San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 1
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San Antonio de Bexar.
Introductory.-" By far the most pleasant as well as interesting town in
Texas is San Antonio." So writes George Wilkins Kendall in 1843, in his
" Narrative of the Texan Santa F6 Expedition"" of the good city of old Bexar,
that stood for a generation or two, bravely up in the seething of the " meeting of
the waters, "-the meeting of two great opposing races and civilizations. Over the
rolling western prairies had crept, moving eastwardly, the fringe of the tide of the
Spanish,-the Latin-Indian civilization from Mexico, meeting after awhile here a
mightier and colder current pushing westward-the American, the ever restless
Anglo-Saxon flood. The stronger influence overcame. To-day, San Antonio is a
flourishing, enterprising, American city, as Texas is the greatest of American
States and one destined to a magnificent future. It boasts an historical past. San
Antonio was a bone of contention, Texas was the meat and fat for the victors, and
all good San Antonians believe, with some show of reason, that the nearer the bone
the sweeter the meat, which is just about what Kendall means, only expressed
rather differently, for he adds later to this praise of San Antonio the following:
" I have an abiding faith in Western Texas, and will stick by it till the Guadalupe
runs dry." Such love had old Texans it seems for the land they had fought for
Both floods still remain, but now commingle harmoniously, having long since
ceased to maintain an unequal contention. Strange traces, however, of the strug-
gle are everywhere present in the old city, in spite of its new face and smile of
prosperity. Its quaint traditions, customs and reminiscences are quickly recog-
nized by a stranger's enquiring eye. Alas ! while these, the old houses, here and
there, and the Missions, m-re or less the worse for age, remain to us, the strong,
grand old pioneer faces of men who had in their turn taken up their " pistols"
their " sharp-edged axes," and the
" Task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,"
are getting to be few and far between, but their work, their sons and their
sons' sons remain. San Antonians, pure and simple, and Texans mostly,
walk with a step that bespeaks tradition and a certain pride of country, of a jeal-
ous remembrance of that part their fathers took in the winning of the brightest
star of all in a galaxy, and a demeanour which tells strangers plainly enough if
they be too prompt with unwelcome criticism of some of their seemingly odd old
ways, fashions and methods,-" Sirs, we have a history, find it out, it will repay
you and perhaps you may discover why we do some things that you would not do
and leave undone some things that you would do." And, indeed it will repay the
student right nobly. It is a stirring, thrilling history almost inexhaustible in
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/15/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.