Southwestern Historical Quarterly
LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS
DEBUNKING AND DEBUNKERS
To THE EDITOR :
Some years ago it seemed to be the fashion to "debunk" our
Revolutionary Fathers; for example, George Washington's Cherry
Tree story was joked out with ridicule and incredulity; also, it
was said that he took a drink occasionally and swore when angry
on occasions, and with other vices was not altogether the faultless
hero that tradition and history made him. Patriots like Benjamin
Franklin, Andrew Jackson, and many others had their characters
torn to pieces. I shall continue to believe the Cherry Tree story
until I find definite proof that it is untrue.
Recently it seems to be the vogue among some Texas historians,
and would-be historians, to debunk our Texas Revolutionary heroes.
Sam Houston is held up to us as a drunkard and a man possessed
of other vices. It may be true that during a part of his early
life, before he settled in Texas, some things could have been said
about him; but, undoubtedly, during his life in Texas, he was a
good Christian church member many years before his death. Most
of our early Texas settlers are set down as disreputable real estate
speculators, etc., etc.
A short time ago I heard a well known gentleman, at the dedi-
cation of the San Jacinto monument, deprive us by his speech
of the glory of the Battle of San Jacinto. I do not recall his exact
words, but he said in effect that historians were mistaken in their
statements that Santa Anna had more men than Houston; that
in the confusion after the Battle of San Jacinto the count of the
dead on the field was wrong; that many of the bodies on the
field were probably counted twice, etc., etc.; also, that there was
little excuse for the Texas Revolution; that the Mexicans had
treated us fairly and generously, and that it was ungrateful of
our people to rebel against that country. Many of our Texas
heroes, all down the line, are being debunked by these debunkers.
In a speech before a Kiwanis Club meeting a prominent Army
officer, reputed to be well posted on Texas history, made the state-
ment that Sam Houston filled his men with liquor to give them
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed June 19, 2013.