Texas Masonic Pride Goes On
from the Riverside Lodge No. 1194 Newsletter, April 1992, with permission
The subject of our last month's newsletter was "Texas Masonic Pride" which outlined the history of the Great State of Texas and the Masons who shaped its course of history. The month of March commemorated many of the historical events, such as the time in 1835 when five Master Masons met beneath an oak tree in Brazoria and petitioned the Grand Master of Louisiana for a charter to form a lodge in Texas. Then on March 2, 1836, Sam Houston and 58 other delegates drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico, knowing that they might well be signing their own death warrants. The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836. That was also the day when Sam Houston was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army and took command of the troops.
But the month of April commemorates the greatest event in the struggle for independence. This month's newsletter continues the theme of "Texas Masonic Ride ", and the events leading up to its independence. The following eight paragraphs are inscribed on the outer stone walls of the San Jacinto Monument:
"The early policies of Mexico toward her Texas Colonists had been extremely liberal. Large grants of land were made to them, and no taxes or duties imposed. The relationship between the Anglo-Americans and Mexicans was cordial. But, following a series of revolutions begun in 1829, unscrupulous rulers successively seized power in Mexico. Their unjust acts and despotic degrees led to the Revolution in Texas.
"In June 1832, the colonist forced the Mexican authorities at Anahuac to release William B. Travis and others from unjust imprisonment. The Battle of Velasco, June 26 and the Battle of Nacogdoches, August 2, followed. In both the Texans were victorious. Stephen Fuller Austin, "Father of Texas," was arrested January 3, 1834, and held in Mexico without trial until July 1835. The Texans formed an army, and on November 12, 1835, established a provisional government.
"The first shot of the revolution of 1835-36 was fired by the Texans at Gonzales October 2, 1835, in resistance to a demand by Mexican soldiers for a small cannon held by the colonists. The Mexicans at Goliad fell October 9. The Battle of Concepcion was won by the Texans, October 28. San Antonio was captured October 10, 1835 after five days of fighting in which the indomitable Benjamin R. Milam died a hero, and the Mexican Army evacuated Texas.
"Texas declared her independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos March 2, 1836. For nearly two months her armies met disaster and defeat. Dr. James Grant's men were killed on the Agua Dulce March 2. William Barret Travis and his men sacrificed their lives at the Alamo March 6. William Ward was defeated at Refugio March 14. Amon B. King's men were executed near Refugio March 16, and James Walker Fannin and his army were put to death near Goliad March 27, 1836.
"On the battlefield at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, the Army of Texas commanded by General Sam Houston, and accompanied by the Secretary of War, Thomas J. Rusk, attacked the larger invading army of Mexicans under General Santa Anna. The battle line from left to right was formed by Sidney Sherman's regiment, Edward Burleson's regiment, the artillery commanded by George W. Hockley, Henry Millard's infantry and the calvary under Mirabeau B. Lamar. Sam Houston led the infantry charge.
"With the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" The Texans charged. The enemy taken by surprise rallied for a few minutes, then fled in disorder. The Texans had asked no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling. Victory complete and Texas free! On the following day General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, self-styled "Napoleon of the West," received from a generous foe the mercy he had denied Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.
"Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The Freedom of Texas from Mexico won at San Jacinto led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory changed sovereignty.
"Citizens of Texas and immigrant soldiers in the Army of Texas at San Jacinto were natives of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Scotland."
Many Masons assumed leadership roles and were active in the birth of The Republic of Texas, such as: Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, William B. Travis, James Bowie, David Crockett, James Bonham, Ben Milam, David G. Burnet, James Fannin, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Anson Jones, Lorenzo de Zavala, Edward Burleson, Thomas Rusk, Juan Seguin and many more.
As Masons, we must continue to
lead our Great State, and our nation. and let us never forget those who have
gone before us!
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE BATTLE
This morning we are in preparation to meet Santa Anna. It is the only chance of saving Texas. From time to time I have looked for reinforcements in vain: We will only have about 700 men to march with besides the camp guard. We go to conquer. It is wisdom growing out of necessity to meet the enemy. Now every consideration enforces it. The troops are in fine spirits and now is the time for action. We shall use our best efforts to fight the enemy to such advantage as will insure victory though the odds, are greatly against us.
I leave the result in the hands of a wise God, and rely upon his providence. My country will do justice to those who serve her. The rights for which we fight will be secure and Texas Free! - General Sam Houston
to Texas History Directory / to Library / table of contents page