In November 1831, Jim Bowie went hunting for a “lost” silver mine but found instead a bunch of angry Indians. He left empty-handed but considered himself fortunate to still have his life and his scalp.
After keeping Texas waiting for seven long years, the U.S. secretary of state informed the Republic’s minister on November 10, 1843 that Washington was finally ready to reopen annexation talks. But Texans were again left out in the cold, when the Senate slammed the door in their faces.
Contrary to popular belief, the office of lieutenant governor is not an automatic short-cut to the top in Texas politics. Of the forty-four men who have held the number-two post, only a baker’s dozen won a promotion to the governor’s mansion.
Never heard of Fort Lipantitlan? It was a mud fortress on the Nueces River manned by a Mexican government garrison in the early days of the Texas Revolution. A small company of rebels was ordered to take the out-of-the-way objective, but the mission did not quite go as planned.
Just heard from my publisher that “Murder Most Texan” completely sold out of the first printing six days after the official publication date of November 11! The History Press has authorized a second printing, as it scrambles to fill all the back — and future — orders.
So I must say that my second book of 2014 is off to a great start. Many thanks to those readers that have made “Murder Most Texan” such a rousing success!
“A Japanese torpedo so badly damaged the HOUSTON on the night of Oct. 13, 1944 that the captain of the light cruiser gave the order to ‘abandon ship.'”
That’s how the Wednesday, October 8 through Tuesday, October 14 column for “This Week in Texas History” starts. The second World War II fighting ship to bear the name of Texas’ biggest city looked like it would follow the first to the bottom of the Pacific, but that would spoil the story. Read all about it in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on the web site.
A week to the day after he was arrested for the rape and murder of a wealthy white woman in Robinson, Jesse Washington was found guilty on May 15, 1916 by an all-white, all-male jury and sentenced to death.
But a Waco mob could not wait for the black man’s legal hanging. Washington was dragged from the courtroom and lynched on the square, where his body was set afire and burned for two hours. Photographs were taken of the gruesome sight and made into postcards that sold like hot cakes.
The Wednesday, May 7 through Tuesday, May 13 installment of “This Week in Texas History” tells the story of Assault, the 1946 winner of horseracing’s Triple Crown and the first bred outside of Kentucky.
Can’t read this column because your local newspaper doesn’t carry the longest running feature of its kind in Texas history? There’s a simple solution. Sign up right now on this web site for a private email subscription to “This Week in Texas History.” It’s that easy!
Final arguments were presented on May 7, 1831 in the U.S. House of Representatives trial of Sam Houston for the public beating of Rep. William Stanbery of Ohio.
Three weeks earlier, Houston confronted his critic on Pennsylvania Avenue and thrashed the Congressman with a hickory cane. Stanbery pulled his pistol only to have it misfire sparing the life of the future President of the Texas Republic. The House voted to convict Houston of contempt of Congress, but his punishment was a mild reprimand.
The annual San Jacinto Day festivities were moved to Saturday, April 26 this year and from what I could tell the turnout showed it. I won’t win any prizes estimating the size of crowds, but my rough guess was somewhere in the range of eight to ten thousand.
Must admit this was the first San Jacinto Day I attended in person since the Sesquicentennial back in 1986. My chief reason for going was to watch the battle reenactment, and I came away mildly disappointed.
The fault may well be mine since I never have seen any reenactment up close and personal and probably expected too much. Nonetheless, I see no reason to drag out an eighteen minute battle to a full hour with scenes from the “Runaway Scrape” and skirmishes of the day before the battle.