Saturday, April 25, 2015

Texas Rising Trailer - Travis Letter "Victory or Death"

The mini-series Texas Rising starring Bill Paxton as General Sam Houston is about to premier on the History Channel on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015. If you have not seen the trailer yet, please click on the image below for one of the most artistically unique readings of the famous William Barret Travis "Victory or Death" letter you will ever see.
Texas Rising - Travis Letter
The William B. Travis letter is read by various actors of the series line by line with Sam Houston reading the final line - "Victory or Death." Texas Rising is fictionalized version of the history of the fight for Texas Independence from Mexico and the rise of the Texas Rangers. Here is a complete transcription of the famous Travis letter:

Commandancy of the The Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—

Fellow Citizens & compatriots—

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man — The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.

William Barrett Travis.

Lt. Col. comdt.

P. S. The Lord is on our side — When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn — We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

The cast of Texas Rising includes the following list of actors:

Bill Paxton as Sam Houston
Olivier Martinez as Santa Anna
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Emily West
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Deaf Smith
Christopher McDonald as Henry Karnes
Brendan Fraser as Billy Anderson
Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin
Stephen Monroe Taylor as Gator Davis
Gerardo Taracena as Manuel Flores
Joe Egender as Bean Wilkins
Rhys Coiro as Vern Elwood
Jeremy Davies as Ephraim Knowles
Ray Liotta as Lorca
Antonio De La Vega as Almonte
Harold Torres as Portilla
Geoffrey Blake as George Hockley
Raúl Méndez as Juan Seguin
Jeff Fahey as Thomas Rusk
Johnathon Schaech as Colonel Sherman
Chad Michael Murray as Mirabeau Lamar
Crispin Glover as Mosely Baker
Max Thieriot as Jack Hays
Robert Baker as Bigfoot Wallace
Darrel Fetty as Doc Ewing
Vico Escorcia as Sarah Ewing
Molly McMichael as Rebecca Pit
Adam Hicks as Truett Fincham
Dillon Lane as Yancey Burns
Jacob Lofland as Colby Pitt
Sarah Jones as Pauline Wykoff
Mayra Sérbulo as Guadalupe
Amen Igbinosun as Nate
Robert Knepper as Empresario Buckley
Nigal Haaswijk as Clarance
Miguel Angel Fuentes as Romolo
Horacio García Rojas as Buffalo Hump
John Elvis as Yellow Knife
Courtney Gains as Cole Hornfischer
Rob Morrow as Colonel Fannin
Jake Busey as Samuel Wallace
Thomas Jane as James Wykoff
Kris Kristofferson as Andrew Jackson

Image courtesy of the History Channel. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 Sons of the Republic of Texas Annual State Convention - Fort Worth, Texas

The Annual State Convention of the Sons of the Repubic of Texas is Friday afernoon through Saturday evening, April 10-11, 2015 at the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel, 1701 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 (817-335-7000). For hotel information contact: Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel. The Conference is Friday afternoon, 4:30 - 6:00 PM and on Saturday, 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM. Registration to attend should be received by the SRT State Office by March 18, which is not far off. For more information contact: The Sons of the Republic of Texas at Click here for additonal registration fees and details.

James Bevill at Heritage Society Tea Room March 19, 2015

 Jerry & Marvy Finger Lecture Series presents How to Spend Your Way Out of a Debt Crisis: Lessons from the Republic of Texas by James P. Bevill Thursday, March 19, 2015 The Heritage Society Tea Room 12–1 p.m. Free for members, $5 for non-members Award-winning author James P. Bevill pulls no punches in this enlightening presentation about the role that money and finances played in the founding of and the ultimate loss of sovereignty by the Republic of Texas. The story covers handwritten promises, treasury warrants, audited paper, stock, debt instruments and all issues of Republic of Texas paper money. An overview of how these fit together will tell an uncensored history of Texas which describes a government on the brink of both military and financial extinction. The surprising and sometimes shocking revelations about the Republic of Texas' finances and the consequences for Texas' brief independence will forever change the listener's view of the revolution and its aftermath. Jim Bevill has spent his career in the financial services industry since graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1983. He is a Senior Vice President – Wealth Management in the River Oaks office of UBS Financial Services. He is the author of The Paper Republic: The Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the Republic of Texas, a non-fiction work on the social and economic history of Texas from the colonial period through the annexation by the United States in 1845. If you would like to reserve a box lunch for this lecture, please contact Elizabeth Martin at or 713|655|1912, ext. 101 by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. The Jerry & Marvy Finger Lecture Series is made possible by the generosity of the Jerry and Nanette Finger Foundation & the Marvy Finger Family Foundation. The Heritage Society is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Pattison Area Heritage Society Fund Raiser - Antique Appraisal - March 7, 2015

Mark you calendar and get your Collectibles, Treasure, Antiques and Stuff - EVERYTHING that you want to get a sense of its value, and come on out and have it appraised.  The Pattison Area Heritage Society is hosting this fundraiser on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the Pattison Volunteer Fire Department from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Pattison, Texas.


Location: Pattison Area Volunteer Fire Dept., 2950 FM 359 North, Pattison, TX
Time: 1PM to 4PM
Cost: $25 for the 1st item appraised, and $20 for each additional item appraised.
There will be also be a silent auction as well during the event. Snacks and drinks will be available throughout the event, as well.
And we are delighted to have a Certified and Licensed Appraiser helping make this event happen. The appraiser will be M.D. “Shorty” Yeaman. He will appraise anything you bring to the event, too.
Now get this! The special offering of this event, normal appraisals go for $100 and up or 20% of the value of certain items if you go to an appraiser. This is a bargain, folks. So bring your stuff, collectibles, jewelry, treasures, and antiques. And if the item is too large to move inside, the appraiser will go outside to your vehicle.
Thank you, Pattison Area Heritage Society

2015 Battle of San Jacinto Symposium

A principal Chief of the Cherokees, Chief Bowl (also called Chief Bowles) or Duwali, tried repeatedly to negotiate title to his tribe's lands in East Texas. Image courtesy of Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
2015 Battle of San Jacinto Symposium
American Indians in Spanish, Mexican and Anglo Texas History

Who were the Native Americans who lived in the land we now call Texas?  How did they react when Spaniards, Mexicans, Anglo-Americans and, yes, other Indians, made their way onto - some say "invaded" - their lands?  How did these interactions affect the development of Texas under Spain, Mexico, Republic of Texas and the United States?

Six scholars at the 15th annual San Jacinto Symposium break this complex subject into manageable pieces: Indian sovereignties; the Caddo tribes; the Plains tribes; the Alabama-Coushatta; Cherokee and other immigrant tribes; and the Cynthia Ann Parker case and its mythology.  Speakers will include Juliana Barr, F. Todd Smith, Sheri Shuck-Hall, Thomas Britten, Brian DeLay, and Paul Carlson.

The 2015 Battle of San Jacinto Symposium will be held at The United Way Community Resource Center located at 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, Texas 77007 on Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  A payment of $65.00 covers the speakers, lunch, parking, exhibits and more.  Late registration is $80 and based on availability. The 2015 Battle of San Jacinto Symposium is a presentation of the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy, a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, reclaim, and restore the San Jacinto Battleground and build greater public awareness and scholarship concerning the Battle of San Jacinto. The Symposium offers Certified Professional Education (CPE) credits for teachers.

For additional information, call (713) 237-8997 or email or visit the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy web site.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Descendants of the Signers Reunion and Luncheon - March 1, 2015

On March 1, 2015, The Descendants of the Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence will meet at Washington-on-the-Brazos for a luncheon to celebrate Texas Independence Day.  All descendants of the 60 signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and their families are welcome to attend this annual event.  The reunion and luncheon will be held in the Washington-on-the-Brazos Conference Center. Come and represent your ancestor at the Roll Call of the Signers in the amphitheater on Sunday afternoon.

The luncheon will feature a plate of Texas Bar-B-Que, two sides, dessert, and ice tea.  Tickets to this year’s luncheon are $18.00 for adults and $8.00 for children.  Reservations are required and seating is limited.  Come to the Reunion early and meet your "cousins" and share stories. The Descendants Reunion begins when the doors of the Conference Center open at 10:00 a.m. and the buffet line will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Last year's Descendants Reunion luncheon sold out early and was a huge success, so get your lunch tickets as soon as possible in order to guarantee a seat.

Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst Speaks before the Descendants of the Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos at the 2015 Descendants Reunion/Luncheon

The Descendants Reunion and Luncheon is sponsored by The Star of the Republic Museum.  Click here to fill out the Descendants of the Signers Reunion luncheon ticket order form

2015 Descendants of the Signers of the Texas Declaration Reunion/Luncheon at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site Conference Center.
Houston McGaugh, Director of the Star of the Republic Museum, Addresses 2015 Descendants Luncheon

This year, Descendants T-shirts are available in red for the first time.  Also this year for the first time, Polo shirts with the Descendants of the Signers 1836 logo embroidered on them are also available.  Click here for the Descendants of the Signers T-shirt order form.
Descendants Committee Member, Kameron K. Searle, Spoke about the Minutes of the Convention at Washington where the 59 Delegates Signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, Wrote a Constitution for the Republic of Texas, Created an Ad Interim Government for the Republic and Appointed Sam Houston Commander and Chief of the Texas Army (Both Regular Army and Militia).  Searle Also Encouraged All Descendants to Join the Washington-on-the Brazos State Park Association and Apply for the Descendants Registry.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Speaking at the 2015 Texas Independence Day Celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos
Descendants of the Signers are all encouraged to join the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association to show their support for the preservation of this most important site in the history of Texas where Texas Became Texas when their ancestors declared the independence of Texas from Mexico on March 2, 1836. Besides the Reunion and Luncheon, there will be plenty of other activities throughout the Washington on the Brazos State Park all day long. Click here for a list of events.
"Sam Houston" Made the Roll Call of the Names of the 59 Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence at the Texas Independence Day Celebration.  When Their Ancestors Name Were Called, Descendants Stood and Responded "Here" or "Aqui."
For additional information regarding the Descendants Reunion, the Descendants Luncheon, or registering as a Descendant with The Star of the Republic Museum, contact Dr. Shawn Carlson at (936) 878-2461, or Dr. Shawn Carlson, Star of the Republic Museum, P.O. Box 317, Washington, Texas 77880.  Or email:

Registry of Documented Descendants of the Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence as of 2015 Texas Independence Day Celebration

This year Descendants Souvenirs Available for Purchase included a New Red Descendants T-Shirt, a New Blue Descendants Polo Style Shirt and the new Descendants of the Signers Flag.


Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

You have probably heard of Manzanar and how the Japanese and the Japanese-Americans were rounded up following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but you have probably never heard of the internment camp at Crystal City, Texas.  At Crystal City, Texas, Japanese and German “enemy aliens” where were sent with their families to be traded for Americans in Germany and Japan.  

What makes this unusual piece of history even more unusual is that the German and Japanese families were composed almost exclusively of American-born children.  Yes, the United States of America, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, traded American-born German-Americans and Japanese-Americans for Americans who were trapped in Germany and Japan when World War II began.  In her fascinating book, The Train to Crystal City, Jan Jarboe Russell has done an amazing job of researching and presenting this amazing and obscure piece of American history.  

After I began reading this book, I put down everything else I was reading in my spare time and read this book cover to cover.  It was just that good!

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Internment Camp During World War II is published by Scribner, A Division of Simon & Schuster.  The Train to Crystal City is available everywhere including Amazon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Celebration of Texas Statehood and President Anson Jones - February 19, 2015

Celebration of Texas Statehood and Contribution of President Anson Jones On Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. the San Jacinto Chapter of The Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) will sponsor a ceremony at the grave of President Anson Jones to commemorate the 169th anniversary of Texas Statehood. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Kameron Searle, of the Sons of The Republic of Texas will be speaking about the impact that Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, had in getting Texas annexed into the United States of America. Members of the Texas Army will fire a musket salute, and we will conclude the ceremony by leading everyone in a toast to Anson Jones and all those brave men who worked to get Texas admitted into the USA. The toast will be with good old Texas water. 
A free and independent Republic of Texas was officially declared March 2, 1836, when the 56 delegates present at Washington-on-the-Brazos unanimously voted to declare independence. The citizens believed that Texas would be admitted into the USA in 1836, but due to the political ramifications of a new slave state, there was much disagreement about annexing Texas into the USA. In 1842, efforts were begun to obtain recognition of the Republic of Texas by foreign governments. Efforts were made to convince the USA that Texas was going to join up with England and create a large independent country from Canada to the Rio Grande. President Anson Jones conducted the affairs of the Republic of Texas in such a way as to convince James K. Polk, the new President of the USA in 1845, that Texas no longer wished to be part of the USA, and intended to enlarge the size of the Republic of Texas by joining with the Oregon Territory, then controlled by England. Anson Jones earned the title, Father of Texas Annexation. On December 29, 1845, President James K. Polk signed a letter to President Anson Jones telling him that both the U.S House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate had voted on a joint resolution to annex Texas into the USA. This letter was received by President Anson Jones in January of 1846 and he called both the Republic of Texas elected officials and the newly elected State of Texas officials together in Austin on February 16, 1846 to canvas the vote and arrange for a change of power in Texas. Then at high noon, on February 19, 1846, President Anson Jones gave a speech ending the Republic of Texas with the statement that "the Republic of Texas is no more." It was on that day that Texas became the 28th state in the USA. 
The Sons of the Republic of Texas is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the people who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas and to encourage historical research into the earliest records of Texas, especially those relating to the revolutionary and republic periods. The SRT encourages the preservation of documents and relics, the publication of historical records and narratives, and the celebration of important days in the state’s history. They also encourage the teaching of Texas history in schools and sponsor numerous scholarships. The public is invited to join us at 2:00 p.m. February 19, 2015, at the grave of President Anson Jones in Glenwood Cemetery, at 2525 Washington Avenue in Houston, to honor President Anson Jones, and all those brave men who took the important step toward making Texas what it is today! 

The general public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this event as well as public and home school teachers and students.

For additional details about the celebration, please contact Event Chairman, Tom Green, KSJ at 713-340-1965. Contact: The Sons of The Republic of Texas Contact Person: Tom Green, KSJ Telephone Number: (713) 340-1965 Cell Number: (832) 687-3474 Email Address: SRT Web Site Address:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Alamo Cannon Comes Home to Alamo - January 24, 2015

Huge crowd for the January 24, 2015 dedication of the McRae/Alamo cannon
A significant Spanish cannon has been returned to The Alamo. The barrel bears the Spanish royal crest and has the exact damage as other Alamo cannons that have been previously discovered to have been at the battle. Both of the cannon's trunnions have been broken off and the fire hole is not spiked. Researchers believe that this cannon was used by the Alamo defenders in February-March 1836. 

According to the cannon's provenance, it was sent from San Antonio to the French family in Philadelphia sometime in the 1880s as a payment for a debt. Howard B. French displayed the cannon on the lawn of his country estate called Aulderbrook.
Jan DeVault, President of the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy welcomes guests and donors to Alamo for dedication
In 1986, J.P. Bryan heard of the cannon's existence and went to Philadelphia to investigate. Although the cannon had been sold, Bryan was able to locate and buy it from the collector who had purchased it. He then shipped the cannon back to Texas and auctioned it to raise money for the Texas State Historical Association.

Mr. John McRae purchased the cannon and had a carriage constructed for the artillery piece.
McRae Cannon inside the Alamo

The cannon was donated to San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy. Under the direction of Mr. Jim Jobling, the Conservancy had the cannon conserved at the Texas A&M Conservation Research Lab. The cannon is on loan to the Alamo from the Conservancy.

An official dedication and "thank you" to donors will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at The Alamo. San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy's Dr. Gregg Dimmick will discuss the history of the cannon. All are welcomed.
Contributors to the preservation of the McRae/Alamo Cannon
The San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, reclaim, and restore the San Jacinto Battleground and build greater public awareness of the battle of San Jacinto, the culminating military event of the Texas Revolution. No other nonprofit organization is devoted entirely to these goals. In 2010, the San Jacinto Battleground was included on Preservation Texas' Most Endangered Places list. Preservation Texas is the statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To find out what you can do to help, visit 

San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy | | 808 Travis, Suite 1429P. O. Box 940536Houston, TX 77094-7536