“Important from Texas” – The Alamo as considered by Virginians… at that time

Posted on March 6, 2013 by

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On the 177th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo, I was wondering how long it took for word to reach the papers here in the Shenandoah Valley, and, in general, how the event was viewed from this area. On the day after the fall, the following appeared in the Virginia Free Press

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In this, of course, we see that a letter from January 18 took until March 7 to make it to the newspapers.

I then combed through the newspapers until I finally found additional mention of events pertaining to the Alamo… but not the fall of the Alamo. The following is from the April 14 edition of the Virginia Free Press

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Also, in the same column, I saw a reference to the defense of Bexar in the April 1 edition of the Richmond Enquirer

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But… what of “Crockett”?

Fret not, dear readers… David Crockett did indeed make the same paper…

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Finally, on April 21 (nearly seven weeks later), readers of the Virginia Free Press learned of the fate of the Alamo…

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On page 2 of the same paper (1st column), we have what appears to be an editorial on Texas affairs…

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So there you have it… the incidents at the Alamo, as seen (literally) by Virginians (at least those in the lower Shenandoah), at the time, in 1836.

As a related aside, I can’t help but spend a little time “talking-up” Sam Houston. After all, he had beginnings in the Valley (having been born at Timber Ridge, in Rockbridge County), and… AND… was a Southern Unionist. I’m especially reminded of Houston’s remarks regarding his refusal to swear allegiance to the Confederacy…

Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas….I protest….against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void.

And then, this Houston quote…

I beseech those whose piety will permit them reverently to petition, that they will pray for this union, and ask that He who buildeth up and pulleth down nations will, the mercy preserve and unite us. For a Nation divided against itself cannot stand. I wish, if this Union must be dissolved, that its ruins may be the monument of my grave, and the graves of my family. I wish no epitaph to be written to tell that I survive the ruin of this glorious Union.

Be sure to enjoy your “Alamo Day”. I suspect Texans will remember better than we, back in the East, but… having been brought-up in the age of “Alamo memory” (thank you very much, John Wayne), it just takes a nudge to remind me of the connection to March 6.

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