History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 110
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110 IS TORY 0? T&7XAS.
Being again elected to the State legislature,
as a Wliig, he voted against General Jackson
for United States senator, becoming a candidate
for the office himself. After the adjournment
of this legislature he engaged in
lumber speculation. Making a trip down the
Mississippi with a splendid cargo of lumber,
he was wrecked and lost all. In 1827 he was
elected to Congress, and in 1829 re-elected;
but, running the third time, he was defeated,
his district having been gerrymandered to
keep him out; and the fourth time a candidate,
he was again triumphant, but the fifth
time he was beaten.
The last disapointment disgusted him, especially
after he had so great an ovation in
northern cities, where everybody was running
after him, more for his humor than learned
statesmanship. This disgust with his fellowcitizens
in Tennessee was the spur that incited
him to think of a distant pioneer field, and
he decided upon Texas, then a part of Mexico,
struggling for independence. At Little Rock,
Arkansas, on his way, he endeavored to enlist
a number of assistants, but failed to obtain
any volunteers. On arriving in Texas, however,
he succeeded in picking up four or five
attaches, and soon had a scrimmage with some
fifteen Mexicans, and of course whipped them
out completely. Giving the fugitives chase
they soon arrived at the fortress Alamo, commanded
by Colonel William B. Travis. This
was situated at the town of Bejar (now San
Antonio), on the San Antonio river, about 140
miles from its mouth. At that time it had
about 1,200 inhabitants, nearly all native
Mexicans, but was afterward greatly reduced
by Indian depredations. It was started by
the Spaniards establishing a military post at
that point in 1718, the village actualJy starting
three years later, by emigrants sent out
from the Canary islands by the king of Spain.
Colonel A" Davy" Crockett kept notes, as a
foundation for an autobiography, and they
end with his death in the Alamo fortress,
March 5, 1836.
General Castrillon, commanding under
Santa Anlna, as a besieger of the fort, was a
brave man, but not cruel toward prisoners.
Crockett's life had just been spared from the
first massacre, with five others; and Oastrillon
marched these fated six patriots up to that
part of the fort where stood Santa Anna and
his murderous crew. The steady, fearless
step and undaunted tread of Colonel Crockett
on this occasion, together with the bold demeanor
of the hardy veteran, had a powerful
effect upon all present. Nothing daunted,
he marched up boldly in front of Santa Anna
and looked him sternly in the face, while
Castrillon addressed " his excellency," "Sir,
here are six prisoners I have taken alive: how
shall I dispose of them? " Santa Anna looked
at Castrillon fiercely, flew into a violent rage
and replied, "Have I not told you before how
to dispose of them Why do you bring them
to me?" At the same time his hard-hearted
officers plunged their swords into the bosoms
of the defenceless prisoners I Crockett, seeing
the act of treachery, instantly sprang like a
tiger at the ruffian chief, but before he could
reach him a dozen swords were sheathed in his
indomitable heart, and he fell and died without
a groan, with a frown on his brow and a
smile of scorn and defiance on his lips!
GENERAL SAM HOUSTON, the father of
Texas, was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia,
March 2, 1793. Left an orphan in
early life by the death of his father, he went
with his mother, in destitute circumstances,
to Tennessee, then the verge of civilization.
There he received a scanty education, spending
most of his youthful years among the
Cherokee Indians. During a portion of this
1-t-rSTORY OP TVXAS.cy
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/115/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .