Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Interesting facts about Texas

 I'm in the middle of a series called Bluebonnet Brides which takes place in Texas around 1874. Like most good writers, I find myself doing lots of research about the culture, the history, and the people of Texas.

We all know that Texas or Tejas was part of the Mexican state of Coahula y Tejas, often referred to as Mexican Texas. Americans first filed in to settle the land. Remember "Go West". People were often land poor. Farmers planted cotton which depleted the soil of nutrients if planted without crop rotation. The other draw to Tejas were horses.

 Equines rounded up, broken, and sold could often build a man's pocketbook or bank account quickly. But horses were also a commodity that the Mexican's wanted. They frowned upon the American's crossing the rivers to take the horses and selling them once they got back to the US side. Thus tensions were high.

Mexican leaders demanded that American settlers sign an agreement to stay for a certain length of time before their land would be handed over. Needless to say, things did not go well. American's wanted their own government with laws similar to those left in the United States and not those decided in Spain or in Mexico City.

So the government of Texas set out on it's growing pains. It declared it's independence from Mexico in 1835 to 1836 in a Revolution that brought about three major battles, Gonzales, San Jacinto, and the most famous the Alamo. While they finally got their victory with the capture of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican Congress did not recognize the Independence of the Texans because the general was a prisoner and signed the articles of surrender under duress.  

Eventually, the Republic was formed in March of 1836. As it's own country, Texas flew a flag with one star on a blue field. While trying to stand on its feet, Mexico considered it a hostile province. The Native Americans who were being pushed off the land were fighting back. Besieged, Texas nearly didn't make it.

In wasn't until 1845, that it was annexed to the United States to become the 28th state. Negotiations gave Texas it's borders. Yet tensions still remained and those were not settled until the Mexican American War 1846 to 1848. Twist of fate here, both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant served in the Mexican American War. We all know that they would later face off in America's Civil War.

The Compromise of 1850 gave Texas two unique clauses. First, four additional states can be divide from its borders. Second, Texas didn't have to give up its public lands. In other words, if the U.S. government wished to purchase lands from Texas, they had to pay. So all those oil wells and leases off shore belong to Texas. These monies are used to fund colleges in the state.

So in Texas, when they say "dream big" they mean it. 

Happy reading,


1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Love this, Nan! So much history and information without me having to crack open a book, lol. Thank you so much!