Lone Star Setting? San Jacinto Undone,
by Howard Sutherland]
When I was in about seventh grade,
my mother decided it was important for my brother and
myself to learn about the history of Texas. We were
homeschooled children in the Lone Star state, so
this wasn`t difficult for her to arrange. (I don`t like
to think what goes on in the
We started by studying the
native Indians who once populated Texas—the Caddo,
Comanche and Apache. My brother and grandfather
constructed a life-size
Tipi in which our mother/teacher served us buffalo
meat. We learned about Cabeza de Vaca`s
golden city, and
LaSalle at Matagorda Bay. As
Catholics, we visited the
Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, and read books on
Stephen F. Austin.
And, of course, we
visited the site of the Alamo. I remember the Alamo!
But the most
exciting event in Texas history is the
Battle of San Jacinto. On April 21, 1836, Sam
Houston and the vastly outnumbered “Texians”
surprised Santa Ana during an afternoon siesta.
Rumor has it that Santa Ana was in his tent with the
“Yellow Rose of Texas” at the time, and when he
heard the battle begin outside, he escaped and hid,
wearing her clothing. It wasn`t until after his capture,
when the other Mexican prisoners addressed Santa Ana as
“El Presidente” that he was recognized.
San Jacinto Monument, now erected on the site of the
battle, there is inscribed the following note:
“Measured by its results, San Jacinto
was one of the
decisive battles of the world.
The freedom of Texas from
Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present
area of the American Nation, nearly a million square
miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”
In a discussion on
the immigration riots of recent months, my philosophy
professor said, completely seriously, “Well, I`ve
noticed that most of the people who have a problem with
immigration are conservatives from the
American Southwest. Why don`t we just give it
back to Mexico?”
As a daughter of
Texas and a
Southerner, I am used to hearing slurs directed at
my home state and section. It seems to be one of the few
forms of prejudice permissable
on campus. I call the anti-Texas variant “Texism.”
But my professor`s
statement was not only inaccurate, it was treasonous.
I walked out and
stomped around outside for a while to calm down.
On the other hand,
this statement is an accurate reflection of university
liberalism. And it doesn`t just affect the Southwest.
For example, I have never heard anything other that
criticism of the way the United States grew. I`ve never
heard a defense of
“Manifest Destiny.” It`s all happening in a
university near you. I have a feeling that even Texans
falling short in this battle.
The facts: Texas and the southwest were
won by a rebellion after Santa Ana rescinded the
Constitution of 1824 and asserted dictatorial control
over the settlers there. It was not acquired through
American conquest as
some multiculturalists try to suggest. And
as far as resident population is concerned, the
Anglo-American “Texians” far outnumbered the
“Tejanos”, who were never more than a minor
Give it back? I
don`t think so.
Athena Kerry (email
recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in