The Texian Legacy Association
Missles & Missives

The Texian Legacy Association gets quite a lot of email about Texas history, our organization and our web site. I thought some of you might enjoy reading some of the more interesting "missles and missives".
THS received a letter by "snail mail' that we just had to publish. Follow this link to a real piece of Texanna.

July 14, 1998
I recently visited a store, Guitars and Cadillacs, at Barton Creek Mall in Austin, TX. They had a shirt that said,"Texas, Lone Star State Since 1846." I told the clerk I thought this shirt was misprinted, that Texas became a state on Dec 29, 1845. She would not believe me and was quite rude. Was I mistaken? I really enjoy Texas History, and have grown up here. I also enjoy collecting things from the republic, and other Texas artifacts. I like this web site, and look forward to exploring it. I look forward to your reply.
Thanks,
David

Dear David,
The United States' President James K. Polk signed the Texas Annexation Act on December 29, 1845. After almost ten years of being an independent country, the Republic of Texas ended and the State of Texas began February 19, 1846 at a ceremony held in Austin, Texas. So, I guess it depends on to whom you are talking. The United States says we became a state in 1845. I would say we accepted the United States' offer to become a state and ended the Republic in 1846. In other words, if a man proposes to your daughter, are they married right then or does he have to wait for the ceremony?
Thanks for your kind words about the web site. Come back often, we have some neat things planned.
C.M.Y.

July 3, 1998
Hey Charlie. In going through COLLECTED BOOKS: THE GUIDE TO VALUES I just ran across an interesting title. Have you ever heard of
The Anti-Texass Legion: Protest of Some Free Men, States and Presses Against the Texass Rebellion? At first I thought it was probably a book having to do with Texas entry into the U.S. But the title suggests that "rebellion." And yes, they spelled Texass with 2 "s." Interesting! So is the value of the book: $500.

The complete name is The Anti-Texass [sic] legion: protest of some free men, states and presses against the Texass [sic] rebellion against the laws of nature and of nations. It's a treatise on why Texas shouldn't be allowed into the Union because of the slavery issue. Not everyone was eager to have Texas enter the Union. The slavery issue was the main reason, but other concerns were a certain war with Mexico and the character of the people living in Texas at the time. Some of the rhetoric got pretty nasty:

'In 1911, when Justin Smith wrote a book on Texas Annexation, he received a letter from Charles Francis Adams, Jr., grandson of John Quincy Adams, a Texas-hater of the first rank. The letter stated:
"You do not distinctly set forth in your narrative the character Texas then bore, and which as matter of fact, it subsequently introduced into the Union. Texas, it must be remembered, was the American Botany Bay. It was filled with speculators, adventurers, fugitives from debt and the law, and ruffians generally, - men who subsequently, during the antislavery period, developed such individuals as Louis T. Wigfall, the drunken secessionist Senator and duelist, and 'Chief Justice' Davis S. Terry, the murderer of Senator Broderick, himself at last shot down in his tracks. These two were typical Texans of the succeeding generation, after Texas became a State. G.T.T. in those days had a well understood significance - Gone (absconded) to Texas. The New England element was, therefore, wholly justified in exerting its every effort to prevent such a community association and moral partnership. It failed, and the results of its failure in '46 are writ large in our subsequent annals....
"This feature of the historical situation it seems to me you have failed to set forth in its full proportionate light. Judging by your narrative, one would suppose that when we introduced Texas into the Union we introduced a community at least respectable. Such was not the fact. It was immoral, lawless, pro-slavery, uneducated, grasping, and generally brutal, - in a word, half-civilized......
From the Audubon and Other Capers by John H. Jenkins, Pemberton Press, 1976 C.M.Y.

July 3, 1998
Hello. I would like to know if you are aware of any organization in Texas that is responsible for monitoring the veracity of Texas history. For instance, who resolves disputes as to the accuracy of historical documents? I appreciate any help you can give me.

Thankfully, there is no single entity, that I know of, that resolves disputes concerning the accuracy or validity of historical documents. There are a good many organizations, museums and individuals who think they do, but then you will always find someone who will disagree with them. The best example I can think of is the Kennedy Assassination. There is still controversy surrounding it and it was even filmed! One writer even had the audacity to subtitle his book on the subject "The Last Word". NOT!! (I think that was several books ago.) In that light, the Alamo, the Battle of Medina and "Who had the first cattle drive?" don't have a chance. One reason I love the subject of Texas History so much is that it is like Texas politics: to participate, you need to be smart, study your subject and be prepared for a certain number of discussions which include gun fire, eye gouging and missing teeth!
Seriously, the one misconception about history that is shared by the majority of people is that it is a static, unchanging entity. History is constantly changing. If it doesn't change, then the people interested in history are no longer studying and researching. A document that is deemed a forgery today can be authenticated tomorrow because of a newly discovered supporting document or new dating technology. Views, opinions and perspectives change very rapidly. Archeologists have known this for years: the more we dig, the more things change. That is the main reason history is so challenging and fun.
I would encourage you to visit the member sites of the Texian Web. These sites have a good many places to obtain the latest thoughts on Texas history by some of the finest historians in the world. I know most of them and I think I can safely say that most all of them will agree that the Texians lost the Battle of the Alamo, anything beyond that and it's time to pull up a chair. C.M.Y.

Feb. 23, 1998 SUBJECT: blah!

-I went to your website and found nothing on the Norweigan Texans. You need more research on the different cultures. A.

Dear A,
You're right. The Indians, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Anglo-Americans are on the top of the list for contributions to Pre-1840 Texas History. If you would like to submit an article on "Significant Contributions by Norweigan Texians in Pre-1840 Texas", I would be more than happy to consider it for inclusion on our web site.
C.M.Y.


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