few permanent Texas Indian reservations.

President Lamar hoped to quickly deal with the Comanches in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, the fierce "Lords of the Plains" were a far cry from the weak and nearly civilized tribes of east Texas. The Penateka Comanches, the tribal band with territory closest to white settlement, had been waging a continuous bloody hit and run war for years with the settlers along the frontier north and west of Austin.

President Lamar began his move against the Comanches by ordering his newly formed companies of Texas Rangers to carry the fight into the fringes of the Comancheria with attacks on hunting parties and a few scattered villages such as Colonel John Moore's February, 1839, attack on a Comanche village in the valley of the San Saba River. Although these attacks on the basic way of Comanche life were not always successful, they eventually convinced the Penateka that the cost of continued fighting would carry a high price.

As a result, on January 9, 1840, several Penetaka war chiefs rode into the old mission town of San Antonio seeking a parley with the commander of the Texas Rangers, Colonel Henry Karnes. At the meeting, the chiefs told Karnes all the bands of the Penateka were ready to sit down with the whites and negotiate a peace treaty. Karnes consented to the proposed meeting on the sole condition that the Comanches return their white captives, believed to have numbered around two hundred at the time. The war chiefs agreed and promised to return to San Antonio in twenty days.

Fearing the Comanches would fail to keep their promise, Colonel Karnes wrote to General Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander of the Texas Army, requesting that three peace commissioners be sent to San Antonio, along with enough troops to capture the Indians who came to the meeting and hold them as hostages if the white captives were not returned. After conferring with President Lamar, Johnston agreed and immediately dispatched three companies of the first regiment to San Antonio under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Fisher. Fisher was also appointed as a peace commissioner along with the Texas Adjutant General and the Acting Secretary of War.

On March 19, 1840, sixty-five Comanches, including men, women, and children, boldly paraded into the streets of old San Antonio. The brightly painted and attired contingent, dressed in their finest and decorated with a rainbow of feathers and trade ribbons, was led by twelve war chiefs and the great peace chief, Muguara, or Muk-wah-rah, the Spirit Talker. Unfortunately, the Comanches arrived for the meeting with only two captives; a sixteen year-old girl, Matilda Lockhart, and a young Mexican boy the Texans didn’t even consider. To make matters worse, the young girl’s condition was abhorrent.

Matilda's face and body were covered with bruises and sores, and the end of her nose had been burnt off down to the bone by malevolent Comanche squaws who had routinely awakened her from sleep by sticking a hot coal against her flesh, especially to the tip of her nose. Matilda had lived with the Comanches for nearly two years and she understood some of their language. She told the Texans the Comanches had thirteen more captives in their camp, but they hoped to get a higher price by returning them one at a time.

When Chief Muguara and the other war chiefs entered the Council House, Muguara began the talks by demanding higher prices for the remaining captives held by the Comanches. Ignoring the Peace chief’s outrageous demands, the commissioners immediately insisted on knowing why the other prisoners had not been returned as promised. Muguara arrogantly answered that although they were being held by other Comanche bands, they could all be purchased for the right price.

After seeing the mutilation of the young Lockhart girl, the commissioners were furious, and Colonel Fisher ordered some of the soldiers who had been surrounding the outside of the council house to enter the meeting room. Next, a reluctant interpreter was ordered to tell Muguara that he and the war chiefs would be imprisoned until the remainder of the white captives were released. After delivering the threat, the frightened interpreter turned and fled from the room. The Texas Sentinel of March 24, 1840, provided a detailed account of "a recent battle with the Comanches at San Antonio."

Pandemonium ensued as the Comanches responded with shrill war cries and rushed for the door. A war chief stabbed a soldier who attempted to block the door with his body, and Fisher gave the command to open fire. Muguara was killed instantly, and in the confusion caused by echoing blasts of gunfire, howls and screams of the Comanches, and thick clouds of swirling black powder smoke, the surviving Comanches broke out of the building.

Even the young Comanche boys who had been playing outside during the meeting joined in on the fight, firing arrows in all directions. Indians, soldiers, and spectators alike were killed in the general melee that followed, and in the end, none of the Comanches escaped the deadly trap set by Colonel Fisher. Muguara and all twelve war chiefs were killed along with many of the Comanche women and children. About thirty women and children were taken prisoner. The Texans suffered only six killed and ten wounded.

After the smoke had settled, Colonel Fisher ordered that a squaw be given a horse and sent to the Comanche camp with a warning; unless the white captives were returned within twelve days all the Comanche prisoners being held in the San Antonio jail would be killed. The squaw never returned to San Antonio, but eventually a young white boy who had been adopted into the tribe told the terrible tale of what happened when the war chief’s wife reached the camp.

The loss of so many warriors and leaders was a serious blow for any Comanche band to suffer, and the Penateka went into a frenzy of mourning. Women screamed and howled as they slashed at their arms and legs with razor-sharp flint knives, and men sacrificed many valuable horses to honor the brave dead. However, all this was nothing compared with the ghastly fate suffered by the thirteen white captives. Every one of them was either roasted alive or tortured to death in hideous and lingering ways that only a fierce and vengeful people like the Comanches could devise.

President Lamar's Indian policy and the ill-fated results of the Council House fight ensured there would be no lasting peace between the Republic of Texas and the Comanche nation, and for several months after the incident people in and around San Antonio lived in a state of terror. When nothing of note occurred by mid-summer, the Texans assumed the Comanche threat was gone. This assumption could not have been further from the truth. The Penateka had simply melted away deep into the far northern reaches of the Comancheria where they held council with all the other Comanche bands. Under a brilliant August moon the Comanches would return in a force heretofore unknown, and Texas would eventually pay a terrible price in blood and suffering during the Great Comanche Raid of 1840.

The Council House Fight and Battle of Plum Creek
The Journal of James Wilson Nichols 1820-1887
(Spelling unedited, bracketed corrections from C.W. McDowell--Now You Hear My Horn)

James W. Nichols FamilyCouncil House Fight. It was now near the time for the treaty with the Comanche Indians at San Antonio whare they was to meete and smoke the pipe of peace with the whites, so John Sowell and myself concluded to go and see what was to be seen. The treaty was to take place March the 19th, 1940. The Indians had already arived and pitched their tents on the Almos three miles from town, but the town was litterly alive with Indians. The comissioners was thare and the government had taken the precaution to send Captain Howard with 30 well armed men as guards. The day came and with it came ten of the most promanent chiefs and 38 wariors all well armed, thare was ten comissioners to balance against the ten chiefs. They set Captain Howard to watch the 38 wariors and the Council chose a house, a strong one storry house with no windows, and as they entered the disarmed. The redskins did not like this mutch but they all entered. It was observed that the Indians had not braught in the white prisnrs, and suspecting thare would be a row about it, Captain Redd of San Antonio organized all the loose men in town into a company to be ready if anything should happen, and John Sowell and myself joined him. The Indians had braught in a negro boy and a Mexican man who had been with them twelve years and who was their interpeter. After they was all seated the first question asked was whare are the white prisnrs that you promaced to bring in to this talk. The Mexican, after consulting the head chief, said, "We braught in all the prisnrs we had in our possession, the others are with a roveing band that is not willing to treat." The whites commenced going out one at a time until all but four was out. The head chief says in broaken Inglish, "Well, how you likee." The whites shook their heads and two more went out, and the chief says, "Well what you doee." The other two mad for the door and at the door they told the interpeter to tell them they would all be held as prisnrs of war until the white prisnrs was braught in, then they shut the door and bared it.

As soon as the interpeter told them their fate they raised the war hoop and the 38 outside mad a rush for the door to free their chiefs but narry one reached it. They strung their bows and raised the war hoop, but outside Captain Redd and Howard with their companies was ready and the fight opened. The chiefs burs down the door and rushed out but was shot down as fast as they come out and the fight became general and lasted about a half hour. Altho the Indians faught despretly, we taken one old squaw and our loss was one man, Bill Henson, kilt and seven wounded. They taken the old squaw and told her if she told them a lie they would kill her but if she would tell them the truth they would turn her loose, then asked her whare the white prisnrs was. She said one they kilt, one they sold to another tribe, and thare was five at camp, was all they had taken that she knew of. She said she was the wife of the head chief Buffalo Hump who had just been kilt and that she was now in full command until another head chief was elected, and if we would go with her to the camp she would deliver the prisnrs to us.

We taken her to camp and found five of the captives. One young girl, Fanny Putnam, had been sold and one of the young ladies, Rhoda Putman, had been taken by a young chief for a wife and had a child by him and would not leave her chief and child to come in, and the youngest Lockhart child they kilt the first day for crying. We taken the other young lady Matilda Lockhart and her sister, the two youngest Putman girls, and the boy Jim Putman, and when he became a man he married one of my sisters. Fanny Putman, that was sold to another tribe, was afterwards purchesed in Masouri and som twenty years afterwards braught to Gonzales and was recognized by her parance, and the other one died with the Indians. The Comanches was so completely beaten and out done they hung around San Antonio for several months brooding over their lost ten chiefs. They finely bundled up and went high up on the watters of the Colorado River whare we shall leave them.

The Battle of Plum Creek
James Wilson Nichols

The Comanches [failed] to accomplish a treaty and being so thory defeated at San Antonio they hung around awhile brooding over their lost ten chiefs, and in the spring of this year 1840, they bundled up and went high up on the watters of the Cololorado and got togeather the whole tribe and thare in council resolved to redress their wrongs received at San Antonio. They elected a head chief and all the subordinent chiefs and layed their plans to over run Texas, and tried to perswaid all the other tribes to assist them and devide the teritory amgst themselves and have big hunting ground, but none of the other tribes would venture to assist them as they could still smell the patching from the campaign of Burleson, Moor, Rusk and others. They concluded to try a lone hand, but did not even make a point as they got badly enjured. They mad all preperations nessarry for a campain, the grand expedition to Linville, about 1800 wariors all well mounted and armed with six or seven hundred head of loose horses and fat mules for beef with 20 chiefs and 180 boys, women and children. This information I learned from a squaw that was taken prisnr at the battle of Plum Creek.

They emerged from the mountains into the prairie near the Manchac Springs in Hays County, continueing their way down the country between Peach Creek and McLure Hill in Gonzales County, and on down to Victory which was the first settlement they struck. After killing one man, his wife and two children, and a negro man, his wife and one child, and capturing a negro girl, all at one house in the surburbs of the t[own], they then attacted the town. It was so unexpected that they was wholy unprepard and frightened out of th[eir wi]ts so that they ran into their houses and shut their doors, but seeing the savages prepareing to fire the town, they sallyed out with such arms as the emergency of the case would permit, about sixty men and drove them from the town with a loss of nine killed, including one chief, and several wounded, but the citizens had three men wounded. They drew of about a mile from town and camped and burried their dead which they carried of the field.

Early next morning the savages renewed the attact on the town, but it is said experiance teaches knowledg and that nessity is the mother of invention, and during the night the citizens had come to their sences and, comprehending their danger they forted up all the women and children in a larg stone house. The men got togeather and organized by electing John Polen, an old Texas vetren, who stil survives and resides near Lagarter [Largarto], Live Oak County, and from whom I received my information a short time after this affair occured, and he was elected leader. After posting out guards the citizens worked all night in collecting arms, amunition, and preparing to defend the town so when the attact was made just at daybreak the whites received them with such a shower of bullets that it mad the savages beat a hasty retreat, with considerable loss though succeeded in fireing several houses which had been abandoned the night before. Seeing the citizens of the town was prapared and wining to give them battle, they did not renew the attact, but after burrying their dead, which was thought to be about seventeen, they struck of.

About a mile from to[wn] lived a Mr. Crosby who had been with his family and knew nothing of the Indians being in the coun[ty. He] had just returned and was in the act of unharnesing his team when the savages serounded the house and closed in upon them. They kilt and scelped Crosby and taken Mrs. Crosby and two small children captive, and, she said, after outrageing her person, they tied her on a packmule and handed her her baby and tied her other child on behind her and struck of in the direction of Linville. That evening while crossing the Cassa Blanco Creek they drove the mule on which she rode under som low limbs and hurt her baby so bad that it cryed very loud, and one of these fiends, an old crooked mouthed savage, snatched it from her arms and bursted its braines out against a tree and threw it from him. The mother saw it all but said nothing, only ejeckulated "its better of," and the old savage rode on as composedly as if nothing had happened. That evening near sundown, her little boy began to git tired and thirsty and began crying for watter, and she told him they would kill him if he did not hush, but he only cryed louder. The same old venerable father of the forest drew his knife, cut the straps that bound him to his mother, sliped him of the mule, ran his speer through him, pining him to the ground for a second, then withdrew the reeking speer and left the little fellow for the vultures or wolves to finish. The mother involentaryly screamed and the old savage shook his speer at her as mutch as to say, "Dry up or I’ll serve you the same way."

They traveled all night and the next day about 10 oclock, the 8th day of August, they charged into the town of Linville. The citizens took refuge in a small sailboat that stood moored at the landing and escaped. [Mr. Watts,] then collector of costoms at that place, and wife went to secure som valuable papers, money, and jewlrey was left behind, but arived at the watters edg as the boat left the shore and started to wade to the boat, was so hard presed by the savages that Watts was overtaken, kilt, and scelped, and Mrs. Watts captured. The savages then proceded to pillage and rob the town and packed all the goods in packs. After they had ransacked every house they then fired the town, and, as they thought they had overrun Texas and burned the capital, they was ready to return, and they packed all the goods on packmules and started to return.

The next day a company from Quero and Victory hastely geathered came up with them and had several scirmishes with them but was too weeke for a general ingagement. The Indians nessaraly traveled slow so the whites kept close after them annoying them all they could, occaisionly causing one to bite the dust. The whites sent men ahead every day to recrute and keepe the settlers advised of their whareabouts, and men was sent in every direction whare it was likely men could be found, some to the settlements on the Colorado, C. C. Colley was sent to Gonzales and vecinity to recrute, Ben McCulloch was sent to the settlements above and on to Seguin, all with instructions to rendesvouse at Isham J. Goods ranch which was located on the road leading from Gonzales to Austin and in which direction the savages seemed to be traveling. Goods ranch was six miles east of whare Lockhart now stands. Ben McCulloch t[urned] back from Seguin to make his report to Caldwe[ll] then acting as captain of the militia. Thare was a men started from Seguin and about fifty with Caldwell from Gonzales. We from Seguin arived at the ranch about midnight, about an hour after Caldwell arived with his force near one oclock, and James Byrd came in with a small squad about two hours before day.

Henry McCulloch, who with two or three men had been watching the manuvers of the enemy, came in and reported that the Indians was crossing Plum Creek at that very minute. Caldwell called the men togeather and mad a short speech saying, "If the Indians was not attacted before they reached the mountains, that a thousand men could do nothing with them, that they must be attacted and whiped before they reach the mountains and if they was let alone until twelve oclock that day thare would be no use in following them any farther." And says he, "We have a few over a hundred men and if we cant whipum. we can try." The men all hollowed out, "Hurrah for Caldwell," and we voted him the command, then he said, "Let us be up and doing." He gave orders to be in our saddles in five minuts, but just before all was mounted thare come a runner from Burleson stateing that that officer would be thare by nine or ten oclock, that Gen'l Felix Houston was with Burleson, and that John H. Moore and Z. N. Morrel was on their way with a goodly nomber of men but could not tell when they would arive. Caldwell sent a runner back to Burleson to double quick or he would be to late as he intended to ingague the enemy with what men he had soon as he should ovetake them.

Caldwell says, "We cant aford to wait for Burleson nor no other m[an.] tis expediant that the enemy should be attacted and delayed, if not whiped, before they reach the mountains, for then all the men in the country could do no good." There was at least sixty or eighty men hollowed out, "Lead, we will follow." Some said, "Catchum Captain." We mounted just as the bonny gray eyed morning began to peepe, and marched over the ground whare the town of Lockhart now stands, and as soon as we reached the prarie Caldwell formed us in a colum four deepe, and in forming the colum I was thrown in frunt of one line. In a few minuts we hove in sight of the enemy and marched on in this posision, the whole colum mooveing on end formost, until we arived within three hundred yards of the enemy. As soon as the Indians discovered us they formed in line of battle but still marched on to a point of timber and halted and comenced blowing their whistles and howling their war song. We was ordered to halt still in the same posision, and this halt was caused by Burlesons command comeing in sight on our right, and at the same time Burleson and Houston comeing up to Caldwell in a full ran.

Burleson says to Caldwell, "Captain, I thought it nothing but right for us to tender the command to Genl. Houston as he ranks us so we wish to know your mind on the subject." Caldwell says, "Of corse, he is intitled to the command as he is our superior." Houston then spoke up and says, "Gentlemen, those are the first wild Indians I evar saw and not being accustom to savage ware fare and both of you are, I think it would be doing you and your men especially great injustace for me to ta[ke] command." Said he, "Now give me a deciplined civ[iliz]ed command and a deciplined enemy to fight I would redily take command." They insisted and he taken command, and while this parly was going on the Indians kept up a continuous fireing and in the five or ten minutes thare was five or six of us wounded. In the space between the Indians and Texians thare was six or eight chiefs all dressed in guada aray, one haveing on a cap mad from the face or mop of a buffalo with the horns still on and sticking straight up, with about ten yards of red ribon tied to each horn, another with a two story bee gum silk hat on his head with at least ten yards of each color, red, green, and blue ribon, one end of each tied round his hat the other end loose streaming in the air behind, another one had a green silk umbrilla streached over him, another that was kilt had on red top boots, blue cloth pants and coat with the coat hind part before and buttoned up behind, another had a cap dressed with feathers of diffrent wild fowls, eagle, hawk, and others with a row of silver spoons stuck in it and a bunch of peafowl feathers stuck in the center, and the rest of them was dressed equely as guada but those I have discribed show the stile.

Those chiefs were runing back and fourth in the space between the two armies performing such feats of horsemanship as none but a Commanche, who is raised on horsback, can perform. Lying flat on the side of their horse with nothing to be seen but a foot and a hand, they would shoot their arrows under the horses neck, run to one end of the space, straighten up, wheele their horses, and reverse themselves, allways keeping on the opisit side from us. The line of warriors just behind these chiefs kept up a continuous fireing with their escopets doing no damage but they had som fine rifles taken at Linville and those done all the damage. While the parly was going on I noticed Henry McCulloch about half way the space and near whare those chiefs ware performing such feats of horsemanship, standing behind a small mesquit tree trying, as he said afterwords, to git a fair pop at one of those fine dressed gentlemen. I was close to Ben and directed his attention to Henry saying at the same time, "Henry is in a dangerous place."

Ben galloped of toward Henry and I saw a chief start towards Ben, and I raised my gun and was in the act of shooting and had a good bead on him when a ball struck me in the hand between my for and middle finger, raingeing towards and lodging in or near the rist joint, whare it remains to this day. When the ball struck my hand it caused me to pull the trigger of my gun and she fired, and at the crack of my gun the chief with the buffalo cap on was seen to fall, his horse falling at the same time. My ball had taken efect penetrating through the horse killing him dead and braking the chiefs thigh, but when the horse fell the chief was seen to rise and hop of a few steps and while thus exposed old John McCoy shot and kilt him. About this time the charge was mad and thare was a hard fought battle over him, and thare was ten or a dozen wariours lost their lives trying to carry of the boddy of their dead chief. The three officers was yet standing togeather when French Smith seeing so many gitting wounded and takeing in the situation says, "Boys, lets charge them," and started of in a run, and the whole company, suposeing the charge had been ordered by an officer, charged after Smith. One of Burlesons men, Hutcheson Reede, had come across to see what was causing the delay as Burlesons command had become impatient, and Caldwell seeing his men in motion, started of in the charge, and Burleson broak back and ordered his men to charge round the point of timber. Houston simply hollowed, "Charge," and filed in amongst the croud.

The savages, seeing Caldwells men behind them and Burlesons men on their right and all chargeing them, they ingloriously fled leaveing everything but the horses they rode. After fireing my rifle I was unable to reload it, and I consigned it to the holder at the born of my saddle and, having a brace of old Inglish brass mounted holsters, I drew one of them with my left hand and was of amongst the foremost in the charge. Just before I arived at the place whare the Indians had first halted I saw an old Indian squaw standing by the side of her horse and the prisnrs dismounted and standing near by, and when the rought commenced this old mother of the forest, seeing the Texians in full chace after the Indians and them flying, sent an arrow through the negro girl killing her instantly, then turned to Mrs. Crosby shot her dead, then turned to Mrs. Watts shot her with an arrow but in such a hurry she failed to kill her but inflicted a dangerous wound in her breast and then ran for her horse, but received the contents of my holster before she could mount.

Reede did not return to his command but filed in to the charg, but did not go fare before his horse became unmanageable and, in trying to controle him, the bridle bit broak in the horses mouth and fell out. Haveing now no constraint the horse almost quit the ground and furious with rage, ran past me as though I had been standing still and drove into the thickest potion of the flying enemy, and he ran with the enem[y] for som peace and them sending arrows after him, he was hit with six arrows in the boddy and legs and finely his horse fell pearced through with a ball and he was in the act of riseing to his feete when one of the hindmost savages shot him with a rifle, the ball passed through him entering near the right nipple and comeing out under the right shoulder blade. After dischargeing one of my holsters at the squaw that shot the prisnrs I returned it to the holster, drew the other one and, as I was rideing a good horse, I was soon up with the hindmost potion of the flying enemy, and as the Texians and Indians ware conciderable mixtup and a great many of the Indians dressed in citizens cloths, it was hard to distingush them apart.

I discovered one Indian som distance in the rear of the main force of the enemy and I urged my horse on and was soon up with the Indian. I raised my pistol and fired and the Indian fell from the horse, rolled over displaying a pair of larg flabby breasts that accounted for her being in the rear of som of the Texians as they had discovered her to be a squaw and passed on. It is difficult to distinguish the sexes of a flying enemy when both sexes dressed the same for she carried a bow and quiver but did not attemt to use it. I put my empty pistol back in the holster, drew my belt pistol, a larg Deringer, and went on after the flying enemy. I arived on the bank of a boggy creek litterly bridged with packs, dead and bogged down horses and mules, and saw two Indians climeing the bank on the otherside, and fired at one and they both fell, but am not certain that I hit either of them for just to my right thare was six or eight guns fired at the same time that I fired.

My arms was now all emty and I was unable to reload so I sit watching the flying enemy and their persuers, and about seventy or eighty yards ahead of me I discovered Alsa Miller, C. C. Dewitt, and two or three others in full chace after a chief and his wife both on one horse and was crouding them dose, and just ahead of the chief was five or six wariors. The chief saw that he would be overtaken and blew his whistle loud and the wariors all turned back, deturmend I supose, to die with their chief if nessesary, and when Miller and the other boys and the wariors had nearly met the other boys all fired with good effect each killing his man but Millers gun missed fire, but the other boys seeing thare was but one Indian left, thought Miller would take care of him haveing a repeateing rifle, hurried on to over take the chief. The warior, seeing Millers gun had missed fire, rushed on to him and Miller haveing one of those old fashioned seven shooting rifles with a brass cylinder, about the size of a breakfast plate, sitting on the bretch of his gun, after fireing would have to revolve it with his hand, and this time being in a hurry, he failed to turn the cylinder fare enough to catch. Miller and the Indian met and when their horses heads passed each other the two mens legs almost touched and the Indian commenced to pull his bowstring, for he had already adjusted an arrow. Miller said he could see his bow begin to bend when he raised his gun and with a side swing hit the Indian on the side of the head staggering him back and knocking his bow clear out of his hands.

Now they ware both as good as unarmed but as quick as thought the savage snatched a handfull of arrows from his quiver and job[ed] them against Millers breast trying to stab him with them. By this time Miller had discovered the defect and remided it and shot the Indian dead. There is but a fe[w] men would have gone through such an ordeal wtih as mutch composure as did Miller, but he was a brave man, cool and deliberate, his pasion lay deepe and was hard to bring to the surface, but when it was raised he would face danger with more composure than any man I ever knew. Always smileing when his anger was highest, he was cautious, prudent and watchful, never allowing an enemy to git the advantage of him. He was generous to a fault and he and I was ever fast friends. A little incident occured the first time we ever met that mad us friends for life. Reader, please excuse this digression from the subject. All this occured in about five minuts and I was still sitting on my horse whare I had been watching Millers fight with the Indian when I heared a noise behind me and turned my head and saw a horse fall and an Indian tumble of. When the horse fell I suposed the Indian was dead, but in a few moments she, for it was a squaw, gained a sitting posture, but I had nothing to shoot with if it had been a man armed, but I discovered it was a woman and also observed she had no bow and arrows. I discovered she had been shot through both thighs and both thigh bones broaken and I stood and looked at her as th[e] dying horse had scrambled near her and died, and I was just going to ride of when I saw two men under full speede comeing towards me.

Now I am going to relate a circumstance that makes shiver now and I am going to show that the American race is not wholy exemp from acts of cruelty and barberism, for these two comeing full spedde was old Ezkel Smith and French Smith, his son, they came near and discovered the wounded squaw and they halted. The old man got down, handed French his panting horse to hold, saying at the same time, "Look thare, French," pointing to the old wounded squaw with her long flabby breasts hanging down as she had recovered a sitting posture. He drew his long hack knife as he strode towards her, taken her by the long hair, pulled her head back and she gave him one imploreing look and jabbered somthing in her own language and raised both hands as though she would consign her soul to the great sperit, and received the knife to her throat which cut from ear to ear, and she fell back and expired. He then plunged the knife to the hilt in her breast and twisted it round and round like he was grinding coffee, then drew it from the reathing boddy and returned the dripping instrement to its scabard without saying a word. French says, "Well, Father, I would not have done that for a hundred dollars." "Done what," says the old man. "Why, kilt a woman, a human being." "That aint a human. Thats an injun and I come to kill Injuns, and all the rest has out ran me and got away." He mounted his horse and they both galloped of after the croud, but I still sit thare on my horse a few seconds longer wondering if thare was another man in America that claimed to be civilized that would act so cruel. Smith claimed to be a Christian and had belonged to the Methodist church for 27 years and led in prayr meetings and exorted in public and was a noted class leadre, but the old fellow has long sence gone to reap his reward whare the woodbine twinethe and the wangdoodle mourneth for her first born.

John H. Jenkins, who was a participant, relates the following concerning this incident:

One instance of the hardness and cruelty of some men, even though not savage in form and color, was shown us on this raid. As was often the case, some squaws were marching in Indian ranks, and one of them had been shot, and lay breathing her last---almost dead, as we came by. French Smith, with almost inhuman and unmanly cruelty, sprang upon her, stamped her, and then cut her body through with a lance. He was from the Guadalupe; indeed, I do not think there was a single man from Bastrop who would have stooped to so brutal a deed. Ah! Men almost forgot the meaning of love and mercy and forbearance amid the scenes through which we passed in those early days. [From Jenkins, Recollections of Early Texas Days. The Memoirs of John Holland Jenkins] A similar incident occurred in the Battle of Salado with a wounded Mexican opponent who subsequently survived--WLM.

I suposed I had been thare since I first arived near ten minuts when I discovered that my wound had commenced to bleede rapidly, and I turned and started back and saw a bolt of yellow silk streatched out on the grass and bushes about 40 yards long and about 12 inches wide. I alited from my horse, taken one end, raped the whole bolt around my wounded hand and started to mount my horse again, and for the first time discovered that the foretree of my saddle had been pearced with a large escopet ball cutting both forks intirely in two leaveing nothing to hold the saddle togeather but the raw hide cover. I rode on a peace farther and Brother Thomas call to me and I went to whare he was. He had just arived with a gourd of watter for Reede and th[e] doctor was comeing, and I saw Doctor Brown ex[tract] arrows from him and dress his wounds. By as several of Reedes friends had come and they p[ut him] on a blanket and started to the point of timber to find a shade, for it was an auful hot day. I and Brother Tom and the doctor went on togeather and when we arived at the timber we found Mrs. Watts suffering very mutch with the arrow still sticking in her breast, and the doctor tried to extract it, but she could not stand the pain. Just at this time David Darst rode up, and he was the brother of Mrs. Watts and had been informed of her captivity. When the rout commenced he had passed some distance from her and went on in the chace hopeing to overtake and recapture her, and went on ulitil he was satisfide she was not ahead and turned back hopeing to git some tideings of her. He now found her alive but seriously wounded, and he jumped of his horse, ran and kissed her, then proceded to cut open a bale of blankets that lay near by, spread down a lot of them in a shade, and they all remooved her to it. They layed her down, and Dave held her hands, Brother Tom her head, and the doctor extracted the arrow after the third trial. [David Darst had a sister, Nancy Darst, who married Thomas S. Mitchell in 1834 according to Gonzales court records. Robert Hall's account refers to Mrs. Watts maiden name as Ewing and he describes extracting the arrow by fastening a pocketknife to it presumably as a handle. J.J. Linn, resident of Linnville where Mrs. Watts lived, was not at Plum Creek, but describing her kidnapping in Linnville, stated she was sister of W.G. Ewing--WLM]

The others that was wounded was Robert Hall in thigh, Henry C. Winchel in arm, James Gipson in shoulder, Mrs. Watts in breast, Hutcheson Reede in six places in boddy and legs and a rifle ball went through his boddy, the writer in the hand and two more slightly, both flesh wounds. Late in the evening when most of the men had returned from th[e] chace, the officers picked out a suitable place to on the south side of the creek close to watter an[d a pr]arie, serounded on all sides but one with st[ands of] timber and dog wood brush, opiset or a little below the main battle ground, and ordered all the goods thare, and they chose another similar place to correl the horses and mules in. The next morning they appointed a commity to divide the goods according to quantity and quality and put them in just two hundred and three piles, just the nomber of men inguaged in the battle. I was lying in the shad and saw Brother John comeing in with a load of saddle trees, some ten or fifteen on his horse, and I called to him to come by and he came up and I told him that my saddle tree had been shot in two and ruined, and I wanted him to pick out a good one from his lot and put the rigging of of my old saddle on it for me which he did the saddle trees had been taken at Linville by the savages and was of Childresses make. I have rode that saddle tree ever since and now when I ride a horseback I ride that same saddle tree. I have had it rigged several times and it is still the same tree but looks little the worse for ware as it has been in almost constant use forty seven years.

Thare was squads of men ariveing in camp all evening and all night so that by the next morning I guess thare was five or six hundred men on the ground. The comity appointed to divide the goods, after all the packs had been opened and divided, taken a bunch of knitting nedles and stuck them in the ground by the side of each pile of goods with a slip of paper in each bunch of nedles and they then proceded to stake for them. They placed a man out side of the ring with his back to the good[s to] call the role and thare was one man appointed to go bollow out, "Whose is this pile," and point to the nedles, and [the other man] would call som name and so on [until the last name] was called and the last pile of go[ods was gone. We used the same] way in divideing the horses and mul[es. An animal was chosen and when a] name was called the man or his represen[tative then came] and roped his animal, and I drew the best sad[dle horse] that I ever rode. It was a natural pacer and Brother John roped it for me and said he wanted me to have an easy ride home as I was wounded. After Dr. Brown of Gonzales extracted six arrows from the boddy and legs of Reede and drew a strip of silk dear through his boddy at the bullet hole, he was carried home on a litter and recovered and lived many years afterwards. All the wo[un]ded except him and Mrs. Watts was able to ride home horseback, and the prisnrs, nombering about thirty, mostly women and children save one little boy that judg Ballinger taken home with him, was turned over to the Lipan Indians who retired with the prisnrs about a mile above us and had a big scelp dance that night.

I have written this lengthy sketch from notes taken on the ground by Brother Thomas on the statements of Mrs. Watts, and that lady said as herself, Mrs. Crosby, and the negro girl ware all tied on pack mules they ware frequently driven togeather while traveling so that they held conversation and by that means she learned both of their stories. I have noticed one writer in writing on this campaign brands Caldwell with [cow]aredice for giveing up the command to Houston, and [says that it] was faught seven or eight miles northwest of Lockhart. He says here was concentrated the companies of Ben McCulloch, Henry McCulloch, Clark L. Owin, Jack Hays, John H. Moor, Wm. B. Dewees, Thomas Ward, Ed Burleson, Mathew Cladwell, Ad Gelispi, Kit Acklin, and others, leaving the impression that thare was so many companies that it tired him so he could not write all of them down. He says all these ware on the ground with their companies, Genl. Felix Houston in command, and prepareations ware makeing for the fight "when I with my Austin company rode up," now here is eleven men with companies besides himself, and as he says "others," now, according to miletary rules, thare was a ridgment which is one thousand men and two companies over, and on a peace further he says the fight opened with 200 Texians against what they suposed 500 Indians, and on further he says they had just started their pack mules and was prepairing to follow, leaveing the impresion that the Indians had been camped or halted to rest and was just starting on their journey. Now thare had been men doging after them and watching them all the way from Linville, and they never halted to eat, sleepe, nor rest since they left that place.

Now the facts are just as I have stated, two hundred and three Texians against two thousand Indians, for after the battle I talked with a squaw who was taken prisner and who said she was the wife of Tuckalote, the chief who had been kilt with the buffalo head cap on. She spoke the Mexican languag well and said thare was when they started eighteen hundred wariors, one hundred muletarees or horseless, and one head chief and twenty subordinent chiefs, and seventy five women and children. Now it was a bad guess when he said what they suposed to be 5,000 Indians for they had been veriously estemated by the People of Victory [Victoria], Linville, and other places at from 8,000 to 5,000, and to show further the untruth of this writer, Ben nor Henry McCulloch, Dewees, nor Owins had any companies. Henry McCulloch is still liveing near Seguin and can be seen or consulted by letter and can be relied on.

I will cote a few paragraphs from another writer, Dewees, who wrote on the same subject and also for the Texas Almanac just to show how absurd som men will be in their writeing to go before and inlightened people suposing it will be taken as facts. Dewees says these Indians had larg quantities of human flesh done up in their packs evedently to cook and eat. Now I will leave this with the reader to judg of its correctness after a few facts. They had not kilt any person since leaveing Victory, and thare did not take time to take anything but scalps. Admit they did, that was 19 days before this fight, except Mr. Watts at Linville and they took nothing of him but his scelp, this was in August and common sence would teach us that any kind of meat done up in a pack would have been rotten in that length of time in hot weather. The Comanches was not canabels no how, they eat mule, beef, not human flesh. The same writer says in the same letter, in their bundles was found vast nombers of young alagaiters which they ware carrying back with them, som thought as curiousities, others thought it was to show to the balance of the tribe as proof that they had gone down as fare as the cost. Now it is strange that a man of sence would write such stuff and have it circulated amongst the riseing generation. To convince my readers who knows no better I will only say I have seen thousands of alegators of all sizes in the tributaries of the Colorado River, San Saba, Pecan Buyo, and Concho rite whare the Comanches of that day was born and raised.

I have but one more quotation to mak and I will be through, that is from a writer who is the son of an old vetren and who has wrote a book intitled The Rangers and Pioneers, and in writeing an account of this battle he says ". . . one man from Seguin, James Nichols, was shot between the fore and middle fingers while in the act of shooting at an Indian, the ban was cut out at the rist joint and as the wound healed the two fingers grew togeather up to the first joint. He is still liveing and draws a pension, etc." but one mistake he makes is the ball never was cut out but remains in my hand to this day. The same writer in writing up Andrew Sowell says, Andrew Sowell kept with the chace until his horse was ran down then collected a croud of Guadaloupe boys and set out for home. Bad time to set out for home on a ran down horse, especially when theire was three or four hundred horses and mules with the spoiles of goods, etc. to be divided amongst the victors. The fact is, we remained on the ground two days and nights before we set out for home. Chin music goes a long ways with som of the late writers.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:26 pm

March 20 in Texas History…..

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Aguayo expedition enters Texas

On this day in 1721, an expedition under the Marqués de Aguayo crossed the Rio Grande into Texas. José de Azlor y Virto de Vera, Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, was governor of Coahuila and Texas when the viceroy of New Spain accepted his offer to reestablish Spanish control of East Texas in the wake of the French invasion of 1719. Aguayo organized a force of some 500 men, which he called the Battalion of San Miguel de Aragón, with Juan Rodríguez as guide. Aguayo reached San Antonio on April 4 before proceeding to East Texas. A detachment under Domingo Ramón occupied La Bahía del Espíritu Santo on the same day. The Indians east of the Trinity welcomed the Spanish, as did the French commander Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who agreed to withdraw to Natchitoches. Leaving 219 of his men at various presidios in Texas, Aguayo returned to Coahuila, where the force was disbanded on May 31, 1722. The expedition resulted in the increase in the number of missions in Texas from two to ten, the increase in the number of presidios from one to four, and the establishment of so definite a Spanish claim to Texas that it was never again disputed by France or by the French in Louisiana.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

AGUAYO EXPEDITION. The Aguayo expedition, a project of the Marqués de Aguayo, resulted from the French invasion of 1719, which caused the Spanish to retreat from East Texas. In response to Aguayo's offer, the viceroy commissioned him to reoccupy the area. Aguayo gathered together a force of about 500 men, organized as a mounted infantry, which he called the Battalion of San Miguel de Aragón. Four thousand horses and other livestock provided transportation and provisions. Juan Rodríguez actedas guide.

After numerous delays the expedition crossed the Rio Grande, on March 20, 1721, and reached San Antonio on April 4. A detachment under Domingo Ramón occupied La Bahía del Espíritu Santo on the same day Aguayo reached San Antonio. Accompanied by the friars who had been in San Antonio since the French invasion, the main body of the expedition went on to East Texas. The party proceeded by way of the sites of present New Braunfels and San Marcos to a crossing of the Colorado River a few miles below the site of present Austin, crossed Little River at the Griffin Crossing east of the site of Belton and the Brazos near the site of Waco, marched southeast to the Old San Antonio Road above the site of Navasota and followed the road to the former Spanish settlements between the Trinity and Red River. Detours necessitated by heavy rains caused the Aguayo trail to skirt the Apache country and run in sight of the Balcones Escarpment.

The Indians east of the Trinity welcomed the Spanish, as did Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who, as commander of the French forces in the area, agreed to withdraw to Natchitoches. While in East Texas Aguayo reestablished six missions: San Francisco de los Tejas (renamed San Francisco de los Neches), San José de los Nazonis, Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainai, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Ais, and San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes. He also reestablished the presidio of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Tejasqv and built and garrisoned the presidio of Nuestra Señora del Pilar de los Adaes for the protection of the missions against hostile Indians or possible French encroachment.

In the fall of 1721 the members of the expedition not stationed in East Texas returned to San Antonio, which Aguayo strengthened by the establishment of a third mission there, San Francisco Xavier de Náxara, and by the rebuilding of San Antonio de Béxar Presidio. On a side trip to La Bahía he established the presidio of Nuestra Señora de Loretoqv and the mission of Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga. He also initiated a direct sea route from La Bahía to Veracruz as a course of supply for the Texas mission establishments.

Leaving 219 of his men at various presidios in Texas, Aguayo returned to Coahuila, where the force was disbanded on May 31, 1722. The expedition resulted in the increase in the number of missions in Texas from two to ten, the increase in the number of presidios from one to four, the strengthening of the military force from fifty to 269 soldiers, and the establishment of so definite a Spanish claim to Texas that it was never again disputed by France or by the French in Louisiana.

MARQUÉS DE SAN MIGUEL DE AGUAYO (?–1734). José de Azlor y Virto de Vera, soldier and governor, the son of Artal de Azlor, was born in Spain, a member of a family long distinguished in the service of the Spanish crown. He married Ignacia Xaviera, daughter and heiress of Agustín de Echevers, first Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo. Through this marriage José de Azlor became the second Marqués de Aguayo.

In 1712 he and his wife went to Mexico to live on one of their haciendas, Patos, which included almost half of Coahuila. In 1719, after offering to drive the French out of the area claimed by Spain, Aguayo was appointed governor and captain general of the provinces of Coahuila and Texas, an office he assumed on October 21. In 1720 he received a commission from the viceroy of New Spain to reoccupy the East Texas missions and presidios that had been abandoned during the French invasion in 1719.

Aguayo offered to finance the expedition himself, and the viceroy accepted that proposal. The Aguayo expedition so solidified the Spanish claim to Texas that it was never again challenged by the French. When Aguayo entered Texas the province had only one presidio and two missions, one of which, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, had been established only a few months earlier under the patronage of the Marqués. When he left, Texas had four presidios and ten missions. Aguayo was also responsible for the beginnings of colonization in Texas. He recommended that steps be taken to settle 400 families between San Antonio and the East Texas missions, one-half of the settlers to be recruited from Galicia, the Canary Islands, and Havana and the other half to be composed of loyal Tlaxcalán Indians.

On June 13, 1722, Aguayo resigned the governorship of Coahuila and Texas because of ill health resulting from the hardships of the expedition. In 1724 he was rewarded for his efforts with promotion to field marshal by the Spanish king. He died on March 7, 1734, and was buried in the chapel of Santa María de las Parras.

Expedition of Governor Don José de Azlor y Virto de Vera
The Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo


From the Diary of Franciscan Br. Juan Antonio de la Peña
From San Antonio through Future DeWitt Colony to La Bahia December 9 1721 to April 26 1722

On 19 Dec 1719 the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, a Spanish-born Coahuilan whose hacienda Patos included almost half of Coahuila, was appointed governor and Captain-General of the provinces of Coahuila y Tejas. At that time there was only one mission and presidio left in Texas in San Antonio as a result of the war between Spain and France in which the French took over Florida and penetrated into East Texas. The Aguayo Expedition departed from Monclova on 15 Nov 1720 and returned on 31 May 1722. The expedition is known as the largest and most effective mission into Texas and is credited with securing Texas for Spain. The mission included Fathers Agustine Patron y Guzman, Matias Saenz, Pedro de Mendoza and Margil. The mission started with 500 men, 3600 horses, 600 cattle, 900 sheep and 900 mules, many of the latter loaded with supplies. Aguayo is said to have left breeder pairs or more of horses and cattle at each river crossing and these are thought to have given rise to the gigantic herds of wild mustangs and cattle that populated Texas. Among the party was Captain Domingo Ramón who Aguayo sent separately to secure the coastal area around La Salle's destroyed Ft. St. Louis. Ramón reported "taken possession of La Bahia del Espiritu Santo in the name of His Majesty, the King, and had raised the Cross and Royal Standard on April 4, 1721." Gov. Aguayo left Texas with ten missions, four presidios and about 300 Spaniards including some families. He is credited with having major impact on the colonization of Texas, calling for settlement of the area between San Antonio and Nacogdoches by Canary Islanders, Cubans and Tlaxcaláns. The diarist on the expedition was Franciscan friar Juan Antonio de la Peña. At least five versions of his account were found in the archives. The party journeyed to San Antonio and then to the East Texas missions east on the El Camino Real. Upon their return they made a trip to the mission and presidio at La Bahia which took them through the future DeWitt Colony. There are multiple versions and reprints of the original la Peña diary in the public archives and libraries of Mexico from as early as 1722. The following account is extracted from The Aguayo Expedition into Texas 1721 (Jenkins Book Publishing Co, Austin, TX, 1981) which was compiled by Richard Santos from the diverse versions. (Bracketed footnotes in places are modifications of footnotes in the Santos publication) sdct

December 9. His Lordship was also informed that sixteen huts belonging to the soldiers at San Antonio had burned. The granary with 700 bushels of corn and the flour supplies [had also burned] not even leaving an ear of corn. He then ordered the mule packs which he had left at Saltillo be brought with all haste lest something happen to the bilander [also]. [The mule packs] had been left at Rio Grande with 200 loads of flour and 1,000 bushels of corn. The mule packs arrived very promptly, and it became necessary to leave enough supplies at that presidio for the maintenance of the troops as well as for the continuation of the march. [His Lordship] also dispatched expresses to Guadiana and other places asking for a herd of 800 horses as soon as possible. The troublesome journey continued with the captains and other officers also marching on foot. The Governor also marched on foot on several occasions to join them in their suffering. His Lordship arrived at San Antonio on January 23, with the happy consolation that the multitude of misfortunes had striken only the horses and mules. Their mortality rate had been so high that out of 5,000 horses no more than 50 returned. Out of 800 mules which had set out, only 100 returned. However, not a single soldier was lost. Even two [soldiers] who had left Los Adays in poor health arrived well and sound at San Antonio. His Lordship dispatched an express to the Viceroy informing him of all this as well as of the return trip. The Governor was informed through some letters he had received that the herd of horses which he had ordered would be delayed for about a month and a half. [In the meantime,] His Lordship realized that the Presidio de San Antonio as defenseless and also exposed to fire as the soldiers had recently experienced for living in thatched roof huts. Therefore, His Lordship attempted to construct an accident-proof fortress made of adobe. After ordering the cutting of the necessary lumber for the church, stores and quarters, His Lordship selected a better site than that on which the presidio used to be located. [This new site] was between the San Pedro and San Antonio rivers. [thought to be on the west bank of the San Antonio River on Josephine St.] It was first necessary to clear the land by cutting down many trees. A great number of people were then put to work making adobe [bricks]. His Lordship then outlined the fortress as a square with four bulwarks so that if ever the soldiers were out on a campaign, and there were few left [at the presidio] and it came under attack, then these few could protect the position by using only two opposing bulwarks. Two curtains [of the presidio] could be defended from each bulwark. Each curtain is only 65 varas in length. [site of current City Hall]

His Lordship encouraged the abundant planting of corn for the maintenance of the soldiers and friendly Indians who were constantly coming to see the Spaniards. The irrigation ditch which His Lordship had ordered constructed at his own expense from the San Pedro River [sic] could very well irrigate the two leagues of fertile land which it encloses between itself and the San Antonio River which it enters below the presidio. This area which actually looks like an island, is widest at the new site of the presidio which will be 30 varas from the San Pedro River [sic] and 200 varas from the San Antonio. The reply to the express which His Lordship had sent from Los Adays on November 4, arrived on March 8. It contained letters from the Viceroy in which His Excellency thanked the Governor profusely in many expressions of gratitude. He also approved all which His Lordship had done in Texas for the recovery of the Province, as well as for the fortification which he had left at Los Adays for protection [of Texas]. On the tenth of the said month [of March] after having previously selected a good site between the two missions of San Antonio and San Joseph, the Governor proceeded to place [Indian] captain Juan Rodriguez in possession of the mission for himself and for the Indians who accompanied him from the Rancheria Grande. Even though there were no more than 50 families, [Juan Rodriguez] promised and assured [the Governor] that the rest of his following would come as soon as they learned that a mission had been established for them.

Full title of possession was given [to the Indians] in care of Father Friar Joseph González who received it in the name of the College of the Holy Cross of Querétaro under the name of [Mission] San Francisco Xavier de Nájera. [thought to be current site of Mission Valero, the Alamo] All the officers of the battalion attended the ceremony. On this same day, His Lordship clothed Indian Juan Rodriguez in a complete suit of English cloth as used by the Spaniards. With the first herd of horses which arrived, His Lordship dispatched the 50 soldiers who had been assigned to La Bahia. They had volunteered from all the companies of the battalion, but only the very best were selected and placed under the command of Captain Don Gabriel Costales. Because not enough horses had come, His Lordship was not able to depart until the sixteenth of the said month [of March]. On this day a special detachment of 40 men from all the companies left with Doctor Don Joseph Codallos y Rabál and captains Don Thomas de Zubiria, Don Miguel Colón y Portugal, Don Manuel de Herrera, and Don Pedro de Oribe. The direction of the march was south to Mission San Joseph y San Miguel de Aguayo which is about two leagues distant and thence south-southeast for the remainder of the journey to the Salado River. The day's journey was of four leagues over light forests of oaks and evergreen-oaks. 4 leagues [crossing at the Old Corpus Christi Road south of Brooks Air Force Base]

17th. On Tuesday the seventeenth His Lordship continued the march in the same direction of south-southeast over the same type of terrain and forest. We passed several clearings with good pasture until we reached the Aguila campsite. There are several pools here which keep water all year round. The day's journey was of four leagues. 4 leagues [current Eagle Creek on highway 187]

18th. On Wednesday the eighteenth the Governor continued the march towards the south for about two leagues and thence took some variances towards the east for the rest of the journey to the Cibolo River which was about eight leagues [total]. It was very difficult land with sand and heavy forests of evergreen-oaks, mesquites, and oaks. There was no water in between with the exception of a very small puddle. 8 leagues [at FM 887 in KarnesCo]

19th. On Thursday the nineteenth the Governor continued the march towards the east-southeast over terrain with the same type of trees and mesquites as before. There were some sparse clearings [along the route]. The day's journey to the San Cleto creek was of seven leagues. 7 leagues [current Ecleto Creek west of Runge]

20th. The march on Friday the twentieth did not begin until the afternoon, because many horses had been lost during the rain storm which had occured in the morning with much thunder and lightning. The horses were not recovered until midday. We thence marched two leagues towards the east over the same type of terrain as the day before to a creek which His Lordship named San Joachin because it did not have a name. There are many turkeys [in this area]. 2 leagues [current Yates Creek at FM 1020 in KarnesCo]

21st. On Saturday the twenty-first His Lordship continued the march towards the eastsoutheast for three leagues over a heavy forest of oaks and evergreen-oaks. Thence [we marched] another three leagues east-northeast over a beautiful plain without trees or brush. We also declined our direction towards the east for another three leagues over an open country. The day's journey was of nine leagues [total] to a creek which His Lordship named San Benito because it did not have a name. 9 leagues [due north of Yorktown in DeWittCo] sdct

22nd. On Sunday the twenty-second the Governor marched towards the east-southeast over an open country with some broken spots for about six leagues. We thence declined our direction towards the east for another three leagues following the banks of the Guadalupe River until we found a crossing over some rocks. Since the river bed was very wide and it carried over a vara of water, it became necessary to divide each load into three parts. His Lordship selected a campsite on the opposite side of the river. The day's journey was of nine leagues. 9 leagues [crossing at the current DeWitt-VictoriaCo line]

23rd. On Monday the twenty-third His Lordship continued the march in the same direction of east-southeast. For the first half league we marched through a light forest of oaks and evergreen-oaks. The rest of the route was over a very level terrain where the horizon was expended. We thence declined our direction towards the east for four leagues. We concluded the day's journey on the bank of the San Joseph River after marching seven leagues. 7 leagues [current Garcitas Creek below where it joins Willow Creek northeast of Victoria]

24th. On Tuesday the twenty-fourth the Governor marched in an easterly direction over the same type of open land covered with flowers. After crossing two creeks with plenty of water, we declined our direction towards the east-southeast for five leagues. After having marched nine leagues [total], His Lordship arrived at the Presidio of Our Lady of Loreto de la Bahia del Espiritu Santo. 9 leagues

[The site of the Presidio is thought to be on the west bank of the Lavaca River about 4 miles south of the Missouri Pacific railroad crossing as of 1981 at the site of an oil refinery. The site chosen for the Mission Espiritu Santo was on the east side of the Lavaca River near the rail junction one mile west of Lolita. Santos notes that the Presidio may never have been built. The Presidio and Mission were moved to the Guadalupe River in DeWittCo (Mission Valley) in 1726, the site of Rivera's visit in 1727]

Nothing was accomplished during the first eight days because the Governor was confined to his bed due to his poor health aggravated by the hardships of the expedition which he had begun to suffer in San Antonio. Moreover, those days were devoted to the Church because it was Holy Week. This afforded great consolation to all because it was the first time they could observe them decently in the presence of Our Lord in the Repository. On the second day of Easter, April 6, His Lordship began to outline the foundations of the Presidio in accordance with the orders of Our Lord the King [may God protect him] at the site where the French had theirs under LaSalle from 1684 to 1690. [this is the fort established by LaSalle and the ruins found by Alonso de León in 1689] All the Frenchmen except three men and one girl had been killed by the Indians. The French had buried their artillery, and it was later recovered by the Spaniards and sent to Vera Cruz. The hole [in which the artillery had been buried] could still be seen. It fell within the site where the presidio, was to be established. They also burned their powder at this site. On digging the foundations for the fortress, we found nails, pieces of gun locks and fragments of other items used by the French. The foundation for the octagonal fortress was laid in 15 days. It was a covered moat and had only four bulwarks because the present garrison is no more than 90 men. However, its garrison will be enlarged because it is an important port. In place of the other four bulwarks, His Lordship outlined four serpentine extentions as well as a tower in the angle formed by the curtains. Each curtain was forty-five varas in length. After completing this chore, His Lordship proceeded to establish Mission Espiritu Santo de Zuniga which was located near the presidio. All this time a number of Indian families had come telling the Governor that many more [Indians] would settle here if they saw them congregated [in a mission]. There was no doubt that they would do so because they had shown much pleasure and happiness with the gifts and other items distributed among them by the Governor as at the other missions. It was also known that these Indians were more docile [than the ones who had killed the French], and they would be happier cultivating crops and their own souls. They lived in more misery than the other Indians. Their diet consisted solely of fish and [they] had no clothes. On their own they asked the Governor to baptize three of their children. He did so and then much to everyone's pleasure, he gave more presents to the children's parents. The missionary assigned to the mission, Father Friar Augustin Patrón, of the college of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Zacatecas, baptized the children.

All round the presidio there are beautiful fields of clear land and flowers which, in light of our brief and short observation of one year, is very fertile. It also has some beautiful strips of land for raising horses and all types of cattle. Moreover, there is an abundance of deer and turkey. This is especially true on the San Antonio-La Bahia road. Leaving Captain Don Joseph Ramón who is assigned to that presidio encharged with finishing the construction of the fortress, His Governor set out for San Antonio. He arrived on April 26, still in poor health. His Lordship said, however, that he was very happy to have enjoyed good health during the time he had served His Majesty in this expedition. The only thing left was for him to return with all his people to Coahuila. He was not able to do so until May 5, because the last herd of horses did not arrive until April 30. The rest of the horses had come while His Lordship was at La Bahia. The new Presidio de San Antonio could have been finished in the meantime had it not been for the continuous rains. Not only was it impossible to work for three weeks, but the 30,000 adobe bricks which His Lordship had ordered made while he went to La Bahia were all destroyed in the rains. Nonetheless, most of the task and 25, 000 bricks were completed. A large amount of material was successfully gathered for the construction by the 40 Indians whom His Lordship hired at his personal expense. All continued working. The Governor left [San Antonio] on the fifth of the said month. After two days journey, at the site called La Pita, the horses stampeded during a very stormy night. It took all of the following day to recover them, and even then, 80 horses were lost. The march was continued to the Rio Grande without obstructions or delays. The river was carrying more than a vara of water. Two days journey past the presidio [de Rio Grande], at the site called San Diego the horses again stampeded during a very stormy night. It took four days to recover them and 40 horses were lost. sdct

We crossed the Rio Sabinas with much difficulty and delay even though it was not carrying more than half a vara of water. His Lordship and the remainder of the troops were discharged on the thirty-first [of May] as per the Viceroy's orders to do so as soon as they returned to this town and concluded the expedition. [His Lordship] ordered the troops be paid two extra months above their second year and that they be given all they needed for the return trip [to their homes] which they began on June 12. The Arms of Our Lord the King [may God protect him] have been covered with glory in this expedition because with a mere threat this extensive Province and all which the French had claimed has been re-established to the Dominion of His Majesty. Moreover, many and numerous [Indian] Nations which exist in the 200 leagues from the town and Presidio of San Antonio to Our Lady of Pilar de los Adays, have been brought under the obedience of His Majesty. [The Presidio of Los Adays] was established and the 80 leagues [from San Antonio] to La Bahia del Espiritu Santo have been opened. Had there been a battle during this expedition, the captains, subalternates, and soldiers would have done their duty. The spirit of devotion they have displayed is second in a soldier only to valor. They have endured all types of setbacks in the long and exhausting marches. They bore up against the severe river floods and indifferently shrugged off all types of weather sometimes extremely hot and at others freezing cold in winter. They walked through the most vehement changes of coldness as well as sweltering heat. At times it seemed as if Hell had conjured all its power in furious, never-before-seen storms of that country where we had gone to congregate many souls within the fold of the Church and re-establish our Holy Catholic Faith in (Hell's] tyrannical empire. [Our Church] had not only been abolished and villified, but its temples had also been demolished and profaned. Even though this outrage might have not been repaired, it was at least compensated in part by all the souls from so many different languages and Nations who have now been saved in their old age. Seeing themselves on their death bed, Fthe Indians] have asked for baptism [for themselves and] for their children whom their parents realize were in danger. They continue to do so in the nine missions which the Governor has re-established as well as at [Mission] San Antonio de Valero.

All the kingdoms of New Spain are now protected by this buffer which has been added in this vast Province. [The kingdoms are also protected] by the string of presidios which had been established from Los Adays, Texas and [La] Bahia, and by fortifying the [Presidio de] San Antonio to where the Spaniards retreated when the French occupied the rest. This latter presidio, is at the entrance to Texas and had never had any fortifications. In this military engagement expanded over 26 months the Governor has shown his innate love and zeal for the Royal Service by executing all the decisions and orders of the Viceroy promptly and correctly. Of no less importance has been the care and measures he took to maintain the troops at his own expense in those distant deserts. The supplies and provisions had to be transported over 400 leagues. With the greatest complacency he has shown his love for sowing the Gospel Truth among so many souls who live in the sad shadows of mankind. [The Governor] also displayed his intention of returning the Province to its rightful ruler. It is also known that Our Lord the King [may God protect him] has a Catholic, Christian zeal to extend his dominion over the entire world and thus bring Christ, the Sun of Justice, for all to see. Our guiding light in this enterprise has been Our Lady of Pilar whom the Governor selected as guide and patroness. As a shield on the Texas frontier he left this Tower of David so that she might protect it just as she had done when the Most Holy Virgin left her image and column of Non Plus Ultra at Zaragoza which was then the edge of the known world of the Spanish people. The Plus Ultra has likewise been placed [on this frontier] to protect the most remote people who have been discovered in America by the Spaniards. In an act of thanksgiving His Lordship concluded the expedition yesterday with a beautiful and solemn fiesta in honor of Our Lady. We implored not only the maintenance of that Province, but also for the addition of all [other Provinces] where the sun might shine to the Crown and dominion of our Catholic Phillip, for in this manner they will come into the Kingdom of God which is praised by all creatures for all eternity. [Signed] at Santiago de la Monclova, capital of the Province of Coahuila, New Estremadura, on June 21, 1722. Br. Don Juan Antonio de la Peña sdct
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby wconly on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:15 pm

Great toss of information here Ted! I really enjoyed this one. Thanks :) ! W>
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:14 am

Amazing amount of stuff. Thanks, Ted.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:32 pm

March 21 in Texas History…..

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Preservationist and former Indian captive Rebecca Fisher dies

On this day in 1926, Rebecca Fisher died in Austin. She was born Rebecca Gilleland in Philadelphia in 1831. Her family came to Texas around 1837 and settled in Refugio County. In 1840 Comanches attacked their home, killing Rebecca's parents and taking Rebecca and her brother. The children were rescued by Albert Sidney Johnston and a detachment of Texas soldiers. Rebecca married Orceneth Fisher, a Methodist minister, in 1848. In 1855 the Fishers left Texas for the Pacific coast. They returned to Texas about 1871 and eventually established a home in Austin, where Fisher died in 1880. Mrs. Fisher was a charter member and state president of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She also aided Clara Driscoll in saving the Alamo from destruction, and for several years she gave the opening prayer when the Texas legislature convened. She was the only woman elected to the Texas Veterans Association and was its last surviving member.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

REBECCA JANE GILLELAND FISHER (1831–1926). Rebecca Jane Gilleland Fisher, preservationist, was born in Philadelphia on August 31, 1831, the daughter of Mary (Barbour) and Johnson Gilleland. Around 1837 the family arrived in Texas and settled in Refugio County near the Don Carlos Ranch. In 1840 Comanches attacked the home, killed the parents, and captured Rebecca and her brother William. The children were rescued by Albert Sidney Johnston and a detachment of Texas soldiers and taken to Victoria, where they stayed with William C. Blair until they could be sent to live with Jane Trimble, an aunt in Galveston. Rebecca Gilleland attended Rutersville College from about 1845 to 1848, when she married Orceneth Fisher, a Methodist minister. The couple had six children. In 1855 the Fishers left Texas for the Pacific coast, where for nearly sixteen years Fisher served as a pastor in California and Oregon. They returned to Texas about 1871 and eventually established a home in Austin, where Fisher died in 1880.

Mrs. Fisher was a charter member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and served as its state president for eighteen years. She was also president of the Austin chapter. She delivered an oration at the unveiling of the Sam Houston monument at Huntsville and aided Clara Driscoll in saving the Alamo from destruction. For several years she gave the opening prayer when the Texas legislature convened. She was the only woman elected to the Texas Veterans Association and was its last surviving member. Her portrait was the first of a woman to be hung in the Senate chamber at the Capitol. She died in Austin on March 21, 1926. Her body lay in state in the Senate chamber, where funeral services were held. The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution in her memory and draped her portrait in mourning cloth. Honorary pallbearers included the two United States senators from Texas and four former governors. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Gilliland Massacre

Source: Hobart Huson's Refugio, Volume I, pages 465-469

"...there occurred in the San Antonio River section of Refugio County what is known as the Gilleland [Gilliland] Massacre. Although Mrs. Fisher and Lieutenant Hannum both give the date as being the spring of 1840, the Minutes of the Commissioners' Court of Refugio County state that it was in 1842, and it is believed that such entry is the more reliable."

"The Gilliland massacre occurred at their home on the west side of the San Antonio River, near the ranch of Nicholas Fagan, and not far from Wellington's Ferry. (William) Johnstone Gilliland and his wife, Mary Barbour Gilliland, and the two children, Rebecca Jane and William McCalla, were in the yard...."

"The Gilliland children were taken to the Carlos Rancho, where they were given medical treatment by Drs. Axsom and Hammond."

"The first person to come to the Gilliland home after the tragedy was Dr. Royal W. Wellington, who lived on the east side of the river, and operated a ferry as well as a plantation. The elder Gillilands were beyond need of a physician when he found them."

"At the same time the Comanches massacred the Gillilands they also raided several ranches in the vicinity, among them that of Philip Howard, whose wife had lost two previous husbands who had been killed by Indians. She was the mother of John McSherry, who had been kidnaped [sic] by Indians in 1836, and rescued the same year by Lieutenant Joseph Rogers. The Howard ranch in this county was between the Carlos Rancho and the Gilliland place. After this raid the Howards moved to Halletsville.

Gilliland Massacre
Account of Lieutenant Hannum
Source: Dr. Anthony B. Hannum, July 30, 1887, "Capture and Rescue of Mrs. Rebecca J. Fisher, Nee Gilliland", 3 Southwest Quarterly, pages 209-210.

"It was in the spring of 1840 [See Probate Minutes of 1842 where the Gilliland orphans are first entered], we were in force on the San Antonio River to repel a Mexican invasion. News came to us that the Indians were at the Mission of Refugio, and at night we received the information that the same Indians had killed a [Mr. Gilleland and his wife] at the Mexican village, Don Carlos Rancho. After the massacre they evidently moved up the river...holding two white children prisoners. About 9 o'clock in the morning we were called out on horse, General Albert Sydney Johnston commanding. He called for a party of ten men, well mounted, to reconnoitre. I joined the party of nine and with General Johnston went one mile below. The party consisted principally of frontiersmen, but it soon became evident that they were unaccustomed to the trail, so I -- having been trained... -- took observations of the surroundings, and located the trail leading into the San Antonio bottoms, which I pointed out to Gen. Johnston. Gen. Johnston here remarked that the command under arms, and in the saddle, must be tired waiting and ordered a return to camp. We then dismounted and made a cup of coffee -- the Texan's beverage -- and...started for the east side of the river, the few Matagordans remaining as the expedition was breaking up.

"At the head of a half dozen men I observed an old Indian trail, obscure to the uninitiated, where I told the men the Indians would cross. After passing the bottom we met Capt. [John T.] Price and his scouts, who told us that he had seen the Indians and that they had run into the timber. I told the Captain if he would give me fifteen men I would defend the trail which I had discovered. He told me to count the men and do so. As we returned we met Adjutant Murphy, of the Regiment --, Mustang [Mabry] Gray, [who has been heretofore mentioned] hero of an after written novel, and a Mexican.... They told us that the Mexican[s] had crossed at the trail discovered by himself. I immediately sent word to the Captain to surround the timber while we pursued them. We were soon in the chase and bold was the riding in pursuit.

"There was a Dr. A.F. Axsom, so distinguished afterwards as President of the Board of Health in New Orleans, Col. Kerr Purser, of Texas Navy, afterwards 'Episcopal minister at Baltimore. Hard by was Dallam, author of Digest of Texas Statutes -- now authority, and author of novel, 'The Texas Star.' Two miles away was our noble ex-President Mirabeau B. Lamar and the 'Hero of Shiloh.' Sydney Johnston, in camp, on this lovely Texas day, and not far from Fannin's battle ground where he and his were afterwards massacred. [Note: Hannum wrote this in 1887 most likely from memory because Fannin had been massacred before and not after the Gilliland massacre.]

"The pursuit was far more exciting than the conflict which ensued. The Comanches scattered, and our men yelled vociferously, ardently pursuing the fleeing. It was impossible for them to escape. After clearing the timber they banked their baggage and formed a line to receive us, while an...old chief ran up and down the lines playing a flute. They had evidently counted our number and had intended to give us fair battle. I gave orders to my men to forward, and were then in the prairie moving in eschelon, watching and awaiting events. It was my intention after passing them to take them in flank, for I knew they could not leave their baggage. Firing commenced when a gay Indian, in beautiful costume,...upon a horse handsomely caparisoned, presented too fair a picture to resist a shot. He dropped from the horse, which was one they had captured the day before, and retired into the woods, after which the Indians all took to the woods for the purpose, as I then thought, of taking to the trees. We fastened our horses and pursued them to give them fight in regulr Indian style. They never rallied, but ran leaving guns, shields and Chieftan's feathers, all no great trophy. We recovered the children prisoners, a little boy, lanced or shot through the side, and a pretty curly haired girl. The case of the healing of the wound of the little boy, Wm. [McCalla] Gilleland, was published in the Medical Journal by Dr. A.F. Axsom of New Orleans, and the little girl, [Mrs. Rebecca J. Fisher], is now one of the handsomest women in Texas, and a veritable queen of society."

Gilliland Massacre
Memories of Rebecca Gilliland Fisher
Source: Galveston News - 1913

The following is an article that appeared in the Galveston News in 1913. It is the account of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. William Gilliland in the 1840's in Refugio County, as told by their surviving daughter, Rebecca.

"It was in the springtime of the year of 1840. [Note: Probate Court Records show a date in 1842.] On a lovely afternoon when the prairies were robed in their most brilliant garments of floral beauty, the family went out for a walk. We had only gone a few rods from the house and were not thinking of danger when the Indians dashed upon us, killing Father [William Gilliland] and Mother.

"I remember that when Mother received the fatal stroke she had hold of the arms of my brother and me and was praying to God to 'save her children'. We were baptized in her blood and her prayers were answered for her children and we were rescued within a few hours after our capture. Father was killed while going to the house for his gun. The tragedy occurred about sundown.

"The Indians left as soon as they had finished their murderous deed, carrying brother and me with them. The chief's wife took charge of me. She was very vicious and threatened to cut off our hands and feet for crying, but she would not let any of the others hurt us. In less than an hour, however, she became better tempered. She would even stroke my golden hair.

"Our captors were pursued, surprised, and attached and routed within less time than a day after they had left our home. They were in camp, seemingly resting in security, when the company of Texas Rangers dashed upon them and stampeded them. the Indians pierced brother's body with a lance and left him for death. They struck me on the head near the temple with a sharp instrument. The chief's old squaw could not protect us when the Rangers came. The Rangers did not halt in the camp but pressed their pursuit of the Indians. As soon as they had passed I took my brother in my arms, he having returned to consciousness, and sought a hiding place for us in the brush in the edge of the prairie. After the fight was over we saw the men come dashing toward us. Thinking they might be Indians, we again sought our hiding place, but when they called us by name we went to them. We were covered with blood and the men wept when they saw us.

"They took us to a family with whom they left us, and with whom we remained until our relatives sent for us. When they sent for us this family refused to give us up, and General Albert Sidney Johnston then came for and took us. He carried us to Victoria, leaving us with a Presbyterian preacher named Blair. We remained with him until our relatives sent for us. I was so painfully hurt and so badly frightened that I could not remember the casualties of the fight. I was sent to school at Galveston and Reutersville. My brother lived and grew to manhood. He wrote much for the newspaper, and at one time was called the Texas Poet.

Gilliland Massacre
Account of Peter Teal
Source: Galveston News - 1914

The following is an article that appeared in the Galveston News in 1914. It is the account of the rescue of the Rebecca Jane Gilliland and her brother, William Gilliland, after being captured by Comanche Indians in Refugio County in 1842, as told by Peter Teal, one of the rescuers.

"Peter Teal, brother-in-law of Mr. Fagan's was with Captain Price's force of Rangers who routed the Indians and recaptured the children. Mr. Teal in relating this fight to his family as he often did, stated that the Indians were resting in camp, unmindful of the approach of the whites, and they were completely surprised when the fight opened. In an instant the men and the Indians were grappling with each other in hand-to-hand fight. The plan of attack had been arranged so that the children could be recovered without injury. Mr. Teal remembered their names, called them aloud. In answer to this call, the little girl responded as she arose from her hiding place with her little brother in her arms. He was nearer dead than alive."
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:05 pm

March 22 in Texas History…..

Texas Navy schooner seizes mercantile brig; friction with U.S. ensues

On this day in 1836, the sixty-ton armed schooner Liberty, commanded by William S. Brown, seized the brig Durango in Matagorda Bay. The Durango was owned by a New Orleans mercantile house with a longstanding interest in the Texas trade, which makes it unlikely that she was carrying war contraband designed to assist the Mexican army. A more likely explanation for the seizure is that the fledgling Texas Navy simply needed the vessel and her supplies; the Liberty had been the first ship purchased by the republic, only two months before. The Durango incident added to an already hostile attitude within the United States about attacks by both Mexico and Texas on United States vessels, which eventually led to the arrest of the crew of the Invincible after this vessel captured the United States merchant vessel Pocket. The Durango incident was closed officially in 1838, when Texas and the United States entered into a convention of indemnity. The total settlement, which also made provisions for the Pocket claims, was for $11,750 plus accrued interest.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

LIBERTY. The sixty-ton schooner Liberty, mounting four or six guns, was known as the William Robbins before it was purchased for $3,500 by the Texas government and rechristened Liberty in January 1836, the first purchase for the Texas Navy. As the William Robbins, the vessel had been used as a privateer by its master, Capt. William A. Hurd, as early as November 1835, although the owners did not obtain a letter of marque until December 5. In January 1836 Capt. William S. Brownqv took the Liberty on a cruise seeking Mexican warships. On March 6 the Texans captured the three-gun schooner Pelicano, which was taken to Matagorda Bay and found to be carrying munitions concealed in barrels of flour. In May 1836 George W. Wheelwright became captain and was in command when the Liberty convoyed the Flora to carry the wounded Sam Houston to New Orleans. The Liberty was detained in New Orleans for repairs and had to be sold in July 1836 to pay the claims for repairs. In later years the crew from the Liberty petitioned the legislature for a share of the prize of the Pelicano. The Judiciary Committee ruled that in as much as the District Court of Brazoria, having admiralty jurisdiction, had condemned the Pelicano, the crew be awarded a just share of the prize.

DURANGO. On March 22, 1836, the brig Durango, owned by James Reed and Company, a New Orleans mercantile house, and commanded by James C. Ryan, was seized by the Texas armed schooner Liberty, commanded by William S. Brownqv, somewhere in Matagorda Bay. The Durango was no stranger to the Texas trade. In fact, James Reed, the last recorded owner, purchased this vessel before July 9, 1835, while on a business trip to Texas. He obtained the Durango from Mexican authorities after the vessel was wrecked while attempting to cross the Brazos bar. He made repairs in Texas and sailed the vessel back to New Orleans, where the Durango was officially registered. He had several business connections with Texas and was sympathetic to the Texas cause.

Because of Reed's business interest in Texas, it seems unlikely that the Durango was carrying war contraband destined to assist Antonio López de Santa Anna's army. The documented and most logical reason why the Durango was seized is that Texas needed the supplies and the vessel, which was later used to transport troops and provisions along the Texas coast. Texas had issued orders to military leaders to press into service anything that could be used to support the war effort. The Durango fell victim to Texas impressment, despite the fact that it was displaying the Stars and Stripes on the day of its capture. Once the Durango was escorted into Matagorda, Texas marines were assigned to guard the vessel and cargo. Unable to reclaim his vessel, Ryan lodged a formal protest with Judge Charles Wilson before departing for the United States.

The Durango was taken to Galveston Island after impressment and kept there to avoid recapture by Santa Anna's advancing units. While it was there most of the supplies aboard the vessel were consumed by Texans; all that remained of the cargo recorded in an inventory conducted by William Lawrence, quartermaster for Galveston Island, on May 22, 1836, was forty-three barrels of damaged flour. The Durango disappeared from recorded history after the vessel was ordered to transport troops down the coast on September 16, 1836.

Texas was affected by the capture of the Durango in both a positive and negative way. The republic benefited because most of the cargo went to assist the army and aided some needy citizens who had hurriedly left behind all their possessions and fled for safety from the advance of Santa Anna's army. However, because of the Texas policy of attacking American merchant shipping, the Durango incident added to an already hostile attitude within the United States about attacks by both Mexico and Texas on United States vessels, which eventually led to the arrest of the crew of the Invincible after this vessel captured the United States merchant vessel Pocket.

A claim was later filed by the Sea Insurance Company of New York, the insurance carrier for the Durango and perhaps also the cargo. Added pressure by the United States Department of State compelled Texas into settling the claim for $8,050. However, Texas had no real objections to the settlement. The entire incident was closed officially on April 11, 1838, when a convention of indemnity was entered into by Texas and the United States. The total settlement, which also made provisions for the Pocket claims, was for $11,750 plus accrued interest.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:55 pm

March 23 in Texas History…..

Image

Texas conductor leads farewell concert in Antwerp

On this day in 1927, Frank Van der Stucken, composer and conductor, gave his farewell symphonic concert in the hall of the Royal Society of Zoology in Antwerp. The child of Belgian immigrants to Castro's Colony, he was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, in 1858. His family returned to Antwerp in 1866. By age sixteen he had completed two major original works. After a visit to Wagner's Bayreuth Festival in 1876, Van der Stucken settled in Leipzig, Germany, for two years of study with Carl Reinecke, Victor Langer, and Edvard Grieg. Grieg was the first of a number of important composers to befriend the young composer and conductor; among the others were Franz Liszt, Giuseppe Verdi, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Jules Massenet. Van der Stucken returned to America in 1884, where he became director of the New York Arion Society, a male chorus. He also worked with other German male choruses in the Sängerbund movement. In April 1885 in New York City he conducted the first concert in this country devoted exclusively to works by American composers, and in 1889 he conducted the first European concert with an entirely American program at the World Exposition in Paris. In 1895 Van der Stucken moved to Cincinnati to become the first conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1907. From 1907 until his death in 1929, Van der Stucken lived in Germany and worked throughout Europe, where he was in great demand as a conductor of festivals.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

FRANK VALENTINE VAN DER STUCKEN (1858–1929). Frank Van der Stucken, composer and conductor, son of Frank and Sophie (Schönewolf) Van der Stucken, was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, on October 15, 1858. His father had immigrated to Texas from Antwerp, Belgium, with Henri Castro and married in Fredericksburg on December 23, 1852. The elder Van der Stucken, a freight contractor and merchant who served as a captain in the First Texas Cavalry during the Civil War and in 1864 was chief justice of Gillespie County, returned to Antwerp with his family in 1865.

Young Frank's musical education began when he was eight. He studied violin with Émile Wambach from 1866 to 1876 and composition and theory with Pierre Benoit. By age sixteen he had completed two major original works: a Te Deum for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra produced in St. Jacob's Church in Antwerp and an orchestral ballet presented at the Royal Theater in the same city. After a visit to Wagner's Bayreuth Festival in 1876, Van der Stucken settled in Leipzig, Germany, for two years of study with Carl Reinecke, Victor Langer, and Edvard Grieg. Grieg was the first of a number of important composers to befriend the young composer and conductor. From 1879 to 1881 Van der Stucken traveled throughout Europe and met and worked with Giuseppe Verdi, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Jules Massenet. He met his future wife, Maria Vollmer, during a year-long residence in Paris in 1880, where he also composed his opera Vlasda. He was appointed Kapellmeister of the Breslau Stadttheater in 1881 and, as part of his duties, composed incidental music for Shakespeare's The Tempest in 1882. The next year, Franz Liszt sponsored a complete program of his works at Weimar, including his symphonic prologue to Heinrich Heine's William Ratcliff.

Van der Stucken returned in 1884 to America, where he succeeded Leopold Damrosch as director of the New York Arion Society, a male chorus founded in 1854. During his tenure with the chorus, which lasted until 1895, the society became the first American musical organization to tour in Europe. Van der Stucken also worked with other German male choruses in the Sängerbund movement, establishing festivals and training large numbers of singers in this country. During his first years in New York, he also established his reputation as a champion of music by American composers. In April 1885 in New York City he conducted the first concert in this country devoted exclusively to works by American composers. He followed in 1887 with a series of four American composer concerts in Chickering Hall, and in 1889 he conducted the first European concert with an entirely American program at the World Exposition in Paris. This series of American concerts was undoubtedly Van der Stucken's most important contribution to the history and appreciation of American music. While in New York Van der Stucken also taught at the National Conservatory (1887–95) and was musical director for the premier Reform synagogue in the United States, Temple Emanu-el (1892–95). In 1895 he moved to Cincinnati to become the first conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1907. He was also director and dean of the Cincinnati College of Music from 1897 to 1903 and musical director of one of the oldest music festivals in the United States, the Cincinnati May Festival, from 1906 to 1912 and 1923 to 1927.

After 1907 he lived in Germany and worked throughout Europe, where he was in great demand as a conductor of festivals. Except for work at the May Festival, he returned to the United States only occasionally. He gave his farewell symphonic concert in the hall of the Royal Society of Zoology in Antwerp on March 23, 1927. In October 1928 he returned to the U.S. for gala celebrations of his seventieth birthday in New York, Cincinnati, and Fredericksburg. This was his last trip to his native country.
The composer suffered a stroke in February 1929 which resulted in a gradual deterioration of his health. Van der Stucken, a founding member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1898, was elevated to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters in April 1929. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Hamburg where he died following surgery on August 16, 1929.
He and his wife are buried there in the Ohlsdorfer Cemetery. They had four children.

As a composer, Van der Stucken followed the precepts of the Liszt–Wagner school of programmatic music. He wrote colorful orchestral and choral works as well as many songs and a few miscellaneous instrumental works. His major works include an unproduced opera, Vlasda; Symphonic Prologue to Heine's William Ratcliffe; incidental music for Shakespeare's The Tempest; Festzug; Pax Triumphans; and Louisiana, a march commissioned for the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. He was named Officier de l'Instruction Publique by the French government and Chevalier de l'Ordre Leopold and Officier de la Couronne by King Albert of Belgium. An international music festival named for the composer was inaugurated in Fredericksburg in 1991. The Friends of Van der Stucken organization raised funds for a bust of the composer and a commemorative plaque which were dedicated on the Marketplatz in Fredericksburg in 1999. The Friends group has also established an archive of the composer's musical compositions gathered from libraries all over the world.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:28 am

March 24 in Texas History…..

Mexican law invites Anglo colonists

On this day in 1825, the Mexican legislature, meeting in Saltillo, passed the State Colonization Law of March 24, 1825. The legislation was designed to bring about the peopling of Coahuila and Texas. It encouraged farming, ranching, and commerce. For a nominal fee, the law granted settlers as much as a square league (4,428.4 acres) of pastureland and a labor (177.1 acres) of farmland. Immigrants were temporarily free of every kind of tax. Newcomers had to take an oath promising to abide by the federal and state constitutions, to worship according to the Christian (i.e., Catholic) religion, and to display sound moral principles and good conduct. After accepting these terms and settling in Texas, immigrants earned the standing of naturalized Mexicans. Empresarios Stephen F. Austin and Green DeWitt, among others, started their colonies under this law.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

MEXICAN TEXAS. The Mexican war of independence (1810–21), one of the rebellions that erupted throughout Latin America to overthrow Spanish colonial rule, left Mexico with an array of problems that touched upon events in the far northern Mexican province of Texas. Economically, the country faced devastation in 1821. It stood in marked contrast to the rich colony that had promised great potential towards the end of the colonial era. Money barely circulated. Once-rich mines struggled to regain their former efficiency. Ranches and farms were no longer productive. With the economy in shambles, thousands faced unemployment. Entire areas experienced depopulation as people sought out a livelihood elsewhere. Moreover, differences over class distinctions split the nation as the landed gentry, the military, and church officials sought the preservation of the antebellum order, wherein they ruled alongside government. Additionally, many of the country's new leaders had had little prior experience in governing.

An equally urgent concern for the young country was guarding its far northern possessions from United States expansion; Texas was especially vulnerable to encroachment from that country, and colonization offered the best deterrent. But Mexico lacked the strength of population numbers to settle the north. Consequently, it tried enticing European and American immigrants to the region to act as defense forces against Indians and foreign powers. The political issues raised by the new settlers became the dominant topic in Texas during this period. In January 1821 the Spanish government gave Moses Austin of Missouri a contract to establish a colony on the Brazos River with 300 Catholic families. When he died on June 10, 1821, his son, Stephen F. Austin, inherited the contract, and by the end of 1821 colonists began reaching Texas, some of them establishing themselves on the main settlement, christened San Felipe de Austin. The Mexican government confirmed Austin's contract via the Imperial Colonization Law of January 1823.

The National Colonization Law of August 18, 1824, which superseded the Imperial Colonization Law, determined how Texas would be peopled. It stipulated that those wishing colonization contracts should make arrangements with the legislatures of individual states and not the federal government. In the case of Texas, an empresario would have to negotiate with Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila since Texas was merged with that state. Government officials in Coahuila would thus define the course of immigration by determining whether those receiving contracts would be Anglos, Europeans, or Mexicans. The National Colonization Law of 1824 resulted from a Federalist political philosophy advanced by some of Mexico's post-independence statesmen who envisioned establishing a republic patterned after the United States. After asserting themselves over their Centralist rivals in the latter part of 1823, they wrote the Federal Constitution of the United States of Mexico on October 4, 1824 (see CONSTITUTION OF 1824). This republican document called for a constitutional arrangement by which the national government would grant powers to the states. The document resembled the United States Constitution in several ways, but also borrowed tenets from the Spanish Constitution of 1812.

In accordance with the National Colonization Law, the Federalist constituent legislature, meeting in Saltillo, passed the State Colonization Law of March 24, 1825. The legislature attempted to bring about the peopling of Coahuila and Texas, encourage the tilling of the soil and the growth of ranches, and facilitate commerce. It stated that Americans could settle in the state, though Mexicans were to have first choice of lands; that for a nominal payment a settler could receive as much as a league or sitio (4428.4 acres) of pastureland and a labor (177.1 acres) of land for cultivation; that immigrants were temporarily free of every kind of tax; and that newcomers had to take an oath promising to abide by the federal and state constitutions, to worship according to the Christian religion, and to display sound moral principles and good conduct. After accepting these terms and settling in Texas, immigrants earned the standing of naturalized Mexicans. The legislative provision addressing slavery was too ambiguous, and so the secretary of state at Saltillo declared that "What is not prohibited is to be understood as permitted." Foreigners seeking land in Texas could negotiate individually, but the more common method was to act through immigration agents (empresarios), who selected families, designated land where the newcomers could settle, and saw to the obedience of the laws. In compensation, the government would award these contracting parties five sitios and five labores for each 100 families brought and settled. Among the most prominent of these colonizers were Stephen F. Austin and Green DeWitt.
By the mid-1820s Mexico began reconsidering its lenient immigration policy. Officials expressed consternation that some Americans squatted on lands without any formality and that most did not make a serious commitment to conform to the laws and traditions of their adopted land. The Americans, who were settled in the eastern part of the province, violated colonization statutes when convenient and imposed their own practices on local affairs. In 1826 the empresario Haden Edwardsqv went so far as to proclaim the Nacogdoches area an independent republic, the Republic of Fredonia . Though the episode was short-lived, as even fellow empresarios denounced Edwards, the Mexican government came to fear that continued immigration might well produce secessionist sentiments among Anglo-Texans.

In response to the troubles in Texas, the Centralists in Mexico City, who ousted the Federalists in late 1829 and espoused a strong central government patterned after the monarchist Spain of old, implemented the Law of April 6, 1830. The law voided those empresario contracts still not in compliance. It further curtailed immigration from the United States, although officials did permit continued settlement in the colonies of Austin and DeWitt because these two empresarios were ruled to have settled the required 100 families; in actuality, however, both had yet to fulfill their contracts. Military bases were to be established as a means of policing illegal immigration. Slaves, the law stipulated, were not to be imported from the United States, though blacks already in Texas would remain bondsmen.

Among those inveighing against the Law of April 6 were Anglos, political leaders in Coahuila, and Tejano oligarchs who thought that inexpensive settlement from the United States portended the wealth of Texas. Federalists in Coahuila and Texas had welcomed Anglos as a way of providing security from Indians, developing the cotton lands of Texas, and establishing prosperity through commerce. With more and more foreigners seeking to convert their land acquisitions into farmsteads, entrepreneurs in Texas and Coahuila foresaw the realization of their ambitious plan to develop the region. As commercial activity grew, they envisaged for themselves an economic network extending into Louisiana, Coahuila, and the far north of Mexico. But Anglo immigrants could be attracted only if they were permitted to use the Gulf ports, exempted from taxes, and offered other inducements. Coahuila's colonizing program of 1825 had offered such incentives.

The establishment of slavery would also attract immigrants. Since the mid-1820s, the three groups opposed to the Law of April 6 mentioned above had lobbied for the recognition of human bondage. They had succeeded in 1828 when the legislature, noting the scarcity of field laborers in the state of Coahuila and Texas, decreed that slaves could be brought to Texas under indenture contracts; in Texas, they would work to pay the slaveowner for their freedom. Thus was Mexico's own form of economic bondage-debt peonage-utilized to rationalize the existence of slavery. On September 15 of the next year President Vicente Ramón Guerrero issued the Guerrero Decree, which expressly prohibited enslavement in every form. This move revealed the president's humanitarianism, but might also have been designed to control the flow of immigration from the United States. Political leaders in Texas and Coahuila remonstrated, however, and Guerrero excluded Texas from slave manumission by a decree on December 2, 1829. Subsequently, in 1830, the Law of April 6 presented a more formidable obstacle.

Among those upset with the anti-immigration policy outlined in the Law of April 6 were Anglo-Americans who attacked the military post at Anahuac in the summer of 1832. Their pretext was the arrest for sedition of the lawyer William Barret Travis by the Anahuac commander Col. John Davis Bradburn, an Anglo-American adventurer who belonged to the Centralist faction in Mexico. Fortunately, ranking military figures defused the crisis by reassigning Bradburn and releasing Travis and other inmates (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). On June 13, 1832, the attackers issued the Turtle Bayou Resolutions, wherein they explained the attack as an expression of dissatisfaction with Bradburn, not the government in the interior. But Anglo volunteers and Mexican troops skirmished again at the battle of Velasco on June 26. As of 1832, however, the "War party"-as the radicals came to be labeled-lacked popular support; in fact many Anglo-Texan colonists branded them as adventurers.

In early 1833 Antonio López de Santa Anna entered Mexico City and removed the Centralists. The Federalist government then revoked the article in the Law of April 6, 1830, that curtailed immigration from the United States, and the Anglo-American influx resumed. But in May 1834 Santa Anna pronounced against his vice president, Valentín Gómez Farías, who, in Santa Anna's absence, had passed legislation that infringed on the prerogatives of the clergy, army officers, and privileged classes. Now turned Centralist, Santa Anna abrogated the Constitution of 1824 and called for a new congress composed of officials faithful to Centralist doctrine. In October 1835 the new congress disbanded legislatures and converted the states into departments governed by appointees of the president. In effect, it established a Centralist state. The rise of the Centralists incited uprisings in such states as Zacatecas, though these were not independence movements. In Coahuila, meanwhile, the Federalists rejected Centralist orders, and in the spring of 1835 the legislature promulgated a law authorizing the governor to dispose of up to 400 leagues of land in order to raise the needed funds to meet the danger confronting federalism. Another decree permitted the distribution of 400 leagues to finance militia units to deal with threats from unfriendly Indian tribes. The Mexican commander in Bexar now feared that the Anglo-Texans would assemble an army against the government, and he called upon Santa Anna for reinforcements.

With reports spreading to Texas that Mexico had ordered troops into the north, a force of militant Texans under the leadership of William B. Travis headed for Anahuac on June 30, 1835, and captured the site to protect Texas from a Mexican military incursion. To Mexico, the attack on the military post was an indication of a rebellion, and the refusal of Texans to surrender the Anahuac ringleaders confirmed suspicions of widespread defiance. The initial conflict between Anglo-Americans and Mexican authorities occurred in the battle of Gonzales in October 1835. The insurgents overwhelmed military forces at Goliad a week later (see. This victory gave them new sources of military supplies and inhibited the Mexican military from using the Gulf to resupply the army. Talk of Centralist forces coming to Texas, reversing the economic development of the province, and imposing repression brought the war and peace parties together. Towards the latter part of October, Texas volunteer soldiers laid siege to San Antonio, then defended by Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos with about 800 troops. On December 10, after putting up a stiff defense in the streets and buildings of the beleaguered town, the Mexican commander surrendered. The Texans made Cos and his army promise to withdraw into Mexico and not resist the Constitution of 1824.

At the time of the siege of Bexar, representatives from the several Texas settlements gathered at San Felipe de Austin and on November 7 committed themselves to defending the Constitution of 1824 . But they also founded a provisional government and elected a general council-a parliament consisting of representatives from the different settlements. Then, in February 1836, Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande at the head of several thousand troops to suppress the insurrection. On the first day of March, the general council reconvened, this time at Washington-on-the-Brazos, to draft a constitution and establish a new government separate from Coahuila under the Constitution of 1824. After some deliberation, however, on March 2 the delegates declared independence from the mother country. The Texas Declaration of Independence denounced Santa Anna for supplanting the Constitution of 1824 with tyranny, accused the Mexican government of diluting the voice of Texans by having merged the province with Coahuila, and charged that the Mexican government had dispossessed the people of numerous basic rights. Three of the fifty-nine men who signed the declaration were of Mexican descent: Lorenzo de Zavala, a liberal from Yucatán, and two Tejanos, José Antonio Navarro and José Francisco Ruiz,qqv who since the 1820s had subscribed to the idea of rapid settlement and economic development of the province through immigration.
At the end of the Mexican war of Independence the population of Texas numbered approximately 2,500. Throughout the 1820s the size of the immigrant population increased, then stagnated following the adoption of the Law of April 6, 1830. Settlers arrived nonetheless; in any case the law was nullified in 1834. That year Juan N. Almonte, sent by Mexico on an inspection tour of Texas, estimated the Anglo population at about 20,000. One historian estimates that the figure probably reflected a doubling of the Anglo population from four years previous. From the three towns that existed in 1821, the number of urban sites increased to twenty-one by 1835; almost all owed their founding to Anglo immigrants. Principal towns established by Americans included San Felipe de Austin, Gonzales, Velasco, Matagorda, Brazoria, San Augustine, and Liberty.
Generally, settlers lived in isolation, for neighboring farms might be miles away. Immigrants thus struggled for survival by their own wits, living off the land by hunting and by planting small gardens. For their shelter, plain folks turned to the environment and used whatever materials they could-logs, for instance-to build their cabins. The primitive domiciles characteristically consisted of one or two rooms and lacked floors and windows.

Frontiersmen improvised in other ways. For the education of their children, Anglo settlers set up schools that they themselves subsidized, most of them amounting to little more than facilities that duplicated the academies then typical of the South. Or settlers would simply convert homes into teaching institutions, so that school buildings generally consisted of pine-log huts. Teachers, furthermore, were difficult to find. Residents of means, however, dispatched youngsters to the United States for school.

Printing in Texas originated during the years of the Mexican War of Independence, when Americans established newspaper presses on Texas soil to encourage Mexico's struggle for self-rule. Not until 1829, however, did G. B. M. Cotten establish the Texas Gazette at Austin's colony; this enterprise, the first newspaper to be published in the province on a regular basis, enabled Austin to explain laws and other policies to the colonists. After the Gazette discontinued production in 1832, Anglo-Texans got their news from other publications. Among these was the Telegraph and Texas Register, started in October 1835. It published such official documents as letters and reports written by leading Anglo-American figures.

Though Mexico required settlers to practice only the Catholic religion, the country could hardly enforce its own laws due to a shortage of priests and other problems. Anglo-Texan settlers therefore went their own way in practicing their faiths. Austin's settlers enacted their own ceremonies solemnizing births and deaths, for only briefly in 1831–32 did they have a priest among them, an Irishman named Michael Muldoon. Other colonists conducted worship services and camp meetings. The Mexican government seemed not to have been terribly concerned with the persistence of Protestantism, for in 1834 it even granted the Texans religious freedom on the condition that settlers abide by the laws they promised to observe.

For African Americans, slavery came to be a way of life in the eastern settlements, even as the Mexican government had strongly expressed disapproval of the system. The immediate future of the "peculiar institution" seemed uncertain during the early years of settlement, as the Mexican government persisted in its opposition to slavery but did not enforce edicts abolishing it. Once the Federalists in Coahuila and Texas succeeded in making slavery legal, the institution took root, even as the national government reversed its position on the matter several other times. It gained a foothold because Anglo-Texans generally perceived blacks as destined for servitude; most of the immigrants came from the lower South, where attitudes prescribed specific roles for both races. Furthermore, the immigrants considered slavery essential for the economic growth of Texas, a conviction with which Tejano oligarchs and their colleagues in Coahuila concurred. By 1836, 5,000 slaves resided in Texas, concentrated in the Anglo settlements.

Most Hispanic Texans remained situated in central and southern Texas, where they made their livelihood as bucolic workers, but others resided in the three urban settlements founded in the early eighteenth century-San Antonio, Goliad, and Nacogdoches. According to Almonte's report in 1834, Bexar and outlying ranches had a Hispanic population of 2,400, Goliad 700, and Nacogdoches 500. The new town of Victoria, colonized by Martín De León in 1824, had 300 residents in 1834. On the Rio Grande, Laredo had a population of about 2,000 in 1835.

Mexican Texas featured social divisions with origins in the colonial era that were now exacerbated by the new economics stimulated by the immigration of the 1820s and 1830s. A group of ricos occupied the upper crust of society; their standing rested on government position, family, racial background, business, and land possession. At the bottom lived peones and day laborers, usually mixed-bloods and Hispanicized Indians. The aristocrats sent their children to schools in Coahuila or had private tutors for them. Throughout the Mexican era, it was the ricos who voiced political opinions. Hispanic women lived in a society that stressed frontier ruggedness and masculinity. Even as Mexican law permitted women numerous freedoms-such as the right to have their own property while married and the right to judicial redress-they nonetheless encountered numerous political and legal restraints. Women could not be officeholders or exercise the franchise. Adulteresses could faced harsh penalties and risked the loss of their property. Divorces were difficult to obtain. In the tradition of other Western societies of that era, Tejanas ate only after having served their husbands, then ate apart from the men.

While the government committed itself to a program of public education, support to communities was often inadequate, so that citizens looked to municipal taxes and individual contributions to educate their children. Hispanic Texans established schools in each of the urban areas during the 1820s, though they functioned irregularly amid weak government support, political uncertainty, the threat of Indian raids, epidemics, and the difficulty of finding qualified teachers. In 1829, the legislature decreed the establishment of instruction based on the Lancastrian system of education, which used advanced students to teach those in lower grades. Through dictation, memorization, and recitation, young scholars learned the basics of arithmetic, grammar, religion, and civics.

Tejanos carried on religious practices grounded on Catholic tradition but adjusted to frontier existence. By the 1820s the Catholic Church had almost forsaken its commitment to the far north, and the two priests still assigned to Texas had interests other than spiritual: one was considered to be among the wealthiest men in Bexar, and both had questionable reputations. Dissatisfied Tejanos showed reluctance to contribute for the ministering of the sacraments. Pleading impoverishment, they explained their inability to make church donations .

Indians of Texas, whom the Spaniards had sought to convert, had either been reduced by diseases, conflict, or the adverse effects of mission life and white men's institutions, pushed west into the frontier, or integrated into Hispanic society. Only remnants of groups that the Spaniards had sought to Christianize-such as the Coahuiltecans and Karankawas-survived by the 1830s, and those Indians in the San Antonio and Goliad missions were ostensibly absorbed into the towns' populations after the missions were secularized in the 1820s. The more hostile Indians situated west of the settlements survived in their traditional ways. The Comanches and their allies from other groups hunted buffalo, then turned the animals over to the women, who cut and cured the meat and treated the hides before turning them into clothes, weapons, and an assortment of items for household use. Some Plains Indians also relied on such crops as corn, beans, and pumpkins, whose cultivation and preservation was also entrusted to the women. Raids on the Anglo and Tejano settlements remained a way of life as the Comanches and small tribes continued in their custom of stealing livestock. Some traded horses, mules, furs, and other stolen goods to unscrupulous Americans for weapons.

The more sedentary tribes of East Texas, meantime, struggled to earn subsistence as horticulturists. The Caddos, who numbered about 300 families in the late 1820s, planted corn, beans, and pumpkins, but they supplemented their livelihood by trading beaver, deer, and otter skins for weapons and tobacco in Louisiana. Cherokees, who had arrived in Texas from Georgia and Alabama in 1819–20 and settled on land now in Van Zandt, Cherokee, Rusk, and Smith counties, numbered about eighty families in the late 1820s and farmed, raised cattle, and traded skins, corn, pumpkins, beans, and fruits with the whites in Nacogdoches. During the 1820s and 1830s they sought vainly to persuade the Mexican government to grant them title to their lands, a commitment they only vaguely received. During the era of the Republic of Texas, the government expelled the Cherokees, a fate suffered by numerous other tribes that had inhabited the province for generations.

Frontier life determined the state of economic matters in Mexican Texas. Manufacturing of basic items was hardly known, so that Anglo settlers brought with them blankets, hats, clothing, and shoes; after they wore out their apparel, they replaced it with clothes made from animal skins. Where fiber or a spinning wheel was available, settlers produced new clothes from hand-made cloth. Weapons and implements for working the land were brought by settlers, as were such luxury items as coffee, cigars, and wines. The soil provided a minimum living with corn and various types of vegetables, but with slaves and imported technology, Anglos initiated commercial agriculture by raising and processing cotton for export. One historian estimates that commerce with New Orleans may have totaled 7,000 bales worth about $315,000 by 1834 . Other items produced in quantities large enough to sell outside the province included corn, salted meats, and bear and deer skins. Lumbering and milling appeared in the timberlands of East Texas; though the lumber industry principally met only local needs, some lumber made its way to the Matamoros market. As in colonial days, smuggling was attractive to East Texans. The Mexican government excused immigrants from paying tariff duties, but since not all imports were exempted, the immigrants smuggled what they could of these. They found markets for such contraband in Mexico proper and even as far west as New Mexico. Bexareños also participated in the contraband market and apparently made hefty profits from the business. Trapping was pursued to some degree. The rivers along the coast abounded in otters and beavers, and Anglos sold the pelts at Nacogdoches yearly. Hispanic rancheros tapped the market in Coahuila and Louisiana by rounding up wild cattle and mustangs in the brush country, though stock raising may not have been as brisk as in Spanish Texas. Moreover, the rancheros were still harried by government restrictions and dangers from hostile Indians. Possibly, however, Tejanos found new markets for cattle and horses among the Anglo-Texan arrivals. Farming among the Hispanic population took a subordinate position to ranching. San Antonio residents irrigated small family-owned fields and orchards to raise a variety of vegetables, grains, and fruits, but did not produce them in exportable amounts. Wealthier landholders did cultivate produce to sell for a profit to the local military. Some landowners near San Antonio or Goliad experimented with cotton production, but their crops added up to only a small portion of the total amount of cotton harvested in the province. With hard cash practically unknown, barter was the popular way of conducting business. Transactions often involved payment with cows, swine, poultry, or even land. "Money is very scarce in Texas," reported Juan Almonte in 1834, "and one may say with certainty that out of every hundred transactions made not ten involve specie." Counterfeit paper money from both Mexico and the United States appeared regularly and was a constant problem.

Immigration from the United States to Texas produced new political directions for the province from 1821 to 1836. For one thing, it caused political disagreement over the immigration itself: Federalists generally encouraged the arrival of Anglo-Americans in hopes of advancing and modernizing Coahuila and Texas; but Centralists feared the Americanization of Texas and consistently clashed with the Federalists' policy and the fractious Anglo-Texans. Most significantly, of course, the new arrivals asserted themselves politically and finally usurped their hosts' authority. By the end of the Mexican period, therefore, great changes were apparent in Texas. Anglos had implemented a republican form of government, established a different language, introduced new Christian communions, created a social order wherein minorities, among them some Mexican Texans who assisted in the struggles of the 1830s, were subordinated, and, overall, given the region unique Anglo-American characteristics. However, the resulting life was not radically changed. The province remained an underdeveloped frontier region that taxed the perseverance of its settlers, still depended on an agrarian economy, and continued to face serious problems in such concerns as finances and education. The lot of slaves remained undisturbed. These issues affected the politics of the coming Texas Revolution and Republic of Texas.

MEXICAN COLONIZATION LAWS. On January 17, 1821, the government of the eastern division of the Provincias Internas granted a permit to Moses Austin to settle 300 families in Texas. While preparing to inaugurate this settlement, Austin died. His son, Stephen F. Austin, appeared in San Antonio in August 1821 and was recognized by Governor Antonio Martínez as his father's successor to carry out the enterprise. Among other provisions agreed upon by Austin and Martínez were the terms for distribution of land to colonists. Austin embodied the final form of these terms in a letter to Martínez dated October 12, 1821. He proposed to grant to each head of a family 640 acres in his own right, 320 acres in virtue of his wife, 160 acres for each child, and 80 acres for each slave. Austin's compensation for service in obtaining land, duly surveyed and with title delivered at his expense, was to be at the rate of 12 ½ cents an acre. A colonist could reduce the normal grant to fit his resources or, with Austin's permission, augment it. Austin's permit was granted by Spanish officials. Mexico became independent in 1821, however, and the provisional government failed to recognize Austin's grant but chose rather to settle terms of colonization and

immigration by a general law.
The Imperial Colonization Law. All legislative bodies of the provisional and regular governments appointed committees to frame a colonization law, but the first such law was that passed by the Junta Instituyente, Emperor Agustín de Iturbide's rump congress, on January 3, 1823. This law invited Catholic immigrants to settle in Mexico; provided for the employment of agents, called empresarios, to introduce families in units of 200; defined the land measurement in terms of labores (177 acres each), leagues or sitios (4,428 acres), and haciendas (five leagues each); and defined the privileges and certain limitations of immigrants and empresarios. Families who farmed were promised at least a labor of land, those who raised cattle, a league, those who both farmed and raised cattle, a labor and a league. Settlers were free of tithes and other taxes for six years and subject only to half payments for another six years; families might import "merchandise" free of duty and tools and materials for their own use to the value of $2,000; and settlers became automatically naturalized citizens upon residence of three years, if married and self-supporting. An empresario might receive premium lands to the amount of three haciendas and two labors (roughly 66,774 acres) for settling 200 families. Total premiums and permanent holdings of empresarios were limited. Article 30 of the law, by inference, permitted immigrants to bring slaves into the empire but declared children of slaves born in Mexican territory free at the age of fourteen and prohibited domestic slave trading, a limitation that was sometimes evaded. The law provided for settlement by the local governments of immigrants not introduced by empresarios. The law was annulled by the abdication of the emperor in March 1823, but the provisional government that succeeded Iturbide applied its terms by special decree to Austin's first colony in April 1823.

The National Colonization Law.
After the fall of Iturbide, Mexico adopted a federal system similar to that of the United States, and the federal Congress passed the national colonization law on August 18, 1824. This law and the state law of Coahuila and Texas of March 25, 1825, became the basis of all colonization contracts affecting Texas except Austin's first contract. In effect, the national law surrendered to the states authority to set up regulations to dispose of unappropriated lands within their limits for colonization, subject to prescribed limitations. All state laws had to conform to this act and to the federal constitution; no lands could be granted within twenty leagues of an international boundary or within ten leagues of the coast without the approval of the federal executive authority; Congress agreed to make no major change in the policy of immigration before 1840 but reserved the right to stop immigration from particular nations in the interest of national security. Titles were limited to residents and were not to exceed eleven leagues to an individual.

The State Colonization Law. The state law specifically accepted the limitations imposed by the federal act; gave heads of families who immigrated a league of land with the provision that they should pay the state a nominal fee in installments at the end of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth years after settlement; and authorized the executive to enter into contracts with empresarios for the introduction of specified numbers of families, for which service they should receive five leagues of land per hundred families after their settlement. For ten years following settlement the colonists were to be tax-free, except for contributions to repel invasion. Colonists acquired citizenship by settlement. Land commissioners who issued titles and surveyors were to be paid by the colonists. Thirty or more empresario contracts were made, contemplating introduction of some 9,000 families. Some of the contracts were concluded under this law by surrender, annulment, or consolidation of previous contracts. All grants were defined by more or less definite geographical boundaries, all empresarios had six years in which to carry out contracts, and in effect this provision deprived the state of control of vast areas during the pendency of the contracts.
On April 6, 1830, the federal government made use of a reservation of the law of August 18, 1824, and forbade settlement of emigrants from the United States in Texas and suspended contracts in conflict with this prohibition (see LAW OF APRIL 6, 1830). By interpretation, Austin obtained exemption from suspension for his own contracts and that of Green DeWitt. Congress repealed the anti-immigration articles of the law in May 1834; all contracts were automatically restored and extended by the state congress or legislature for four years to compensate for the previous suspension. All Mexican contracts ended with the Texas Declaration of Independence.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:18 am

March 25 in Texas History…..

Texas force decimated after black bean lottery

On this day in 1843, seventeen Texans were executed at Salado, Tamaulipas, Mexico. As the members of the defeated Mier expedition were being marched from Mier to Mexico City, they attempted a mass escape on February 11. Some 176 were recaptured, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna ordered that one in ten of the prisoners be shot. The victims were chosen by a lottery in which each man drew a bean from an earthen jar containing 176 beans, seventeen of which were black. This event has come to be known as the Black Bean Episode. The bodies were returned to Texas and are buried on Monument Hill at La Grange, Fayette County.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

BLACK BEAN EPISODE. The Black Bean Episode, an aftermath of the Mier Expedition, resulted from an attempted escape of the captured Texans as they were being marched from Mier to Mexico City. After an escape at Salado, Tamaulipas, on February 11, 1843, some 176 of the men were recaptured within about a week. A decree that all who participated in the break were to be executed was modified to an order to kill every tenth man. Col. Domingo Huerta was to be in charge of the decimation. The victims were chosen by lottery, each man drawing a bean from an earthen jar containing 176 beans, seventeen black beans being the tokens signifying death. Commissioned officers were ordered to draw first; then the enlisted men were called as their names appeared on the muster rolls. William A. A. (Bigfoot) Wallace, standing close to the scene of the drawing, decided that the black beans were the larger and fingered the tokens successfully to draw a white bean. Observers of the drawing later described the dignity, the firmness, the light temper, and general courage of the men who drew the beans of death. Some left messages for their families with their companions; a few had time to write letters home. The doomed men were unshackled from their companions, placed in a separate courtyard, and shot at dusk on March 25, 1843. The seventeen victims of the lottery were James Decatur Cocke, William Mosby Eastland, Patrick Mahan, James M. Ogden, James N. Torrey, Martin Carroll Wing, John L. Cash, Robert Holmes Dunham, Edward E. Este, Robert Harris, Thomas L. Jones, Christopher Roberts, William N. Rowan, James L. Shepherd, J. N. M. Thompson, James Turnbull, and Henry Walling. Shepherd survived the firing squad by pretending to be dead. The guards left him for dead in the courtyard, and he escaped in the night but was recaptured and shot. In 1848 the bodies were returned from Mexico to be buried at Monument Hill, near La Grange, Fayette County.

MIER EXPEDITION. The Mier expedition, the last of the raiding expeditions from Texas into the area south of the Nueces River during the days of the Republic of Texas, was the most disastrous of the expeditions from Texas into Mexico. It developed out of the Somervell expedition, which captured Laredo and Guerrero. On December 19, 1842, Alexander Somervell, recognizing that his expedition had been a failure and concluding that a longer stay upon the Rio Grande might prove disastrous, ordered his troops to prepare to return home by way of Gonzales. Many of the men had reached the conclusion that there was little possibility of accomplishing their objectives of engaging the Mexican Army and of seizing and plundering Mexican towns, but they were so dissatisfied with the order to return home that they determined to separate from the command, cross the river, and attack the Mexican settlements to secure cattle and horses. Only 189 men and officers obeyed the order to return; five captains and most of the men refused to do so. Constituting what is known as the Mier expedition, they moved down the Rio Grande to a convenient campsite and selected William S. Fisher as their commander. Some wanted revenge and retaliation; many sought adventure; the leaders were nearly all political opponents of Sam Houston.

The expedition set out on December 20. Forty men under Thomas J. Green floated downstream in four vessels captured near Guerrero. A small group of Texas Rangersqv serving as a spy company under Ben McCulloch operated along the west bank of the river; the main body of men under Fisher went down the east side. On December 22 the 308 Texans reached a point on the east bank of the Rio Grande opposite Mier, and McCulloch's spy company was sent to reconnoiter the town. They found that Mexican troops were assembling along the river, advised Fisher against crossing, and abandoned the expedition when their advice was not heeded. Thereupon, John R. Baker, sheriff of Refugio County, succeeded to the command of the spy company. Leaving a camp guard of forty-five men, Fisher and the remainder of his men crossed the river on December 23 and entered Mier without opposition. A requisition for supplies levied against the town was fulfilled by late afternoon, but there were no means for transporting the goods to the river, and the Texans had no desire to carry the goods on their backs. When the alcalde promised to have the supplies delivered the next day to the Texas camp, the Texans withdrew from Mier, taking the alcalde with them to guarantee delivery of the supplies. All day on December 24 the Texans waited in vain for delivery of the goods. During the morning A. S. Holderman, who had crossed the river to look for horses, was captured by a small detachment of Mexican cavalry. His journal revealed to the Mexicans the size, character, and organization of the Texan force. On December 25 Fisher learned from a captured Mexican that Gen. Pedro de Ampudia had arrived at Mier and prevented delivery of the supplies. The Texans decided to go after their rations. On the afternoon of December 25 a camp guard of forty-two men under Oliver Buckman was posted, and 261 Texans crossed the Rio Grande once more, attacked Mier, and fought until the afternoon of December 26, outnumbered almost ten to one. Mexican losses were 600 killed and 200 wounded as against thirty Texans killed and wounded; but the Texans were hungry and thirsty, their powder was almost exhausted, and their discipline had begun to crack. Ampudia adopted a suggestion of sending a white flag to the Texans and demanding their surrender; the ruse was successful.
The Texans later claimed they had surrendered as prisoners of war, but no terms of capitulation were signed until after their arms had been grounded and the terms then stated that they would be treated with "consideration." Later President Houston stated that the men had acted without authority of the government, leaving the impression that they were not entitled to treatment as prisoners of war unless the Mexican government wished to assume that obligation. Warned by two of their comrades who escaped from Mier after the battle, the Texan camp guard, with the exception of George W. Bonnell and a man named Hicks, avoided capture and retreated into the settled area of Texas. The captured Texans were sentenced to execution, but on December 27 Ampudia had the execution decree reversed. The able-bodied prisoners were marched through the river towns to Matamoros, where they were held until ordered to Mexico City.

En route to the capital they planned their escape frequently. Finally, at Salado, on February 11, 1843, a successful break was carried out. For seven days the Texans headed towards the Rio Grande, but in trying to pursue a circuitous route through the mountains during the dry season they became separated and lost. After extreme suffering, they surrendered singly and in small groups to Mexican troops sent in pursuit; in the end only three members of the expedition made good their escape to Texas. The 176 recaptured Texans were returned to Salado. Upon learning of the escape, Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered that those who had fled be executed, but Governor Francisco Mexía of the state of Coahuila refused to obey the order, and the foreign ministers in Mexico were able to get the decree modified. The government then ordered that every tenth man be executed. The seventeen men who were selected for execution in what is known as the Black Bean Episode were blindfolded and shot. Ewen Cameron, leader of the break, failed to draw a black bean of death but was later executed by special order of Santa Anna. During the months of June, July, and August 1843, the Texans did road work near Mexico City. In September they were transferred to the Perote Prison where the San Antonio prisoners whom they had set out to liberate were being held. A few of the Mier men escaped while stationed in the vicinity of Mexico City, others tunnelled out of Perote and succeeded in reaching home. A few of the wounded who had been left at Mier recovered, bribed the guard, and effected their escape. Many of the men died in captivity from wounds, disease, and starvation. From time to time a few of the prisoners were released at the request of certain officials in the United States and others at the request of foreign governments. The last of the Mier men were released by Santa Anna on September 16, 1844

Henry Journeay and the famous violin he made himself!
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Henry Journeay made this violin using a razor and a piece of glass. It played a role in the Mier Expedition, which resulted in the Black Bean Episode of March 25, 1843.
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DETAIL OF THE DAY: "Made by Henry Journeay, while in prison at the Castle of Perote, 1842. Tools employed: a razor and a piece of glass." Crafted by a Texan held prisoner in a Mexican castle, the Journeay violin was made to make music for a captive audience - literally. Henry Journeay was captured by Mexico during a raiding expedition to the Mexican town of Mier. He played his violin to entertain fellow Texan prisoners 170 years ago, and today it is on display in the lobby of TSLAC headquarters, the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin.

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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:29 am

March 26 in Texas History…..

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The Texas firing it's guns against german defenses during D-Day.

Battleship Texas continues outstanding service

On this day in 1945, the battleship Texas supported the landings for the battle of Okinawa, the final great amphibious assault of World War II. The keel of the Texas, the second battleship to bear this name, was laid at Newport News, Virginia, on April 17, 1911. After serving in the Atlantic Fleet in the First World War, she supported the World War II landings in North Africa, Omaha Beach, southern France, and Iwo Jima. After more than thirty-four years of naval service she was retired and given to the state of Texas to be used as a memorial. She is permanently moored at the San Jacinto Monument off the Houston Ship Channel.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

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1 Sep 1939 until 2 Sep 1945

WORLD WAR II

1 Sep 1939 - 7 Dec 1941

East Coast Caribbean Canada … South America

German submarine U-203 incident - 20 June 1941

7 Dec 1941 - 2 Sep 1945


US IN WORLD WAR II

Dec 1941 - Nov 1942

Canada .. Africa, Scotland Iceland, Caribbean

Atlantic crossings

8 - 15 November 1942

Africa

North Africa Invasion

Walter Cronkite aboard

Jan 1943 - Apr 1944

Africa . Gibraltar Scotland ….. N.Ireland

Atlantic crossings

6 - 18 June 1944

France England

Normandy invasion, France (& preparation)

General Eisenhower visit, N. Ireland, 19 May 1944

25 June 1944

France England .. N.Ireland

Cherbourg battle, France

15 - 17 Aug 1944

N. Ireland, Algeria, Italy, France, Palermo

Southern France Invasion (preparation & return)

Sep 1944 - Feb 1945

East Coast West Coast, Pacific

Preparation for Pacific operations

Feb - Mar 1945

Pacific

Iwo Jima (Japan) Invasion

March - May 1945

Pacific

Okinawa (Japan) Invasion

May - Sep 1945

Pacific

Philippines/Okinawa

Sep - Dec 1945

Pacific, West Coast

Magic Carpet - returning troops from the Pacific

Jan 1946 - Apr 1948

West Coast, Caribbean, East Coast, Gulf of Mexico

Decommissioned 21 Apr 1948, San Jacinto Battleground, LaPorte TX (near Houston)

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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:06 pm

March 27 in Texas History…..

Infamy at Goliad

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On this day in 1836, which happened to be Palm Sunday, at least 342 Texans were executed by firing squad at Goliad. The Texans considered these men prisoners of war, whereas General Santa Anna thought them "perfidious foreigners." The Mexican dictator had decreed that all Texans in arms against the Mexican government were to be treated as traitors, not soldiers. The men were led out of town and shot at point- blank range. Those not killed by the first volley were hunted down and killed by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. The bodies were left unburied. The incident, which became known among Anglo-Texans as the Goliad Massacre, joined the Alamo as a rallying cry for Texas independence.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

GOLIAD MASSACRE. The Goliad Massacre, the tragic termination of the Goliad Campaign of 1836, is of all the episodes of the Texas Revolution the most infamous. Though not as salient as the battle of the Alamo, the massacre immeasurably garnered support for the cause against Mexico both within Texas and in the United States, thus contributing greatly to the Texan victory at the battle of San Jacinto and sustaining the independence of the Republic of Texas. The execution of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s command in the Goliad Massacre was not without precedent, however, and Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna, who ultimately ordered the exterminations, was operating within Mexican law. Therefore, the massacre cannot be considered isolated from the events and legislation preceding it.

As he prepared to subdue the Texas colonists Santa Anna was chiefly concerned with the help they expected from the United States. His solution was tested after November 15, 1835, when Gen. José Antonio Mexía attacked Tampico with three companies enlisted at New Orleans. One company, badly led, broke ranks at the beginning of Mexía's action, and half its number, together with wounded men from other companies, were captured by Santa Anna's forces the next day. Twenty-eight of them were tried as pirates, convicted, and, on December 14, 1835, shot (see. Four weeks elapsed between their capture and their execution, enabling Santa Anna to gauge in advance the reaction of New Orleans to their fate. It was, on the whole, that in shooting these prisoners, Mexico was acting within its rights. Believing that he had found an effective deterrent to expected American help for Texas, Santa Anna sought and obtained from the Mexican Congress the decree of December 30, 1835, which directed that all foreigners taken in arms against the government should be treated as pirates and shot.

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Santa Anna's main army took no prisoners; execution of the murderous decree of December 30, 1835, fell to Gen. José de Urrea, commander of Santa Anna's right wing. The first prisoners taken by Urrea were the survivors of Francis W. Johnson's party, captured at and near San Patricio on February 27, 1836. Urrea, according to his contemporary Reuben M. Potter, "was not blood thirsty and when not overruled by orders of a superior, or stirred by irritation, was disposed to treat prisoners with lenity." When the Mexican general reported to Santa Anna that he was holding the San Patricio prisoners, Santa Anna ordered Urrea to comply with the decree of December 30. Urrea complied to the extent of issuing an order to shoot his prisoners, along with those captured in the battle of Agua Dulce Creek, but he had no stomach for such cold-blooded killing; and when Father Thomas J. Malloy, priest of the Irish colonists, protested the execution, Urrea remitted the prisoners to Matamoros, asking Santa Anna's pardon for having done so and washing his hands of their fate.

At Refugio on March 15, 1836, Urrea was again confronted with the duty of complying with the fatal decree of December 30. Thirty-three Americans were captured in the course of the fighting at Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission, half of them with Capt. Amon B. King's company, the others "one by one". King and his men had infuriated their enemies by burning local ranchos and shooting eight Mexicans seated around a campfire, and these enemies were clamoring for vengeance. Urrea satisfied his conscience by shooting King and fourteen of his men, while "setting at liberty all who were colonists or Mexicans."

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A more difficult situation confronted him on March 20 after James W. Fannin's surrender (see. Fannin's men had agreed upon and reduced to writing the terms upon which they proposed to capitulate. The gist of these was that Fannin and his men, including his officers and the wounded, should be treated as prisoners of war according to the usages of civilized nations and, as soon as possible, paroled and returned to the United States. In view of Santa Anna's positive orders, Urrea could not, of course, accede to these terms, but refusing them would mean another bloody battle. Fannin's men possessed, besides their rifles, 500 spare muskets and nine brass cannons and, if told that it would mean death to surrender, could sell their lives at fearful cost and might cut their way through Urrea's lines. When the Mexican and Texan commissioners seeking surrender terms failed to agree, Urrea shortened the conference by dealing directly with Fannin and proposing written terms, under which the Texans should give up their arms and become prisoners of war "at the disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government." He assured Fannin that there was no known instance where a prisoner of war who had trusted to the clemency of the Mexican government had lost his life, that he would recommend to General Santa Anna acceptance of the terms proposed by Fannin's men, and that he was confident of obtaining Santa Anna's approval within a period of eight days. Fannin, who could not have done much else-Urrea had received reinforcements and artillery that would have devastated the Texan position in an open prairie on ground lower than the Mexican lines-accepted Urrea's proposals but did not inform his men of the conditional nature of these terms. On the other hand, Maj. Juan José Holsingerqv, one of the Mexican commissioners, lulled their suspicions by entering the Texan lines with the greeting, "Well, gentlemen! In eight days, home and liberty!"

Fannin's men delivered up their arms, and some 230 or 240 uninjured or slightly wounded men were marched back to Goliad and imprisoned in the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio at La Bahía, the fort they had previously occupied (see FORT DEFIANCE). The wounded Texans, about fifty (some estimates are much higher) including doctors and orderlies, Colonel Fannin among them, were returned to Goliad over the next two days. On March 22 William Wardqv, who with Amon B. King had been defeated in the battle of Refugio, surrendered near Dimitt's Landing on the terms accorded Fannin, and he and about eighty of his men of the Georgia Battalion were added to the Goliad prisoners on March 25. Urrea, in compliance with his promise, wrote to Santa Anna from Guadalupe Victoria, informing him that Fannin and his men were prisoners of war "at the disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government" and recommending clemency; but he reported nothing in his letter of the terms that Fannin and his men had drafted for their surrender.

Santa Anna replied to Urrea's clemency letter on March 23 by ordering immediate execution of these "perfidious foreigners" and repeated the order in a letter the next day. Meantime, on March 23, evidently doubting Urrea's willingness to serve as executioner, Santa Anna sent a direct order to the "Officer Commanding the Post of Goliad" to execute the prisoners in his hands. This order was received on March 26 by Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla, whom Urrea had left at Goliad. Two hours later Portilla received another order, this one from Urrea, "to treat the prisoners with consideration, and especially their leader, Fannin," and to employ them in rebuilding the town. But when he wrote this seemingly humane order, Urrea well knew that Portilla would not be able to comply with it, for on March 25, after receiving Santa Anna's letter, Urrea had ordered reinforcements that would have resulted in too large a diminution of the garrison for the prisoners to be employed on public works.

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Portilla suffered an unquiet night weighing these conflicting orders, but he concluded that he was bound to obey Santa Anna's order and directed that the prisoners be shot at dawn. At sunrise on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, the unwounded Texans were formed into three groups under heavy guard commanded by Capt. Pedro (Luis?) Balderas, Capt. Antonio Ramírez, and first adjutant Agustín Alcérrica (a colonel in the Tres Villas Battalion in April 1836). The largest group, including what remained of Ward's Georgia Battalion and Capt. Burr H. Duval's company, was marched toward the upper ford of the San Antonio River on the Bexar road. The San Antonio Greys, Mobile Greys,qqv and others were marched along the Victoria road in the direction of the lower ford. Capt. John Shackelfordqv's Red Rovers and Ira J. Westover's regulars were marched southwestwardly along the San Patricio road. The guard, which was to serve also as a firing squad, included the battalions of Tres Villas and Yucatán, dismounted cavalry, and pickets from the Cuautla, Tampico, and Durango regiments.

The prisoners held little suspicion of their fate, for they had been told a variety of stories-they were to gather wood, drive cattle, be marched to Matamoros, or proceed to the port of Copano for passage to New Orleans. Only the day before, Fannin himself, with his adjutant general, Joseph M. Chadwick, had returned from Copano, where, accompanied by Holsinger and other Mexican officers, they had tried to charter the vessel on which William P. Miller's Nashville Battalion had arrived earlier (these men had been captured and imprisoned at Goliad, also). Although this was really an attempt by Urrea to commandeer the ship, the vessel had already departed. Still, Fannin became cheerful and reported to his men that the Mexicans were making arrangements for their departure. The troops sang "Home Sweet Home" on the night of March 26.

At selected spots on each of the three roads, from half to three-fourths of a mile from the presidio, the three groups were halted. The guard on the right of the column of prisoners then countermarched and formed with the guard on the left. At a prearranged moment, or upon a given signal, the guards fired upon the prisoners at a range too close to miss. Nearly all were killed at the first fire. Those not killed were pursued and slaughtered by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. Fannin and some forty (Peña estimated eighty or ninety) wounded Texans unable to march were put to death within the presidio under the direction of Capt. Carolino Huerta of the Tres Villas battalion.

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From two groups shot on the river roads, those not instantly killed fled to the woods along the stream, and twenty-four managed to escape. The third group, on the San Patricio road, was farther from cover; only four men from it are known to have escaped. A man-by-man study of Fannin's command indicates that 342 were executed at Goliad on March 27. Only twenty-eight escaped the firing squads, and twenty more were spared as physicians, orderlies, interpreters, or mechanics largely because of the entreaties of a "high bred beauty" whom the Texans called the "Angel of Goliad" (see ALAVEZ, FRANCITA), and the brave and kindly intervention of Col. Francisco Garay. Many of those who eventually escaped were first recaptured and later managed a second escape. Two physicians, Joseph H. Barnard and John Shackelford, were taken to San Antonio to treat Mexican wounded from the battle of the Alamo; they later escaped.

Portilla wrote that the total number of his prisoners was 445, exclusive of William P. Miller's eighty men, who had been captured without arms at Copano and were thus to be spared. Texan sources specify the number of prisoners as 407, exclusive of Miller's men. This may have been correct. Some of the prisoners taken at Refugio but not executed with King's men are known to have been at Goliad, where they were again spared because they were serving the Mexican army as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, or other artisans. The exact fate of others captured at Refugio is not known. They may have been added to the prisoners at Goliad and killed with Fannin on March 27. Urrea detained about twenty of Ward's men to build boats at Guadalupe Victoria, and Señora Alavez intervened with her husband, Col. Telesforo Alavez, whom Urrea left in charge of this village, to spare their lives as well; they afterward escaped. About a week after the Goliad killings, Santa Anna ordered the execution of Miller and his men and the others who had been spared at Goliad, but he rescinded the order the next day. The men were marched instead to Matamoros after the battle of San Jacinto. Though some managed to escape en route, most remained there until the Mexican government later released them.

After the executions the bodies were burned, the remains left exposed to weather, vultures, and coyotes, until June 3, 1836, when Gen. Thomas J. Rusk, who had established his headquarters at Victoria after San Jacinto and was passing through Goliad in pursuit of Gen. Vicente Filisola's retreating army, gathered the remains and buried them with military honors. Some of the survivors attended the ceremony.

The common grave remained unmarked until about 1858, when a Goliad merchant, George von Dohlen, placed a pile of rocks on what was believed to be the site. In April 1885 a memorial was finally erected, in the city of Goliad rather than on the site, by the Fannin Monument Association, formed by William L. Hunter, a massacre survivor. In 1930 some Goliad Boy Scouts found charred bone fragments that had been unearthed over the years by animals, and an excursion to the site by Goliad residents on New Year's Day, 1932, succeeded in attracting an investigation of the site by University of Texas anthropologist J. E. Pearce. The authenticity of the gravesite was further verified by historians Clarence R. Wharton and Harbert Davenport.qqv In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, money was appropriated to build a massive pink granite monument, dedicated on June 4, 1938. Davenport presented the address, which was published as "The Men of Goliad" in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (1939).

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The impact of the Goliad Massacre was crucial. Until this episode Santa Anna's reputation had been that of a cunning and crafty man, rather than a cruel one. When the Goliad prisoners were taken, Texas had no other army in the field, and the newly constituted ad interim government seemed incapable of forming one. The Texas cause was dependent on the material aid and sympathy of the United States. Had Fannin's and Miller's men been dumped on the wharves at New Orleans penniless, homesick, humiliated, and distressed, and each with his separate tale of Texas mismanagement and incompetence, Texas prestige in the United States would most likely have fallen, along with sources of help. But Portilla's volleys at Goliad, together with the fall of the Alamo, branded both Santa Anna and the Mexican people with a reputation for cruelty and aroused the fury of the people of Texas, the United States, and even Great Britain and France, thus considerably promoting the success of the Texas Revolution.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:30 am

Requerden la Bahia!
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:51 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:Requerden la Bahia!

Rich you know the more you look into the massacre at Goliad the more sad it get's! The Texians yelling remember the Alamo, remember Goliad talk of payback!

Ted Cole….aka….Cole_blooded
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:14 pm

March 28 in Texas History…..

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Confederate guerilla leader arrested by own side

On this day in 1864, Civil War guerrilla leader William Quantrill was arrested by Confederate forces in Bonham, Texas. The Ohio native, wanted for murder in Utah by 1860, collected a group of renegades in the Kansas-Missouri area at the beginning of the Civil War. He fought with Confederate forces at the battle of Wilson's Creek in August 1861 but soon thereafter began irregular independent operations. Quantrill and his band attacked Union camps, patrols, and settlements. While Union authorities declared him an outlaw, Quantrill eventually held the rank of colonel in the Confederate forces. After his infamous sack of Lawrence, Kansas, and the massacre of Union prisoners at Baxter Springs, Quantrill and his men fled to Texas in October of 1863. There he quarreled with his associate, William "Bloody Bill" Anderson, and his band preyed on the citizens of Fannin and Grayson counties. Acts of violence proliferated so much that regular Confederate forces had to be assigned to protect residents from the activities of the irregular Confederate forces, and Gen. Henry McCulloch determined to rid North Texas of Quantrill's influence. On March 28, 1864, when Quantrill appeared at Bonham as requested, McCulloch had him arrested on the charge of ordering the murder of a Confederate major. Quantrill escaped that day and returned to his camp near Sherman, pursued by more than 300 state and Confederate troops. He and his men crossed the Red River into Indian Territory. Except for a brief return in May, Quantrill's activities in Texas were at an end. Quantrill was killed by Union forces at the very end of the war.

WILLIAM CLARKE QUANTRILL (1837–1865). William Clarke Quantrill (Charley Hart, Charles William Quantrill, and Billy Quantrill), Civil War guerrilla leader, was born at Canal Dover, Ohio, on July 31, 1837, to Thomas Henry and Caroline Cornelia (Clarke) Quantrill. He taught school briefly in Ohio and Illinois; in 1857 he moved to Kansas, and in 1858 he accompanied an army provision train to Utah. At Fort Bridger, Salt Lake City, and elsewhere in the territory, Quantrill was associated with a number of murders and thefts. He fled a warrant for his arrest in Utah in 1860 and returned to Kansas. In December he joined a group in an effort to free the slaves of a Missouri man; he betrayed the plans, and three of the abolitionists were killed. Quantrill collected a group of renegades in the Kansas-Missouri area. He fought with Confederate forces at the battle of Wilson's Creek in Oakhills, Missouri, in August 1861 but soon thereafter began irregular independent operations. Quantrill and his band attacked Union camps, patrols, and settlements. In November 1862 the group murdered twelve unarmed teamsters. Union authorities declared them outlaws. Quantrill's role in the capture of Independence, however, led to his being commissioned a captain in the Confederate Army. Shortly thereafter, he sought a regular command under the Confederacy Partisan Ranger Act, but his reputation for brutality preceded him, and his request was denied, although he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

In mid-October 1863 Quantrill and his band crossed the Red River at Colbert's Ferry and established winter camp on Mineral Springs Creek fifteen miles northwest of Sherman. During his first winter in Grayson County Quantrill and his men may have acted as a police force against cattle thieves who raided farms and ranches from Indian Territory. This winter camp was necessary, in part, for Quantrill's men to escape retribution for two of their recent affairs, the first being their infamous sack of Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21, 1863, during which they looted the town and shot approximately 180 men and boys. Weeks later, while on their way to Texas, Quantrill's well-mounted and armed force of 400 men came upon the 100-man headquarters escort of Union general James G. Blunt. Quantrill's band attacked on October 6, 1863, and killed eighty men and wounded eighteen in the Baxter Springs Massacre. Many were murdered after having surrendered. The raiders also captured several fully loaded supply wagons.

Quantrill reported at Bonham on October 26 to Gen. Henry E. McCulloch. One of the officers described Quantrill as standing about five feet ten inches, weighing about 150 pounds, with fair hair, blue eyes, and a florid complexion. Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy, approved of Quantrill and ordered McCulloch to use Quantrill's men to help round up the increasing number of deserters and conscription-dodgers in North Texas. Quantrill's men captured but few and killed several, whereupon McCulloch pulled them off this duty; McCulloch sent them to track down retreating Comanches from a recent raid on the northwest frontier. They did so for nearly a week with no success. Quantrill is credited with ending a near-riot of county "war widows" who were convinced that the Confederate commissary in Sherman was withholding from them such "luxury goods" as coffee, tea, and sugar. During this winter Quantrill's lieutenant, William (Bloody Bill) Anderson, took some of the men to organize his own group. With two such groups in the area, residents of Grayson and Fannin counties became targets for raids, and acts of violence proliferated so much that regular Confederate forces had to be assigned to protect residents from the activities of the irregular Confederate forces.

Finally, General McCulloch determined to rid North Texas of Quantrill's influence. On March 28, 1864, when Quantrill appeared at Bonham as requested, McCulloch had him arrested on the charge of ordering the murder of a Confederate major. Quantrill escaped that day and returned to his camp near Sherman, pursued by over 300 state and Confederate troops. He and his men crossed the Red River into Indian Territory, where they resupplied from Confederate stores. Except for a brief return in May, Quantrill's activities in Texas were at an end. His authority over his followers disintegrated completely when they elected George Todd, a former lieutenant to Quantrill, to lead them. In an attempt to regain his prestige Quantrill concocted a plan to lead a company of men to Washington and assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. He assembled a group of raiders in Lafayette County, Missouri, in November and December 1864, but the strength of Union troops east of the Mississippi River convinced him that his plan could not succeed. Quantrill returned, therefore, to his normal pattern of raiding. With a group of thirty-three men, he entered Kentucky early in 1865. In May or early June of that year a Unionist irregular force surprised his group near Taylorsville, Kentucky, and in the evening battle Quantrill was shot through the spine. He died at the military prison at Louisville, Kentucky, on June 6, 1865.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:04 pm

March 29 in Texas History…..

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Ann Raguet marries Robert Irion instead of Sam Houston

On this day in 1840, Anna W. Raguet, who was courted by Sam Houston, married Robert A. Irion instead. The eldest child of Texas pioneer Henry Raguet, Anna was born in Pennsylvania in 1819 and lived in Cincinnati until she was brought to Nacogdoches by her father in the spring of 1833. There she became acquainted with Sam Houston. He evidently contemplated marrying her, for in 1833 he engaged the services of Jonas Harrison to secure a divorce for him from his first wife, Eliza Allen. As divorces were not granted under Mexican law, nothing came of the application, but Houston's courtship continued. Soon after he became president of the Republic of Texas he issued a proclamation giving his authority to Judge Shelby Corzine to try his application for divorce in the district court of San Augustine County, although Congress was supposed to have exclusive jurisdiction of such matters. Houston's attorney, W. G. Anderson, used the same petition that had been drawn up by Jonas Harrison. The divorce was granted on April 8, 1837, but did not satisfy the scruples of Anna Raguet, who apparently abandoned any plans she might have had for marrying Houston. Robert Irion, secretary of state under Houston, bore many messages between Anna and the president. When Irion learned of the final rift between the two, he persuaded her to marry him. The date of their marriage differs in printed sources, one saying March 29, another March 30, and a third April 9. The couple had five children.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

ANNA W. RAGUET IRION (1819–1883). Anna W. Raguet Irion, who was courted by Sam Houston and married Robert A. Irion, the eldest of eight children of Marcia (Mercy) Ann (Towers) and Henry Raguet, was born in Newtown, Pennsylvania, on January 25, 1819. The middle initial in her name is assumed to stand for Wynkoop, for her paternal grandmother, Anna (Wynkoop) Raguet, although examined documents bear only the initial. Anna was reared and educated in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she resided until she was brought to Texas by her father in the spring of 1833. Upon her arrival in Nacogdoches, she became acquainted with Sam Houston. He evidently contemplated marrying her, for in 1833 he engaged the services of Jonas Harrison to secure a divorce for him from his first wife, Eliza Allen.

As divorces were not granted under Mexican law, nothing came of the application Harrison filed, but Houston's courtship continued. Soon after he became president of the Republic of Texas he issued a proclamation giving his authority to Judge Shelby Corzine to try his application for divorce in the district court of San Augustine County, although Congress was supposed to have exclusive jurisdiction of such matters. Houston's attorney, W. G. Anderson, used the same petition that had been drawn up by Jonas Harrison. The divorce was granted on April 8, 1837, but this proceeding did not satisfy the scruples of Anna Raguet, who apparently abandoned any plans she might have had for marrying Houston. Robert Irion, secretary of state under Houston, bore many messages between Anna and the president. When Irion learned of the final rift between the two, he persuaded her to marry him. The date of their marriage differs in printed sources, one saying March 29, 1840; another, March 30, 1840; and a third, April 9, 1840. The couple had five children. Anna Irion died in Overton on November 7, 1883, and was buried in the Raguet lot at Marshall.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:26 am

March 30 in Texas History…..

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German author of Wild West fiction dies

On this day in 1912, Karl May died in Radebeul, Germany. May's fictional character Old Shatterhand spread Christianity and justice across a romanticized American West while fighting "unscrupulous white men and renegade Indians." The novelist's huge following included such disparate readers as Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Hermann Hesse, and Adolf Hitler. Over sixty million copies of May's works, in thirty languages, helped form the image of Texas and the Wild West in many European minds.

KARL MAY (1842–1912). Karl May, a German writer whose popular western novels helped to form the image of Texas and the American West in the minds of many Europeans, was born on February 25, 1842, in Ernstthal (now Hohenstein-Ernstthal), Saxony, the fifth of fourteen children of Heinrich August and Christiane Wilhelmine (Weise) May. Shortly after his birth he lost his sight, probably from malnutrition, but regained it at the age of five. In 1857 he entered a teachers' training college, where he passed final examinations in 1861. The following year he was convicted of stealing a watch and was imprisoned. The incident effectively barred him from continuing his career as a teacher, and after his release from prison May, now deeply disaffected, perpetrated a series of frauds and swindles hoping to revenge himself on society. In 1865 he was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison but was released in 1868. He was convicted once more in 1870 and spent four further years in prison.

After his release in 1874 May began to work as an editor for a publisher of adventure books and popular magazines. Later, as a free-lance writer, he turned out an enormous quantity of novels, humorous sketches, short stories, and other writings, which eventually filled more than seventy volumes. Of these, probably the best known was a series of some twenty adventure novels set in the American West of the mid-nineteenth century, including Winnetou (4 vols., 1893–1910), Der Schatz im Silbersee (The Treasure in Silverlake) (1894), and Old Surehand (3 vols., 1894–96). The hero of many of these works was Old Shatterhand, a German immigrant, who along with other German Westmänner ("westmen") such as Old Surehand, Old Firehand, and Old Wabble, traveled the West seeking to bring Christianity and justice while fighting unscrupulous white men and renegade Indians. Old Shatterhand, as Ralph S. Walker has described him, was "an illustrious German superman who could speak, read, and write forty languages, who roamed the world as a writer and archeologist, never made a mistake he couldn't rectify, smoked cigars, and worshipped the Protestant God. He was always keener-witted than the people around him, was a better shot than anyone had even seen before, was generous to a fault, and never killed man nor beast unless he needed to, but if forced did so without compunction or regret." During his wanderings, Old Shatterhand frequently encountered the Apache chief Winnetou, who became the German's blood-brother, and together they experienced a series of adventures.

Although May never set foot in the American West (during his only trip to the United States in 1908 he spent a few weeks in the Northeast), he managed with the aid of atlases, encyclopedias, and geographical and ethnological studies, to recreate a convincing vision of the vast region west of the Mississippi, erring egregiously only perhaps in his description of great, impenetrable "cactus forests." Despite, or perhaps because of, his rather romanticized view of the culture and landscape of the West, May's novels became enormously popular in Germany, particularly with younger readers. For many Germans and other Europeans, Texas and the American West became synonymous with the world of May's works, and the May cult has helped to inspire various "Wild West Clubs" and "Cowboy Clubs." May often took liberties with history and chronology. Yet, whatever their lack of scholarly merits, May's books acquired a huge following, and such diverse figures as Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Hermann Hesse, and Adolf Hitler were among his avid readers. Since their publication, more than sixty million copies of his books have been sold in Germany, and his works have been translated into thirty languages. A number of them have also been made into movies.

By the 1890s May was a wealthy man, living in a large house in Radebeul, near Dresden, which he called "Villa Shatterhand." Flushed with his success, he began claiming that he had experienced everything that he had described in his novels. He sent out photographs of himself dressed as Old Shatterhand or Kara Ben Nemsi (hero of a series of novels set in the Near East), and in 1899 he toured the Orient for eighteen months, allegedly to visit "old friends" there. When journalists and others began to dig into his past, however, they discovered a different story. In 1904 his criminal record was revealed. May instituted a series of suits alleging defamation of character, but was never able to repair the damage to his reputation. He married Emma Lina Pollmer on August 17, 1880. After their divorce in 1903 he married Klara Bleibler Plöhn. He died in Radebeul, Germany, on March 30, 1912, and was buried in the Radebeuler Friedhof.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:55 pm

March 31 in Texas History…..

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Texas Mormon leader dies leading followers north

On this day in 1858, pioneer Mormon leader Lyman Wight, determined to lead his people back to the North following a premonition of the coming Civil War, died near San Antonio. Wight, born in Connecticut in 1796, was living in Ohio in 1826 when he converted to Mormonism. In 1838, Wight and Joseph Smith were among fifty Mormon leaders tried in Missouri for treason and other crimes against the state. After Smith's death in 1844, Brigham Young was selected as head of the Mormon church and resolved to lead his people to Utah, but Wight refused to accept Young's authority. He claimed that Smith had told him to found a Mormon colony in Texas. With some 200 followers, Wight moved to Texas in 1845, and received John O. Meusebach's permission to found a colony near Fredericksburg in 1847. The community of Zodiac (later renamed Rocky Hill) quickly became a central element in the Gillespie County economy. The Mormons built the first sawmill in the county and soon became the principal suppliers of seeds, lumber, and flour to the Germans of Fredericksburg. In 1848 Young sent two messengers to Texas to convince Wight to come to Utah, but Wight, nicknamed "the Wild Ram of the Mountains" by his fellow Mormons for his stubborn independence, refused. He was disfellowshiped by the Mormon church in 1849. In 1851, following a flood that destroyed their mills, the Mormons left Gillespie County and eventually settled in Bandera County.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

LYMAN WIGHT (1796–1858). Lyman Wight, pioneer Mormon leader and second chief justice of Gillespie County, was born in Fairfield Township, Herkimer County, New York, on May 9, 1796, to Levi and Sara (Corbin) Wight. He enlisted in the United States Army during the War of 1812 and fought in the battle of Sackett's Harbor. After the war Wight moved first to Henrietta, New York, then to Canada and Michigan. He married Harriet Benton of Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 5, 1823, and they had the first of their six children in Centerville, New York. In 1826 Wight moved his family to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where he converted to Mormonism and was baptized. In 1831 Wight and his family moved to Independence, Missouri, to help establish a Mormon settlement there.

Seven years later, after a small civil war erupted between Mormons and gentiles, Wight and Joseph Smith were among fifty Mormon leaders tried in Missouri for treason and other crimes against the state. The Mormons were allowed to escape, however, and in 1839 founded the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. On April 8, 1841, Wight was elected to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Mormon church and was placed in charge of the Mormon sawmill on Wisconsin's Black River, above La Crosse. In 1844 he traveled the country in support of Smith's presidential campaign. Wight was preaching in Massachusetts when Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois on June 27, 1844. He immediately returned to Nauvoo and then to Wisconsin. Brigham Young was selected to replace Smith as head of the Mormon church and resolved to lead his people to Utah, but Wight refused to accept Young's authority. He claimed that Smith had told him to found a Mormon colony in Texas, on land west of Austin that had been selected by Smith as a possible site for resettlement should the Mormon presidential bid fail.

With some 200 followers, Wight crossed the Red River at Preston on November 10, 1845. They spent the next ten months in Grayson County. In September 1846, they moved to Webber's Prairie (now Webberville) in Travis County, where they met Noah Smithwick. Later that fall they built a gristmill on the Colorado River, three miles west of Austin, but the mill was destroyed by a flood. Wight asked for and received John O. Meusebach's permission in 1847 to found a colony on the Pedernales River, four miles southeast of Fredericksburg. He believed that the German settlers of Gillespie County, with their traditions of religious tolerance and opposition to slavery, would make good neighbors.

The community of Zodiac quickly became a central element in the Gillespie County economy. Within six weeks the Mormons had built the first sawmill in the county, a new gristmill, a temple, a school, and a store. They soon became the principal suppliers of seeds, lumber, and flour to the Germans of Fredericksburg. They also helped build Fort Martin Scott. In 1848 Young sent two messengers to Texas to convince Wight to come to Utah, but Wight, nicknamed "the Wild Ram of the Mountains" by his fellow Mormons for his stubborn independence, refused. He was disfellowshiped by the Mormon church on February 12, 1849. Wight ran for chief justice of Gillespie County in 1850 but was defeated by Johann Jost Klingelhoefer. He was awarded the office in September, however, when he pointed out that his opponent was not yet an American citizen. Wight stopped attending sessions of the county court in June 1851 and in July of that year the county commissioners declared his office vacant. Klingelhoefer, who had by now become a citizen, was elected and installed as chief justice in August 1851.

Later that year, after floods had again destroyed their mills, the Mormons left Gillespie County. They went first to Hamilton Creek in Burnet County. They later returned to Zodiac to recover their buried millstones, the location of which Wight claimed to have seen in a vision. After selling their Hamilton Creek holdings to Smithwick, the Mormons moved to Bandera in March 1854. Wight built a furniture factory there, but in the fall of 1856 he and his followers moved to Mountain Valley, on the Medina River below Bandera. There they established a settlement known as Mormon Camp, now covered by the waters of Medina Lake. Wight performed the first marriage in Bandera County on September 6, 1856, between his son Levi Lamoni and Sophia Leyland. In March 1858 Wight had a premonition of the coming Civil War and resolved to lead his people back to the north. Wight died at Decker on March 31, eight miles from San Antonio on the second day of the journey. He was buried in the Mormon cemetery at Zodiac and his followers scattered. Three of his sons, Lyman Levi, Levi Lamoni, and Laomi Limhi, fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:16 am

April 1 in Texas History…..

Mexican revolutionary captures San Antonio

On this day in 1813, Spanish governor Santísima Trinidad de Salcedo surrendered the city of San Antonio to forces under José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara, commander-in-chief of the filibustering Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. Gutiérrez intended to set up a republican government in Texas and use Texas as a base for operations designed to liberate Mexico from Spanish rule. The scheme ended in August with the defeat of Gutiérrez's successor as head of the provisional government, José Álvarez de Toledo, but the indefatigable Gutiérrez went on to become involved with such filibusters and revolutionaries as Louis Michel Aury, Francisco Xavier Mina, and James Long, among others.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

JOSÉ BERNARDO MAXIMILIANO GUTIÉRREZ DE LARA (1774–1841). José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara, Mexican revolutionary and diplomat, son of Santiago Gutiérrez de Lara and Maria Uribe, was born at Revilla (present Guerrero), Tamaulipas, Mexico, on August 20, 1774. He married his cousin María Josefa Uribe and became a merchant, blacksmith, and property owner at Revilla. During the Mexican War of Independence, led by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Gutiérrez and his brother were successful in fomenting revolution in Nuevo Santander, and Gutiérrez was sent by Hidalgo to recruit along the Rio Grande. After the Casas Revolt, Gutiérrez was commissioned by the rebels to solicit aid in the United States. He left Saltillo for the United States on March 17, 1811, going by way of Revilla to collect supplies. After the capture of Hidalgo, he resolved to continue his mission and in August 1811 went to Natchitoches, Louisiana. In October he left for Washington, D.C., with letters of introduction from John Sibley and arrived on December 11, 1811. He was received by Secretary of State James Monroe, who listened to the plans for establishment of a republican government in Texas and use of Texas as a base for effecting the liberation of Mexico. During his stay in Washington the Mexican leader met the ministers of Britain, Denmark, and Russia, and visited the representative from revolutionary Venezuela. Also in Washington, Gutiérrez met José Álvarez de Toledo, and with Álvarez in Philadelphia in January 1812 made plans for the liberation of Texas and Mexico. Back in Louisiana in March 1812, Gutiérrez was introduced to William Shaler, special agent from the United States, who helped Gutiérrez to return to Texas. In April 1812 the two men were in Natchitoches, where the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition assembled and set out for Texas.
Early in April 1813, after the expedition had advanced across Texas, Gutiérrez became president protector of the provisional government set up for the state, but after the arrival of Toledo, Gutiérrez was asked by the junta at Bexar to resign the presidency; he resigned on August 4, 1813, and on August 6 left with his family for Natchitoches. In April 1814, after Toledo's defeat in Texas, Gutiérrez went to New Orleans to attempt a new liberation movement.

He fought in the battle of New Orleans in 1815 and while in Louisiana refused the proposal of a group known as the New Orleans Associates to lead troops against Pensacola. Late in 1816 he was in Natchitoches as an agent of Louis Michel Aury. Gutiérrez cooperated with Francisco Xavier Mina's expedition in 1817, accompanied James Longqv on expeditions into Texas in 1819 and 1820, and in 1820 was vice president of the council of the Long expedition at Bolivar Point. Governor Agustín de Iturbide recognized the Gutiérrez independence efforts, and in 1824 Gutiérrez returned to Revilla, where he was elected governor of Tamaulipas in July, 1824 and commandant general of Tamaulipas in March 1825. He resigned the governorship in June 1825 but in December became commandant general of the eastern division of the Provincias Internas and held the office until his resignation late in 1826. Gutiérrez opposed efforts of Antonio Canales Rosillo to set up the Republic of the Rio Grande in 1839 and was protected from Canales's violence by the intervention of Reuben Rossqv. Early in 1840 Gutiérrez went to Linares to live with his son, José Ángel. He became ill on a trip to Santiago and died at his daughter's home there on May 13, 1841. He was buried in the parish church at Santiago.

GUTIÉRREZ-MAGEE EXPEDITION. The Gutiérrez-Magee or Magee-Gutiérrez expedition of 1812–13 was an early filibustering expedition against Spanish Texas. The expedition took place against the background of growing unrest in Mexico against Spanish rule. In January 1811 a former militia captain named Juan Bautista de las Casas, inspired by the Diez y Seis revolt in Guanajuato, led an insurrectionist movement against the royalists in San Antonio, seizing Governor Manuel María de Salcedo and his military staff. In March royalists staged a successful countercoup, captured Casas, and executed him (see CASAS REVOLT). In December 1811 an envoy of the rebels, José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Laraqv, traveled to Washington, D.C., in the hope of securing United States support for the antiroyalist cause. Conferences with American officials brought only vague promises of aid, but Gutiérrez was led to believe that the United States would not hinder the organization of the expedition against Texas. After discussing his plans with José Álvarez de Toledo y Dubois, Gutiérrez sailed for New Orleans with a letter of introduction to Governor William C. C. Claiborne, who introduced him to William Shaler, a consular officer seeking to enter New Spain as an observer for President James Monroe. Shaler became the principal adviser of the expedition. Many adventurers, some of whom hoped to win Texas for the United States, assembled at or near Natchitoches, Louisiana, to form the nucleus of an invading army. Shaler enlisted the aid of Lt, Augustus W. Magee and helped Gutiérrez send propaganda into New Spain.

Crossing the Sabine with some 130 men on August 8, 1812, Magee scattered royalist frontier detachments and entered Nacogdoches on August 12. American and Mexican recruits, attracted by possibilities of booty and encouraged by merchants of Natchitoches, increased Magee's strength to about 300 men when he marched against Santísima Trinidad de Salcedo on September 13. Governor Salcedo concentrated his forces on the Guadalupe River to protect San Antonio, but Magee changed the direction of his attack and entered La Bahía (present Goliad) on November 7 with almost no opposition. Salcedo, pursuing the invaders with fewer than 200 men, laid siege to La Bahía on November 13. When reinforcements increased this force to about 800, Magee asked for terms of surrender. Salcedo's offer was so unsatisfactory that the filibusters decided to fight. Before any decisive action had taken place, Magee died on February 6, 1813, and Samuel Kemper succeeded to the command.

Under Kemper's leadership, the expedition won its greatest success. Salcedo, defeated in two attacks on February 10 and 13, retreated toward San Antonio on February 19. Kemper moved out in a belated pursuit a month later with 800 men, including volunteers from Nacogdoches and deserters from the Spanish army, and on March 29, 1813, defeated a royalist army of 1,200, commanded by Simón de Herrera, in the battle of Rosillo. Salcedo surrendered San Antonio unconditionally on April 1. Gutiérrez, nominally commander-in-chief of the expedition, began to assume a greater role in its affairs. On April 3 he reportedly permitted the execution of Salcedo and fourteen royalist officers, including Herrera. This act caused many Americans to abandon the enterprise at once; a few days later, having lost confidence in Gutiérrez and his provisional government, Samuel Kemper led more than 100 Americans back to Louisiana on "furlough."

Organization of the Spanish effort to recover Texas fell to Col. Ignacio Elizondo and Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo. Acting more or less independently, Elizondo laid siege to San Antonio with 900 men. Reuben Rossqv, successor to Kemper in command of the Americans, advised a retreat; but, when a council of war refused to support him, he resigned and was followed by Henry Perry. In the battle of the Alazán on June 20, 1813, Perry routed Elizondo's troops in a dawn attack and returned to San Antonio with considerable booty. While Elizondo was rallying his scattered forces and Arredondo was marching to join him, Shaler guided an intrigue designed to remove Gutiérrez from his nominal command. Toledo had arrived at Natchitoches on April 4, 1813, and had aroused Shaler's interest. A series of petty plots within plots kept Toledo out of Texas for four months, but American leaders in San Antonio finally agreed to Shaler's plan.

Toledo arrived at Bexar by August 1. Gutiérrez left for Natchitoches on August 6, just in time to avoid impending disaster. Most of the Americans supported the new commander; but several Mexicans, led by Col. José Menchacaqv, attempted to sabotage the expedition by preventing Toledo from moving promptly against Arredondo's advancing forces. With a small army badly demoralized by intrigues, Toledo succeeded in moving from San Antonio on August 15, 1813, too late to prevent a junction between Arredondo and Elizondo. Three days later, in the battle of the Medinaqv, the royalists routed the republicans and filibusters; most of the survivors fled back toward Louisiana. Arredondo then entered San Antonio and proceeded with the harsh pacification of Texas. In San Antonio royalists shot 327 persons, and in Nacogdoches one of Arredondo's lieutenants carried out a similarly bloody purge. Despite the victory of the royalists, the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition so intensified interest in Texas that complete peace could not be restored. The province remained the center of plots or the object of invasion until Agustín de Iturbide finally brought the revolution to an end.

AUGUSTUS WILLIAM MAGEE (1789–1813). Augustus William Magee, army officer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1789. After graduating third in his class from the United States Military Academy, on January 23, 1809, he served under Gen. James Wilkinson in an artillery regiment stationed at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and later transferred to Fort Jessup near Natchitoches. Magee, credited with being one of the best informed young officers in the United States Army, was recommended by his commanding officer for a promotion that was eventually refused by higher authorities. Meanwhile Magee did good work in keeping down the freebooters of the Neutral Ground, working with the authorities in Nacogdoches to that end. He made the acquaintance of Peter Samuel Davenport and later of José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara, and the three were soon laying plans for an invasion of Texas. Magee, smarting over his failure to be promoted, resigned from the United States Army on June 22, 1812, and immediately began recruiting the force later known as the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition. Magee left Natchitoches on August 2, 1812, crossed the Sabine River on August 8, was joined by Gutiérrez two days later, and with the loot of Juan José Manuel Vicente Zambrano's convoy, entered Nacogdoches on August 12. About the middle of September the force occupied Trinidad on the Trinity River, where Magee became seriously ill, either with consumption or malarial fever, but he remained in actual command of the expedition until his death on February 6, 1813, at the presidio of Nuestra Señora de Loreto.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby Cole_blooded on Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:00 pm

April 2 in Texas History…..

Image

Slave smuggler revealed as forger

On this day in 1840, the slave smuggler Monroe Edwards was convicted of having forged a bill of sale from his partner, Christopher Dart. Although Edwards retained two distinguished lawyers, John C. Watrous and John W. Harris, the forgery was discovered during a civil trial in Brazoria. Edwards was found liable for more than $89,000 plus interest and court costs. He was also indicted and jailed. After making bond on the criminal charge, he fled to Europe, where he posed as a wealthy veteran of San Jacinto and an abolitionist. He left Europe after a threat of exposure by the Texas envoy to England and returned to the United States, where he engaged in several large-scale forgeries. He was finally arrested and incarcerated in the Tombs prison in New York. His trial was a celebrated one, with lengthy reports of each day's testimony printed in the New York Daily Tribune and other newspapers. Edwards again retained celebrated lawyers but was found guilty and sentenced to Sing Sing prison. After an escape attempt in 1847 he was severely beaten by prison authorities and died.

…..Another chapter in Texas History

Image

MONROE EDWARDS (ca. 1808–1847). Monroe Edwards, early Texas slave smuggler and forger, son of a once wealthy plantation owner, Moses Edwards, was born in Danville, Kentucky, about 1808. He moved to the Galveston Bay area of Texas about 1825 as a clerk for a prosperous merchant, James Morgan. Soon after his arrival, however, he found more lucrative, if less respectable, pursuits. He became involved in smuggling slaves to Brazil from Africa and soon made a profit of $50,000. Through his mistress's husband, a Mexican official, he obtained a large land grant in Brazoria County. He called his property Chenango Plantation and used it as a base for continued slave smuggling to Texas from Cuba. His only claim to favorable historical recognition was his arrest and brief imprisonment, with others, by the Mexican garrison at Anahuac in 1832.

Christopher Dart, who later bought a half interest in Chenango, also joined Edwards in financing the smuggling of slaves. On March 2, 1836, Edwards took about 171 slaves up the Brazos River and drove them overland to Chenango, where they were to be kept for sale after the Texas Revolution ended. When Dart began pressuring him to sell the slaves and split the profits as they had agreed, Edwards conceived a different plan. He altered a letter signed by Dart so that it seemed to be a bill of sale to himself. Dart, of course, cried foul, and filed a civil suit. Although Edwards retained two distinguished lawyers, John C. Watrous and John W. Harris,qqv the forgery was discovered during the trial in Brazoria. Dart obtained judgment on April 2, 1840, for more than $89,000 plus interest and court costs. In addition, Edwards was indicted and jailed.

After making bond on the criminal charge, Edwards fled to Europe, where he posed as a wealthy veteran of San Jacinto and an abolitionist. He left Europe after a threat of exposure by the Texas envoy to England and returned to the United States, where he engaged in several large-scale forgeries. He was finally arrested and placed in the Tombs prison in New York. His trial was a celebrated one, with lengthy reports of each day's testimony printed in the New York Daily Tribune and other newspapers. Edwards again retained celebrated lawyers but was found guilty. He was sentenced to Sing Sing prison. After an escape attempt in 1847 he was severely beaten by prison authorities and died.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:57 pm

Edwards was also an acquaintance of Travis'. Don't know if they were friends or he was just someone Travis represented as a lawyer. I'd have to dig into his diary, but that's where he is mentioned a lot, I believe.
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Re: This Day In Texas History

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:41 pm

O.K., I checked Travis' 1833-34 diary. Some backstory: Monroe Edwards was one of the men who were incarcerated with Travis at Anahuac in 1832 by Bradburn. All were released but Travis, until Col. Piedras interceded on his behalf. In his diary, Travis indicates that he made arrangements with Edwards to bring his son Charles to Texas. He also wrote a letter of introduction for Edwards to William Cato, his estranged wife's brother, and entered the following in his diary on January 10, 1834:

"Made arrangements with M. Edwards to bring my son Charles Edward from Alabama."

This was apparently a snap decision, because the day before he entered the following:

"Recd letter from R. E. Travis [his wife Rosana]. Answered same. She is willing to give up my son Charles to me. I directed him to be sent to Brazoria to the care of Mrs. Long."

So, he apparently heard from Rosana about obtaining Charles and wrote back with instructions to send him to Jane Long at Brazoria. Then, the very next day, he wrote her again (indicated in his entry) with a revised plan for Monroe Edwards to pick up Charles and meet Rosana's brother professionally. :?

Since it has never been confirmed that Rosana herself brought Charles Edward to Texas, perhaps this suggests (if vaguely) that she did, after perhaps meeting Edwards and deciding to take Charles herself rather than trust him. Just a thought.
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