Alamo

Alamo, the

the Alamo (ăl´əmō´) [Span.,=cottonwood], building in San Antonio, Tex., "the cradle of Texas liberty." Built as a chapel after 1744, it is all that remains of the mission of San Antonio de Valero, which was founded in 1718 by Franciscans and later converted into a fortress. In the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was taken by Texas revolutionaries in Dec., 1835, and was lightly garrisoned. When Mexican General Santa Anna approached with an army of several thousand in Feb., 1836, only some 150 men held the Alamo, and confusion, indifference, and bickering among insurgents throughout Texas prevented help from joining them, except for 32 volunteers from Gonzales who slipped through the Mexican siege lines. Defying surrender demands, the Texans in the fort determined to fight. The siege, which began Feb. 24, ended with hand-to-hand fighting within the walls on Mar. 6. William B. Travis, James Bowie, Davy Crockett, and some 180 other defenders died, but the heroic resistance roused fighting anger among Texans, who six weeks later defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, crying, "Remember the Alamo!" The chapel-fort became a state preserve in 1883. Its surroundings were added in 1905, and the complex, restored in 1936–39, is now a major tourist attraction.

See A. G. Adair and M. H. Crockett, ed., Heroes of the Alamo (2d ed. 1957); Lon Tinkle, 13 Days to Glory (1958); W. Lord, A Time to Stand (1961); W. C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (1998); R. Roberts and J. S. Olson, A Line in the Sand (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, September 30, 1835 to April 21, 1836: Heroes, Myths, and History
Albert A. Nofi.
Da Capo Press, 1994
The Alamo
John Myers Myers.
University of Nebraska Press, 1973
Inherit the Alamo: Myth and Ritual at An American Shrine
Holly Beachley Brear.
University of Texas Press, 1995
Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis
Virgil E. Baugh.
University of Nebraska Press, 1985
The Texas Military Experience: From the Texas Revolution through World War II
Joseph G. Dawson III.
Texas A&M University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Alamo as Icon"
Bravos of the West
John Myers Myers.
University of Nebraska Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 26 "The Gathering of Blades at the Alamo"
Texas, a Modern History
David G. McComb.
University of Texas Press, 2010 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of the Alamo begins on p. 41
FREE! Texas and the Mexican War: A Chronicle of the Winning of the Southwest
Nathaniel W. Stephenson.
Yale Unviersity Press, 1921
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Texas Secedes"
War and American Popular Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia
M. Paul Holsinger.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Texas Revolution and the War with Mexico, 1836-1848"
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