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Friday, October 11, 2013

From Texas History

Not living in Texas any more, I am curious about it's history...that it had it's own revolutionary war against Mexico that started on Oct. 2, 1935.

The Texas state Flag

 

 

Many of my ancestors fought in that war...which was the war of independence for Texas.  I've pieced together only little bits of this war, how Mexico wanted Americans to settle the lands that became Texas, how the government of Mexico was shifting from one approach to another with various corrupt officials, often with opposing views...and that this led to the pioneers in Texas fighting the Mexicans.

From the Texas State Historical Society comes this:

Texas Revolution begins at Gonzales

October
02
1835
On this day in 1835, fighting broke out at Gonzales between Mexican soldiers and Texas militiamen. When Domingo de Ugartechea, military commander in Texas, received word that the American colonists of Gonzales refused to surrender a small cannon that had been given that settlement in 1831 as a defense against the Indians, he dispatched Francisco de Castañeda and 100 dragoons to retrieve it on September 27. Though Castañeda attempted to avoid conflict, on the morning of October 2 his force clashed with local Texan militia led by John Henry Moore in the first battle of the Texas Revolution. The struggle for the "Come and Take It" cannon was only a brief skirmish that ended with the retreat of Castañeda and his force, but it also marked a clear break between the American colonists and the Mexican government.

Wikipedia says:
Gonzales is most famous as the "Lexington of Texas" because it was the site of the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution. In 1831, the Mexican government had granted Green DeWitt's request for a small cannon for protection against Indian attacks. At the outbreak of disputes between the Anglo settlers and the Mexican authorities in 1835, a contingent of more than 100 Mexican soldiers was sent from San Antonio to retrieve the cannon.
When the soldiers arrived, there were only 18 men in Gonzales, but they refused to return the cannon, and soon men from the surrounding area joined them. Texians under the command of John H. Moore confronted them. Sarah DeWitt and her daughter sewed a flag bearing the likeness of the cannon and the words "Come and Take It," which was flown when the first shots of Texan independence were fired on October 2, 1835. The Texians successfully resisted the Mexican troops in what became known as the Battle of Gonzales.[6][7]
Gonzales later contributed 32 men from the Gonzales Ranging Company to the defense of the ill-fated Alamo.[8] It was to Gonzales that Susanna Dickinson, widow of one of the Alamo defenders, and Joe, the slave of William B. Travis, fled with news of the Alamo massacre. General Sam Houston was there organizing the Texas forces. He anticipated the town would be the next target of General Antonio López de Santa Anna' Mexican army. Gathering the Texians at Peach Creek east of town, under the Sam Houston Oak, Houston ordered Gonzales burned, to deny it to the enemy. He began a retreat toward the U.S. border. The widows and orphans of Gonzales and their neighbors were forced to flee, thus precipitating the Runaway Scrape.
The town was derelict immediately after the Texas Revolution, but was eventually rebuilt on the original site throughout the early 1840s. By 1850, the town had a population of 300. The population rose to 1,703 in the 1860 census, 2,900 by the mid-1880s, and 4,297 in 1900. Part of the growth of the late 19th century can be attributed to the arrival of various immigrants, among them Jews, many of whom became peddlers and merchants.

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