Texans’ Fight for Independence

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The San Antonio de Valero Mission, also known as the Alamo, was established by the Spanish in 1718 to educate and convert Native Americans to Christianity; it was abandoned by 1796. Mexican forces occupied the Alamo from 1803 to December 1835. In the first engagement of the Texas Revolution, General Edward Burleson and an army of 800 men stormed San Antonio during the siege of Bexar and compelled Mexican forces to surrender. By December 15, 1835, the Alamo was under control of Texans and occupied by a volunteer army.

On February 23, 1836, Colonel William Barret Travis led 150 defenders to make their stand against Santa Anna's vastly superior Mexican army. By March 6, the Texans had lost this battle. All of the defenders were killed; a few slaves and women and children, among them Susanna Dickinson and her daughter, were spared. The Texan army went on to win the war with Mexico, thus gaining independence for the Republic of Texas, though skirmishes with the Mexican army would continue for several years.

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Items on display in this exhibit

The links shown below to the items displayed in this exhibit will open in PDF format in a separate window or tab. The documents are shown here in their entirety so some of the files contain multiple pages.

 

Thumbnail of this lovely color wood engraving of the Alamo"Ruins of the Church of El Alamo," wood engraving by Wade (artist) and Brown (engraver) from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion (1854), with later original hand coloring. Prints & Photographs, 1/103-601.

 

Thumbnail image of the first page of this old handwritten documentList of Provisions for the government and Alamo, December 17, 1835. Records of the General Council, Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Secretary of State, 2-9/19 (inv 6173).

 

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Thumbnail image of the first page of this old handwritten documentProclamation to soldiers outlining grievances against Mexico, December 15, 1835. Records of the Provisional Government, Texas Secretary of State, 2-9/20 (INV 6309).

 

 

Thumbnail image of the first page of this old typeset documentPrinted circular of "Letter from Gonzales to the Standing Committee of San Felipe," signed by Captain Moseley Baker, Gonzales, March 8, 1836, asking for additional soldiers to fight in the Army. Broadside #458.

 

Thumbnail image of the first page of this old handwritten documentSusanna (Dickinson) Hannig testimony regarding the Battle of the Alamo, taken at Austin, Texas, September 23, 1876. Manuscripts collection, 2-22/606. Susanna Dickinson and her infant daughter were at the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

 

Thumbnail image of the first page of this old handwritten documentPetition of Juana Navarro Alsbury describing her experience at the Alamo and asking for relief, dated November 1, 1857. Memorials and petitions, Texas Legislature, 100-360. Alsbury was with her husband at the Alamo during the 1836 siege and tended wounded soldiers.

 

Thumbnail image of this old typeset documentGeneral Order of William S. Fisher, Secretary of War, December 31, 1836, calling for military readiness by citizens to fend off continued attacks by the Mexican Army. Broadside #473.

 

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Thumbnail image of the first page of this old handwritten documentDavid G. Burnet to Thomas Toby, July 22, 1836, requesting items he deemed necessary to live a comfortable life, including port wine and lemon syrup. Correspondence with Texan consuls, Records of the Ad Interim Government, Texas Secretary of State, 2-9/21.

Page last modified: May 20, 2016