The Alamo Essay Research Paper

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The Alamo Essay, Research Paper “To the people of Texas and all Americans in the World: I shall never surrender or retreat … I Am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what it is due to his honor and that of his country-VICTORY OR DEATH.” This was a letter sent by William Barret Travis during the siege of the Alamo on February 24, 1836. It was a cry for help to anybody and everybody willing to listen. It all started in 1830 with Stephen Austin, a leader of American pioneers in the wild, living in Texas, under the rule of the Mexican government, who had solved two major problems that the settlers had with the government. The colonist were now allowed to keep slaves in Texas, even though no other areas under Mexican rule

owned slaves and the second was the government made sure that Texans would be protected by the Mexican government from suits to collect debts that they had contracted in the United States before their immigration to Texas. All over the South were signs on bankrupt homes homes saying “Gone to Texas” were they did not have to pay off their debts (Downey 42). Austin and his followers were very hot tempered and ready to start up with any government that they disliked. They soon found a chance to stir up trouble under the changeable Mexican rule. Mexican authorities began to worry that too many Americans were coming into their country. About thirty thousand settlers came to Texas in a ten year span after Austin had established his settlement. The Mexican government under the

urging of President Bustamante made harsh laws against arrival of new immigrants into Texas in 1830. Trade was also restricted with America. All borders were closed to newcomers but the Louisiana border could not be patrolled and settlers continued to arrive in Texas. American settlers were put into jail for the ruckus they caused due to these new laws, among them was Stephen Austin. On July 1833 Austin traveled to Mexico City to plead the cause of the colonists. The colonists wanted to obtain full Mexican statehood and have total control over themselves. Mexican officials would not listen to the Texans. On his way home Austin was arrested for treason on January 3, 1834. The government had intercepted a letter from Austin that said that if his appeal had failed the Texans should

establish themselves as a separate state of Mexico. He was jailed for eighteen months. The Texans protested and soldiers were sent to control the mobs. After the release of Austin on September 1, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna had been elected President of Mexico. In the fall of 1835 Santa Anna had sent more troops, under the leadership of his brother in law General Martin Cos, to Texas in order to enforce the immigration laws. Austin and some soldiers had surrounded settlements in Mexican territory and were considered by the government to be rebels. Mexico had no choice but to attempt to use military forces. Thirty thousand Texans were willing to fight against a nation of seven million. They did not receive any government aid from the United States but sympathetic Southern states

secretly sent troops. The war began with battle of “the Lexington of the Texas revolution” (Downey 46) taken place on October 2, 1835. This little battle consisted of one hundred Mexican troops sent to Gonzales, a town east of San Antonio, to order the settlers to surrender their only cannon. The soldiers said “come and take it” (Fisher 26) and eventually they killed one Mexican soldier. The war had begun. More and more Texans answered the call to arms such as Ben Milan a soldier of the War of 1812, James Bowie who was know for his knife, Sam Houston and Stalwart Davy Crockett both former soldiers and congressmen. And the name that would lead them all Wiiliam Barret Travis. October 9, 1835 Ben Milan led an attack at Goliad. The Mexicans were surprised and surrendered to