Texas Independence Day

Today, March 2nd is Texas Independence Day.  But do you know the real history of how it came about.  And have you ever read the real Texas Declaration of Independence.  Every real Texan should read it at least once.

Below I have transcribed a verbatim copy of it for you.  However, first, let me give you a short history of what brought it about, and then show you the document.  See, the Mexican people had been under the control of Spain and then France for so many years.  Finally they gained their independence.  They were overjoyed at what they expected would be their new-found freedom. 

The Americans living in the northern part of Mexico north of the Rio Grande River in the area called Texas were thrilled too.  They were expecting to enjoy new freedoms also.  Most had come to Texas to start a new life and acquire their own land. 

The people of Mexico had their first free election and elected their own president.  His full name was ………Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón or for short, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

However, much to their consternation, he immediately overrode their constitution and became a vicious dictator.  He ruled through executive orders, demanding more control and higher taxes.  Santa Anna decided the people were incapable of ruling themselves, so he ignored the Constitution, dissolved the Congress and declared himself dictator. 

Santa Anna wrote to the U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett:  “A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty … a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.” 

Santa Anna demanded citizens surrender their guns, decreeing:  “All foreigners who might be caught under arms on Mexican soil should be treated as pirates and shot”   Santa Anna wrote in his Manifesto, 1837:  “I offered life to the defendants who would surrender their arms and retire under oath not to take them up again against Mexico.”  He incited killings and used his military against those resisting his centralized power.  

In New Orleans there was a Mexican army led by General José Antonio Mexía.  He decided to march his troops down and free the people of Mexico from Santa Anna. In 1835, Federal General José Antonio Mexía marched his troops from New Orleans to Tampico, but Santa Anna defeated him and executed every prisoner. 

None of this sat well with those Texans living north of the Rio Grande river.  They needed their weapons to kill wild game, which was a big part of their diet, and for protection from the Kiowa, the Apaches, and especially the Comanches.  They drew up a Declaration of Independence from Mexico and started to organize for defense. 

So, Santa Anna himself decided to lead his army north and put down these rebellious Texans.  On February 23, 1836, General Santa Anna’s army arrived outside the Old Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar.  His troops, eventually numbering 1,800, flew the blood-red flag of no quarter, signifying that all those captured would be killed.

Texan and Tejano defenders, numbering between 182 to 257, responded by firing their cannon.  In the “13 days of glory at the Alamo,” Santa Anna’s take-no-prisoner policy had all defenders killed, including: William Travis, Jim Bowie, and former U.S, Congressman Davy Crockett. 

Santa Anna ordered those who surrendered to be executed and have their corpses burned.  The few survivors included Susanna Dickinson, her baby, Angelina, and Travis’ young black servant, Joe.

 

The only Texas army left in the field was Col. James Fannin’s.  It departed Goliad to rescue the Alamo but was surrounded in open ground and 350 were captured.  Santa Anna ordered the prisoners executed.  When the Mexican officer hesitated carrying out the executions, Santa Anna sent another officer who proceeded to execute nearly all of them in the Goliad Massacre, March 27, 1836.  Bodies were stripped, piled, burned and left exposed to vultures and coyotes.  A few dozen of the Texans were spared execution through the courageous intervention of Francita Alavez, the “Angel of Goliad,” and Mexican Colonel Francisco Garay.
 

Had Fannin’s troops been left in prison, Texans would have been disheartened, but instead, Santa Anna’s Goliad Massacre aroused world outrage. 

General Sam Houston had by now recruited a crew of tough Texans.  Much to their consternation Houston kept retreating until he had led Santa Anna and his troops all the way down to the San Jacinto area south of present day Houston.  He waited until the Mexican army retreated into their tents for their daily siesta. Then those brave Texans attacked in force.  They loaded their cannons with grape shot and aimed them at ground level.  They say that all across the battle field were the loud shouts of the Texans…….”Remember the Alamo!, Remember Goliad!……Remember the Alamo!, Remember Goliad!” 

The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 was a massive Texan victory.  Santa Anna was shot through the leg and managed to hide in the swamp, but those Texans found him and drug him back in front of General Sam Houston.  He had no choice but to cede all the territory north of the Rio Grande to the new Texas Republic. 

So, like I said, ever real Texan should read the Texas Declaration of Independence at least once, and here it is for you:

“UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE by the delegates of the People of Texas in General Convention at the Town of Washington, on the Second 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 their inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression …

… In such a crisis … the inherent and inalienable right 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 welfare and happiness …”

The Declaration continued: 

“The late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna,who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers, as the cruel alternative, either 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 denies us the right of worshiping 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 defense – the rightful property of freemen – and formidable only to tyrannical governments … 

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

The Texas Declaration ended: 

“We, therefore, the delegates, with plenary powers, of the people of Texas … 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 … 

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.”

Remember the Alamo

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