Friday, January 23, 2015

Alamo Cannon Comes Home to Alamo - January 24, 2015

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.

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.

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.

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 www.sanjacintoconservancy.org 

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 26, 2015 Ceremony Honoring Mirabeau B. Lamar

On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, we will hold the 5th annual memorial ceremony honoring the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar.

On this very day, 176 years ago, President Lamar signed an Act reserving three (3) Leagues of land in each county to be used to pay for a public school system in Texas. Even thought it was years before Public Schools came into being in Texas, President Lamar is remembered as the “Father of Texas Education.” In addition, President Lamar reserved 50 Leagues of land for two state supported colleges in Texas, which continue to benefited both the University of Texas and Texas A&M University today. In fact, one of his most popular phrases President Lamar used in his speeches was: “A Cultivated Mind is the Guardian Genius of Democracy,” and this phrase remains the Moto of the University of Texas to this today.

On January 25, 1839, President Lamar signed an Act making the current State Flag of Texas the last flag of the Republic of Texas, and on January 29, 1839, President Lamar signed the first Homestead Act in the world! The Homestead Act keeps the home place from being taken from the widow by the mortgage company when the husband dies. This was a monumental week in Texas history, with three (3) important bills being signed in a five (5) day period, which continue to affect our lives today. Do you know of any other governmental entity that has acted on three important bills in a five-day period?

The ceremony will be at the grave of President Mirabeau B. Lamar in the Morton Cemetery, located just north of downtown Richmond, Texas. This is a historic cemetery with Jane Long also buried just to the south of President Lamar’s grave, and the first Masonic Burial Monument located just to the east of President Lamar’s grave. The major purpose of both the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) is to perpetuate the history of the Republic of Texas and educated our citizens, so please not only mark your calendar to attend this important event, but to forward this News Release to anyone you know who might be interested. P

lease contact Tom Green at 713-340-1965 or TBGreen3@gmail.com if you have any questions.

History Road Rally in Conroe, Texas January 24, 2015

Explore Life in the Past Lane - On January 24, 2015, the Montgomery County Historical Commission will conduct the second annual History Road Rally in historic Conroe, Texas. Check in will be between Noon – 1p.m. at the First Baptist Church Gymnasium located in downtown Conroe at Main & Cochran Streets. The History Road Rally will start at 1:30 p.m. Teams will begin to return at 3:30 p.m. There will be a free meal and team recognition at 4:30 p.m. Teams will be composed of 2-5 participants per vehicle. The pre-registration fee is $30 per vehicle and the registration fee on the day of the event will be $40. There will be trophies and prizes for the winning teams. This historic event will. This event is sponsored by Gullo Ford of Conroe, Gullo Mazda of Conroe & Gullo Toyota of Conroe. For more information, see the Montgomery County Historical Society website at: : www.montgomerycountyhistoricalcommission.com or call 936-525-7311.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Montgomery County Historical Marker Program

Example of Montgomery County Historical Marker on Pole
Example of Montgomery County Historical Marker on Building
The Montgomery County Commissioners Court has approved a new Montgomery County Historical Marker Program sponsored by the Montgomery County Historical Commission to recognize historical structures and sites throughout the County and which will commemorate diverse topics of local and regional interest, including: the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations, and military sites; events that changed the course of local and county history; and individuals who have made lasting contributions to our state, county, community organizations, and businesses.

Larry Foerster, chairman of the County Historical Commission, explained that the marker program will complement and supplement the ongoing state historical marker program sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission. This county marker program will feature structures and sites that have historical significance at the local level, but may not otherwise be significant enough to qualify for a Texas historical marker. Foerster went on to explain that presently the Texas Historical Commission staff is overwhelmed with requests for state markers, and it is getting increasingly difficult to get an application approved for a state marker. As a result, more and more Texas counties are developing their own county historical marker programs. Walker County has had such a program for years, and Harris County recently started its own county historical marker program.

The Montgomery County Historical marker will feature the County Historical Commission’s emblem which incorporates the Texas flag on a dark blue background. It will be produced by the Southwell Company in San Antonio, the same company that produces the Texas historical marker along with numerous other county historical markers. Once the application is approved by the County Historical Commission, it is expected that the marker can be produced within four to six weeks after Southwell Company receives the approved order. Prices will start at $515.00 and will vary depending on the requested size and whether a post is requested.

Foerster emphasized that this marker program in not designed to replace the Texas historical marker program. The Montgomery County Historical Commission will continue to encourage applications for state markers when they are historically significant to the State and our region. Furthermore, just like state markers, the applications for the county markers will still require supporting primary and secondary sources to accurately document the historical significance of the topic, and will be critically reviewed by the County Historical Commission.
Any property owner can get more information about the Montgomery County Historical Marker program by going to the Historical Commission’s website at www.montgomerycountyhistoricalcommission.com or by contacting marker committee chairperson Sharon Russell at 281-296-0905.

This press release was submitted to the Texas History Page by the Montgomery County Historical Commission, Larry L. Foerster, Chair, 414 West Phillips, Suite 100, Conroe, Texas 77301



Wednesday, June 04, 2014

K. K. Searle Receives San Jacinto Award and Appointed to WOB Park Association Board


Left to right: Kameron K. Searle,  
San Jacinto Descendants President General Robert "Scott" Patrick, 
and Executive Board Member  Russell Cartwright

Texas History Page editor, Kameron K. Searle, was awarded the San Jacinto Award by the San Jacinto Descendants on April 21, 2014. "The San Jacinto Award is presented to an adult citizen of the State of Texas who has demonstrated a commitment to preserving Texas history and who possesses the highest level of patriotism, leadership, and service to the State of Texas and their local community." Past recipients of the San Jacinto Award include Ray Miller (Eyes of Texas), Dr. Gregg Dimmick (Sea of Mud and General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea's Military Diary), and James L. Haley (Sam Houston and Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas).

In May 2014, Searle was appointed to the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association Board of Directors. The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association is the non-profit 501(c)(3) support group for the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site which includes Independence Hall, the Star of the Republic Museum, and the Barrington Living History Farm.  The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association was chartered in 1955 by the State of Texas and is a statewide volunteer organization dedicated to generate support to facilitate preservation projects, celebrations, and educational programming at Washington-on-the Brazos. Searle is very excited about his appointment as the Washington-on-the Brazos State Park Association is about to begin promoting the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site with the brand new campaign: Washington-on-the-Brazos - Where Texas Became Texas!.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Death of a Texas Ranger by Cynthia Leal Massey


Death of a Texas Ranger is a wonderfully researched and entertaining history about the killing of a Texas Ranger named John Green.  Sergeant Green had been a successful Indian fighter on the Texas frontier for many years prior to his death. What makes this history even more fascinating is that John Green was killed by another Texas Ranger in his own company named Cesario Menchaca.

Why would one Texas Ranger kill another Texas Ranger? Cynthia Leal Massey does an excellent job of answering this puzzling question in her new book, Death of a Texas Ranger: A True Story of Murder and Vengeance on the Texas Frontier.  Death of a Texas Ranger reads like a Western mystery novella with a twist that you will not see coming.  Death of a Texas Ranger would make an excellent Coen brothers’ movie.

In some of my recent talks and presentations, I have encouraged Texas historians, both vocational and avocational, to look for the hidden jewels of Texas history waiting to be discovered in the sea of unexplored primary source documents in courthouses, archives and private collections all over Texas. Death of a Texas Ranger: A True Story of Murder and Vengeance on the Texas Frontier is the latest example of a Texas historian getting into previously unexplored primary source documents to bring readers something new and interesting as well as factual.  Cynthia Leal Massey has indeed found several jewels of Texas history that no one else had uncovered before her. 

I highly recommend this very entertaining history book to anyone interested in Texas history, the Texas Rangers, or the life and culture along the Texas frontier between the 1850's and the early 1900's.  Death of a Texas Ranger: A True Story of Murder and Vengeance on the Texas Frontier  by Cynthia Leal Massey is 208 pages, $16.95, Paperback, published by Two Dots an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. Death of a Texas Ranger (978-0-7627-9305-1) has a release date of June 3, 2014.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Despu├ęs de un tiempo en Texas - Review of Magnolia City by Duncan Alderson

In some of my other book reviews, I have suggested that more fiction writers would do well to set their short stories and novels in Texas with its unique history, sites and blends of cultures. Texas appears often in the mostly mythologized Westerns, but the real Texas has remained virtually untapped by serious novelists.

In his novel, Magnolia City, Duncan W. Alderson has not only chosen Texas of the 1920's as the backdrop in which to develop his entertaining story, but the history of Texas and its mixed cultures are essential to his development of almost every single character in his novel, especially the protagonist, Hetty Allen. Duncan Alderson obviously did years of research in preparation for Magnolia City and it shows on almost every single page. Magnolia City is wonderful historical fiction.

I recommend Magnolia City to anyone looking for an enjoyable read as well as a wonderful trip back to a time and place you have never been before. Magnolia City is 448 pages and published by Kensington Publishing. Magnolia City is available at Amazon.com.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

San Jacinto Day Ceremony - April 21, 2014

This year's ceremony commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto will be held on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the foot of the San Jacinto Monument.  The Principal Speaker will be Texas State Historian, Bill O'Neal, Ph.D.   Ron Stone, Jr. will be the Master of Ceremonies. Rolling Thunder and the Texas Army will be present.  The Deer Park High School Orchestra will perform. DRT and SRT Scholarship winners will be recognized. USS Texas Sailor award winners will be recognized.  The public is invited.  The DRT, SRT, and San Jacinto Descendants will lay wreaths to honor the soldiers who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto 178 years ago when Texas won her independence from Mexico. Please RSVP to San Jacinto Day Ceremony organizers to help them plan. 713-468-6771 or alfred_davis1947@yahoo.com.