The Alamo: Why Did It Happen?

I might have added, but didn’t, that the martyrs at the Alamo had died for the right to own slaves. They didn’t want to be a part of Mexico anymore because it was against the law in that country to own slaves of any kind.

Wow! I didn’t know that. Is it true? After all, the above quotation was from a work of fiction: Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut. If this was true and the word got out, Texas might have to disown their supreme monument (and Walt Disney would roll over in his ashen grave).  I wonder if Louie Gohmert knows this?

Still, I expected such a devastating truth to be expunged from history or at least buried deep inside the deepest salt mine in the country. What if Max Zorin found out?

So I cleared my desk, put on my greenest eye shade, rolled up my Luckies in my sleeve, fed the dogs, microwaved a half-dozen corn dogs, peed twice, and took an extra dose of insulin. The first thing I did was to eliminate the obvious. A Google search using the pathetic and very unimaginative regular-expression “Alamo why?” resulted in a page of sites where my research might, despite the tedium, lead eventually to an answer or at least a new clue to open yet another thread of investigation. I started with the first item on the Google list titled “The Alamo, Why Did It Happen?” shown prominently on the site for African-American Registry. I include the entry below.


Tue, 1836-02-23

*On this date in 1836, the Mexican army began attacking the Alamo. This saga of the American story is an important piece of African-American history.

Most of the men and women who moved to the Texas territory were colonizers who came in search of wealth and adventure, eager to grab up the land Mexico was handing out by the acre. In doing so, they agreed to convert to Catholicism and become Mexican citizens. Few did either. Once in Texas, they also realized there was much money to be made in Mexico’s cotton industry. Their problem of labor involved was quickly solved through slavery which Mexico had banned.

Shocked by the rapidly rising rate of white immigration and disgusted by their use of slavery, the Mexican government started slapping on restrictions, which were ignored. The battle of the Alamo was fought over issues like Federalism, slavery, immigration rights, the cotton industry and above all, money. General Santa Ana arrived at San Antonio; his Mexican army with some justice regarded the Texans as murderous barbarians. Many of the American settlers (“Texians” they were called) were Southerners who believed in and practiced slavery.

Through a series of battles on April 21, 1836 Santa Anna’s force of about 1,200 was over-run in broad daylight by a sudden attack on its camp by Sam Houston’s entire Texan force, then numbering 918. With the Texan camp only about a mile away over open terrain, Santa Anna had apparently posted no sentinels before retiring for a siesta and letting his tired troops do the same. The Texans lost nine dead and 30 wounded. Houston, who led from the front, lost two horses and was shot in the foot.

Santa Anna, captured the next day in the bushes, agreed to recognize Texas independence and ordered all Mexican forces to evacuate the lone star state.

The Black West by William Loren Katz.


Ah, yet another tale of greed and selfishness on the road to American Exceptionalism. I read a few more far-from-dark sites and it became obvious that history, as taught to me by Fess Parker, isn’t the same thing as what really went on. I guess even History is Fiction:

It’s All Fiction!

Turns out even Buddy Ebsen didn’t know they were reenacting an important piece of African-American History.  Is it White Blindness or just White Stupidity that causes this scotoma … or maybe it’s just that the lies and prevarications are so common that we quite often cannot recognize the truth.

One thought on “The Alamo: Why Did It Happen?

  1. It should be mentioned that the April 21 is San Jacinto Day in Texas. Those battles were near Houston – although I believe their war cry might have been “Remember the Alamo.”


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