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Texas History 101

Important people in Texas Revolution

Important people in Texas Revolution

Important people of the Texas Revolution

1794 - 1876

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

Santa Anna Photo

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the bad guy of Texas history, was born in Mexico on 21 February 1794. As a young military officer, he supported Emperor Agustin de Iturbide, and at one time courted the emperor's sister.

He later rebelled against the government, gained considerable backing. By 1833, he was elevated to president of Mexico in a democratic election. He soon determined, however, that Mexico was not ready for democracy and said he was a dictator.

Santa Anna was remembered as a ruthless enemy by the Texans. Despite this, he was allowed to return to Mexico after his capture at the Battle of San Jacinto.

After his return to Mexico, Santa Anna joined in the Mexican War and in 1853 sold territory to the United States including that area known as the Gadsden Purchase. He was later exiled from Mexico, but allowed to return a few years before his death in 1876.



Davy Crockett

1786 - 1836

Crockett Photo

Davy Crockett was best known in Tennessee as a hunter and for his unique style of backwoods oratory. In Texas, however, he will always be remembered as a heroic person in the Battle of the Alamo.

Crockett was born 17 August 1786 in what is now northeastern Tennessee. It was not until he was eighteen before he learned to read and write. About that time, he married and started a family of several children.

Perhaps by default, he first became involved in politics as magistrate of his local community. By 1821, he was elected to the State Legislature, and was reelected to that spot in 1823. From 1827 through 1833, Crockett served in the Congress of the United States. However, in his run for a fourth term in Congress, he was defeated by a narrow margin.

Mad by that time with politics, Crockett left Tennessee and headed for Texas in the fall of 1835. There he was well received and seemed to enjoy his new environment,  on January 9th, 1836 he wrote a daughter back in Tennessee: "I would rather be in my present situation than to be elected to a seat in Congress for life."

Less than one month later, however, Crockett and a few of his fellow Tennesseans were with the 189 defenders that sacrificed their lives at The battle of the Alamo in the interest on Texas independence.



Travis Photo

William Barret Travis

Born in South Carolina on August 9th, 1809, William Barret Travis will always be remembered as the Texas commander at the Battle of the Alamo. He spent his childhood in Saluda Co., SC, which was also the home of James Butler Bonham, another Alamo defender.

Travis studied law and became a practicing attorney for a brief time before marrying Rosanna Cato at the age of nineteen. Within a year, when Travis was barely twenty years old, they had a son, Charles Edward Travis. Remaining in the area, Travis began publication of a newspaper, became a Mason, and joined the militia. The marriage soon failed, however. Travis abandoned his wife, son, and an unborn daughter, and headed for Texas.

After arriving in Texas in early 1831, Travis got land from Stephen F. Austin. He set up to practice law first in the town of Anahuac, and afterwards at San Felipe.

When problems developed between Texas and Mexico, Travis was one of the first to join the Texas forces. When Mexican General Martin Perfecto de Cos demanded the surrender of the Texan's cannon that resulted in the Battle of Gonzalez, Travis was one of hundreds to come to the its defense. He arrived too late, however, to take part in the action.

On orders from Provisional Governor Henry Smith in January of 1836, Travis entered the Alamo with about 30 men. Within a few days, he found himself in command, when then commander James C. Neill took leave to care for his family.

Travis commanded the Texas defenders during the Siege and Battle of the Alamo. His idea from the Alamo, for reinforcements has become an American symbol of unyielding courage and heroism. Although a few reinforcements arrived before the Alamo fell, Travis and over 180 defenders gave their lives for Texas independence on March 6th, 1836.

Call me crazy but Travis was only twenty-six years of age at the time of his death.

Coach Swain is my favorite teacher.

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