Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview

chapter 8
Same Story -- Different Ending

THE REACTION of the majority of settlers was clearly against Travis' taking of the garrison at Anahuac. In his Journal, Ammon Underwood described the fears of many Texans as well as anyone living at the time. He wrote that

...much of the Community in this section of the Country are highly excited against the conduct of the party and the course of those few, who were the leaders of the expedition, on account of the threatening aspect of the government against the Colonies, as they have been preparing for some time an expedition against us....1

Mrs. Dilue Harris, another contemporary, attributed the lack of approval to the older citizens who, because they "had families with all they possessed in Texas, wished rather to pay duties to Mexico than to fight."2 Another group, the land speculators, feared an upset in the status quo might invalidate their land titles. Still others felt that Travis had acted without proper authorization. An unidentified writer, whose notes are included in the Lamar Papers, went so far as to assert that he received

...an express from the authorities at San Fillipe [sic] countermanding what had been ordered; but...refused to obey the countermand, and proceded on to reduction of the place.3

Travis and no one else, as far as I can discover, mentioned such a countermanding order. If it was as informal as his original "orders," which were actually in the form of a resolution adopted by the meeting at San Felipe, then who is to say that they were binding upon him in the same way as military orders? It will also be remembered that Travis, in his letter quoted above, wrote that certain friends at Anahuac had only "invited" him to seize

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