The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 345
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Perote Fort -- Where Texans Were Imprisoned
vigil against the escape of any of the prisoners confined in the
old prison. Despite the thick walls, the moat, and the omnipresent
sentinels, on the night of July 2, 1843, fifteen of the imprisoned
Texans succeeded in chiseling holes through the solid masonry
of the prison walls and effecting their escape. Of the fifteen,
one was so badly hurt that he returned to the prison and gave
himself up; two were captured and returned by the Indians
living in the vicinity; and three others were taken near the
village of Papantla and reincarcerated in the dismal old gaol.
The formidable old Perote has imprisoned not only Texans
but natives of Mexico as well. On July 8, 1812, a sergeant in
the Mexican army battalion stationed in the fortress was found
to be the leading spirit in a plot to overthrow the Spanish
government; and eight days later the thirteen men of the
battalion stationed there, who were ascertained to be involved
in the plot, were taken out into the moat, which was allowed to
remain dry most of the time, and summarily shot. It was in
this prison that General Guadalupe Victoria, first President of
Mexico, died on March 21, 1843.
Every force, either of nature's or man's making, combines
to make Perote Prison one of the worst spots imaginable. Even
the Aztecs called the place "pinahuizapan," or "something-to-be-
buried-in." The reefs in the harbor of Vera Cruz are said to be
of lava which in some distant past flowed down from the
volcano that once existed in the peak of Perote, which towers
over the old prison, a 13,500-foot sentinel.
Today old Perote Prison is ignominious-its pits deserted-
amid the sandy, unwatered plains at the foot of the near-by
mountain range. The very atmosphere around it is unfit for
human life; a mean cold wind whips through its once-proud
corridors, and no living thing remains within its once-
impregnable walls. Its moat is a dusty, rock-strewn ditch where
a few mangy goats sometimes wander. The two huge sentinels
in stone at the gate have become caricatures in rock.*
*Since Mexico's declaration of war against the Axis powers, Perote
Prison has been used as a concentration camp for German and Japanese
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/389/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.