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The Hidden History of Texas

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Here is were you will find The Hidden History Of Texas podcast. The episodes cover Texas history from the earliest days of Indigenous peoples to Spanish exploration, control by Mexico, the Anglo’s take over, Texas becomes part of the U.S., the confederates move in, and back to the U.S. The audio files are accurate and try to tell the story as best as they can from all sides of the issues. The hidden history of Texas is a history replete with heroes and villains of all sorts. There were good and bad people throughout Texas history, just as there were throughout world history.


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Here is were you will find The Hidden History Of Texas podcast. The episodes cover Texas history from the earliest days of Indigenous peoples to Spanish exploration, control by Mexico, the Anglo’s take over, Texas becomes part of the U.S., the confederates move in, and back to the U.S. The audio files are accurate and try to tell the story as best as they can from all sides of the issues. The hidden history of Texas is a history replete with heroes and villains of all sorts. There were good and bad people throughout Texas history, just as there were throughout world history.







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Episode 44 – War with Mexico

War With Mexico Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. This is Episode 44 – War With Mexico - As always, brought to you by Ashby Navis and Tennyson Media Publishers, producers of high quality games, productivity, mental health apps, and a comprehensive catalog of audiobooks. Visit for more information. The 1846-1848 conflict known in the United States as the Mexican-American War was called the U.S. Invasion by Mexico. It was fueled by the expansionist views of President James Polk and was an example of his belief in the ‘Manifest Destiny’. He firmly believed that the United States was destined by God to own all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. After he became President and oversaw the annexation of Texas into the union as a State, he realized that since Mexico controlled everything west of Texas, it was standing in his way. Initially he tried to have Mexico agree to several small issues. After the Battle of San Jacinto, even though Texas and the United States claimed Texas was independent the fact was that Mexico had never officially signed a peace treaty. Polk wanted Mexico to recognize that the boundary between the United States and Mexico was the Rio Grande. He also wanted Mexico to sell Northern California to the United States. He did his best to pressure Mexico into accepting these terms, but he failed because nobody in Mexico would agree to giving up any territory to the United States and that especially included Texas. Polk was not a person to take no for an answer, and he grew increasingly frustrated by Mexico. On January 13, 1846, he ordered the army that was under the control of Gen. Zachary Taylor's, which was in Corpus Christi, to move to the Rio Grande. Needless to say, the Mexican government took this to be an act of war. The Mexicans responded by crossing the Rio Grande on April 25 at Matamoros and ambushed an American patrol. Much like President Johnson would do later with the Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify further involvement in Vietnam, on May 13th, Polk used this to convince Congress to declare war on Mexico. He claimed that this was because "American blood had been shed upon American soil." On May 8 and 9, even before the official declaration of war Taylor's army defeated a force of 3,700 Mexican soldiers under Gen. Mariano Arista in the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma Initially the American forces tried to use the time-honored plan of blockading Mexican coastal cities and also occupying the Mexican states that bordered Texas. These plans were based on a very unrealistic belief that this would somehow coerce Mexico into giving up territory. In September General Taylor, accompanied by a significant number of volunteers that included many Texans, seized Monterrey. He then declared that General Arista had agreed to an armistice. Taylor succeeded in large part due to the role that Col. John Coffee Hays's Texas Mounted Rifles played during the attack on the city. Polk, however, was not satisfied with the armistice and he denounced it, forcing Taylor to drive further south to Saltillo and then east to Victoria. Meanwhile Gen. John E. Wool lead more troops from San Antonio with the initial intention of threatening Chihuahua, instead he turned and ended up joining Taylor’s forces. Not content with just Texas and Mexico, President Polk sent Gen. Stephen W. Kearny from Fort Leavenworth with instructions to seize New Mexico. Finally in July, as Taylor's forces were gathering, the navy sent its Pacificsquadron under Commodore John D. Sloat to occupy Monterey and San Francisco, California. From that post they joined a force of Anglo settlers who at the urging of the explorer John C. Frémont had established their own government. Although an August incursion into southern California failed, the area was eventually secured by a joint army-navy expedition under Kearny and Commodore Robert F. Stockton in January 1847. Meanwhile,


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Episode 43 – Texas finally becomes a State

This is Episode 43 – Texas finally becomes a state - I’m you host and guide Hank Wilson. There is a major misconception among people today about exactly what Texas and Texans wanted when they rebelled against Mexico. Some of today’s Texas citizens believe the reason was the settlers wanted to be an independent country. That’s not true, while wanting to be free of Mexico, the vast majority of those who were living in Texas at the time wanted to be a part of the United States. That was a major source of conflict among the early politicians, and that’s why there was not a major push for statehood until the mid-1840s. In 1844 Texas held its final presidential race. The citizens elected Secretary of State Anson Jones. Due to his backing by Sam Houston, Jones easily won the election. He was inaugurated on December 9, and his administration’s policies included economy recovery, trying to establish peaceful relations with the Indians, and a policy of nonaggression against Mexico. Perhaps most importantly, he began to tackle the idea and process of having Texas annexed by the United State. He, more than anyone else is known as the "Architect of Annexation." (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The thing he and those who were in favor of annexation knew was important was timing. He wasted no time in beginning his effort and he instructed Isaac Van Zandt, Texan who was the official chargé d'affaires to the United States, to not negotiate any treaty until they could be assured the United States Senate would ratify it. Almost simultaneously President John Tyler reopened negotiations on annexation and Mexico began expressing interest in becoming an ally of Texas. Meanwhile, Mexico told the United States that she would declare war if the United States approved annexation. Two events, both of which were embarrassing to Texans, would help spur American interest in annexing Texas. In 1841, then Texas president Lamar, as part of his dream to have Texas expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean authorized what is known as the Santa Fe expedition. This was one of those grand adventures that was doomed from the start. The group got lost, they were attacked by almost every tribe along the route, and when they actually reached New Mexico they were met with armed resistance. The entire expedition surrendered without firing a shot, were imprisoned in Mexico City, and eventually released in 1842. Also in 1842, Mexico invaded Texas. A force of 700 lead by Gen. Rafael Vásquez entered Texas and seized San Antonio. They only stayed for two days before travelling back over the Rio Grande and returning to Mexico, but their presence in Texas caused many Anglos to become very nervous. Since Sam Houston had taken office from Lamar, in March of 1842, he instructed the Texas representative to Washington, James Reily, to begin to explore the possibility of annexation. The federal government was receptive because the British had indicated they wanted to help mediate the Texas-Mexico issues. Of course, this would have provided England with an opening to establish their influence in Texas affairs. Meanwhile President Tyler, a Whig who adhered to the traditional Southern support of slavery, was a proponent of annexation and by October discussions that would lead to the eventual annexation of Texas by treaty had begun. The treaty was completed on April 12, 1844, and signed by Secretary of State John C. Calhoun, Isaac Van Zandt, and Van Zandt's assistant, J. Pinckney Henderson. Texas was an issued during the U.S. presidential election of 1844. Democrat James K. Polk, of Tennessee, ran under the slogan "the Re-Annexation of Texas and the Re-Occupation of Oregon.," He was trying to capitalize on the growing belief among Americans that it was their destiny to control the entire continent. He won by a very significant amount. Since Polk would not take office until March of 1845,


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Episode 42 – Texas Becomes a Nation

Episode 42 – Texas becomes a Nation – well sort of and not a very successful one. As soon as the provisional government heard about the victory at San Jacinto, government officials headed to the battlefield. Once there they began negotiating with Santa Anna to end the war. May 14 at Velasco, Santa Anna signed two treaties, one for public consumption and the other one was signed and kept secret. The public treaty officially ended hostilities with Mexico and restored settlers private property. Prisoners on both sides were to be released, and the Mexican forces would move south of the Rio Grande. All very popular with everyone. The secret treaty, which would have caused an uproar if the details were made public agreed that Santa Anna would be taken to Veracruz and released. In return, he agreed to have the Mexican government approve the two treaties and to negotiate a permanent treaty. That treaty was to acknowledge that Texas was to be independent of Mexico. It was to also recognize the national boundary as the Rio Grande. Even though the two treaties had been signed, things were not exactly peaceful. In fact, military activity continued along the Gulf Coast. On June 2 Maj. Isaac W. Burton, who was in charge of a company of twenty mounted rangers, noticed the vessel Watchman at anchor in Copano Bay. He grew suspicious and had his men capture it. Once they boarded it they discovered that it carried supplies intended for the Mexican army. On the seventeenth of June, Burton then seized two more vessels, the Comanche and the Fannie Butler. They were also carrying supplies for the Mexican army which had a value of $25,000. Meanwhile the Mexican Congress renounced Santa Anna, refused to honor his treaties, and demanded that the war with Texas continue. Once word of the Mexican government’s actions reached Texas, people began to demand that Santa Anna be put to death. Santa Anna, his secretary Ramón Martínez Caro, and Col. Juan N. Almonte had already been put aboard the Invincible to be returned to Veracruz, but the ship had not yet set sail. Gen. Thomas Jefferson Green, a recent arrival from the United States demanded that President Burnet remove the Mexicans from the vessel and put them into confinement. Which he agreed to temporarily do. Santa Anna was not executed, instead he was sent to Washington D. C. where he met with President Andrew Jackson. Jackson did send him back to Mexico where Santa Anna discovered he had been deposed as President. Meanwhile back in Texas, Thomas Jefferson Rusk who had been a general during the battle of San Jacinto and was appointed to the position of Secretary of War, asked President Burnet to relieve him of his command. To succeed Rusk on June 25 Burnet appointed Mirabeau B. Lamar to the post of secretary of war. BUT word arrived that Gen. José de Urrea was moving Mexican army troops towards Goliad, (remember the Goliad Massacre, which took place during the revolt? Texans were still very angry over the slaughter that took place) Rusk changed his mind about retiring. But since Lamar was now officially the Secretary of War, Burnet was hesitant to do so. At that point Thomas Jefferson Green and Felix Huston, who had come into Texas with a contingent of volunteers from Mississippi, began to agitate against Lamar. This caused the soldiers to turn against Lamar and Rusk returned to command. Urrea failed to show up at Goliad so Rusk once again vacated his command and the army chose Huston to replace him. More unrest continued in the ranks of the Army as many of the officers openly defied the government. They even threatened to impose a military dictatorship. Internal squabbles were not the only problems the government faced. On May 19th, a force of Comanche and Caddo Indians attacked Fort Parker, in what is known as the Fort Parker Massacre, and captured two women and three children. One of those children was a nine-year-old girl by the name of Cynthia Parker.


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Los Diablos Tejanos – the Texas Rangers

Los Diablos Tejanos - The Texas Rangers Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. this is Episode 41 – Los Diablos Tejanos - The Texas Rangers The Rangers actually came into existence in 1823, when Stephen F. Austin hired ten experienced frontiersmen, that he wanted to send on an expedition to punish a band of Indians. However, it took another 12 years, in 1835, for Texas lawmakers to create the Texas Rangers actually officially. The initial group consisted of fifty-six men that were broken into three companies. Each company was lead by a captain and two lieutenants, and who an immediate superior who held the rank of major. The major was subject to the commander-in-chief of the regular army and was responsible for recruiting, rule enforcement, and discipline. The officers each were promised the same pay as United States dragoons and privates- a total of $1.25 a day. Out of that pay, they had to supply their own mounts, and all other equipment including arms, and food rations. They were on call and had to be ready to ride, equipped "with a good and sufficient horse...[and] with one hundred rounds of powder and ball." In the beginning the Rangers did not do well. During the Texas Revolution they served occasionally as either scouts or couriers, plus any other task the government wanted them to do. On March 6, 1836, the Alamo fell and with it came the runaway scrape. I’ve talked about it in earlier episodes, but this was when the Rangers were really called into action. They were tasked with retrieving cattle, helping refugees get past trails covered with mud and streams swollen with rain. They also performed a scorched earth policy and to keep the Mexican army from benefitting from what was left, they destroyed produce or equipment they found. While these duties were important, the reality is, that during the actual battle of San Jacinto they were relegated to nothing more than escort duty. After independence, their status didn’t really change because President Sam Houston had a well-known friendship with the Indians and the Rangers had been used to raid and attack the various tribes. When Mirabeau B. Lamar succeeded Houston as president of the republic in 1838 he put into place completely different frontier policies. Part of his changes was to convince congress to give him more Rangers. He was able to grow the force to eight companies of mounted volunteers and also keep a standing company of fifty-six Rangers. A month after that he was able to build an additional 5 companies in both Central and South Texas. These proved to be instrumental over the next three years as they waged all-out war against the Indians. They participated in multiple pitched battles, including, the July 1839 Cherokee War in East Texas, the 1840 Council House Fight at San Antonio against the Comanches, and again in 1840 a fight against 1,000 Comanche warriors at the battle of Plum Creek. If the purpose of the Lamar administration was to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the power of the tribes of Texas, he was successful. Lamar favored the actual expulsion of all native peoples from Texas and was able to force many of the tribes to relocate and give up their historic land. When Sam Houston was reelected to the presidency in 1841, he changed his opinion on the Rangers and believed they were the least expensive and the most efficient way to protect frontier settlers. In 1842 Captain John Coffee Hays lead a group of 150 Rangers that played an instrumental role in helping to repel a Mexican invasion. Over the next three years, they also worked to defend the settlers against attacks by various tribes. Hays was responsible for creating several Ranger traditions and esprit de corps and focused on bringing in men who were skilled in frontier warfare. In 1845 Texas was annexed by the United States and in 1846 war broke out with Mexico. This was when the Rangers became known for their fighting skills on a worldwide basis.


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Episode 40 – The Cherokee – the “Principal People” Conclusion

Episode 40 - The Cherokee - the "Principal People" Conclusion Welcome to Episode 40 of the Hidden History of Texas, this episode concludes my discussion of the Cherokee. Before I get started, just a quick reminder that I have 3 audiobooks based on this series. You can find information about them at my website On the menu, under Digital Products -> Audiobooks. Check them out, thanks, Now back to the Cherokee. Ever since Europeans had landed on the continent, the Cherokee had done their best to coexist. Unfortunately, their desire to live in peace on their ancestral lands conflicted with the new settlers desire to own that same land. As a result, they were forced off their land and as I mentioned in the last episode they arrived in what is now East Texas where they lived in relative peace for a few years. They did their best to maintain neutrality when conflict started between the Anglo Texans and the Mexican Government. After Texas achieved independence in 1836, Texas Republic President Sam Houston was a strong advocate for peace with all Texas tribes. He spent many hours working to keep the Cherokees as allies as he tried to negotiate treaties with the Apache, Comanche, and the Kiowa. This even included the Cherokees agreeing in 1836 to send a company of 25 rangers to help patrol the land west of their settlements. In 1837 Cherokee leader Duwali agreed to be the republic's emissary to the Comanches. However, in 1838 relations began to fall apart after a raid on settlers in East Texas was blamed on a combined Cherokee and Mexican force. As he was getting ready to leave office, Houston once again tried to keep the peace between Texans and the Cherokees. He established a boundary that could have served as a boundary separating the groups. This line upset the Anglos who wanted the land and who believed the Cherokees were actually allies of the Mexicans. Mirabeau B. Lamar who took Houston’s place as Republic President was an ardent foe of the Cherokees and wanted them completely out of Texas. He initiated his campaign of elimination by sending troops to the Neches Saline (a small community in East Texas). When Chief Duwali had his people block the Texans and in response Lamar told the chief that the Cherokee would be relocated beyond the red river. His words to the chief were, "peaceably if they would; forcibly if they must." Lamar then put together a commission who were told they could compensate the Cherokees if they left their land. The Cherokees said no, and the result was what is known as the Cherokee War. The war, although it was really more of a pitched battle took place in the summer of 1839. That was when Chief Duwali led several hundred of his warriors in a fight that took place near present day Tyler Texas. The result was a disaster for the Cherokee as more than a 100 warriors including the chief were killed. The Texans then drove the remaining Cherokees across the Red River into what was then labeled Indian Territory. Not all Cherokee were exiled to the territory, some stayed and lived as fugitives in Texas and still others moved into Mexico. There were some Cherokee who conducted raids and fought for their lands, but they had little to no success. In 1841 Sam Houston was elected to another term as president and he instituted a policy that he thought would help end future hostilities between the tribes and the settlers. This policy gave two treaties with the Cherokees who remained in Texas in 1843 and 1844. After the Cherokees who had been moved north of the Red River they were able to reunite with the much larger group of Cherokee who had been settled in the northeastern corner of the territory. In 1846, the Cherokee signed an agreement with the U.S. that specified that all the Cherokee, those from Texas and those who were already in the Territory had equal rights to the lands of the Cherokee nation. This union lasted until the Civil War.


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Episode 39 – The Cherokee – The “Principal People” – Part 1

Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. this is Episode 39 – The Cherokee – The "Principal People” Forced out of their ancestral homes in what is now the American Southeast by pressure from Anglo Europeans, the Cherokee, or as they call themselves the Ani-Yunwiya, or the principal people, came to settle in what is now East Texas. Used Under Professional License via Vecteezy Their ancestral lands included a large percentage of the southern Appalachian highlands, which included segments of Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. They were an agricultural people and the similarities between their Iroquoian language and tribal migration legends tend to indicate that the tribe originated further to the north of their traditional settled homeland. It was approximately 1540 when Europeans first encountered the Cherokees, that was when Hernando De Soto’s party traveled through their lands. After that 1st and brief encounter it would be more than a hundred years before they had any additional significant interactions with Europeans. It was in the 1670s that prolonged contact between the Cherokees’ and the Europeans took place. The Cherokees quickly adapted many of the basic and fundamental material elements of European culture to their own society. This tendency in turn led the Anglo Europeans to call them, the "Five Civilized Tribes." In response to their, what was a successful attempt to adapt to their Anglo-European neighbors, they established a constitutional government with a senate, a house of representatives, and an elected chief. In 1821, Sequoyah, AKA George Gist or George Guess, took the tribe’s spoken words and created a written language. The Cherokee placed a high value on education and in many instances-maintained schools for their children. While it is true that the Cherokees did derive some advantages from interaction with Europeans, those advantages were far outweighed by the negative effects of that contact. Due to the European desire for territory and empire building, the Cherokee were often decimated by wars, epidemics due to the new diseases introduced by the Europeans, and food shortages. Put together these all caused the population to decline, the area of their territory reduced, and a general weakening of their group identity. In an attempt to maintain their culture, between the years 1790 and 1820, many Cherokees voluntarily migrated west of the Mississippi River. These peoples selttled in what is now Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. Eventually those who had tried to remain on their ancestral land in the Southeast were ultimately forced to move west due to the implementation of the 1830 United States Indian removal policy. Between the years 1838 and 1839, 16,000 to 18,000 Cherokees were forcibly marched to their new home in northeastern Indian Territory. An estimated 4,000 individuals died on the march, which we now know as the Trail of Tears. It was in 1807 when Cherokees were first reported in Texas, that took place when a small band, probably from one of the Arkansas settlements, established a village on the banks of the Red River. In the summer of that year, a delegation of Cherokees, Pascagoulas, Chickasaws, and Shawnees sought permission from Spanish officials in Nacogdoches, to permanently settle members of their tribes in that province. Hoping to use the group as a buffer against further expansion by the Americans, the Spanish authorities approved the request. For the next few years a small number of Cherokees drifted in and out of Texas. Between 1812 and 1819, the population of Arkansas began to increase and once again the Cherokees were forced to migrate and more of them migrated into Southern Arkansas. But by 1820, they could no longer avoid American competition for the land. At the same time Anglo-Americans had established seven settlements in the valley of the Red River, and the Cherokees decided to move even further south.


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Episode 38 – The Kiowa – Nomadic Warriors of the Plains

Episode 38 – The Kiowa – Nomadic Warriors of the Plains (Not a Complete Transcript) According to their traditions, the Kiowas originally lived at the mouths of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in present day Montana. As it is now, then it could have very cold winters and the ground covered by a deep layer of snow. As hunter-gatherers, they primarily used a bow and arrow along with their only domesticated animal the dog, which pulled their travois after being attached to it with poles that hooked to a harness. Close neighbors of the Kiowa were the Flatheads and several Athabascan tribes lived to their north and west. Now according to legend the people had a quarrel over the udders of a doe which were the spoils of a hunt. The group that won the delicacy headed to the southeast and went to live with friends, the Crows. Those left behind were never heard of again. The Crows essentially helped change the Kiowas and made them much more mobile. They taught the Kiowas ride horses and hunt buffalo which was something they had never before been able to do. There was some intermarriage with the Crows but they had much more in common with and joined together with the Kiowa Apaches. The first time they were written about was in 1682 by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who had knowledge of them from one of a Pani slave boy at Fort St. Louis. That boy called them Manrhouts and Gattacha. When they were in the Yellowstone region in1804, Lewis and Clark heard of them but did not meet them. Moving out of the north and their previous mountainous home, the Kiowas had taken the first steps towards becoming a real part of the Plains Culture by learning to ride horses. This enabled them to hunt buffalo on horseback, and it became their main foodstuff. Of course, with the horse came mobility and they moved steadily towards the south. This mobility also turned the Kiowa into a completely nomadic lifestyle which consisted of predation, pillage, and warfare. They excelled at it until they became one of the most feared and hated of the Plains tribes. Part of their success was how they constantly had the largest number of horses of all the Plains Indians. Around the year of 1790 the Kiowas made a lasting peace with the Comanches and together they traded horses and captives east via the Wichitas and Taovayas to the French and English. In exchange they received guns, ammunition, and metal for points and vermilion for face paint. In 1840, with the encouragement of trader and negotiator William Bent, the Kiowas, Kiowa Apaches, and Comanches joined with the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahos at Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River and agreed to an inter-tribal peace that was never broken. Together the five tribes in union created a formidable barrier that was able to prove an obstacle to those who wished to cross the southern plains. Finally, the U.S. sent the First Dragoons to protect wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail. In later years, both the Second Dragoons and the Mounted Rifles made an effort to defend and protect the southwest and Texas from Indian raids. In the 1850s the Second United States Cavalry sought to reduce the number of attacks on the frontier settlements but like those before they had little success. For more articles on History - read my column on Medium.


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Episode 37 – The Apache Warriors of the Southwest

Episode 37 – The Apache warriors of the Southwest Who were the Apaches? As I’ve talked about in the past, if your idea of the indigenous peoples of the Americas is based upon movies and television then it’s most likely not accurate. If you do a quick google search on movies about the Apaches, you’ll find at least 24. Shoot, there have been numerous white actors who have portrayed Apaches such as Burt Lancaster in the movie “Apache”. The reality is often quite different than what has been portrayed, because honestly Hollywood didn’t really care to get it right. This was especially true in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. So who really were the Apache? They are part of the southern branch of the Athabascan group. That group encompasses a very large family of people, and whose languages are found in Alaska, western Canada, and the American Southwest. Several branches lived in a region that went from the Arkansas River to Northern Mexico and from Central Texas to Central Arizona. Mostly they were divided into Eastern and Western, with the Rio Grande serving as the dividing line. There are two groups, the Lipans and the Mezcaleros, that lived partially or entirely within the borders of Texas. The Apaches were known by multiple names. As a nomadic people, it is likely that several names were actually identifying the same band. Some of the Apache bands in Texas were Limita, Conejero, and Trementina. However, only the Lipan and Mescalero names survived into the nineteenth century. Most likely the name we know and use, Apache, came from the Zuñi word apachu, meaning "enemy," or possibly Awa'tehe, the Ute name for Apaches. When they referred to themselves the words they used are Inde or Diné, which simply means "the people." Apaches migrated into the Southwest sometime between A.D. 1000 and 1400. Separated from their northern bands, they created a home for themselves in the Southwest. They seemed to have migrated south along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, then spread west into what is now the states of New Mexico and Arizona. Once the Comanche began moving into the same area, they had to relocate further south and west. Both the Lipan and Mescalero Apaches social unit was the extended family. Several families would usually stay together, and the leader was their most prominent member. This individual acted as chief advisor and director of group affairs. Several groups would live close to one another, so they were able to come together for both defense, offense, and the occasional social or ceremonial occasions. The Lipan Apache apparently had no formal organization larger than the band. While being flexible for the immediate members, this type of loose organization did cause issues when it came to establishing relations with the Spanish, and later with the Mexicans, Texans, and Americans. For example while one band might make peace with its enemies, another was free to remain at war with the same group. The band leaders were males; however, females held a central place within the tribe. Once married, the groom would move in and live with his wife's family. He was also required to hunt and work with his in-laws. If the wife should die, the husband was required to stay with her family, and most of the time they would furnish him with a new bride. In contrast, the wife had little to no obligation to the husband's family. However, if he died, his family could provide a cousin or brother for her to marry. Men were allowed to marry more than one woman, but few besides wealthy or prestigious leaders did so. Now since they were required to live with their wife’s family, that meant that any other wife would have to be either a sister or cousin of their current wife. As a nomadic people who subsisted almost entirely on the buffalo, they usually covered much territory. The buffalo provided clothing, and coverage for their tents, which whenever they moved were broken down and loaded onto sleds which were then pu...


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Episode 36 The Comanche strong warriors with fine horses

Episode 36 – The Comanche - strong warriors with fine horses. Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. I’m your host Hank Wilson and this is Episode 36 – The Comanche - strong warriors with fine horses Before I get started, I want to introduce y’all to a set of books called ‘the Music is Murder saga’. These novels by Heather O’Brien, follow the lives and loves of the O’Conners, the Grants, and the Lockhardts. Something—or someone—ties these three families together and you’ll be caught up in the drama of their situations. The books are set in the world of Rock ‘n’ roll and you’ll be hooked from page one. The 1st book you’ll want is Lockhardt Sound, and as someone who has worked in the music industry, let me tell you, the story could and does happen. Check out her site,, you won’t be disappointed. As her site says, long live rock ‘n’ roll. Last time I spoke about the 3 main groups of peoples, the Caddo, Karankawa, and the Jumano who were living in Texas when the Spanish first came into Texas. They did their best to adjust and live with the Spanish but unfortunately they were not prepared to deal with the diseases and frankly the violence they were often met with. There are 3 other groups who more people are probably familiar with due to tv and the movies. They are the Comanche, the Kiowa, and the Apache. All three played a significant role in the early history of Texas and all 3 were involved in conflict with the newcomers, both Spanish and Anglo. Now a word, a quick word about the use of the word tribe when it comes to talking about these groups of peoples. We often substitute “tribe” for “people,” but tribe is probably one of the most inexact-nonspecific terms that we can use. I try to avoid it because not all of the natives of Texas spoke the same language, had the same customs, shared the same clans, or saw themselves as separate and distinct from their neighbors. The Indians of Texas often remade themselves and did so with people who had different languages, customs, and families. So I will do my best to refer to the people by the name they currently use, occasionally using the word tribes or clans or peoples and if anyone knows of more appropriate words, please let me know. In this episode I want to talk about the Comanche. Most folks are familiar with them due to shows such as Lonesome Dove, Last of the Comanche, Comanche Station, the Comancheros, and the Searchers. Historically accurate? Yeah, not so much, except for their depiction of the Comanche as being master horsemen. They were indeed known to many as some of the finest horsemen ever seen. But who were they? Initially, the Comanche lived in the Northern Great Plains and were a branch of the Northern Shoshones. They, like most of the clans at that time travelled by foot and were hunters and gatherers. It appears that sometime in the late 17th century, (i.e. mid to late 1600s) they acquired horses. Once that happened, the game changed and so did their lives. But what caused the Comanche to migrate from their ancestral homelands? As I mentioned, the Comanche acquired horses and once they achieved mobility they were able to leave their traditional mountain home range and then moved onto the plains of eastern Colorado and western Kansas. As with the majority of hunter-gatherer peoples they followed the food. They also learned that if they travelled south they would be able to gather the wild mustangs who roamed the southwest. When this was coupled with a warm climate and buffalo moving made even more sense. Once they began their move, they also began to trade with the Wichita who lived around the Red River. This gave them access to French goods, including firearms. Even though they had arms and were excellent horsemen, they were also under pressure from the Blackfoot and Crow people in their north and east. As a result of their migration, a large swatch of the South Plains, much of North Central and West Texas became Comanche ...


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Episode 35 The Republic and Relations With The Tribes

Episode 35 – The Republic and Relations With The Tribes Before I get started, I want to introduce y’all to a set of books called ‘the Music is Murder saga’. These novels by Heather O’Brien, follow the lives and loves of the O’Conners, the Grants, and the Lockhardts. Something—or someone—ties these three families together and you’ll be caught up in the drama of their situations. The books are set in the world of Rock ‘n’ roll and you’ll be hooked from page one. The 1st book you’ll want is Lockhardt Sound, and as someone who has worked in the music industry, let me tell you, the story could and does happen. Check out her site,, you won’t be disappointed. As her site says, long live rock ‘n’ roll. When I wrapped up the last episode, I had begun talking about how Republic President Sam Houston had wanted to establish better relationships with the Indians of Texas. Today I’m going to dive deeper into that whole concept and try to get a better understanding of the relationship between the Anglos and the Native tribes. It was very messy, and it became very bloody. Again, I have to bring up the thought, that based on the morality of today, what happened back then is today considered genocide. I’m not going to try and justify what took place. It doesn’t do any good to get angry over the actions that took place, it might serve as a warning of what can, and in many places, still does happen to others. Before I go into the relationships in 1836 and beyond, I want to go back over some of the history of the native people prior to this time. Remember, how in early episodes I talked about how when the Spanish arrived in Texas there were multiple groups or tribes of indigenous people in all parts of Texas. Now I’m not going to go back 10,000 years ago and talk about the Clovis people, there are several excellent books out there that discuss the people and how they evolved, and it does make for fascinating reading. I want to start with those who were here when the first Spanish explorers bumped into Texas. November 6, 1528, is the day when the lives of the native peoples of what is now Texas began to change, and not for the better. That was the day when the Karankawas met Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and the remnants of his crew on Galveston Island. At that time, the Karankawas were one of many tribes or bands of native people who lived in Texas. The Karankawas were a hunter gatherer group who lived mostly on the Texas coast. They were hunter-gatherers, and they necessarily lived a somewhat nomadic life because they had to travel to find food. There were approximately 5 bands that are historically associated with them, one such group were the Cocos who lived the furthest east between Galveston Island and the Colorado River. They were the group that de Vaca’s band of survivors lived with. And that proved to be a disaster for the Cocos, because Cholera hit and killed nearly half of their band. These groups were the first to encounter the Spanish and the first to suffer from those encounters. The native people’s simply were not equipped to handle the germs and diseases that the Europeans brought with them. Another group that suffered from their encounter with the Europeans where the Caddos. Around 1500, the Caddos had already built a complex political system that consisted of alliances between different bands and tribes. In addition to their lands in Texas, they were also located in the Great Plains, Eastern Woodlands, and present-day Arizona and New Mexico. They had built extensive trading networks where they exported salt, pottery, and wood for making bows, and they imported seashells, copper, and flint. It was natural that once the French and Spanish merchants arrived in Texas and the surrounding areas, that the Caddo’s would trade with them as well and that began their downfall. As with the Karankawas the Europeans brought new diseases that had devastated the people.


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Episode 34 The New Republic and Sam Houston becomes President.

Episode 34 - The New Republic and Sam Houston becomes President. The program is brought to you by Digital Media Publishers Ashby Navis & Tennyson. Download our audiobooks at Spotify, TuneIn, Apple, Google, Barnes and Noble, and stores around the world. Visit for more information. As I’ve talked about, the early Anglo settlers in Texas primarily came from the South. This means that they brought many of their southern traditions and biases with them. Now even though the term Manifest Destiny, wasn’t actually coined until 1845, the idea that formed it, which is that the United States was destined by God, to expand its control and to spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent was part of what built Texas. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was an example of the United States trying to expand, to fulfill what many thought was destiny. Texas was also seen as being part of that fulfillment, now one of the byproducts of that concept, was how it affected any person who was non-white. I have already spoken a little about the animosity between the Anglo newcomers and the Mexicans who had lived in Texas for decades and also about how the real native Texans, that is, the indigenous tribes had been changed and decimated. Well, this new republic would have an even more dramatic effect on both of those populations. The Republic had been born and by July Interim President Burnet and his cabinet began shifting responsibilities. The ad interim president called an election for the first Monday in September to set up a government under the constitution. The voters were asked to (1) approve the constitution, (2) authorize Congress to amend the constitution, (3) elect a president, other officers, and members of Congress, and (4) express their views on annexation to the United States. So far so good, but as with everything about Texas, it was not all peaches and cream. The choice of a president especially was a concern. Henry Smith, the governor of the provisional government, was most likely the first to announce his candidacy for the office. Stephen F. Austin (who many now consider to be the father of Texas) also entered the race, but he had accumulated enemies because of the land speculations of his business associate Samuel May Williams and, remember this was in the time when it was difficult to communicate with others, many newcomers to Texas didn’t really know Austin. Some of the newcomers thought he had been too slow to support independence. Finally, just eleven days before the election, Sam Houston became an active candidate. On election day, It was determined that Houston won by a landslide, with 5,119 votes, Smith 743, and Austin 587. Remember Mirabeau Lamar, the "keenest blade" at San Jacinto, he was elected vice president. Lamar becoming vice president will play a major role in the future, especially when it comes to relations with both the Mexican and Native tribes. I’ll talk about that in the next episode, anyway... Houston benefited from strong support from the army and from those who believed that his election would ensure internal stability and because of his reputation, help Texas receive recognition from various world powers and, probably more important, help Texas get annexed by the United States. Remember, most of the Anglos in Texas at that time weren’t really interested in being their own country. Yes, they wanted independence from Mexico, but they also wanted to be part of the United States. Houston was expected to stand firm against Mexico and while waiting for the United States to act seek recognition of Texas independence from Mexico. The people voted overwhelmingly to accept the constitution and to seek annexation, but they denied Congress the power of amendment. And actually to this day, the legislature cannot amend the State’s constitution, it can only be done by a vote of the citizens. On October 22, before a joint session of the Texas Congress,


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Episode 33 Independence and a Republic is born (sort of)

Episode 33 Independence and a Republic is born (sort of) Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. I’m your host Hank Wilson and this is Episode 33 - Independence and a Republic is born (sort of) The program is brought to you by Digital Media Publishers Ashby Navis & Tennyson. Download our audiobooks at Spotify, TuneIn, Apple, Google, Barnes and Noble, and stores around the world. Visit for more information. Time to start discussing the actual founding of what was to be known as the Republic of Texas. While it is true that most Anglo Texans and many of the Mexican Texans believed that Texas began working to become a nation after the victory over Santa Anna at San Jacinto, the reality is quite different. In earlier episodes, I talked about the various declarations that had been passed during the 1830s. The actual convention that was to declare that Texas was independent began in March, prior to the falling of the Alamo. The convention was held at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1, 1836, and it was very different from the Consultation or any of the pervious gatherings. There were 41 delegates present and another 59 people who periodically stopped by or attended the meetings. An interesting fact about the makeup of the convention is that two delegates (José Francisco Ruiz and José Antonio Navarro of Bexar) were native Texans, one (Lorenzo de Zavala) had actually been born in Mexico. Of the rest of the delegates only 10 had been living in Texas before 1835. The majority were late arrivals who came from either the United States, or from Europe. While about 2/3 of the delegates were not yet forty, several of them already had political experience. For example, Samuel P. Carson of Pecan Point served in the North Carolina Legislature and Robert Potter of Nacogdoches in the U.S. House of Representatives. On March 1 George C. Childress, who had returned from a visit with President Jackson in Tennessee, presented a resolution calling for independence. It was quickly adopted, and Childress was appointed to lead a committee of five in drafting a final declaration of independence. Childress must have been expecting this because when the committee met that evening, he pulled out a statement he had brought from Tennessee. That document followed the outline and contained the main features of the United States Declaration of Independence. On March 2nd, the delegates unanimously adopted his suggested declaration. After 58 members signed the document the Republic of Texas was unofficially born. Upon receiving the news about the fall of the Alamo and that Santa Anna’s army was marching eastward, the convention hastily adopted a constitution, signed it, and elected an interim government: David G. Burnet, was elected president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; Samuel P. Carson, secretary of state; Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war; Bailey Hardeman, secretary of the treasury; Robert Potter, secretary of the navy; and David Thomas, attorney general. Immediately after this the delegates fled Washington-on-the-Brazos and headed towards Galveston Island. Upon hearing of Houston’s victory at San Jacinto they quickly headed to the San Jacinto battlefield and began negotiations to end the war. At Velasco on May 14, they had Santa Anna sign two treaties, one public and one secret. The public treaty ended hostilities and restored private property. Texan and Mexican prisoners were to be released, and Mexican troops would retire beyond the Rio Grande. The secret treaty included the provision that Santa Anna was to be taken to Veracruz and released. In return for this, Santa Anna agreed to seek Mexican government approval of both treaties and to negotiate a permanent treaty that acknowledged Texas independence and recognized its boundary as the Rio Grande. Texans demanded that Santa Anna should be put to death, but on June 4, the dictator, his secretary Ramón Martínez Caro, and Col. Juan N.


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Episode 32 – The Goliad Massacre

The Goliad Massacre Welcome to Episode 32 of the Hidden History of Texas. This one is slightly out of sequence. It’s about the Goliad Massacre. The Alamo has fallen, and Santa Anna is moving through Texas and that brings me to what has been known historically as the Goliad Massacre. While not as well known today, at least outside of Texas and among historians, at the time it is virtually impossible to measure how much support was generated for the cause against Mexico both within Texas and in the United States. One thing is certain, without a doubt, the news of the massacre contributed to the Texan victory at the battle of San Jacinto and helped in sustaining the independence of the Republic of Texas. While Texans and Americans were horrified and angered by the execution of those in James W. Fannin, Jr.'s command, there was precedent for the massacre itself. Additionally, the order of the exterminations by Santa Anna, was permitted by Mexican law. Since this is the case, any discussion of the massacre must take the events and legislation that preceded it into consideration. We must remember that one of the major concerns of Santa Anna was that the colonists would receive help from the United States. His order to treat the colonists and those who resisted as pirates was first tested after November 15, 1835, when Gen. José Antonio Mexía attacked Tampico and three companies who were from New Orleans. One company, which had poor leadership, immediately broke ranks and half of them, along with some wounded were captured by Santa Anna's forces the next day. Twenty-eight of the men were tried as pirates, convicted, and, on December 14, 1835, shot. Almost a month passed before they were executed, and this gave Santa Anna more than enough time to see the reaction from the United States, over Americans being executed. When there was no immediate reaction from New Orleans, Santa Anna felt he was within his rights to do so. This lead him to believe that he had found an effective deterrent to any American support or aid for Texas. Santa Anna then asked the Mexican Congress for an official decree which directed that all foreigners taken in arms against the government should be treated as pirates and shot. He received that degree in December of 1835. His main army took no prisoners; and Gen. José de Urrea, commander of Santa Anna's right wing was responsible for carrying out those orders. Urrea’s first prisoners were survivors of Francis W. Johnson's party, captured near San Patricio on February 27, 1836. According to a report from Reuben M. Potter, Urrea "was not blood thirsty and when not overruled by orders of a superior, or stirred by irritation, was disposed to treat prisoners with lenity." The general reported to Santa Anna that he held the San Patricio fighters as prisoners, Santa Anna ordered him to carry out the decree of December 30. Urrea complied, issuing the order to shoot both the prisoners and prisoners from the battle of Agua Dulce Creek. Urrea though, had no stomach for such actions, and took advantage of the protests of Father Thomas J. Malloy, who was the priest of the Irish colonists, to send the prisoners to Matamoros. He asked Santa Anna to forgive him and essentially washed his hands of the prisoners fate. However, Urrea was faced with the same dilemma in Refugio on March 15, 1836. This time 33 Americans had been captured in the fighting at Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission, with most of them coming from Capt. Amon B. King's company. When King and his men burned local ranchos and shot eight Mexicans who were sitting around a campfire this action inflamed their enemies who wanted revenge. Urrea satisfied both his conscience and those around by executing King and fourteen of his men, while "setting at liberty all who were colonists or Mexicans." He faced a more complicated on March 20 after James W. Fannin's surrendered at the battle of Coleto.


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Episode 31 – The Runaway Scrape, the Battle of San Jacinto, and Independence

Episode 31 -The Runaway Scrape, the Battle of San Jacinto, and Independence It's the spring of 1836 and the Alamo has fallen, folks are scared, and many people have no idea what’s going to happen. As a result, what has become known as the Runaway Scrape is taking shape. But what was the Runaway Scrape and why isn’t it talked about? Many Texans aren’t exactly proud of the Runaway Scrape, because it was created by the Texas settlers who fled from their homes when Santa Anna began his drive into Texas starting in February of 1836. Now looking back in time, you can’t really blame the settlers for leaving, after all Santa Anna was determined to crush any semblance of independence or revolution. If you look at a map of Texas it’s easy to see the first communities that were affected. Those where those who were in the south central portions of the state. This area centered around San Patricio, Refugio, and San Antonio. Those folks actually began to leave in mid January of 1836 when they heard that the Mexican army was gathering on the Rio Grande. Things intensified once Sam Houston arrived in Gonzales on March 11 and learned about the fall of the Alamo. At that time he decided to retreat inland and east towards the Colorado River, and he ordered all local inhabitants to accompany him. Houston sent riders out from Gonzales to spread the news of the fall of the Alamo. Of course, upon hearing this news and knowing there was nothing between themselves and Santa Anna’s troops, people began to leave everything and make their way to safety. As a result, this became an extremely large scale evacuation and the temporary capital Washington-on-the-Brazos was deserted by March 17. By April 1 Richmond and settlements on both sides of the Brazos river were evacuated. As Houston continued to retreat eastward towards the Sabine River he left every settlement between the Colorado and the Brazos defenseless. For their own safety, those settlers began making their way toward Louisiana or Galveston Island. East Texas areas of Nacogdoches and San Augustine ended up abandoned just before April 13. One of the facts that often goes unreported about the flight was how because of the panic there was little or no preparation. There was also significant fear not only because of the Mexican army but also by the frontier Indians. The refugees traveled by any type of transportation they could find, or they walked. They experienced diseases, the weather was cold, wet, and many of them suffered from a lack of food. Added to the discomforts of travel and their fear were all kinds of diseases, intensified by cold, rain, and hunger. Many of them died and those who did were buried where they fell. The evacuation continued up to and until they received news of Houston’s victory in the battle of San Jacinto. The battle of San Jacinto was the final battle of the Texas Revolution. Due to Sam Houston’s constant movement to the East, many Texans thought it would never take place. The army left Gonzales on March 13, 1836, crossed the Colorado River on the 17th, and then pitched camp near present day Columbus on the 20th. During the march Houston had been trying to recruit volunteers and with reinforcements from other groups, the army increased its about 1,200. While this was an improvement, scouts reported that there was close to 1325 Mexican troops west of the Colorado. Then on the 25th, they learned that Fannin had been defeated and his men slaughtered in Goliad. and at that point many of the men left to go join their families on the Runaway Scrape. Houston was not deterred and led his troops to San Felipe de Austin by the 28th and by the 30th they arrived at the Jared E. Groce plantation on the Brazos River. At this time, interim President David G. Burnet ordered Houston to stop his retreat; Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk urged him to be more decisive in his defense of Texas. Meanwhile Santa Anna decided to take control of the Texas coast and ...


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Episode 30 The Alamo

In this episode, I discuss perhaps the most famous of all battles, the Alamo. In previous episodes, I’ve discussed the battles that took place Gonzales, Goliad (La Bahia), and the Siege of Bexar (or San Antonio) which took place from October through December of 1835. I’ve discussed a group of Texans who were very important in the revolution, the Tejanos, the Mexican Texans. Now it’s time to look at the actual battle of the Alamo. Before I get too much into the actual story, I need to mention that there have been at least 8 movies made about the alamo, with the 1st being produced in 1915. It was a silent movie called Martyrs of the Alamo and it was produced by D.W. Griffith. Now, let’s be honest and fair. Most of the movies about the battle of the Alamo are nonsense. The first of them, the one by D.W. Griffith was total garbage. Griffith, whose contributions to the movie industry cannot be denied, was a well-known white supremacist whose movies all reflected that. Now the 2004 version is probably the most accurate of the movies made about the battle, but even it took what we call literary license with the events that took place, especially in the use of dialogue. So what really happened? One thing that the movies do get correct is there were some big-name folks who fought there. One of them was David Crockett, from Tennessee, (by the way his actual fiddle is in the Witte Museum in San Antonio, and I once had a chance to hear it played during a recording session that took place in the Alamo Chapel). On different sides of the battle were two men who had once been friends adventurer James Bowie, and Mexican president Antonio López de Santa Anna. For a large number of Americans and almost all Texans, the battle for the Alamo has become a symbol of patriotic sacrifice and bravery. The men and women who were in the battle were indeed brave and as I mentioned in the beginning, the traditional popular novels, stage plays, and motion pictures, obscure the actual historical event. To understand the reality of the battle, we have to look at why San Antonio and the Alamo itself was strategic. Remember how in December 1835 a Federalist army of Texan (or Texian, as they were called) immigrants, American volunteers, and their Tejano allies had captured San Antonio from the Mexican Army, or the Centralist forces that were there during the siege of Bexar. As I said in the episode about the Siege of Bexar after the victory, a majority of the Texan volunteers of the "Army of the People" left service and returned to their families. Even though the siege itself was over many members of the provisional government feared the Centralists would mount a spring offensive. The main issue with that is there were only two main roads leading into Texas from the interior of Mexico. The first was the Atascosito Road, which stretched from Matamoros on the Rio Grande northward through San Patricio, Goliad, Victoria, and finally into the heart of Austin's colony. The second was the Old San Antonio Road, a Camino real that crossed the Rio Grande at Paso de Francia (the San Antonio Crossing) and wound northeastward through San Antonio de Béxar, Bastrop, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and across the Sabine River into Louisiana. Each of these roads were blocked by forts. Presidio La Bahía at Goliad and the Alamo at San Antonio. Each spot served almost like an early warning system, ready to alert the Texas settlements of any enemy advance. The Bexar garrison, or the Alamo was commanded by James Clinton Neill. While James Walker Fannin, Jr., took over the forces at Goliad. Many of the settlers had returned to home and that meant that some newly arrived American volunteers made up a majority of the troops at Goliad and Bexar. Both Neill and Fannin were determined to stall the Centralists on the frontier and not let them easily move inland, but they were not delusional. Without speedy reinforcements,


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Episode 29 Los Tejanos

Episode 29 (Los Tejanos) In Today's episode I want to discuss Los Tejanos. In previous episodes, I’ve discussed the battles that took place Gonzales, Goliad (La Bahia), and the Siege of Bexar (or San Antonio) which took place from October through December of 1835. After the siege of Bexar Texans are in control of San Antonio. Today before I delve too deeply into the actual battle, I want to talk about a segment of the Texas population that played a very important role in the revolution, los Tejanos. Who are the Tejanos? Simply put they are Mexican Texans; they are the descendants of the Spanish who first colonized Mexico and then moved north into Texas. Through this period they were Mexican citizens. And just as it was among the Mexicans living South of the Rio Grande, there were those who supported the strong central government of San Anna and those who opposed it. They wanted more autonomy for what was then known as the Mexican state of Texas. In that respect, they were very much like the Anglos who were very early settlers. Those very early Anglo settlers were quite different from the ones who flooded in during the 1830s. The majority of these later Anglos came from the deep south and they held the same prejudices as most of those in the south. Regardless of that, and I will talk more about the divide between the races and ethnic groups in later episodes, both the siege and battle of the Alamo involved a considerable number of Tejanos. They served as defenders, couriers, and noncombatants. In fact, the vast majority of survivors of the final assault in the early morning hours of March 6, 1836, were Tejanos. There were some Tejanos who participated in the events of the siege and final assault as people loyal to the federal government, either as government officials or members of the Mexican military. There is no way to give an exact number of Tejano defenders, in spite of folklore and Hollywood, there is also no way to give an exact number of Anglo defenders. Why is this? Because there no battle muster rolls and casualty lists, therefore, historians have had to rely on a wide variety of sources to arrive at some idea of a total number of defenders. The problem is exacerbated in the case of Tejanos, because some sources completely dismiss them. An example of this is, William Barret Travis’s letter of March 3 to the president of the Convention of 1836, in which Travis stated that the citizens of San Antonio were all enemies, except for the ones who entered the Alamo with the Texians, and that there were only three “Mexicans” in the fort with him. However, after examining the available reliable information, scholars have compiled a much longer list of Tejano participants. This includes events beginning with the arrival of the Mexican army on February 23, 1836, through the final assault on March 6, 1836. In fact, Juan N. Seguín, the senior Tejano military officer, and who the city of Seguin is named after, entered the Alamo with other defenders on February 23. This troop included, approximately fifteen men, most of whom left sometime after Seguín himself was sent out as a courier on February 25. Also entering the Alamo on the first day were Carlos Espalier, Gregorio (José María) Esparza, and Brígido Guerrero, the latter a Mexican army deserter who, like Espalier, appears to have been among James Bowie’s men rather than part of Seguín’s command. Along with Espalier and Esparza, the other Tejano defenders recognized as having died in the final assault include Juan Abamillo, Juan Antonio Badillo, Antonio Fuentes, José Toribio Losoya, Andrés Nava, and Damacio Jiménez (Ximenes), whose death in the final assault was only discovered in 1986. San Antonio resident Pablo Díaz, who would have been twenty years old at the time of the battle, claimed in a 1906 newspaper interview that he saw the body of one other Tejano defender, a man he identified simply as Cervantes.


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The Siege of Bexar

Today iI take a closer look at the Siege of Bexar. We’re still in 1835 and I’m taking a closer look at each of the early battles skirmishes that took place as the year comes to a close. In previous episodes, I’ve discussed the battles that took place Gonzales and Goliad (La Bahia) It was in Goliad that we first met General Cos, who would play a significant role in the next skirmish I want to talk about. The Siege of Bexar (or San Antonio) which took place from October through December of 1835. Without a doubt the siege of Bexar (San Antonio) was the first major campaign of the Texas Revolution. A group of Texan volunteers laid siege to the Mexican army that was headquartered in San Antonio de Béxar. After Texans drove off Mexican troops at Gonzales on October 2, the Texan army gathering outside of San Antonio grew to 300 men. To bring unity to the group they elected Stephen F. Austin commander. On October 12 they advanced closer to San Antonio, where Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos recently (remember our old friend from Goliad) had concentrated a Mexican force of around 650 men. He fortified the town plazas west of the San Antonio River and he also fortified the Alamo, which lay east of the river. In mid-October the Texans, now with a force numbering 400 men, camped along Salado Creek east of San Antonio. In this group were legendary names such as James Bowie and Tejano leader Juan N. Seguín. Seguin brought with him a company of Mexican Texans who fought on the side of the settlers. In late October Bowie and James W. Fannin, Jr., led an advance to the missions below San Antonio, while Cos brought in 100 reinforcement men. On October 25 the Texans had a debate over strategy. Sam Houston, who had come from the Consultation government, urged delay for training and for cannons to bombard the fortifications. However, the desire of Austin and others who wanted to continue efforts at capturing San Antonio won the day. On October 27, from another of the missions around the San Antonio area, San Francisco de la Espada Mission, Austin sent Bowie and Fannin forward Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña Mission with ninety men. Their task was to locate a position nearer the town of San Antonio that would be suitable for an army encampment. It was there on the morning of the 28th that the Texans scouting party was attacked by a force of 275 men lead by Col. Domingo de Ugartechea. The Texans took a position along the bank of the San Antonio River from where they were able to drive off the assault. In doing so, they inflicted over fifty casualties on the Mexican force and captured a cannon. General Cos took up more defensive positions in San Antonio and the Alamo, and the Texans established camps on the river above and below the town. The Texans army grew to about 600 with reinforcements from East Texas that were led by Thomas J. Rusk. For the next several days Texas and Mexican cavalry skirmished from time to time as the Texans scouted to capture Mexican supplies and to warn of any reinforcements for Cos. Finally, on November 8, Travis led a force that captured 300 Mexican mules and horses grazing beyond the Medina River. On the 12th, Ugartechea left San Antonio with a small cavalry force to direct the march of reinforcements from below the Rio Grande. Austin sent cavalry to intercept him, but the Mexican troops evaded them. With the weather changing and becoming colder and without adequate supplies both armies began to suffer morale problems. When three companies with over a hundred men arrived from the United States in mid-November, Austin again planned an attack. Officers still expressed doubts, however, and it was called off. Austin then left to assume diplomatic duties in the United States. The Texas troops selected Edward Burleson as their new leader. On November 26, Erastus (Deaf) Smith reported approaching Mexican cavalry and Burleson sent troops to cut them off.


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Episode 27 (Battle of Goliad)

We’re still in 1835 and I’m taking a closer look at each of the early battles skirmishes that took place as the year comes to a close and today it's the Battle of Goliad. In my last episode I discussed what happened in Gonzales, Texas, almost simultaneously trouble was brewing in Goliad. That battle was not limited to one settlement, it encompassed several of the towns in and around the area and it is where we first meet General Cos of the Mexican Army. What could possibly be so important about a settlement, that quite frankly most people have never heard of, that it deserves special mention? Before 1829, Goliad was called La Bahía, and it occupied a place on the main route from the Gulf of Mexico to San Antonio de Béxar. About the same times as San Antonio was established the Mexicans also established Copano (El Cópano), on Aransas Bay and it served as the principal port of entry into Texas. These three points, San Antonio, La Bahia (Goliad), and Copano were the key to control of South Texas. La Bahía had incredible strategic importance since it guarded the supply line from the coast to the principal city of San Antonio. The roots of the Goliad Campaign of 1835 lay in Santa Anna's emergence in 1834 as president of Mexico and leader of the movement to establish the authority of a supreme central government. This clashed with the increasingly independent thinking in Texas arising in part from its distance from the central government in Mexico City and from its proximity to the United States. Santa Anna was determined to suppress any movements that were in favor of maintaining federalism and opposing his presidency. Santa Ana ordered his brother-in-law, General Cos, to Texas in September to investigate the refusal of citizens at Anahuac to pay duties to the central government, I’ve talked about the Anahuac Disturbances in episode 20 and it’s on the website, so I won’t go into detail here. Cos's goal was to proceed to San Antonio and ultimately San Felipe de Austin via Goliad with an army of 500 men. Their purpose was to reinforce Col. Domingo de Ugartechea and chastise the citizens of Texas for their attitude. This plan was well known in Texas, for many citizens had family in the interior and business connections there. The influential John J. Linn of Guadalupe Victoria warned as early as July 1835 that Cos would land at Copano. In July at La Bahía presidio, Col. Nicolás Condelle (or Conde), who had been sent to secure Goliad and Copano for Cos's projected expedition, arrested the alcalde, stripped the town of its arms, pressed citizens into service, and quartered soldiers in their homes. These activities caused several clashes to take place and increased the tension. General Cos landed at Copano about September 20. James Power, empresario of the Power and Hewetson colony and Cos's friend, sought out the general, who cordially informed the empresario of his orders to "repress with strong arm all those who, forgetting their duties to the nation which has adopted them as her children, are pushing forward with a desire to live at their own option without subjection to the laws." Power then warned the inland colonies that Cos had arrived and had marched to reinforce the government garrisons at Refugio, Goliad, and San Antonio, and would ultimately arrive at San Felipe de Austin. Cos left Refugio on October 1 and entered Goliad the next day with an honor guard of thirty, followed, as rapidly as it could be landed, by the infantry battalion which numbered more than 400. Cos dispatched Capt. Manuel Sabriego, a commander of local rancheros, and about twenty-five men to Guadalupe Victoria to seize a cannon and arrest José M. J. Carbajal, though, like the incident at Gonzales, the attempt was unsuccessful. Alcalde Plácido Benavides led the militia of Victoria against surrendering either the cannon or Carbajal. Cos departed from Goliad on October 5 with his honor guard and a battalion and marched unmolest...


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Hidden History of Texas Episode 26 – The Battle of Gonzales

Welcome to the Hidden History of Texas Episode 26. Texas made it to the end of 1835 and in a couple of months in 1836 things finally come to a head and independence is gained. Before the two big battles of 1836, the Battle of the Alamo and San Jacinto, there were skirmishes and battles that took place during the closing months of 1835. The battles are October 2, 1835, Battle of Gonzales , October 28, 1835, the Battle of Goliad, October 28, 1835, the Battle of Concepcion, and then on December 11, 1835, the Siege of Bexar begins. I want to take a look at each of these early battles a little closer. Let’s start in Gonzales, Texas. Gonzales is one of those early settlements made up of fiercely independent people. They were also, mostly Anglos and they didn’t have any particular allegiance to Mexico. In 1831, the colonists had been given a small cannon to help in their defense against raids by the Apache and Comanche. When the government decided it was time to take the cannon back, the colonists refused to give it up. When Domingo de Ugartechea, military commander in Texas, received word from the Mexican Government that the American colonists had to surrender the cannon he dispatched Francisco de Castañeda and 100 dragoons to retrieve it. Now understand that Ugartechea realized that the way feelings were running between the Texans and Santa Anna 's Centralist government, it wouldn’t take much to ignite hostilities. So he told Castañeda that if it was necessary he could use force, but to avoid open conflict if possible.... Sorry, but if you want to know how this turns out, you have to listen to the rest of the podcast. Come on now, it's only about 8-9 minutes long ---thanks If you want more information on Texas History, visit the Texas State Historical Association. I also have two audiobooks on the Hidden History of Texas one which deals with the 1500s to about 1820, and the other one 1820s to 1830s. You can find the books pretty much wherever you download or listen to audiobooks. Links to all the stores are on my publishers website


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Hidden History of Texas Episode 25

This is the Hidden History of Texas Episode 25 (Chapter 7 – Audiobook 3) 1830-1861 Hello and welcome to the Hidden History of Texas. Been away a while, needed to take a break and now I’m back. This is chapter 7 of the audiobook and episode 25 of the podcast. By 1835 Texas is turning into a powder keg and as the year ends and 1836 starts things are getting ready to explode. In this chapter, I will talk about how Texas actually had two declarations of Independence. One passed in 1835 and the other in 1836. All of these events culminated in an eventual explosion and were part of the events and circumstances that led up to the battle of the alamo. The first declaration of independence was passed in 1835 is known as the Goliad Declaration of Independence. This was the first and most formal regional declaration of Independence. It is often referred to as the "Mecklenburg of Texas." Remember a large number of early Texas settlers were from the south, so they would have been familiar with the events that took place before and during the revolutionary war. [The Mecklenburg Declaration of May 1775 which came from a regional convention of North Carolinians in Mecklenburg, and it contained wording similar to that of the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. On December 20th in 1835 in Goliad a meeting of 92 men, both members of Capt. Phillip Dimmit's troops and local citizens, produced the Goliad Declaration of Independence, drafted by Ira Ingram, and was read to the citizens of Goliad at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio, The document was enthusiastically ratified and received ninety-one signatures, including Tejanos (those are Texans of Mexican descent) José Miguel Aldrete and José María Jesús Carbajal. Philip Dimmitt who was also a strong supporter and major participant in the process, along with many in his company of volunteers signed the declaration. The enacting clause resolved that the former department of Texas ought to be a "free, sovereign, and independent State," and the signers pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to sustain the declaration. Several copies of the document were prepared and sent to various parts of Texas, and the copy that reached Brazoria was printed and widely distributed. A committee including John Dunn, William S. Brown, William G. Hill, and Benjamin J. White, carried the original copy to San Felipe and delivered it to the General Council on December 30, 1835. The council referred the declaration to the Committee on State and Judiciary; but the arrival of the document caused some embarrassment. There were negotiations with José Antonio Mexía and Julian Pedro Miracle already underway in San Felipe about whether the Texans true intentions were independence or cooperation with the Federalists in northern Mexico. Needless to say, members of the council warned the Goliad messengers not to circulate the declaration further, and the committee report on the declaration said that it hadn’t been carefully thought out before being adopted. They wanted the document to remain in the files of the secretary without further action. The declaration happened two days before Stephen F. Austin's announcement at Velasco that he was now in favor of independence and it preceded the Texas Declaration of Independence by seventy-three days. The primary result of the Goliad Declaration was how it alienated the Federalists of northern Mexico. The official Texas Declaration of Independence was 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 th...