The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 527
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Claims and the Unpaid Claims in the Archives Division of the Texas State
Library contain numerous documents that pertain to Goliad. Hopewell's notes
show that he only used a couple of documents from the State Archives.
Also, Hopewell failed to consider recent secondary works of scholarly impor-
tance like Stephen L. Hardin's Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas
Revolution (1994) and Paul D. Lack's The Texas Revolutionary Experience: A
Political and Social History, 1835-836. Instead, the author relied on older sec-
ondary sources, which, because of new research, are no longer as valid as when
The book is further compromised by a number of factual errors and ommis-
sions. The claim (p. 9) that Stephen F. Austin offered the command of the
army to Houston and that Houston rejected the offer "in the interests of har-
mony" is a pro-Houston allegation without independent verification. Moses
Austin Bryan, Austin's nephew and private secretary during the Seige of Bexar,
in "Personal Recollections of Stephn F. Austin," The Texas Magazine
(September, 1897), wrote: "The idea that has been advanced, that he [Austin]
offered the command to Houston, I first heard of it in [Henderson] Yoakum
[History of Texas, 1855]. I have always believed it came from Houston himself.
Austin could not confer the command on anyone, and at that time Houston's
habits would have forbidden such an idea." Of course, Hopewell, as a historian,
had a right to go with Houston's story. An objective historian, however, would
have included the Austin version in an endnote so that readers could see both
sides of the argument.
Other errors include the claim (p. 30) that William B. Travis was sent to the
Alamo to relieve James C. Neill. Nor did Houston order (p. 29) Neill to blow up
the Alamo. Houston made that recommendation to Gov. Henry Smith,who
rejected it and sent Travis and his Legion of Cavalry to the Alamo to furnish
Neill the men and horses he needed to scout the roads west of the city.
Also, there are relevant questions that Hopewell could have posed and
attempted to answer. For example, Hopewell claims (p. 145) that when Fannin
"finally decided to obey Houston and retreat to Victoria, he delayed unnecces-
sarily for several days." Yet, Hopewell did not know about or chose to ignore evi-
dence that Fannin was slowed down because of one of Houston's orders.
Houston ordered Fannin to fall back to Victoria with as many guns as he could
carry and throw the remainder in the San Antonio River. The order ultimately
slowed Fannin's departure and retreat.
Whereas, at Gonzales, Houston had his two cannon dumped into the
Guadalupe River before he hit the road for East Texas. The Texians had suffi-
cient cannon at Velasco. Thus, there was no reason for either force to drag
along cumbersome artillery. Was Houston's order to Fannin simply poor judg-
ment or was Houston's reason more treacherous? Did Houston want the enemy
to catch up with Fannin?
In total, Remember Goliad: Their Silent Tents is far from groundbreaking or schol-
arly in its execution. The book, however, is a well written review for a general
audience, good enough for sale to tourists at Goliad and other historical sites
around the state.
THOMAS RICKS LINDLEY
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/598/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.