This Day in Texas History: Texas Force Decimated After Black Bean Lottery

This Day in Texas History:

Texas Force Decimated After Black Bean Lottery
March 25, 1843

Drawing of the black bean
Drawing of the black bean

On this day in 1843, seventeen Texans were executed at Salado, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

As the members of the defeated Mier expedition were being marched from Mier to Mexico City, they attempted a mass escape on February 11. Some 176 were recaptured, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna ordered that one in ten of the prisoners be shot.

The victims were chosen by a lottery in which each man drew a bean from an earthen jar containing 176 beans, seventeen of which were black. This event has come to be known as the Black Bean Episode. The bodies were returned to Texas and are buried on Monument Hill at La Grange, Fayette County.

(FYI: This is the correct use of the word “decimate” – which means to reduce in number by 10% – any other use is technically incorrect)

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