Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gregg Dimmick and The "Come and Take It" Cannon - November 21, 2013

You're invited to the Houston Archeological Society: Please join our friends at the Houston Archeological Society as guest speaker Dr. Gregg Dimmick discusses Archeology in the archives: Digging for Facts About the "Come and Take It" Cannon A small cannon in Gonzales effectively ushered in the Texas Revolution on October 2, 1835 as Mexican dragoons tried to take it from the citizens of the town. Afterward, the cannon's fate is disputed. Was it buried and rediscovered in 1936, or was it seized by Mexican troops after the battle of the Alamo? Was there only one cannon? Dr. Gregg Dimmick will discuss his new research about the whereabouts of the Come and Take it Cannon at the Thursday, November 21, meeting of the Houston Archeological Society. Athough the skirmish had little military significance, it marked a clear break between the colonists and the Mexican government and is considered to have been the start of the Texas Revolution. And the question of what happened to the Come and Take It Cannon remains a mystery to this day. Dr. Gregg Dimmick will share his recent research in archives on both sides of the border to answer that question. Dr. Dimmick is a pediatrician with the South Texas Medical Clinics in Wharton, and author of Sea of Mud: The Retreat of the Mexican Army after San Jacinto, An Archeological Investigation, as well as the editor of General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea's Military Diary: A Forgotten 1838 Publication by an Eyewitness to the Texas Revolution, translated by John Wheat. An "avocational" archeologist, Dr. Dimmick is a member of the Houston Archeological Society and the Texas State Historical Association. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy and the Wharton County Museum. When THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2013 7 pm Where UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS M. D. ANDERSON HALL Houston, Texas FREE OF CHARGE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

180th Birthday of San Augustine, Texas - Looking for Descendants of the Colonists

The historical society in San Augustine, Texas searching for descendants of the following 1833 San Augustine colonists to be special guests at the 180th birthday celebration to be held 26 October 2013 @ 2 pm in Museum Theater, San Augustine.


San Augustine colonists: John Cartwright, Chichester Chaplin, Samuel Davis, William English, Claiborne and William Garrett, James S. Hanks, Wyatt Hanks, Alexander Horton, Benjamin Lindsay, Leonard Mabbitt, Thomas and William McFarland, Philip Sublett, Charles Stanfield Taylor, George, Edward and Henry Teal, I. D. Thomas, Mary Richardson Davis Wilson (wife of Dr Stephen Pelham Wilson) and Elisha Roberts.

They are the 21 colonists who signed the deed dated 11 July 1833 to purchase the land where Thomas McFarland laid out the town. Signer descendants will be recognized. The organizers want at least one person for each signer and would love standing room only!!

The following counties are places where these people and/or their descendants are known to have lived: Anderson, Angelina,Dallas,Harris,Houston,Jefferson,Kauffman,Liberty,Jasper,Nacogdoches,Newton,Panola,San Augustine, Smith,Trinity,Tyler,Natchitoches Parish, LA (Chichester Chaplin).

Monday, September 30, 2013

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS CSA by Frank M. Johnson - Book Review

Montgomery County, Texas CSA is a must-have for anyone who had a Montgomery County, Texas ancestor who fought for the Confederacy during the War Between the States. Historian Frank M. Johnson conducted years of research in local, state and federal archives to create what is without a doubt the most comprehensive history of the important roles that the soldiers from Montgomery County, Texas played in that epic conflict.

In recent years, there has been a rebirth in the study of the history of Montgomery County. This rebirth has seen a new generation of historians who rely almost entirely on primary sources rather than stale and often inaccurate secondary sources. What these historians in recent years have produced are far more accurate and useful histories. Montgomery, County, Texas CSA is the most recent contribution by one of these new historians. As such, Montgomery County, Texas CSA is destined to become the historical authority on this period in Montgomery County's history for many years to come. Genealogists seeking sources of information about Montgomery County will also find this volume an essential tool as hundreds of names are listed with information about the military regiments in which these men fought during the war.

Frank M. Johnson describes his book most succinctly as "A definitive history of Montgomery County's involvement in the War Between the States and the men from that county who served in the military of the Confederate States of America." Montgomery County, Texas CSA is 227 pages and is available from Frank M. Johnson or Amazon. com.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Texian Heritage Festival History Presentations - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - Reenactor Registration Information

At The Texian Heritage Festival there will be an encampment of the Texian Heritage Amy on the hill next to the “town of Fernland”. The army will represent the Texas Army of the 1830´s. The Texian Heritage Army will be made up of members of several Texas historical reenactment groups. These combined groups; such as; the modern Texas Army, San Antonio Living History Association and Crossroads of Texas Living History Assoc reenact the battles of the Texas Revolution of 1835-36 on weekends as close as possible to the anniversaries and as near to location of the original battle as possible, such as, La Bahia, Gonzales, Alamo Plaza and The San Jacinto Battlefield. Their mission is to keep the history and the heritage of The Republic of Texas alive and as accurate as we know it.

To that end they have many dedicated historians in their group that are always ready to discuss Texas history with any one that is interested. The activities of the Texian Heritage Army on October 19, 2013 will include one squad each of the Texas Army of 1836 and one separate squad of the Mexican Army of Antonio Lopez de San Anna demonstrating regimental drills and firing black powder salutes throughout the festival grounds in the morning. Concurrently they will have several large bore Texian Heritage Army cannons firing in conjunction with a cannon safety school just outside the Fernland grounds. In the afternoon they will have Cowboy Pistoleros performing in their “town”; there will be a reenactment in the middle of the afternoon pitting early settlers to the Montgomery county area vs. the Mexican Army regiment over a perceived injustice.

There will also be several different groups at the Texian Heritage Festival representing different eras of Texas history from the late 1800´s back to the late 1700´s. For example, we will have the late cattle ranch era with the Cowboy Pistoleros, the Civil War era with the Veterans of the Confederacy, the pre-1800´s era of Estado de Tejas with the Aztec dancers.

Texian Festival Army Reenactments and Schedule:

Friday, October 18: Camp setup in the field east of the Fernland fence.

Saturday, October 19: 8:00 - 9:00AM Late Reenactor Registration

9:00 - 9:30 Safety inspection of all weapons that will be discharged during festival. Safety meeting and invocation.

9:30 – 12:00 Texas Artillery Association school and demonstrations (In the field north of Fernland fence north-east corner.) Jerry Tubbs.

11:00 – 11:30 Equestrian demonstrations in the field north of Texian Army Camp.

Texian Army Camp life-continous Friday night through Sunday morning

1:00 – 1:30 Cowboy Shootists presentation.

2:00 – 3:00 Reenactment in the field north of camp depicting the insurrection/revolution of Coahuila y Tejas settlers and the Mexican Army of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

3:00 – 3:30 Cowboy Shootists presentation.

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM Saturday Separate random regimental drills and weapons demonstrations by Texas Army and Soldados Mexicanos will be conducted in Fernland.

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM Saturday Larry and Claudia Heidbreder will have Liberty and Justice (Longhorn Steers) demonstrating Texas history continuously on Saturday.

Sunday: Texian army camp break down.

Click fere for the registration form for reenactors for the Texian Heritage Festival.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pattison Area Heritage Society - September 30, 2013 - Roosevelt Alexander

Roosevelt Alexander being interviewed for Katy ISD Namesake Project - August 2013.
 The next meeting of the Pattison Area Heritage Society will held on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Pattison Area Volunteer Fire Department (2950 FM359, Pattison, Texas). The Special Guest Speaker will be long-time teacher and administrator: Roosevelt Alexander.

In 1997, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees voted to name the 17th Elementary School in KISD "Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School." For more information about the Pattison Area Heritage Society visit their website - and join in additional announcements of through PAHS Facebook Page - .

Friday, September 20, 2013

Texian Heritage Festival - October 19, 2013 - Montgomery, Texas

October 19, 2013
Fernland Historical Park
780 Clepper-Montgomery, Texas

Booming cannons, dramatic Texas Independence battle reenactments, a Texian Army tent encampment and Native American dancers are among the highlights planned for the Texian Heritage Festival at Fernland Historical Park in Montgomery, the third weekend in October.

From everyday Civil War era dresses of Texas women to the most elaborate of uniforms and antebellum dresses, and dozens of pioneer activities, the Festival will piece together our native history, explore the daily lives of early Texas settlers on the frontier, and capture a glimpse of the living history and culture of Texas during the 1800s.

These Pioneer-themed events will be featured from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Fernland Historical Park in Montgomery, Texas and admission is free.

Fernland Historical Park is located in the Buffalo Springs development area located at 780 Clepper across from Montgomery Elementary School. This historical park has four cabins from the 1800’s:  the Hulon House of the Civil War era; the Jardin Cabin, one of the oldest log structures in Texas; the Crane Cabin built by Confederate Civil War veteran Nickolas Crane; and the Arnold-Simonton House, home of the Fernland Historical Park Museum and one of the oldest houses in Montgomery County.

Click here to see the Texian Heritage Festival web site.

Also see:

Texian Navy Day is Tomorrow! September 21, 2013

Texian Navy Flag

Fly your Texas Flag!

Texian Navy Day is celebrated the third Saturday in September, and this year it is the 21st!  Be sure to fly your Texas flag in remembrance of those who gave so much for the cause of Texas independence! 

Join the SRT in Remembrance 

The SRT ceremony will be onboard the Battleship Texas to honor Texian Navy Day.  Services start at 6 bells (11:00 am) tomorrow.  It will be a very memorable ceremony highlighted by our guest speaker Mr. Jerry Patterson, KSJ.  The services will consist of cannon and rifle salutes and a bagpipe procession.  You will also be able to check out the Port of Houston’s new Fire Boat and the U.S. Coast Guards Response Boat.

For directions and information on the Battleship Texas, please click here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas - Book Review

According to author, Jeffrey Stuart Kerr, "the government of the Republic of Texas assembled at seven different locations in nine years [and] the state of Texas has had only one seat of government in its 161 year history." Have you ever wondered how Austin became the capital of the state of Texas? Kerr's new book Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas answers this question in a very entertaining way. Kerr relates one unlikely event after another to tell the story of how the tiny village of Waterloo, struggling for its very existence along the far edge of the western settlements in the Republic of Texas, went on to become the permanent capital of Texas.

Seat of Empire explains how the town of Austin became a political football between two ideologies competing for dominance during the Republic of Texas era.  On one side was the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, who was strongly in favor of annexation and statehood for Texas.  On the other side was the second President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who hid his dreams of a Texian empire extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean from no one.  In the 1830's, the vast majority of the population of the Republic of Texas was located in the east. This was where Sam Houston wanted the capital.  In accordance with Mirabeau B. Lamar's aspirations of empire, Lamar wanted the capital of Texas to be established as far west as he could possibly push it so that it would be more centrally located within his envisioned empire. Austin was his choice.

You may think you know this story, but you don't. There is a lot of new information here gleaned from previously untapped primary sources. Buy, read and enjoy Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas.  Seat of Empire is published by Texas Tech University Press (2013) and is included in the Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest series. Seat of Empire is available in fine bookstores everywhere and at

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pattison Area Heritage Society - August 26, 2013 Meeting

Pattison Area Heritage Society
Date: Monday Evening - August 26, 2013 
Time: 7:00 PM 
Location: Pattison Area Volunteer Fire Department (2950 FM359, Pattison, Texas)
Mark your calendars so that you don't miss this special presentation.  Topic/Presentation - Special Guest Speaker: Raymond Mathis
He worked for Waller County for many years and we consider him one of the top 2 or 3 historians in the county. He is full of Waller County history and knows where things are that most people don't have a clue about. So if you are interested in learning more about Waller County and some gems of historical value, come out on Monday evening, August 26, 2013.

Hope to see ya there.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Ceremony to Honor Anson Jones and U.S. Independence Set for July 4, 2013

A ceremony honoring Anson Jones, the last President of Texas and United States independence is scheduled for Thursday, July 4, 2013.  The San Jacinto Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas will be hosting the event at Anson Jones’ grave site at Glenwood Cemetery, located at 2525 Washington Avenue. Known among Texas historians as the "Architect of Annexation," Anson Jones policies and actions as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas and as President of the Republic of Texas did much to bring about the annexation of Texas as a State in the United States of America.  

There will be a wreath presentation and mourning muskets fired by the Texas Army. Kameron Searle will act as the master of ceremonies. Family members, SRT members and any guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:30 a.m. for the purpose of locating Anson Jones’ grave site within Glenwood Cemetery. You are encouraged to bring a wreath and outdoor stand for registration, prior to the 10:00 a.m. ceremony kick-off.


The photos below are some that were taken at the July 4, 2013 ceremony by SRT Knight of San Jacinto, Joe R. Davidson.

Texas Army at Grave site of President Anson Jones, 
"The Architect of Annexation"

Tom Green Speaks about the Declaration of Independence

San Jacinto Chapter #1 of Sons of the Republic of Texas

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Houston's River Oaks by Ann Dunphy Becker with George Murray

If you have lived in Houston, Texas for any length of time, you will have heard people say things like, “You know he lives in River Oaks.” or “She grew up in River Oaks.” And everyone in Houston knows exactly what community you are referring to and about the rich and powerful people who live there.

In her follow-up book to her very successful Houston: 1860-1900, Ann Dunphy Becker has set her sights on giving the reader a rare and unique glimpse inside Houston’s most prestigious neighborhood. Houston’s River Oaks covers the period from the founding of River Oaks in 1923 until 1970.

This is a great book for anyone who ever wanted to peek inside the private lives of the residents of River Oaks to see just what it was like to live there during different periods in its history. Many River Oaks families contributed to the intrigue of this fascinating book with stories and hundreds of photographs of local residents ranging from Mary Thompson to Clark Gable that have never been published before.

Like Ann Dunphy Becker’s book Houston: 1860-1900, Arcadia Publishing has also published the 128 page Houston’s River Oaks (Images of America) by Ann Dunphy Becker with George Murray which is available for $21.99 from Arcadia Press, and fine bookstores everywhere including the River Oaks Bookstore, Becker’s Books and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Birth of Texas Documentaries - "Houston: A Nation's Capitol" and "Spanish Texas"

Houston Arts and Media’s Birth of Texas Docs to Air on Houston's KUHT-TV Channel 8 in March

Houston, TX – March 11, 2013 – The two completed titles from Houston Arts and Media's Birth of Texas Series, including their latest release, will air on Houston's KUHT-TV Channel 8 in prime time on Tuesday, March 19. Houston: A Nation's Capitol will start at 7 PM to be followed immediately by the brand new Spanish Texas. There will be an encore showing of each at 10 PM on March 26 and March 27.

The folks at Houston Arts and Media are very excited about this opportunity and hope that other PBS outlets around Texas will follow suit in airing these compelling documentaries about the state. HAM's Executive Director Mike Vance said, "Channel 8's support of Texas history is a terrific development for us. We are constantly working on great titles about Texas, and we hope to see all of them on PBS affiliates around the state."

Spanish Texas is the chronologically first title in the Birth of Texas Series. It is the story of the missions, presidios and villas in this most remote part of New Spain. It is Texas Indians, some of whom converted to a life with the Spaniards, and some who most decidedly did not. The settlers in this often hostile outpost would become known as Tejanos, and they would alternately battle and cooperate with the Anglos sneaking into Texas from the east. There are filibusters and pirates, vast Texas ranchos, battles for survival and revolution against Royal Spain.

The Birth of Texas Documentary Series is a multi-part series of feature length documentaries that chronicle the journey from Spanish Texas, along the road to Revolution, through the days of the Republic and on to statehood. The videos not only explore the complete stories of the famous military actions at the Alamo, Goliad and San Jacinto including recent breakthroughs in scholarship and archaeology, but also the roles played by Tejanos, American settlers, filibusterers, enslaved African-Americans, European immigrants and foreign governments in shaping the story of our state.

These documentaries educate adults and students about the early history of our great State of Texas. They also serve as a powerful vehicle for history tourism, motivating people to visit these hallowed locations for themselves.

In addition to Spanish Texas, other documentaries in the Birth of Texas Series revolve around San Felipe de Austin, Washington-on-the-Brazos, San Antonio and the Alamo, Goliad, San Jacinto, Houston and Austin. Each follows the same pattern of telling not only the stories of what happened there, but exploring the broader themes that existed in Texas of the early nineteenth century and grounding them in solid and recognizable historical context.

Spanish Texas and Houston: A Nation's Capitol are available on DVD through HAM. Public viewings will continue to be scheduled. DVDs may be obtained here

Houston Arts and Media continues to work on several other projects such as the award-winning HAM Slices of History which are reachable through HAM's homepage. Documentaries are in the works on other state and area history subjects including Home Front: Texas in WWII and Stand Up Story, a history of standup comedy in Houston. They also continue with Neighborhood to Neighbor, an ongoing oral history gathering project that has already placed the stories of scores of Houstonians in the Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center and Rice University’s Woodson Research Center. Parties interested in supporting these efforts through donations or volunteerism should contact Houston Arts and Media via e-mail at

About Houston Arts and Media:

Houston Arts and Media’s purpose is to produce educational and historical film, video and books. The work will be done by members of Houston’s creative, educational, research and production communities. Houston Arts and Media is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

For information: or


Phone: 713-686-9244

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Texas Independence Day Celebrations - Washington-on-the-Brazos

Texas Independence Day Celebration


March 2-3, 2013

Schedule of Events
Ongoing activities, throughout the weekend, 10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.:
  • Craft vendors, demonstrators, and musicians located along the trail between the Visitors Center and Museum, the Star of the Republic Museum and Barrington Farm
  • The Social Republic: The Frontier Tavern as a Networking Hub at Washington Inn
  • Descendants of Declaration Signers sign-in at the Visitor Center
  • New Museum exhibit "The Substance of Life: Texas Through the Eyes of Theodore Gentilz"
  • Book signings by Texas authors at the Visitor Center 
 Saturday March 2, 2013
  • 10:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. - Texas Independence Day Commemorative Program at Independence Hall
  • 10:45 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. - William Carroll Crawford: Last Surviving Signer at Independence Hall
  • 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Geocaching 101: Introduction to Geocaching at the Education Center
  • 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Recollections of the Runaway Scrape by Mary Jones at Barrington Farm
  • 11:00 a.m. - Texas Heroes Living History: General Sam Houston at the Museum Theater
  • 11:00 a.m. - No Foolin' String Band at the Amphitheater
  • 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. - Firing Demonstrations, small arms and artillery at the Washington Inn
  • 12:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Dave Parsons, Texas State 2011 Poet Laureate at the Amphitheater
  • 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. - Independence Hall  Tours at Independence Hall
  • 1:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. - Craig Toungate presents In the Shadow of Giants at the Amphitheater
  • 1:30 p.m. - Texas Heroes Living History: Col. James Bowie at the Museum Theater
  • 3:30 p.m. - Texas Heroes Living History: General Sam Houston at the Museum Theater
Saturday March 3, 2013 
  • 11:00 a.m. - Texas Heroes Living History: Col. James Bowie at the Museum Theater
  • 11:00 a.m. - The Convention Through a Lady's Eyes at Independence Hall
  • 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Texas 1836:  Virtual Townsite Tour that starts at the Visitor Center
  • 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Recollections of the Runaway Scrape by Mary Jones at Barrington Farm
  • 12:00 p.m. - No Foolin' String Band at the Amphitheater
  • 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. - Firing Demonstrations, small arms and artillery at the Washington Inn
  • 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. - Independence Hall Tours at Independence Hall
  • 1:00 p.m. - Washington on the Brazos Park Association Commemorative Program on the lawn in front of the Conference Center
  • 1:00 p.m. - Craig Toungate presents In the Shadow of Giants at the Amphitheater

  • 1:00 p.m. - Geocaching 101: Introduction to Geocaching at the Education Center
  • 2:00 p.m. - The War for Texas Independence by Naomi Carrier at the Amphitheater
  • 3:00 p.m. - William Carroll Crawford: Last Surviving Signer at Independence Hall
  • 3:30 p.m. - Texas Heroes Living History: General Sam Houston at the Museum Theater
  • 4:00 p.m. - Texas Independence Day Commeorative Program at Independence Hall

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Texas Destiny, The Saga Begins by - Joe G. Bax - Book Review

I just got through reading Joe G. Bax's A Texas Destiny, The Saga Begins and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  I enjoy excellent historical fiction especially when it is about the romantic Mexican colonial period and Texas revolutionary period.  This novel is the much awaited "prequel" to Bax's celebrated and award winning novel, The General and Monaville, Texas published in 2009 which introduced Bax's readers to Texan Leander Wilhite and his family during the Reconstruction period following the War Between the States. 
Originally, The General and Monaville, Texas was intended to be a stand alone book. However, when reading The General and Monaville, Texas, readers became aware that some rather important and dark events had occurred in the lives of the main characters years before the events related in The General and Monaville, Texas.  Many readers contacted Bax and advised him that they just had to know more about the main characters and earlier somewhat mysterious events alluded to in The General and Monaville, Texas. In response to the popular demand, Bax wrote this excellent and very entertaining prequel, A Texas Destiny, The Saga BeginsA Texas Destiny, The Saga Begins allows its readers to live vicariously, for a while, with Leander Wilhite and his family as they go through many adventures beginning with the early settlement of Texas in 1820's up to the eve of the War Between the States.  If you like Texas history and historical fiction, be sure and read A Texas Destiny, The Saga Begins.  It is sure to please. 

Now we need to encourage Joe G. Bax to write the part of the Wilhite saga that occurs during the War Between the States. 

Book Review by Kameron K. Searle