Why Mexico Won the Alamo but Lost the Mexican-American War
In March 1836, Mexican forces overran the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, achieving victory over those who had declared Texas’ independence from Mexico just a few weeks earlier. Although nearly everyone at the Alamo was killed or captured, Texas achieved independence when Sam ...read more
Why Davy Crockett Was an Early PR Genius
Who was Davy Crockett? If an outspoken, bear-killing frontiersman in a coonskin cap is what springs to mind, that’s just what the eccentric outdoorsman and politician would have wanted. Crockett was obsessed with shaping his public image—and he was willing to stretch the truth to ...read more
Who were the Texians?
Today we may know them simply as Texans, but deciding what to call the people living in Texas in the pre-Texas Revolution era was a matter of some confusion. According to an issue of the Telegraph and Texas Register published on November 7, 1835, various people used the terms ...read more
8 Famous Texas Rangers
1. John Coffee Hays Born in Tennessee, Hays arrived in San Antonio in 1837, shortly after Texas won its independence from Mexico. By 1841, at the tender age of 23, he was a Ranger captain. A fearless fighter and skilled leader, Hays won his fame defending Texans from raids and ...read more
Who was the Yellow Rose of Texas?
In the fall of 1835, a free African-American woman from Connecticut named Emily D. West signed a one-year contract with Colonel James Morgan to work as a housekeeper in New Washington (later known as Morgan’s Point), a small settlement in Texas. In mid-April 1836, Mexican troops ...read more
The Goliad Massacre—The Other Alamo
As the ashes of the Alamo continued to smolder, Sam Houston feared another disaster could befall his Texas Army. Mexican forces under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna continued to sweep across Texas toward Fort Defiance, the presidio in Goliad that had been seized by the ...read more
7 Things You May Not Know About Sam Houston
1. He attacked a congressman walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with a cane. On March 31, 1832, Ohio Congressman William Stanbery accused Houston of fraud in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. When Houston encountered Stanbery walking down Pennsylvania ...read more
Who survived the Alamo?
When Mexican troops stormed the former mission known as the Alamo on the morning of March 6, 1836, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered that no prisoners be taken. Did anyone at the Alamo survive? Santa Anna’s Mexican army killed virtually all of the roughly 200 ...read more
The First Shots of the Texas Revolution
Green DeWitt feared for the safety of his colony. The empresario of the DeWitt Colony had led 400 Anglo-Americans to settle in the Mexican territory of Texas near the confluence of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers in 1825, but since then the capital of his colony, Gonzales, ...read more
6 Things You May Not Know About Santa Anna
1. Santa Anna headed the Mexican government on 11 occasions. The decades following Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 were plagued by political dysfunction. Both violent and nonviolent coups were regular occurrences, and the opportunistic Santa Anna took advantage of the ...read more