Happy Texas Independence Day!Submitted by ralph hornsby on Sat, 03/02/2013 - 14:52
The Texas Declaration of Independence
(March 2, 1836)
The Texas Declaration of Independence was produced, literally, overnight. Its urgency was paramount, because while it was being prepared, the Alamo in San Antonio was under siege by Santa Anna's army of Mexico.
Texas Independence Day--We pause to remember
Today is, of course, the 177th anniversary of the day in 1836 when Texans declared its independence from Mexico. Texas' own Fourth of July. It's a day of remembrance and celebration commemorated across the state, but most especially at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where the Texas Declaration of Independence was framed and issued.
Five copies of the historic document were ordered to be sent to the towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria and San Felipe. A printer at San Felipe made 1,000 additional copies and the original was placed on file with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and eventually returned to Texas.
The declaration came just days before the Battle of the Alamo on March 6. The Battle at San Jacinto, which settled the matter militarily, would not take place until seven weeks later, on April 21 at the famed battleground located just east of Houston.
A tone of courageous, principled defiance was set at Washington-on-the-Brazos and supported in the letters of Texas hero William Barret Travis, written in late February 1836 during the siege of the San Antonio mission by Mexican forces led by Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna.
A welcome dimension of accessibility was added to the story a week ago when Travis' immortal letter was returned to the famed San Antonio mission for temporary public display. The "Victory or Death" missive was sent to Gen. Sam Houston on Feb. 25 by Lt. Col. Travis as the Alamo was surrounded by a thousand or more Mexican troops.
In Travis' words: "If they overpower us, we fall a sacrifice at the shrine of our country, and we hope prosperity and our country will do our memory justice. ... Victory or Death!"
The Texas we know in 2013 is a far cry from the empty wilderness of 1836. But the seeds of the mythical Texan character - tough, determined, never-say-die - were sown in those events and men we honor today.