Texas 175: A Dozen Documents That Made a Difference

Emily West was a free African-American servant who was kidnapped by Santa Anna's army on April 16, 1836, and forced to accompany the Mexican army to the Battle of San Jacinto. After the Mexican defeat, stories began to circulate that Emily helped the Texan cause by keeping General Santa Anna occupied in his tent while the Texans attacked. Though the story has no basis in historical fact, it became a popular Texas myth and Emily West eventually became known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas." It is thought that she returned to her home in New York in 1837.

Passport of Emily West

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Passport of Emily West

Capitol, Thursday Morning

To the Hon. Dr. Irion

The bearer of this -- Emily D. West has
been since my first acquaintance with her, in April of
--36 a free woman -- she Emigrated to this Country with
Col. Jas Morgan from the state of N. York in september
of 35 and is now anxious to return and wishes
a passport -- I believe myself, that she is entitled
to one and has requested me to give her this
note to you.

Your Obd't Serv't

I.N. Moreland

Her free papers were
Lost at San Jacinto as I am
Informed and believe in April of '36

Moreland

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Passport of Emily D. West, Texas Secretary of State records relating to passports issued by the Department of State, Republic of Texas. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 25, 2011