Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 157
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The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
home in Houston was built it consisted of five
rooms, built of poles and clapboards, and though
rude of structure, was comfortably furnished and
carpeted. Our kitchen was a shed covered with
boughs oftrees. But though our house was small,
the four grown servants whom we had kept busy
waiting upon and providing the cuisine for the
numerous guests with which it was always filled;
for in those days Texas hospitality was a prov-
erb, and in no house was it more exercised than
in our own. Our table glistened with cut glass,
china and silverware, among which last was an
elegant pitcher of antique mould and finish, be-
longing to general Sam Houston, and presented
to him in commemoration of his gallant services
at the battle of San Jacinto. This pitcher he gave
as a conditional present to my mother. It was
hers until he married, which event he was not
contemplating at the time.
Within a stone's throw from us was
General Houston's new house, built also of poles
and clapboards, and the residence of Major Frank
Lubbock, Colonel Barnard E. Bee and Colonel
A. C. Allen. As the seat of government had been
removed to Houston, many of the distinguished
sons of the republic are familiar to my memory,
meeting them, as I often did, at my father's house.
Dear are the recollections which their names
recall, while the advantage of their brilliant wit
and conversation was inestimable, even to a child
so young as myself The Mexican prisoners were
not returned to Mexico until late in thirty-seven.
Their shanties, where they were encamped, were
nightly the scenes of festivity. How vividly does
my memory recall those fantastic, though grace-
ful fandangos, danced before the camp fires,
which lighted up the scene with flickering flame,
and gave an almost mysterious wildness to the
gay dancers "dancing in tune," and anon bring-
ing forth the sombre form of some spectator
hovering in the surrounding obscurity. The Texas
soldiers had lately been disbanded, and many of
them hung idly around the place, waiting some
ship to bear them back to the "States," which
they had so lately left with the adventurous spirit
of youth, while hastening to the succor of Texas.
In those days the patriotic spirit was rife in Hous-
ton. The Lone Star flag, with its white and red
bars, waved in her midst, and the constantly re-
curring theme of the revolution was on every
tongue. On the day of the memorable ball, when
I made myfirst debut as a dancer, an oration was
delivered at the hall by my father. He was near
the close of his speech when I entered the room.
I was only a child of seven years, but I have
never forgotten; nay, never could forget, the thrill-
ing, the stirring, the profoundly earnest feeling
evoked in my little breast, when the sentence
feel upon my ear in eloquence of voice and man-
ner indescribable, "Remember the Alamo." This
he repeated three times and the audience as with
one heart throbbed back the answer, "Remem-
ber the Alamo." Upon the audience, with the
butchery of the Alamo fresh in their memories,
and with some, perchance, among them whose
unhealed wounds were bleeding for some loved
one who had fallen among that martyred band,
these words feel with telling effect. The dirge-
like strain which swept over the chords of every
heart at the remembrance of that appalling trag-
edy, when Travis and his little band, with the shout
of heroes, laid down their lives for Texas, mingled
with exultant emotions produced by the thought
of that hour of victory when, on San Jacinto's
field, the Texans hurled themselves upon the foe
with the vengeful cry, "Remember the Alamo!"
Part of that summer we spent in Galveston, and
in this short space of six months, there had been
erected a hotel, some stores and a number of
dwellings. In the fall of thirty-seven we moved
to a place about four miles from Houston, which
was afterwards known as the Lamar place, Gen-
eral Lamar making it his residence during his
administration as president of the republic.
The winter of 1838 was very severe. A
large number of cattle died, and a heavy sleet
did great damage to the trees. My mother had
the only piano in Houston at this time. I remem-
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/29/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.