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The University of Texas at Austin

Exhibits

"To Whom Was This Sacrifice Useful?":
The Texas Revolution and the Narrative of José Enrique de la Peña

 

"...a rabble of wretched adventurers..."

To Texas Governor Antonio Martinez
Provincial Deputy Ambrosio María de Aldasoro to Texas Governor Antonio Martínez, Monterrey, January 17, 1821. Autograph letter signed, CN 10457, Béxar Archives.

 

 

...a rabble of wretched adventurers to whom our authorities have unwisely given benefits that even Mexicans did not enjoy...

--Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna,
from the José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

This official letter to Texas Governor Martínez relays permission for a group of "Missourians," including Moses Austin, to settle in Texas. The Austin Colony launched the movement of Anglo American settlers to Texas at a time of transition from Spanish to Mexican rule. This letter is part of the Béxar Archives, which contains more than 250,000 manuscript pages of official governmental records of the Spanish province of Texas and the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas from 1717 to 1836.

 

 

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Stephen F. Austin Map of Texas
Stephen F. Austin, Map of Texas With Parts of the Adjoining States Compiled by Stephen F. Austin. Philadelphia: H. S. Tanner,1835. J. P. Bryan Map Collection.


When Texas is populated and governed by good laws, it will be one of the most enviable places in the world, in which it doubtless will play a brilliant role.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

The 1835 edition of Austin's 1830 Map of Texas, the first map to show on a large scale the beginnings of immigration into Texas from the United States. This later edition depicts additional land grants and presents a section of text stating the number of families to be located on each grant shown on the map.

 

 


 

 

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Translation of the Laws
Stephen F. Austin, Translation of the Laws, Orders, and Contracts, on Colonization from January 21, 1821, Up to This Time... San Filipe [sic] de Austin, Texas: Printed by Godwin B. Cotten, November, 1829. CN 08405, Texas Collection Library.

 

 

 

 

 

Austin's contemporary account of the establishment of the first Anglo American settlement of Texas, with his English translations of the documents and laws relating to the founding of the colony, is the first book of more than twelve pages printed in Texas.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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Portrait of Stephen F. Austin
Portrait of Stephen F. Austin, by William Howard, 1833. Miniature watercolor portrait on ivory, James Perry Bryan Papers.

 

William Howard executed this watercolor of Stephen F. Austin in Mexico City in 1833, just before Austin's arrest in Saltillo in January 1834 on suspicion of trying to incite insurrection in Texas. It depicts Austin in his hunting costume with his dog Cano.

 

 

  


 
 

 

 

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Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos to Political Chief at Béxar, October 17, 1835
Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos to Political Chief at Béxar, October 17, 1835. Autograph letter signed, Béxar Archives.

 

The insults lavished upon the nation as represented by the customs officials and commanders of military detachments, the disregard for laws, and the attitudes with which the colonists looked upon those who had given them a country were more than sufficient causes to justify war on our part.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

General Cos's letter calls upon the citizenry of Béxar to rally to the defense of San Antonio against the "rebel colonists" shortly before the Texan siege of the city. 


 




 

 

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Portrait of General Cos, possibly after William H. Croome, ca. 1848, in John Frost, Pictorial History of Mexico and the Mexican War
Portrait of General Cos, possibly after William H. Croome, ca. 1848, in JohnFrost, Pictorial History of Mexico and the Mexican War. ...Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1869. Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

 

General Cos had been hemmed in at Béjar... with a small garrison and in need of both munitions and foodstuff... he was compelled to capitulate on the 10th of December 1835.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

Sent to suppress the Texan rebellion, General Cos was forced to surrender the city of San Antonio in December, 1835.

 

  


 

 

 

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List of the men under the Command of Col. J. W. Fannin,  at Goliad in March 1836.
Joseph Henry Barnard, "List of the men under the Command of Col. J. W. Fannin, at Goliad in March 1836. Corrected from the list published in the 'Telegraph' of Nov. 9th 1836.” Autograph document, Joseph Henry Barnard Papers.

 

...the brutal execution at Goliad, as unnecessary as it was censurable... so greatly tarnished the noble cause we were defending.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

Barnard's list of Texan soldiers killed or wounded at Goliad. A surgeon in James W. Fannin's command, Dr. Barnard was spared during the massacre so that he could treat wounded Mexican soldiers.

 

 

 
 

  

 
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Copia de un apunte suelto de la campaña de Tejas, que principia en 18 de marzo de 1836 Nicolás de la Portilla, "Copia de un apunte suelto de la campaña de Tejas, que principia en 18 de marzo de 1836...." Autograph document, José Enrique de la Peña Collection. 

 

 

 

 

Lt. Col. Nicolás de la Portilla presided over the garrison at Goliad when Santa Anna ordered the mass execution of prisoners there. Portilla's notes were lost and, thus, were never incorporated into the Mexican army's general report on the Texas campaign.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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