Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gioachino Rossini (1792 - 1868)

Rossini was born into a family of musicians in Pesaro, a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy. His father Giuseppe was town trumpeter and inspector of slaughterhouses, his mother Anna a singer and baker's daughter. Rossini's parents began his musical training early, and by the age of six he was playing the triangle in his father's band.
Rossini's father was sympathetic to the French, and welcomed Napoleon's troops when they arrived in Northern Italy. This became a problem when in 1796, the Austrians restored the old regime. Rossini's father was sent to prison, and his wife took Gioacchino to Bologna, earning her living as lead singer at various theatres of the Romagna region, where she was ultimately joined by her husband. During this time, Gioacchino was frequently left in the care of his aging grandmother, who was unable to effectively control the boy.

Gioacchino remained at Bologna in the care of a pork butcher, while his father played the horn in the bands of the theatres at which his mother sang. The boy had three years instruction in the harpsichord from Prinetti of Novara, but Prinetti played the scale with two fingers only, combined his profession of a musician with the business of selling liquor, and fell asleep while he stood, so that he was a fit subject for ridicule by his critical pupil.

Gioacchino was taken from Prinetti and apprenticed to a smith. In Angelo Tesei he found a congenial master, and learned to sight-read, to play accompaniments on the pianoforte, and to sing well enough to take solo parts in the church when he was ten years of age. At thirteen he appeared at the theatre of the Commune in Paër’s Camilla — his only public appearance as a singer (1805). He was also a capable horn player in the footsteps of his father.

In 1807 the young Rossini was admitted to the counterpoint class of Padre P. S. Mattei, and soon after to that of Cavedagni for the cello at the Conservatorio of Bologna. He learned to play the cello with ease, but the pedantic severity of Mattei's views on counterpoint only served to drive the young composer's views toward a freer school of composition. His insight into orchestral resources is generally ascribed not to the teaching strict compositional rules he learned from Mattei, but to knowledge gained independently while scoring the quartets and symphonies of Haydn and Mozart. At Bologna he was known as 'il Tedeschino' on account of his devotion to Mozart.
Through the friendly interposition of the Marquis Cavalli, his first opera, La Cambiale di Matrimonio, was produced at Venice when he was a youth of eighteen. But two years before this he had already received the prize at the Conservatorio of Bologna for his cantata Il piantô d'armonia per la morte d’Orfeo. Between 1810 and 1813, at Bologna, Rome, Venice and Milan, Rossini produced operas of varying success. All memory of these works is eclipsed by the enormous success of his opera Tancredi.

The libretto was an arrangement of Voltaire’s tragedy by A. Rossi. Traces of Paër and Paisiello were undeniably present in fragments of the music. But any critical feeling on the part of the public was drowned by appreciation of such melodies as 'Mi rivedrai, ti rivèdrô' and 'Di tanti palpiti,' the former of which became so popular that the Italians would sing it in crowds at the law courts until called upon by the judge to desist.

Rossini continued to write operas for Venice and Milan during the next few years, but their reception was tame and in some cases unsatisfactory after the success of Tancredi. In 1815 he retired to his home at Bologna, where Barbaja, the impresario of the Naples theatre, concluded an agreement with him by which he was to take the musical direction of the Teatro San Carlo and the Teatro Del Fondo at Naples, composing for each of them one opera a year. His payment was to be 200 ducats per month; he was also to receive a share of Barbaja's other business, popular gaming-tables, amounting to about 1000 ducats per annum.

Some older composers in Naples, notably Zingarelli and Paisiello, were inclined to intrigue against the success of the youthful composer; but all hostility was made futile by the enthusiasm which greeted the court performance of his Elisabetta regina d'Inghilterra, in which Isabella Colbran, who subsequently became the composer’s wife, took a leading part. The libretto of this opera by Schmidt was in many of its incidents an anticipation of those presented to the world a few years later in Sir Walter Scott’s Kenilworth. The opera was the first in which Rossini wrote the ornaments of the airs instead of leaving them to the fancy of the singers, and also the first in which the recitativo secco was replaced by a recitative accompanied by a string quartet.
In Il Barbiere di Siviglia, produced in the beginning of the next year in Rome, the libretto, a version of Beaumarchais' Barbier de Seville by Sterbini, was the same as that already used by Giovanni Paisiello in his own Barbiere, an opera which had enjoyed European popularity for more than a quarter of a century. Paisiello’s admirers were extremely indignant when the opera was produced, but the opera was so successful that the fame of Paisiello's opera was transferred to his, to which the title of Il Barbiere di Siviglia passed as an inalienable heritage.

Between 1815 and 1823 Rossini produced twenty operas. Of these Otello formed the climax to his reform of serious opera, and offers a suggestive contrast with the treatment of the same subject at a similar point of artistic development by the composer Giuseppe Verdi. In Rossini’s time the tragic close was so distasteful to the public of Rome that it was necessary to invent a happy conclusion to Otello.
Gioacchino A. Rossini
Gioacchino A. Rossini

Conditions of stage production in 1817 are illustrated by Rossini’s acceptance of the subject of Cinderella for a libretto only on the condition that the supernatural element should be omitted. The opera La Cenerentola was as successful as Barbiere. The absence of a similar precaution in the construction of his Mosè in Egitto led to disaster in the scene depicting the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, when the defects in stage contrivance always raised a laugh, so that the composer was at length compelled to introduce the chorus 'Dal tuo stellato Soglio' to divert attention from the dividing waves.
In 1821, three years after the production of this work, Rossini married singer Isabella Colbran. In 1822 he directed his Cenerentola in Vienna, where Zelmira was also performed. After this he returned to Bologna; but an invitation from Prince Metternich to come to Verona and 'assist in the general re-establishment of harmony' was too tempting to be refused, and he arrived at the Congress in time for its opening on October 20, 1822. Here he made friends with Chateaubriand and Madame de Lieven.
In 1823, at the suggestion of the manager of the King’s Theatre, London, he came to England, being much fêted on his way through Paris. In England he was given a generous welcome, which included an introduction to King George IV and the receipt of £7000 after a residence of five months. In 1824 he became musical director of the Théatre Italien in Paris at a salary of £800 per annum, and when the agreement came to an end he was rewarded with the offices of chief composer to the king and inspector-general of singing in France, to which was attached the same income.
The production of his Guillaume Tell in 1829 brought his career as a writer of opera to a close. The libretto was by Etienne Jouy and Hippolyte Bis, but their version was revised by Armand Marrast. The music is remarkable for its freedom from the conventions discovered and utilized by Rossini in his earlier works, and marks a transitional stage in the history of opera.
In 1829 he returned to Bologna. His mother had died in 1827, and he was anxious to be with his father. Arrangements for his subsequent return to Paris on a new agreement were upset by the abdication of Charles X and the July Revolution of 1830. Rossini, who had been considering the subject of Faust for a new opera, returned, however, to Paris in the November of that year.
Six movements of his Stabat Mater were written in 1832 and the rest in 1839, the year of his father's death. The success of the work bears comparison with his achievements in opera; but his comparative silence during the period from 1832 to his death in 1868 makes his biography appear almost like the narrative of two lives — the life of swift triumph, and the long life of seclusion, of which biographers give us pictures in stories of the composer's cynical wit, his speculations in fish culture, his mask of humility and indifference.
His first wife died in 1845, and political disturbances in the Romagna area compelled him to leave Bologna in 1847, the year of his second marriage with Olympe Pelissier, who had sat to Vernet for his picture of 'Judith and Holofernes.' After living for a time in Florence he settled in Paris in 1855, where his house was a centre of artistic society. He died at his country house at Passy on November 13, 1868 and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.
He was a foreign associate of the Institute, grand officer of the Legion of Honour, and the recipient of innumerable orders.
In his compositions Rossini plagiarized even more freely from himself than from other musicians, and few of his operas are without such admixtures frankly introduced in the form of arias or overtures.
A characteristic mannerism in his musical writing earned for him the nickname of 'Monsieur Crescendo.'
Rossini is also well known for some personal qualities, which gave origin to several anecdotes. For example, he was supposed to have composed his best known opera, 'Barbiere', in a very short time, because as usual he was late in respecting the delivery date. Some say he did it in seven days; others, like Lodovico Settimo Silvestri, suggest in fourteen. Whatever the precise length, it was in any case very little time for such masterpieces. He worked in his bedroom, wearing his dressing-gown. A friend pointed out that it was undoubtedly funny that he had composed the 'Barber' without shaving himself for such a long time. Rossini promptly replied that if he had to get shaved, he would have had to get out of his house, and he therefore would never had completed his opera.
Another story of Rossini composing in the comfort of his bed: One day an impresario went visiting him and found him writing music in his bed. Rossini, without even looking at him, begged him to collect a sheet that had fallen from the bed to the floor. When the impresario picked it, Rossini gave him the other sheet he was writing and asked him: 'Which one do you think is the better?' 'But... they are completely alike...' said the embarrassed impresario. 'Well... you know... it was easier for me to write another one than to get off the bed and search and pick the first one and then come back to bed...'
Rossini himself was very happy to describe his virtues: here is what he told about his way of composing overtures:
Wait until the evening before opening night. Nothing primes inspiration more than necessity, whether it be the presence of a copyist waiting for your work or the prodding of an impresario tearing his hair. In my time, all the impresarios of Italy were bald at 30. . . .
I wrote the overture of Otello in a small room of the Palazzo Barbaja, where the baldest and rudest of directors had shut me in.
I wrote the overture of the Gazza Ladra the day before the opening night under the roof of the Scala Theatre, where I had been imprisoned by the director and secured by four stagehands.
For the Barbiere, I did better: I did not even compose an overture, I just took one already destined for an opera called Elisabetta. Public was very pleased.
His music is associated with the names of the greatest singers in lyrical drama, such as Tamburini, Mario, Rubini, Delle Sedie, Albani, Grisi, Patti and Christina Nilsson. Marietta Alboni was one of his pupils.

Works of Gioacchino Rossini


Other works

This biography is published under the GNU Licence Taken from

This Day in History: Feb 29, 1864: Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid splits

Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry raiders split into two wings on their way south to Richmond. Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren and 500 troopers swung out further west as Kilpatrick and 3,000 men rode on to the outskirts of Richmond. The raid stalled there, and Dahlgren was killed in an ambush. The raid was part of a plan to free 15,000 Union soldiers held near Richmond and spread word of President Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which allowed a pardon and restoration of property for Confederates willing to cease the rebellion.
Kilpatrick left the main Union army at Stevensburg, Virginia, on February 28 and crossed the Rappahannock River. On February 29, Kilpatrick split with the 21-year-old Dahlgren, one of the youngest colonels in the Union army. The weather turned bad as the detachments separated. Rain turned to sleet, and the riders had to battle icy branches and cold, inky blackness as night fell. Dahlgren rode west and picked up a guide, a black youth named Martin Robinson. Robinson professed to know of a crossing of the James River west of Richmond. When they arrived at the spot, there was no way across the swollen river. Dahlgren flew into a rage and ordered Robinson hanged.

On March 1, Dahlgren and 200 men were ambushed and the young colonel was killed. The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid was a failure for the Union. Some 340 men and 1,000 horses were lost, few Confederates paid attention to the copies of the amnesty proclamation that were left by the cavalry, and no Union prisoners were freed. The raid was the last fighting until General Ulysses S. Grant began his epic campaign in May.

In South Africa: 29 February, 1988;Archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a central figure in the fight against apartheid, was arrested outside parliament while leading a protest march (one of many) against the death sentence of the 'Sharpeville Six'. Tutu was freed a few hours later. Reginald Sefatsa, Reid Mokoena, Moses Diniso, Theresa Ramashamole, Duma Khumalo and Francis Mokhesi were convicted for the 1984 mob murder of Sharpeville deputy mayor Jacob Khuzwayo Dhlamini.  There was a general outcry, because they were convicted and sentenced to death on the doctrine of common purpose. Following several stays of execution, they were finally reprieved in 1991 when negotiations between liberation movements and government led to the release of all political prisoners.

 Also on This Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adam Tas is arrested

Date: 28 February, 1706
Magistrate Starrenburg arrested Adam Tas because of the role he played in drawing up a petition for the Cape burghers against the incumbent Governor W. A. van der Stel and other farming officials. The Tas petition was submitted to the Lords Seventeen, the governing body of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), in Amsterdam. Tas and his fellow free burghers were protesting against the corruption and extravagant lifestyle of Van der Stel and the fact that abuse of power by officials led to unfair competition with burghers. From documents in the desk of Tas, Van der Stel established the nature of complaints against him and also the names of the dissatisfied burghers. Though several more burghers were arrested and punished, they were victorious at the end, when the Lords Seventeen in October 1706 categorically prohibited officials to own land or to trade.
Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.
Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 48.
Joyce, P. (1999). A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Francolin.

Taken from :

Adam Tas (1668 – June 1722) was a community leader in the Cape Colony at the turn of the 17th century, and is best known for his role in the conflict between Cape Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel (son of the former Governor Simon van der Stel) and the "free burghers" at the Cape of Good Hope.

Adam Tas (pronounced "Ah-dum Tuss") was born in Holland. One of his aunts and her German husband, Henning Hüsing, came to the Cape in search of fortune. When he was 29 (1697), Tas joined them and stayed at Meerlust, their Stellenbosch home. Two years later he was appointed Standard Bearer to the Burgher Infantry.[1] In June, 1703 he married Elizabeth Von Brakel, the wealthy widow of Joris (Hans Jürgen) Grimpen, who owned a collection of farms[2] in the district.
Tas became secretary of the “Brotherhood”, which viewed the Dutch East India Company (VOC) administration at the Cape as corrupt and dictatorial. Tas and Hüsing drafted a petition, accusing local VOC officials of abusing the company's trading monopoly, and managed to convince 63 of the 550 Cape free burghers to sign it.[3] Without informing the local officials, the signed petition was sent directly to the VOC headquarters in Amsterdam.
The petition was rejected and Van der Stel became aware of its existence. Tas was arrested on February 28, 1706, escorted in chains [4] to Cape Town, and convicted. Van der Stel had parts of Tas’s diary copied (Jun 13, 1705 through Feb 27, 1706) as evidence. [2] (Large fragments of this copy was rediscovered in 1911[5] by A.C.C. Lloyd, a librarian at the South African Public Library.[6]) After he was convicted, Tas was thrown in the “Black Hole” - a damp dungeon completely devoid of any light located in the Castle of Good Hope.
However, since 31 of the signatories were Huguenots, and because the Netherlands was at war with France, the rejected petition generated belated concern in Amsterdam. The fear was that the discontent might convince some to become spies for the French. The VOC dismissed van der Stel, and ordered his return to the Netherlands (April 23, 1707). VOC officials were subsequently forbidden to own any land at the Cape of Good Hope.[3]
Thirteen months into his incarceration Tas was released. Upon gaining his freedom, Tas named his home "Libertas" (Latin: freedom) in honor of the occasion, and allocated a new meaning (“Tas is Free!”) to the name.[4]


 Dagboek van Adam Tas, 1705–1706

Uitgegee deur Leo Fouché en hersien deur A.J. Böeseken met bykomende voetnote deur prof. A.M. Hugo.

English translation by Dr J. Smuts.

Adam Tas (1668–1722) was an early Dutch free burgher, farming in the Stellenbosch district. He is best known for the part he played in the free burgher conflicts with the Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, concerning the corruption of Company officials and their misuse of trading monopolies. This diary, the work of an engaging and genial man, describes the comfortable life of the emerging Cape 'gentry' and the drama leading up to the arrest of Tas as the ringleader of the malcontents

heeft geleeden. Hij begroot het wel op f1000, dog dit zal door hem bij vergrooting gezegt zijn. Men zegt datter een schoorsteen a twee neevens een bakoven zoude ingestort zijn. Wie weet wat dit nieuwe huijs dat soo langen tijd al onder handen geweest is, nog zal costen eer het voltoijd is. 't Huijs is op zodanige langwerpige wijse getim­merd, als de man die 't laat timmeren, in al zijn zaaken tot spreeken in cluijs langwerpig is.

Maandag den 28e. S’morgens was het stil aangenaam weer. Men heeft mij deesen voormiddag vertelt, als datter op Vergeleegen des Gouverneurs wijdlufte hofsteede door ‘t voornde: reegenweer een groot hok was ingevallen, ‘t welk 4 a 5 Hottentots ‘t leeven zoude gekost hebben; ook zouden eenige schaapen omhals zijn geraakt. Des namiddags aan ‘t huijs van Hans Contreman geweest zijnde, wierde mij verhaald als datter thans aan de Caab, door eenige quaadaardige of liever onkundige menschen op een vervloekte galbittere manier van Oom Husing wierde gesprooken. Onder andere wierde van hem gesegt dat hij een landverrader en bederver der ingeseetenen was, en terwijl datter nu nieuwe slagters aangesteld waaren, wierd er zeer geschimpt op de meenigte van zijn vee, waar van gezegt wierde dattet de kraijen nog zouden opvreeten, en dat hij nog een arm man zoude worden en diergelijke hondsvots of schobbejaks Taal meer. Wijders wierde van hem gesegt, dat Oom een quaad doender of quaadstooker aan de Caab was, en van mij zeijde men dat ik sulx aan Stellenbosch was, alle welke lasterlijke uijtstrooijsels en tastelijke onwaarheeden alleen uijt den kooker van den gouvernr: komen, om de menschen tegens Oom Huzing en mij op te hitzen, immers zoude die eervergeeten vend ons gaarne van kant helpen zoo ‘t hem anders doenlijk was. Die vervloekte Tijran heeft de Ingeseetenen zederd eenige jaaren op een ongehoorde manier gedrukt en geplukt, datze bijna baloorig zijn geworden, nu soekt die onbeschaamden schendbrok de schuld van zijn hals af te schuijven en mannen van eeren op dusdanigen manier een smette aan te wrijven. O Tijden! O Zeden! dog de regtvaardige God mag men hoopen zal ‘t quaad eens op des bazen.kop doen nederdaalen, en niet toelaten dat de Vroomen langer onderdrukt worden.
De gepasseerde nagt is ons coorn op het land over end gezet om te drogen, ook is er een partij Coorn van de halve Coornhoop afgenoo­men om te droogen, dezelve zal vervolgens in ‘t geheel werden af

these two days of rain in the middle of the dry season, as this is a most uncommon occurrence, which has likely never occurred before. I was also told that Mr. Mahieu, the sick-comforter, has suffered great damage caused to his new house by the heavy rain, which he estimates at f.1000, but he is probably guilty of exaggeration. They tell me that a chimney or two, besides an oven, has fallen in. Who knows what this new house, which has already been under construc­tion for such a longtime, will cost before it is finished. The house is as tedious in the manner of its construction as the man, who is having it built, is tedious, in all matters, even in his manner of speech.

Monday the 28th. Calm, pleasant morning. I was told this forenoon that at Vergelegen, the spacious homestead of the Governor, a large outbuilding collapsed as a result of the rain aforesaid, which cost the lives of 4 or 5 Hottentots, while some sheep also perished. This afternoon I was at the home of Hans Contreman, where I was told that some malicious or rather ignorant persons were speaking of uncle Husing in a damnably bitter manner. Among other things it was said of him that he was a traitor and corrupter of the citizens, and now that new butchers have been appointed, they mightily rail upon the multitude of his cattle, saying that they will yet be eaten by the crows, and that he will yet become a poor man, and more such lewd and scurrilous talk. It has further been said of my uncle that he is a malefactor or mischief-monger at the Cape, and of me they have said that I am another such at Stellenbosch, all of which libellous accusations and palpable falsehoods obviously emanate from the Governor alone and are intended to incite the people against uncle Husing and me; indeed, the infamous wretch would gladly make away with us if he could; the damned tyrant has for years oppressed and fleeced the burghers in an unheard of manner, with the result that they have become almost refractory, and now the impudent slanderer seeks to shift the blame from himself and to besmirch honourable men in such a manner. O tempora! O mores! Yet we may hope that the God of righteousness will one day bring

 juan nel juan nel juan nel

This Day in History: Feb 28, 1953: Watson and Crick discover chemical structure of DNA

On this day in 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes.

Though DNA--short for deoxyribonucleic acid--was discovered in 1869, its crucial role in determining genetic inheritance wasn't demonstrated until 1943. In the early 1950s, Watson and Crick were only two of many scientists working on figuring out the structure of DNA. California chemist Linus Pauling suggested an incorrect model at the beginning of 1953, prompting Watson and Crick to try and beat Pauling at his own game. On the morning of February 28, they determined that the structure of DNA was a double-helix polymer, or a spiral of two DNA strands, each containing a long chain of monomer nucleotides, wound around each other. According to their findings, DNA replicated itself by separating into individual strands, each of which became the template for a new double helix.    In his best-selling book, The Double Helix (1968), Watson later claimed that Crick announced the discovery by walking into the nearby Eagle Pub and blurting out that "we had found the secret of life." The truth wasn’t that far off, as Watson and Crick had solved a fundamental mystery of science--how it was possible for genetic instructions to be held inside organisms and passed from generation to generation.]

Watson and Crick's solution was formally announced on April 25, 1953, following its publication in that month’s issue of Nature magazine. The article revolutionized the study of biology and medicine. Among the developments that followed directly from it were pre-natal screening for disease genes; genetically engineered foods; the ability to identify human remains; the rational design of treatments for diseases such as AIDS; and the accurate testing of physical evidence in order to convict or exonerate criminals.

Crick and Watson later had a falling-out over Watson's book, which Crick felt misrepresented their collaboration and betrayed their friendship. A larger controversy arose over the use Watson and Crick made of research done by another DNA researcher, Rosalind Franklin, whose colleague Maurice Wilkins showed her X-ray photographic work to Watson just before he and Crick made their famous discovery. When Crick and Watson won the Nobel Prize in 1962, they shared it with Wilkins. Franklin, who died in 1958 of ovarian cancer and was thus ineligible for the award, never learned of the role her photos played in the historic scientific breakthrough. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

This day in History: Feb 27, 1827: New Orleanians take to the streets for Mardi Gras

On this day in 1827, a group of masked and costumed students dance through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the beginning of the city's famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

 The celebration of Carnival--or the weeks between Twelfth Night on January 6 and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian period of Lent--spread from Rome across Europe and later to the Americas. Nowhere in the United States is Carnival celebrated as grandly as in New Orleans, famous for its over-the-top parades and parties for Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season.
Though early French settlers brought the tradition of Mardi Gras to Louisiana at the end of the 17th century, Spanish governors of the province later banned the celebrations. After Louisiana became part of the United States in 1803, New Orleanians managed to convince the city council to lift the ban on wearing masks and partying in the streets. The city's new Mardi Gras tradition began in 1827 when the group of students, inspired by their experiences studying in Paris, donned masks and jester costumes and staged their own Fat Tuesday festivities.
The parties grew more and more popular, and in 1833 a rich plantation owner named Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration. After rowdy revelers began to get violent during the 1850s, a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus staged the first large-scale, well-organized Mardi Gras parade in 1857.

Over time, hundreds of krewes formed, building elaborate and colorful floats for parades held over the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. Riders on the floats are usually local citizens who toss "throws" at passersby, including metal coins, stuffed toys or those now-infamous strands of beads. Though many tourists mistakenly believe Bourbon Street and the historic French Quarter are the heart of Mardi Gras festivities, none of the major parades have been allowed to enter the area since 1979 because of its narrow streets.

In February 2006, New Orleans held its Mardi Gras celebrations despite the fact that Hurricane Katrina had devastated much of the city with massive flooding the previous August. Attendance was at only 60-70 percent of the 300,000-400,000 visitors who usually attend Mardi Gras, but the celebration marked an important step in the recovery of the city, which counts on hospitality and tourism as its single largest industry.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tha Alamo


Originally named Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years. Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio's five missions and distributed their lands to the remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to farm the fields, once the mission's but now their own, and participated in the growing community of San Antonio.

In the early 1800s, the Spanish military stationed a cavalry unit at the former mission. The soldiers referred to the old mission as the Alamo (the Spanish word for "cottonwood") in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parras, Coahuila. The post's commander established the first recorded hospital in Texas in the Long Barrack. The Alamo was home to both Revolutionaries and Royalists during Mexico's ten-year struggle for independence. The military — Spanish, Rebel, and then Mexican — continued to occupy the Alamo until the Texas Revolution.

San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. In December 1835, Ben Milam led Texian and Tejano volunteers against Mexican troops quartered in the city. After five days of house-to-house fighting, they forced General Martín Perfecto de Cós and his soldiers to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo — already fortified prior to the battle by Cós' men — and strengthened its defenses.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio López de Santa Anna's army outside San Antonio nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna's army. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo sent forth couriers carrying pleas for help to communities in Texas. On the eighth day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over — all except one did. As the defenders saw it, the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to General Santa Anna. Among the Alamo's garrison were Jim Bowie, renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett, famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee.

The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, as columns of Mexican soldiers emerged from the predawn darkness and headed for the Alamo's walls. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory.

While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason, the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty.
Brief Chronology of Events Concerning The Alamo
October 9, 1835 - General Martín Perfecto de Cos arrives at San Antonio de Béxar, bringing the number of Centralist forces in the town to approximately 1,200

October-November 1835 - Texian forces gather outside San Antonio de Béxar - Centralist troops fortify the town, including the Alamo

October 28, 1835 - Texians defeat Centralists in skirmish near Mission Concepcion

November 26, 1835 - Texians capture pack train bringing forage for Cos' cavalry

December 4, 1835 - Colonel Benjamin R. Milam rallies Texians for an assault on Cos' garrison in San Antonio de Béxar

December 5-10, 1835 - Battle of Béxar rages as Texians fight their way into town - Cos surrenders his army, which is then paroled

December 21, 1835 - Colonel James C. Neill receives orders to take command at San Antonio de Béxar - garrison consists of about 100 men

January 19, 1836 - Colonel James Bowie arrives to investigate the military situation for governor Henry Smith and General Sam Houston

February 2, 1836 - Bowie and Neill vow ". . . we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy." Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis arrives with 30 men

February 8, 1836 - Former Congressman David Crockett arrives in San Antonio de Béxar with 12 volunteers

February 14, 1836 - Travis and Bowie agree to share command at San Antonio de Béxar after Colonel Neill received a temporary leave of absence

February 23, 1836 - Antonio López de Santa Anna and the Centralist forces arrive and the Siege of the Alamo begins

March 6, 1836 - The Alamo falls in a predawn assault

March-May 1836 - The Alamo reoccupied by Centralist forces

May-June1836 - Centralist forces are ordered out of Texas following Santa Anna's capture at the Battle of San Jacinto - the Alamo's fortifications are destroyed by the Centralist garrison

The Alamo Defenders

This list contains names of men who are known to have died in defense of the Alamo. For more information on the Alamo defenders, please click the defender's name and you will be sent to the
Handbook of Texas On-Line
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Defender's Name


Abamillo, Juan TX

Allen, Robert VA

Andross, Miles DeForrest VT

Autry, Micajah NC

Badillo, Juan A. TX

Bailey, Peter James III KY

Baker, Isaac G. AR

Baker, William Charles M. MO

Ballentine, John J. PA

Ballantine, Richard W. Scotland

Baugh, John J. VA

Bayliss, Joseph TN

Blair, John TN

Blair, Samuel TN

Blazeby, William England

Bonham, James Butler SC

Bourne, Daniel England

Bowie, James KY

Bowman, Jesse B. TN

Brown, George England

Brown, James PA

Brown, Robert unknown

Buchanan, James AL

Burns, Samuel E. Ireland

Butler, George, D. MO

Cain, John PA

Campbell, Robert TN

Carey, William R. VA

Clark, Charles Henry MO

Clark, M.B. MS

Cloud, Daniel William KY

Cochran, Robert E. NH

Cottle, George Washington MO

Courtman, Henry Germany

Crawford, Lemuel SC

Crockett, David TN

Crossman, Robert PA

Cummings, David P. PA

Cunningham, Robert NY

Darst, Jacob C. KY

Davis, John KY

Day, Freeman H.K. unknown

Day, Jerry C. MO

Daymon, Squire TN

Dearduff, William TN

Dennison, Stephen England or Ireland

Despallier, Charles LA

Dewall, Lewis NY

Dickinson, Almeron TN

Dillard, John Henry TN

Dimpkins, James R. England

Duvalt, Andrew Ireland

Espalier, Carlos TX

Esparza, Gregorio TX

Evans, Robert Ireland

Evans, Samuel B. NY

Ewing, James L. TN

Faunterloy, William Keener KY

Fishbaugh, William unknown

Flanders, John MA

Floyd, Dolphin Ward NC

Forsyth, John Hubbard NY

Fuentes, Antonio TX

Fuqua, Galba AL

Garnett, William VA

Garrand, James W. LA

Garrett, James Girard TN

Garvin, John E. unknown

Gaston, John E. KY

George, James unknown

Goodrich, John C. VA

Grimes, Albert Calvin GA

Guerrero, José María TX

Gwynne, James C. England

Hannum, James PA

Harris, John KY

Harrison, Andrew Jackson TN

Harrison, William B OH

Hawkins, Joseph M. Ireland

Hays, John M. TN

Heiskell, Charles M. TN

Herndon, Patrick Henry VA

Hersee, William Daniel England

Holland, Tapley OH

Holloway, Samuel PA

Howell, William D. MA

Jackson, Thomas Ireland

Jackson, William Daniel KY

Jameson, Green B. KY

Jennings, Gordon C. CT

Jimenes (Ximenes), Damacio TX

Johnson, Lewis Wales

Johnson, William PA

Jones, John NY

Kellog, John Benjamin KY

Kenney, James VA

Kent, Andrew KY

Kerr, Joseph LA

Kimbell, George C. PA

King, William Philip TX

Lewis, William Irvine VA

Lightfoot, William J. VA

Lindley, Jonathan L. IL

Linn, William MA

Losoya, Toribio TX

Main, George Washington

Malone, William T. GA

Marshall, William TN

Martin, Albert RI

McCafferty, Edward unknown

McCoy, Jesse TN

McDowell, William PA

McGee, James Ireland

McGregor, John Scotland

McKinney, Robert TN

Melton, Eliel GA

Miller, Thomas R. TN

Mills, William TN

Millsaps, Isaac MS

Mitchell, Edwin T. unknown

Mitchell, Napoleon B. unknown

Mitchusson, Edward F. VA

Moore, Robert B. VA

Moore, Willis A. MS

Musselman, Robert OH

Nava, Andrés TX

Neggan, George SC

Nelson, Andrew M. TN

Nelson, Edward SC

Nelson, George SC

Northcross, James VA

Nowlan, James England

Pagan, George unknown

Parker, Christopher Adam unknown

Parks, William NC

Perry, Richardson TX

Pollard, Amos MA

Reynolds, John Purdy PA

Roberts, Thomas H. unknown

Robertson, James Waters TN

Robinson, Isaac Scotland

Rose, James M. OH

Rusk, Jackson J. Ireland

Rutherford, Joseph KY

Ryan, Isaac LA

Scurlock, Mial NC

Sewell, Marcus L. England

Shied, Manson GA

Simmons, Cleveland Kinlock SC

Smith, Andrew H.

Smith, Charles S. MD

Smith, Joshua G. NC

Smith, William H. unknown

Starr, Richard England

Stewart, James E. England

Stockton, Richard L. NJ

Summerlin, A. Spain TN

Summers, William E. TN

Sutherland, William DePriest unknown

Taylor, Edward TN

Taylor, George TN

Taylor, James TN

Taylor, William TN

Thomas, B. Archer M. KY

Thomas, Henry Germany

Thompson, Jesse G. AR

Thomson, John W. NC

Thruston, John, M. PA

Trammel, Burke Ireland

Travis, William Barret SC

Tumlinson, George W. MO

Tylee, James NY

Walker, Asa TN

Walker, Jacob TN

Ward, William B. Ireland

Warnell, Henry unknown

Washington, Joseph G. KY

Waters, Thomas England

Wells, William GA

White, Isaac AL or KY

White, Robert unknown

Williamson, Hiram James PA

Wills, William unknown

Wilson, David L. Scotland

Wilson, John PA

Wolf, Anthony unknown

Wright, Claiborne NC

Zanco, Charles Denmark

___?___, John a Black Freedman

Weather Conditions During The Siege and Battle
The following are extracts from the diaries of William F. Gray and Juan N. Almonte concerning the weather in Texas during late February and early March 1836. It becomes apparent that Walter Lord's description of the weather in A Time to Stand, an epic of the Alamo, was based on these accounts.
February 18
"It rained hard night, but this morning, like yesterday, was very foggy. Cleared off about 9 o'clock." Gray, p. 113, At San Felipe de Austin.
February 22
"This morning was clear and beautiful, the air mild, and all nature looks sweet and inviting." Gray, p. 117, Near San Felipe de Austin.
February 23
John Sutherland's horse slipped in the mud and threw him when he and John W. Smith rode out of town to investigate a report that Mexican troops were approaching San Antonio. Walter Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 94.
February 25
"Yesterday the weather was warm and cloudy, indicating rain. All the forenoon to-day we were met by a strong south breeze, blowing a drizzling rain directly in our faces. About noon the drizzle ceased, and it was so warm that I rode in my shirt sleeves. It was summer heat. At night the wind chopped suddenly round to the north, and there commenced what is familiarly called in this country a norther, by which us always understood a hard and cold blow from the north. It generally lasts for two or three days, and is sometimes so excessively cold that persons have been known to freeze to death in crossing the plains. Long observation has taught them to expect a norther between the 20th of February and 1st of March, and that generally closes the winter." Gray, p. 119, Near Washington-on-the-Brazos.
Drizzled in the morning, but the afternoon was hot and muggy. Lord, A Time to Stand, p.110
February 26
"This morning it was excessively cold for this southern region; yesterday it was summer heat. I put the thermometer out in the porch and it fell to thirty-five degrees. It being so cold, I did not start until near noon." Gray, p. 119, Near Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"The northern wind continued very strong; the thermometer fell to 39°, and during the rest of the day remained at 60°." Journal of Juan N. Almonte, p. 18, San Antonio de Béxar.
A cold, bleak day. Travis sent men to pull down the huts to the south for firewood.
Lord, A Time to Stand, p.114.
A bitter north wind. Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 116

February 27
"The wind yesterday and to-day blew hard from the north, right in my face; a most uncomfortable ride." Gray, p. 120, Approaching Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"The northern wind was strong at day break, and continued all night. Thermometer at 39°." Almonte, p. 19, San Antonio de Béxar .
Norther still blowing. Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 116.
A cold windy night. Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 117.
February 28
"Cold and drizzling." Gray, p. 120, Near Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"The weather abated somewhat. Thermometer at 40° at 7 A. M.." Almonte, p. 19, San Antonio de Béxar.
Wind had died down but it was still cold and drizzling. Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 117.
February 29
"A warm day, threatening rain from the south." Gray, p. 120, Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"The weather changed - thermometer at 55°; in the night it commenced blowing hard from the west." Almonte, p. 19, San Antonio de Béxar.
Warm and breezy. Walter Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 123
March 1
"Yesterday was a warm day, and at bed time I found it necessary to throw off some clothes. In the night the wind sprung up from the north and blew a gale, accompanied by lightning, thunder, rain, and hail, and it became very cold. In the morning the thermometer was down to 33 degrees, and everybody [was] shivering and exclaiming against the cold. The is the second regular norther that I have experienced." Gray, p. 121, Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"The wind subsided, but the weather continued cold - thermometer at 36° in the morning - day clear. Journal of Juan N. Almonte, p. 19 San Antonio de Béxar
The day dawned bitterly cold. Walter Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 128
March 2
"The morning clear and cold, but the cold somewhat moderated." Gray, p. 123, Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"Commenced clear and pleasant - thermometer 34° - no wind. Almonte, p. 19-20, San Antonio de Béxar.
March 3
"Morning clear and cold, but became more moderate as the day advanced." Gray, p. 124, Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"Commenced clear and pleasant, at 40°, without wind." Almonte, p. 20, San Antonio de Béxar.
March 4
"The day commenced windy, but not cold - thermometer 42°." Almonte, p. 20, San Antonio de Béxar.
March 5
"The day commenced very moderate - thermometer at 50° - weather clear." Almonte, p. 22, San Antonio de Béxar.
A clear, warm day. Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 146
March 6
"Beginning at one o'clock in the morning of the 6th, the columns were set in motion, and at three they silently advanced toward the river, which they crossed marching two abreast over some narrow wooden bridges. . . . The moon was up, but the density of the clouds that covered it allowed only an opaque light in our direction seeming to contribute to our designs. This half-light, the silence we kept, hardly interrupted by soft murmurs, the coolness of the morning air, the great quietude that seemed to prolong the hours, and the dangers we would soon have to face, all of this rendered our situation grave, . . . ." With Santa Anna in Texas, De La Peña, p. 46 Crisp Edition
March 7
"Commenced with a north wind." Almonte, p. 19-20, San Antonio de Béxar.
March 8
"Fine weather." Gray, p. 126 Washington-on-the Brazos.
Almonte, Juan Nepomuceno. "The Private Journal of Juan Nepomuceno Almonte."
Southwestern Historical Quarterly (July 1944): 10-32.
Gray, William F. From Virginia to Texas, 1835: Diary of Col. Wm. F. Gray.
Houston:The Fletcher Young Publishing Company, 1965.
Lord, Walter. A Time to Stand. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1961.
De La Peña, José Enrique. With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of
the Revolution.
Edited by James E. Crisp. College Station: Texas A&M Press,

The Myths

The story of the Alamo is known around the world. Like all legendary events, however, myths and misconceptions have sprung up that many people now take as fact. The following is a brief discussion of some of the inaccuracies that seem to be the most widely accepted.
· The winter of 1836 was one of the coldest in Texas history.
    The idea has somehow developed that 1836 was one of the coldest winters in Texas history. One fact that reinforces this notion is that the Mexican Army encountered a freak blizzard in route to Texas that began on the evening of February 13 and continued throughout the next day. The weather during this storm was severe enough to kill horses, mules, men and camp followers.1 The snowstorm, however, did not extend into Texas. Two observers in Texas in 1836, William Fairfax Gray and Colonel Juan Almonte, both kept records of the weather in their journals. [Click here to see their observation on the weather.] From their entries information can be gathered that reveals the weather at the time of the battle. A cold front arrived on the evening of February 25 that dropped the temperatures into the 30s. Prior to that, however, it had been "shirt sleeve" weather. It remained cold and rainy but warmed to nearly 60 degrees (F) on February 29. That night, a second cold front swept the region. The temperature gradually warmed over the next few days. It remained cool on March 6, but by March 8 Gray proclaimed "Fine weather." Any Texan should recognize this as a description of typical Texas weather.
· The Battle of the Alamo bought time for Sam Houston to build his army.

The notion that the men of the Alamo died buying time for Sam Houston to build an army is well-entrenched in Alamo lore, but a review of Houston's activities shows it to be unfounded. On November 12, 1835, the Consultation (the provisional government of Texas) appointed Sam Houston Commanding-General of the Texas Army. His authority, however, extended over the regular army, leaving him unable to legally issue orders to the volunteers already in the field.2 Houston dispatched recruiters to raise the regular army as well as agents to acquire arms, uniforms, and other supplies. With no troops to command, Houston received a furlough on January 28 in order to take care of personal business. He spent part of his leave conducting negotiations with the Cherokee Indians.3 With a treaty successfully concluded, Houston rode to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he served as a delegate to the constitutional convention, remaining there until March 6.4 During his stay, the new government reconfirmed his appointment as commanding-general of the Texas Army, giving him control over all troops - regulars and volunteers. Houston arrived at Gonzales on March 11 to lead a relief expedition to San Antonio but by then the Alamo had already fallen. Thus, during the siege Houston was not building an army but engaged in other important business.
· The men at the Alamo died not knowing that Texas had declared its independence.
    It is true that the Alamo garrison most likely died unaware that the delegates at the constitutional convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos had adopted a Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Nevertheless, the Alamo garrison was in favor of independence and fully expected the delegates to secede from Mexico. The garrison had even sent its own delegates to the convention with instructions to vote for independence. Travis addressed the issue of independence in a letter sent from the Alamo on March 3, 1836:
    "Let the Convention go on and make a declaration of independence, and we will then understand, and the world will understand, what we are fighting for. If independence is not declared, I shall lay down my arms, and so will the men under my command." Thus, Texas' Declaration of Independence would not have surprised them - it was what they desired and expected.5
· There were no survivors.
    "Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat; the Alamo had none."6 This famous quote conveys the notion that none survived the Battle of the Alamo. It is true that nearly all of the Texans under arms inside the fort were killed in the March 6, 1836, attack. However, nearly twenty women and children, who experienced the twelve days of siege leading to the final assault, were spared and allowed to return to their homes. The survivors also included Joe, the slave of William B. Travis. The best known Alamo survivor, Susanna Dickinson, was sent to Gonzales by Santa Anna with a warning to the Texans that the same fate awaited them if they continued their revolt.7 (For more information about the Survivors, please see the FAQs page of this web site)  
· The only Texans who rallied to the aid of the Alamo were 32 men from Gonzales.
    One question frequently asked about the Battle of the Alamo is why did not more Texans answer Travis' poignant pleas for help. The arrival of the Gonzales Ranging Company on the morning of March 1, 1836, is the only documented instance of assistance.8 Much scorn has been heaped on Colonel James W. Fannin, whose 400-man battalion remained at Goliad, only 100 miles away. Fannin's detractors ignore the fact that he also faced an advancing Mexican column and could not leave his post unguarded. Travis' letters were effective in bringing recruits to the field. More than 200 volunteers had gathered at Gonzales in preparation to march to the Alamo's relief when news of its fall reached the town.9 It was this collection of men that formed the nucleus of Sam Houston's army that eventually defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.10
· The men of the Alamo could have left at any time because they were volunteers.
    Although the majority of the Alamo's garrison was composed of volunteers, they were volunteers in the 19th century military sense of the word. These men had signed an oath of allegiance to the Provisional Government of Texas, declaring
    "I will serve her honestly and faithfully against all her enemies and opposer whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the Governor of Texas, the orders and decrees of the present and future authorities and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to the rules and regulations for the government of Texas."11 Citizen-soldiers, these men were bound to defend any post they were assigned and were not free to leave on their own.

· William B. Travis was disliked by the garrison.
    Travis fares rather poorly in the popular media, usually portrayed as a pompous martinet with few friends. In reality, Travis was outgoing, gregarious and respected by his peers.12 One fact that has helped create the notion that the men of the Alamo disliked Travis was the volunteers' refusal to take orders from him, electing James Bowie as their leader instead.13 The election of Bowie had more to do with the ongoing philosophical dispute between regulars and volunteers than it did the garrison's opinion of Travis.14 The volunteers simply did not want to take orders from a regular officer, even someone they respected such as Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis of the Texas Army.
· The Battle of the Alamo would not have taken place had the garrison followed Sam Houston's orders to blow up the fort and leave San Antonio.
On January 17, 1836, Houston wrote Governor Henry Smith that he had "ordered the fortifications in the town of Bexar to be demolished, and if you should think well of it [italics added for emphasis], I will remove all the cannon and other munitions of war to Gonzales and Copano, blow up the Alamo, and abandon the place, as it will be impossible to keep up the Station with volunteers,
     . . . ."15
Thus, Houston requested permission to give the order to destroy the Alamo - permission that Governor Smith did not grant. The lack of horses and mules meant that the cannon, ammunition, and other supplies could not have been removed even if the governor had agreed with Houston's plan.16 On February 2, 1836, Bowie expressed the following view to Governor Henry Smith:
    "The Salvation of Texas depends in great measure in keeping Bejar out of the hands of the enemy. It serves as the frontier picquet guard . . . . Col. Neill & Myself have come to the solemn resolution that we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy."17
1José Enrique de la Peña, With Santa Anna in Texas (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1997), 26-29; Vicente Filisola, Memoirs for the History of the War in Texas (2 vols.; Austin: Eakin Press, 1987), 2:157-159.Back
2Henry W. Barton, "The Problem of Command in the Army of the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly (January 1959), 300.Back
3John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:176, 260-261.Back
4William Fairfax Gray, From Virginia to Texas, 1835: Diary of Col. Wm. F. Gray (Houston: Fletcher Young Publishing Co., 1965), 125. For Houston's activities from January 28, 1836, to March 11, 1836, see Llerena B. Friend, Sam Houston: The Great Designer (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985), 66-68.Back
5John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:128, 160, 263-265, 324-325, 504-505. Béxar elected four delegates: Lorenzo de Zavala, José Francisco Ruiz, José Antonio Navarro, and Juan Seguin. On February 1, 1836, the Alamo garrison elected two delegates of their own: Jesse B. Badgett and Samuel Maverick. Maverick did not leave the Alamo until March 2, 1836.Back
6John H. Jenkins, "Notes And Documents: The Thermopylae Quotation," Southwestern Historical Quarterly (October 1990), 299-304. Attributed to Edward Burleson, historians believe the quote was supplied to him for a speech as he had little formal education and would have most likely been unaware of this ancient battle.Back
7See  Were there survivors at the Alamo?Back
8John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:475, 502, 504; Alan Huffines, Blood of Noble Men: The Alamo Siege & Battle(Austin: Eakin Press, 1999), 103.Back.
9John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 5:22-23.Back
10John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 5:69.Back
11John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:11, 13-14; Eugene C. Barker, "The Texas Revolutionary Army," The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association (April 1906), 227-261. For a discussion of volunteers within the American military, see Richard B. Winders, Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War (College Station: Texas A & M Press, 1997), Chapter 5: The Volunteers.Back
12For a current and objective biography of Travis, see Willaim C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (New York: HarperCollins, 1998).Back
13John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:320, 327-328, 339.Back
14See Richard B. Winders, Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War (College Station: Texas A & M Press, 1997), Chapters 4 & 5; John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 3:306-308.Back
15John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:46.Back
16John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:127, 424-425.Back
17John H. Jenkins, Papers of The Texas Revolution (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 4:236-238.Back

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