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Exhibits

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

 

"Never has General Santa Anna performed a more contemptable deed...."

 

Color lithograph of Gen. Vicente Filisola, in Héroes que proclamaron la independencia

 

 

 

 

 

Color lithograph of Gen. Vicente Filisola, in Héroes que proclamaron la independencia. Paris: Thierry frères, [n.d.]. Genaro García Collection, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

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Memorias para la historia de la guerra de Tejas...
Vicente Filisola, Memorias para la historia de la guerra de Tejas. Vol. 1. México: R. Rafael, 1848–49. CN 10460, Texas Collection Library.

It would be very easy for me to demolish General Filisola's manifesto, did I not know that all his assertions contradict each other. . . . Filisola is more to be pitied than hated.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

Despite having carried out the ignominious withdrawal of Mexican forces from Texas, Filisola vindicated his actions in his own memoirs of the Texas campaign. General Filisola later commanded a division during the Mexican War.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 


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Commentary on General Filisola's memoirs of the Texas campaign
Commentary on General Filisola's memoirs of the Texas campaign (undated fragment). Autograph document, José Enrique de la Peña Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

In the flurry of recriminations and self-justifications following the Mexican military disaster in Texas, the finger of blame pointed mostly at generals Santa Anna and Filisola. This writer (possibly Peña himself) refutes Filisola's memoirs point by point in defense of General Urrea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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José Urrea, Diario de las operaciones militares de la división que al mando del General José Urrea hizo la campaña de Tejas
José Urrea, Diario de las operaciones militares de la división que al mando del General José Urrea hizo la campaña de Tejas. Victoria de Durango, 1838. Texas Collection Library.

General Urrea . . . gained the esteem of the majority of the army but at the same time revived the jealousies of [Santa Anna] and the other generals: "Urrea does everything," they would cry out, "he alone has the glory, while we just sit watching his victories."

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

General Urrea was the most vocal opponent of the withdrawal of Mexican troops from Texas following Santa Anna's capture. Urrea published his account of the Texas campaign in 1838, "with some observations to vindicate himself before his fellow citizens."

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Signature Page, Secret Treaty of Velasco
Signature page, Secret Treaty of Velasco, May 14, 1836. Autograph document signed, Paul C. Crusemann Collection.

 

Never has General Santa Anna performed a more contemptible deed among the many that he has committed during his political career than in selling out his country by relinquishing Texas' delightful territory. . . .

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

Two treaties were signed by Texas President David G. Burnet and General Santa Anna on May 14, 1836, following the Mexican army's defeat at San Jacinto. The "secret" version promised Santa Anna's immediate freedom with certain qualifications. Neither the public nor the secret treaty was ever honored by Texas or Mexico.

 

 

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Antonio López de Santa Anna, Manifiesto que de sus operaciones en la campaña de Tejas y en su cautiverio dirige a sus conciudadanos
Antonio López de Santa Anna, Manifiesto que de sus operaciones en la campaña de Tejas y en su cautiverio dirige a sus conciudadanos. . . . Veracruz, 1837. Texas Collection Library.

General Santa Anna . . . was more renowned for the success with which he stirred up rebellions that tended to destroy his homeland than for his military feats. . . .

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

Following the loss of Texas and his release from captivity, Santa Anna published his own justification of the Texas campaign and of his conduct while being held prisoner.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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“Equestrian Portrait of General Santa Anna"
“Equestrian Portrait of General Santa Anna,” engraved by W. H. Dodd [n. d.]. Hand-tinted engraving, Prints and Photographs Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Anna was the central figure in the history of the early Mexican Republic. Vain and powerful, the self-styled "Napoleon of the West" became an object of both hatred and fascination in the United States.

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Antonio López de Santa Anna, Las guerras de México con Tejas y los Estados Unidos
Antonio López de Santa Anna, Las guerras de México con Tejas y los Estados Unidos. México: Vda. de Ch. Bouret, 1910. Texas Collection Library.

General Santa Anna . . . displayed the most unfortunate ideas regarding Texas, expressing in the strongest way his opinion that it should be razed to the ground, so that this immense desert, he said, might serve as a wall between Mexico and the United States.

--José Enrique de la Peña Narrative

 

Santa Anna was alternately hero and villain throughout his career. In 1836 he was the villain who lost Texas; in 1848 he was the heroic commander who defended Mexican soil, only to give up a major portion of national territory in the peace treaty. In this publication, Santa Anna gives his own perspective on Mexico's two great wars with Texas and the United States.

 

 
 

 

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