This Day in Texas History: Mexico Frees Slaves

This Day in Texas History:

Mexico Frees Slaves

September 15, 1829

On this day in 1829, the Guerrero Decree, which abolished slavery throughout the Republic of Mexico except in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, was issued by President Vicente R. Guerrero.

Vicente R GuerreroThe decree reached Texas on October 16, but Ramón Músquiz, the political chief of the Department of Texas, withheld its publication because it violated colonization laws which guaranteed the settlers security for their persons and property. The news of the decree did alarm the Texans, who petitioned Guerrero to exempt Texas from the operation of the law. On December 2 Agustín Viesca, Mexican minister of relations, announced that no change would be made respecting the status of slavery in Texas.

Though the decree was never put into operation, it left a conviction in the minds of many Texas colonists that their interests were not safe under Mexican rule.

 

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This Day in Texas History: Sam Houston Elected President of the Republic of Texas

This Day in Texas History:

Sam Houston Elected President of the Republic of Texas

September 5, 1836

Big Sam

Big Sam

On this day in 1836, Sam Houston, the victor of San Jacinto, was elected president of the newly founded Republic of Texas. Candidates for the office had included Henry Smith, governor of the provisional government, and Stephen F. Austin.

Houston became an active candidate just eleven days before the election. He received 5,119 votes, Smith 743, and Austin 587. Mirabeau B. Lamar, the “keenest blade” at San Jacinto, was elected vice president. Houston received strong support from the army and from those who believed that his election would ensure internal stability, hasten recognition by world powers, and bring about early annexation to the United States.

He served two terms as president of the republic and was subsequently a United States senator and governor of the state of Texas.

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This Day in Texas History: Benavides Crosses Rio Grande in Pursuit of Mexican “Unionists”

This Day in Texas History:

Benavides Crosses Rio Grande in Pursuit of Mexican “Unionists”
September 1, 1863

Maj. Santos BenavidesOn this day in 1863, Maj. Santos Benavides, the highest-ranking Mexican American to serve in the Confederacy, led seventy-nine men of the predominantly Tejano Thirty-third Texas Cavalry across the Rio Grande in pursuit of the bandit Octaviano Zapata.

Union agents had recruited Zapata, a former associate of Juan N. Cortina, to lead raids into Texas and thus force Confederate troops to remain in the Rio Grande valley rather than participate in military campaigns in the east. Zapata was also associated with Edmund J. Davis, who was conducting Northern-sponsored military activities in the vicinity of Brownsville and Matamoros. For these reasons, and because his men often flew the American flag during their raids, Zapata’s band was often referred to as the “First Regiment of Union Troops.”

Benavides caught up with Zapata on September 2 near Mier, Tamaulipas. After a brief exchange of gunfire, the  dispersed, leaving ten men dead, including Zapata. Benavides later defended Laredo against Davis’s First Texas Cavalry, and arranged for the safe passage of Texas cotton to Matamoros during the Union occupation of Brownsville. He died at his Laredo home in 1891.

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This Day in Texas History: “Gentleman Jim” Ferguson, Future Texas Governor, Born in Salado

This Day in Texas History:

“Gentleman Jim” Ferguson, Future Texas Governor, Born in Salado

August 31, 1871

On this day in 1871, James Edward Ferguson, future Texas governor, was born near Salado, Texas.

James Edward FergusonAfter a brief study of law he was admitted to the bar in 1897. Known as an antiprohibitionist, and running on a platform that would limit rent charged tenant farmers, he was elected governor in 1914.

During his first term the legislature passed several significant measures, including the tenant law, state aid to rural schools, compulsory school attendance, and several generous appropriation bills. He won his bid for reelection in 1916 by a majority of 60,000 votes. During his second term he became involved in a serious quarrel with the University of Texas and vetoed practically the entire appropriation for the university. At the same time a number of charges involving misappropriation of public funds and other financial irregularities were brought against him.

The end result was removal from office by a Court of Impeachment. Since he was subsequently ineligible to hold any public office, in 1924 and 1932 he ran the campaigns when his wife, Miriam, was elected governor. Ferguson died in 1944 and was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. Ma Ferguson was elected governor on two different occasions

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This Day in Texas History: Texas Sub Commander Receives Medal of Honor

This Day in Texas History:

Texas Sub Commander Receives Medal of Honor

August 28, 1945 On this day in 1945, Edwina Dealey, the widow of Navy Commander Samuel David Dealey, received his posthumous Medal of Honor.

Samuel David Dealey

A member of the prominent Dealey family of Dallas, Samuel was born in 1906. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1930, and took command of the submarine USS Harder in December 1942. He quickly proved to be one of the most aggressive and successful American submarine commanders of World War II.

He took the ship in 1943 to the Pacific and made five highly successful patrols, but failed to return from a sixth. He was particularly noted for heading toward enemy destroyers and discharging the sub’s forward tubes before making the standard maneuver of diving into silent running; this effective but dangerous maneuver, which Dealey used by permission from the commander of the Pacific Fleet, sank five Japanese destroyers in four days. Dealey officially sank sixteen enemy vessels in all. He was group commander of a submarine “wolf pack” consisting of the Harder, the Hake, and the Hado in waters off Luzon, Philippines.

USS Harder

USS Harder

On August 24, 1944, the Harder was heavily and fatally depth-charged. Commander Dealey was declared missing in action and presumed dead on October 2, 1944.

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Munzee Marketplace is our Newest Reseller

Munzee Marketplace

Munzee Marketplace

Please join us in welcoming Munzee Marketplace in McKinney as our newest vendor. In addition to carrying our coffee table book, Texas As I See It, Munzee Marketplace also has a sizable selection of our Texas Note Cards to choose from.  But wait… There’s more! Munzee Marketplace is something the McKinney Square has needed for a long time – a convenience store.  They have a large selection of exotic coffee beans (and a grinder), beverages, snacks, locally produced cooking oils and honey, frozen goodies, dairy products, cold and sinus medications – and sandwiches supplied by BreadWinners. You can order online and they will even deliver your lunch if you’re on the Square. Check it out starting TODAY!

They are located at 111 Virginia on the east side of the square.  It’s easy to spot, but parking can be a little dicey.

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Munzee

Munzee

And what’s with the name?  What does Munzee mean?  Well, Munzee is an online geocaching type game founded a few short years ago by my son-in-law Scott Foster and couple of other people.  Upstairs from Munzee Marketplace is their World Headquarters.

 

 

 

Munzee Snail

Munzee Snail

Munzees are QR codes affixed to various items on every continent on our planet.  You can download the app on your smart phone (just search your app store for Munzee) and start playing today.

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This Day in Texas History: Black Jack Ketchum Captured in New Mexico

This Day in Texas History: Black Jack Ketchum Captured in New Mexico August 17, 1899 On this day in 1899, the criminal career of Thomas Edward (Black Jack) Ketchum ended. Black Jack KetchumTom and his brother Sam were members of a gang of outlaws that terrorized Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. Tom was born in San Saba County, Sam in Caldwell County. Tom left Texas about 1890, and Sam joined him in New Mexico in 1894. There the brothers began a life of crime that included killing a merchant in Carrizo and robbing post offices, stagecoaches, trains, and a railroad station. On September 3, 1897, the gang held up the Colorado Southern passenger train near Folsom. On July 11, 1899, apparently without Tom, the gang held up the same train again. Sam was wounded and captured. He died two weeks later in prison. Tom, unaware of Sam’s failed attempt, tried singlehandedly to rob the same train on August 16. He was wounded by the conductor and was picked up from beside the tracks the next day. He was sentenced to death and was hung at Clayton, New Mexico, on April 26, 1901. The Ketchum gang was blamed for many crimes they may not have committed. Black Jack Ketchum may have inherited the nickname and reputation of Will “Black Jack” Christian.

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This Day in Texas History: Sam Houston Nominated for President of the Republic of Texas

This Day in Texas History:

Sam Houston Nominated for President of the Republic of Texas
August 15, 1836

On this day in 1836, Philip Sublett nominated Sam Houston for president of the Republic of Texas.

Sublett, a Kentucky native, had participated in the battle of Nacogdoches in 1832 and was a delegate to the conventions of 1832 and 1833. In 1835 he was elected chairman of the San Augustine Committee of Safety and Correspondence. On October 6 he submitted a resolution appointing Houston commander-in-chief of the forces of San Augustine and Nacogdoches until the Consultation should meet.

Sublett was commissioned lieutenant colonel in October and in December 1835 was present at the siege of Bexar. He returned to his farm east of San Augustine after the battle of Concepción. Sam Houston resided in Sublett’s home while recuperating from wounds received at San Jacinto. Sublett died in San Augustine on February 25, 1850.

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Big Sam

Big Sam

 

Big Sam
Sam Houston statue
Huntsville, Texas

Copyright 2014 Warren Paul Harris
all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

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This Day in Texas History: First Texas Newspaper Begins Brief Life

This Day in Texas History:

First Texas Newspaper Begins Brief Life

August 14, 1819

The Nacogdoches Texas Republican, believed to be the earliest newspaper published in Texas, was first printed on August 14, 1819.

NacogdochesEli Harris printed the paper for the James Long expedition. No copy of the paper is known to have survived, but the St. Louis Enquirer noted that the content was “principally occupied with the military and political operations going on in that quarter.” The paper, a weekly, appeared twice in August and possibly a few times in September and then ceased publication.

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This Day in Texas History: Black Infantrymen Allegedly Attack Brownsville Citizens

This Day in Texas History:

Black Infantrymen Allegedly Attack Brownsville Citizens

August 13, 1906

On this day in 1906, black soldiers of the Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry allegedly attacked citizens of Brownsville. The event resulted in the largest summary dismissals in the history of the United States Army.

Fort BrownThe soldiers, newly arrived at Fort Brown from the Philippines and Nebraska, confronted racial discrimination from some businesses and suffered physical abuse from some federal customs collectors. A reported attack on a white woman during the night of August 12 so enraged the citizens that Maj. Charles W. Penrose, after consultation with Mayor Frederick Combe, declared an early curfew.

Just after midnight on the thirteenth, a bartender was fatally shot and a police lieutenant was wounded. Various citizens claimed to have seen soldiers running through the streets shooting, even though it was dark. Several civilian and military investigations presumed the guilt of the soldiers without identifying individual culprits. When suspects were not forthcoming, the army inspector general charged a “conspiracy of silence.”

On November 5, President Theodore Roosevelt discharged “without honor” all 167 enlisted men garrisoned at Fort Brown. This action fueled political and “due process” arguments for more than sixty years. In 1972 the Nixon administration awarded honorable discharges, without back pay, to the soldiers involved. The only surviving veteran, Dorsie Willis, received a $25,000 settlement.

 

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