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  • History Friday: The English Visitor

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 21st September 2012 (All posts by )

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

    The English visitor, a lawyer and pamphleteer named Nicholas Doran Maillard landed up in Texas early in 1840, when the Republic of Texas had just achieved four years of perilous existence . . . and inadvertently provided the means for an exception to Humbert Wolfe’s stinging epigram. In that year, Texas was perennially cash-broke but land rich, somewhat quarrelsome, and continually scourged by Comanche depredations from the north and west, and the threat of re-occupation by Mexico from the south, Texans had first seen immediate annexation by the United States as their sure and certain refuge. But alas, that slavery was permitted and practiced within Texas – so annexation was blocked by abolitionists.

    This left the Republic seeking recognition and even strong allies elsewhere, namely with France and Britain – neither of whom particularly approved of the ‘peculiar institution’ but were more than willing to play the great game of international politics, especially if a foothold on the North American continent might come out of it. Both England and France eventually recognized the independent Republic; Sam Houston cannily referred to it all as a flirtation, in order to reinforce the relationship with the United States.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Diversions, History, War and Peace | 6 Comments »

    An Old Mission Church, Half Tumbled Down

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 23rd February 2012 (All posts by )

    On this day, 176 years ago, the army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered San Antonio de Bexar and laid siege to the Alamo, raising the flag of ‘no quarter’ from the top of the highest building in town, the original church of San Fernando … Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, History, North America, War and Peace | 3 Comments »