Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Alamo (1718 - 2005) - May 2nd, 2005
Posted on 05/01/2005 9:50:04 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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There's an old rumor that suggests the mission now known as the Alamo isn't really the Alamo. Texans would like to see such rumors squashed. They know the Alamo always has been the Alamo. It just has another Christian name.
San Antonio has always been predominantly Spanish. In 1691, a Spanish missionary expedition stopped under a spreading cottonwood tree in central Texas and surveyed the surrounding hills and a gently flowing river. The military commander, Domingo Teran de los Rios, called the spot "the most beautiful part of New Spain." Father Damien Massanet agreed, and since it was June 13, the feast day of Saint Anthony, he promptly named it: "I call this place San Antonio de Padua, because it was his day."
Once back in Mexico, they talked of building a mission at the San Antonio de Padua site. Father Massanet insisted it should be a presidio, a fort built and manned by enough armed men to force respect for the missionaries. Shocked church authorities sent Father Massanet a letter, part of which said, "The [church] marvels at the proposal of violence and the use of the force of arms in the conversion of these savages to our holy faith...."
Seven years later, the Franciscan Seminary in Mexico City was mulling over the idea of building missions like stepping stones across the isolated outposts and the colonized parts of New Spain--with an army contingent, of course. In 1699, construction began on San Juan Bautista on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande at Laredo. A presidio also went up nearby for the Spanish soldiers. On New Year's Day, 1700, San Francisco Solano was begun about 10 miles farther upriver.
By the time civilization crept into San Antonio de Padua in 1718, a new mission stood near the river. It was San Francisco Solano, moved from below the Rio Grande to its new site and renamed San Antonio de Valero, after the viceroy of New Spain, the Marqués de Valero. The San Antonio de Béxar presidio, named in honor of the viceroy's father, was built nearby. The area grew to become the capital of New Spain.
At first, the mission was situated on the east bank of the San Antonio River at the junction with San Pedro Creek, but when the river flooded a year later, the fathers wisely decided to move it to the west bank and farther away from the meandering course of the stream. Whiplash winds from one of the notorious Gulf Coast hurricanes flattened the flimsy structures, and the mission was moved once again, this time upstream and to the east side of the river where it now stands.
Twenty years later, the crumbling adobe walls were replaced with stone and the stone church was constructed, a measure that saved the fathers and Christian Indians within the fortifications of the church from certain death from marauding Apache on the warpath. Directly across the river on the west bank, the city of San Antonio de Béxar flourished around the presidio.
With the success of San Antonio de Valero, the river corridor through the central Texas hills all the way to the Gulf Coast soon became dotted with missions. One mission thought by the fathers of San Antonio de Valero to be in direct competition with their own lay not quite four miles downriver on the west bank. It was the customary practice to establish missions two leagues apart (about seven miles), but the fathers of Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo convinced the New Spain authorities that by following the twisting and turning San Antonio River, their mission was two leagues away. Ironically, San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo was destined to be the "Queen of Missions" in Texas--until her shoddy sister upriver achieved infamy years later.
By 1758, the San Antonio area boasted five missions, all of which are within nine miles of each other and still in use today. One, Nuestra Senora de la Purísima Concepción, became the site of the Battle of Concepción (in October 1835), in which Stephen Austin, Jim Bowie, James Fannin, Juan Seguin and a detachment of 90 volunteers took on a force of at least 230 regulars of the Mexican army under General Martín Perfecto de Cós. The Texans lost one man, the Mexican army about 60.
Eventually, the Spanish began secularizing their missions, beginning with San Antonio de Valero in 1793. When Mexico began its campaign for independence 10 years later, Spanish troops from the city of San José y Santiago del Alamo de Parras moved into the now abandoned mission and stayed for many years. Since it was the common practice to identify the men by the full name of their town, and their town was named after a landmark cottonwood tree (alamo is Spanish for cottonwood) growing on a ranch near Parras, the Spanish soldiers became known as "los Hombres del Alamo." San Antonio de Valero became known as El Alamo. (Parras today is called Viesca and is located in Coahuila, Mexico.)
Whether or not this is the sole reason why the old fortress achieved such an informal name is still a matter of debate. Some claim the nickname really stemmed from the cottonwood trees that lined the river in front of the church. In any event, by the time the Texans got there, the old fortress had long been known as "the Alamo," although its official, Christian name is still San Antonio de Valero.
One of the most gallant stands of courage and undying self-sacrifice which have come down through the pages of history is the defense of the Alamo, which is one of the priceless heritages of Texans. It was the battle-cry of "Remember the Alamo" that later spurred on the forces of Sam Houston at San Jacinto. Anyone who has ever heard of the brave fight of Colonel Travis and his men is sure to "Remember the Alamo."
A 22-gun Texas national salute to you.
Bump for morning reading & thank you for the ping.
A very pleasant good morning to everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.
Folks be sure to click on my sacreename and then "In Forum" to read an observation I just posted to another thread.
Good morning, it promises to be another beautiful day here.
Don't let this happen to you on a Monday :-)
Five countries were represented in the Virginia International Tattoo, in Norfolk, Va., last weekend-- United States, Canada, Norway, Germany and New Zealand. Each country brought its own distinct flare to the show.
Performances included a motorcycle show from the Berlin police force, a drill and musical routine from His Majesty the Kings Guard Band and Drill Team from Norway, and dancers from New Zealand.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on May 02:
1551 William Camden English historian (Brittania, Annales)
1601 Athanasius Kircher German Jesuit/inventor (magic lantern)
1729 Catherine II (the Great) empress of Russia (1762-96)
1740 Elias Boudinot lawyer/patriot, found American Biblical Society
1779 John Galt Scotland, novelist (Ayrshire Legatees, Lawrie Todd)
1810 Leo XIII 257th Roman Catholic pope (1878-1903)
1821 Abram Sanders Piatt Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1908
1837 General Henry Martyn Robert parliamentarian (Robert's Rules of Order)
1844 Elijah McCoy black inventor, held over 50 patents including a lubricator for steam engines ("the Real McCoy")
1860 Sir D'Arcy Thompson zoologist/classicist (On Growth & Form)
1860 Theodor Herzl Austria, journalist/founder (Zionist movement)
1885 Hedda Hopper [Elda Furry] Hollidaysburg PA, gossip columnist (From Under My Hat)
1890 E[dward] E[lmer] "Doc" Smith US, sci-fi author (Triplanetary)
1892 Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen [the Red Baron], German WWI ace
1900 Helen Morgan singer/actress (Applause, Frankie & Johnny)
1903 Benjamin Spock New Haven CT, pediatrician/author (Common Sense Book of Baby Care)
1924 Theodore Bikel Austrian/US folk singer/actor (The Russians Are Coming)
1925 Roscoe Lee Browne Woodbury NJ, actor (McCoy, Saunders-Soap)
1930 Morris Courtright manned spaceflight pioneer and Arizona State legislator
1933 Bunk Gardner rocker (Mothers Of Invention)
1935 Faisal II King of Iraq (1939-58)/son of Ghasi I
1935 Hussain ibn Talal King of Jordan (1952-99)
1946 Lesley Gore Tenafly NJ, singer (It's My Party)
1948 Larry Gatlin Seminole TX, country singer (Gatlin Brothers-Broken Lady)
1955 Jay Osmond rocker (Osmond Brothers)
1957 Domonic L Pudwill Gorie Lake Charles LA, USN/astronaut (STS-91)
1970 Vania Thomas Miss US Virgin Islands Universe (1997)
1975 Mark Johnson Dayton OH, baseball pitcher (Olympics-bronze-96)
While my sons-in-law and I were hiking in a state park last summer, we noticed a trail marker that pointed toward something called The Devil's Soup Bowl. Intrigued, we took off for this geologic formation. As we went, we joked about the kind of soup we might find in the bowl.
When we arrived, we discovered it to be a large sunken area of land-something like a deep lake without any water in it. We were rather disappointed to discover that The Devil's Soup Bowl was filled with nothing but trees and weeds.
The Devil's Soup Bowl is the perfect name for a formation that offers something of interest but ends up providing nothing, because the devil is a deceiver. His menu is a bowl of tricks that delivers only empty promises and broken dreams.
Satan began his deceitful work of substituting nothing for something when he tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he has not changed his plan. He tried his deceit on Jesus, but the Lord resisted and "the devil left Him" (Matthew 4:9-11).
So how do you know if you are being offered one of Satan's lies? Test new ideas with Scripture. Consult with people you trust to be godly and wise. And pray.
Don't fall for the devil's bowl of empty lies. -Dave Branon
Subtly he causes their fall into sin;
But his sly methods we surely can know,
Looking to Jesus wherever we go. -D. De Haan
Satan offers nothing but tricks and deceit.
What In The World Is Satan Doing?
Morning Snippy and all Foxholers.
Hitting the floor running this morning.
Good morning AZ.
The latest Alamo movie was good and it's too bad it got such bad press and didn't stay in the theaters longer. It would have made a good history lesson to the folks without a clue.
Good morning Aeronaut.
Thanks EGC. That was a good post, well done.
Good morning Gail. I've been so busy I have no idea what the weather will be today. Looks cloudy so far but nice temps.
LOL. Okay, I've lost my appetite for breakfast. This could help me lose weight. ;-)
Good morning feather.
Wow. Great story, I would have loved to see the show.
Thank you and Good morning Mayor.
I right behind you!
Your very welcome Snippy.
How's the weather in Oregon?
That is an interesting Flag-o-Gram this morning!
Where's the tattoo? :-D
Ya'll know, this is the reason you don't find too many Texans without a big-headed amount of pride in the place. The knowledge of that sacrifice pervades all of us for some unexplainable reason. We just can't get away from it.
I've got friends here in town that moved down from Montana. It bugs the dickens out of them how Texans are so proud of the place. They're always fussing at me "now see, this is why Texans drive us crazy." No amount of explaining can get through to them that it's part of history. They're nice folks - but I'm thinkin' they just need to go to another state. We prolly ain't gonna change this century.
Tell ya'll what, if you ever get down here I'd love to give anybody the hometown tour of San Antonio. I've lived there and love that city better than anybody ought to love a "city." (Ya know I'm a country gal.)
It's moving, tear-inducing and awe-inspiring to step inside the Alamo itself. The price of freedom there is tangible to me. As many times as I've been I've never failed to "feel it."
But, the other missions at San Antonio are just as fun to visit for anybody that likes history. San Jose is great because it's still in use as a church. Was over there one afternoon just walking around the garden (it's gorgeous in spring) and there was a beautiful traditional Mexican wedding. It felt like stepping back 100 years. Amazing.
My favorite place to visit in San Antonio is the old Spanish aquaduct built crossing a ravine near the mission de la Espada. I *wish* I didn't have my pictures all packed up to move cause I'd scan one if for ya. There's still water in that aquaduct much like the old Roman aquaducts - but maybe not as grand or old.
I could go on... Spanish Governor's Mansion, Lone Star Brewery (but they moved to New York - ick) O'Henry house, places of historic value related to Teddy Roosevelt and his rough riders. Gees, I love that city. :-)
Mid 60's here with sun and light northerly wind, which makes it cool for us. You need a thin long sleeve shirt at the least.
I've been trying to talk Sam into going to Texas. I know there are some "Gift Mart" venues down there and we could come down on a business trip. We'd have to close the store though and that's the problem. Maybe for a long Oregon winter weekend.
Hope you had room for it. I know my brain is getting a little crowded with info.
Cloudy and 59. Suppose to hit 65. :-)
Hey, by then I ought to have a new place to live --- SOUTH of the insane weather!!! :-)
i am so ready to get away from these fake falls on the Wichita!!! I've been here 3 years 10 months and 2 days now!!! It is FAR past time to go!
(And I don't even mind tornadic storms! I just want out of this flat no-scenery area!)
Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908) completed the painting in 1905. An 1875 version of this work was destroyed while on display in the Limestone Capitol when it burned in 1881. McArdle conducted exhaustive research and revised the newer version. However, neither painting depicts absolute historical fact. This painting shows the heroic Texians including David Crockett (during his last stand swinging "Old Betsy" protecting women and children--lower right corner), the ill James Bowie (using his trademark knife--lower left corner) and Commander William B. Travis (as he is stabbed in the back--upper right corner). In actuality, Travis, pictured here larger-than-life, was one of the first killed in the battle which occurred on March 6, 1836. The chapel is featured prominently in this painting as the Texas symbol it has become. Note too the expressions of the soldiers. McArdle prided himself on the realistic grimaces and determined scowls.
Hi miss Feather
Brigadier General Henry M. Robert
Chief of Engineers
(April 30, 1901-May 2, 1901)
Born May 2, 1837, in South Carolina, Henry Robert graduated fourth in the Military Academy class of 1857. After receiving his commission in the Corps of Engineers, he taught at the Military Academy and then explored routes for wagon roads in the West and engaged in fortification work in Puget Sound. During the Civil War he worked on the defenses of Washington and Philadelphia. Robert served as Engineer of the Army's Division of the Pacific in 1867-71. He then spent two years improving rivers in Oregon and Washington and six years developing the harbors of Green Bay and other northern Wisconsin and Michigan ports. He subsequently improved the harbors of Oswego, Philadelphia, and Long Island Sound and constructed locks and dams on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. As Southwest Division Engineer from 1897 to 1901, Robert studied how to deepen the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Robert was president of the Board of Engineers from 1895 to 1901. He was made brigadier general on April 30, 1901, and was appointed Chief of Engineers. He served until May 2, 1901, when he retired from the Army. He died May 1, 1923, in Hornell, New York. He became famous for his Pocket Manual of Rules of Order, a compendium of parliamentary law first published in 1876 and better known today as Robert's Rules of Order.
A Tatoo is some sort of Navy/Marine unit function. Msdrby could tell ya' more.
Give 'em time. It took me about 15 years of living here to realize what a greta place Texas is.
Zippin' my lips about tattoos!
I think it's a shame when I gotta go to the doctor - like I did this mornin' - and they have to use a needle to give me a shot - and I don't get a purdy picture. LOL