Thursday, May 06, 2010

Jaded Haven: "Screw you, we're from Texas"

Update Video: PJTV's Roger L. Simon hangs out with Tex. Gov. Rick Perry at Texas Motor Speedway. Gov. Perry is a political star: an effusive "people person" who keeps politics simple and packs heat when he jogs with his dog. You never know when you and your dog will be threatened by either a coyote or a Democrat. Governor Perry has already shot a coyote....


Texas: it's a profane state of mind?

Daphne's blogpost does capture a pervasive attitude amongst residents of this state, as vocalized by the great Ray Wylie Hubbard:

And thank God for it. With Barack and friends running amok in Washington, Daphne's and Ray Wylie's is exactly the sentiment which is needed. Texans are born to be defiant. Any Americans who want to defy Barack can be comforted that Texans will be right there beside em, and will be taunting that lightweight poseur in the Oval Office.

In 1835, when the Mexican Army demanded the surrender of a tiny cannon, residents of Gonzales, TX replied: "Come and take it!" They made a battle flag for the occasion.

Texas History:
Under the leadership of General Santa Anna, the government of Mexico was transformed into a military dictatorship (see the letter by S.F. Austin, p. 85, Texas and the Texans), ignoring the Constitution of 1824, which had cost many lives and had secured liberties not previously enjoyed by the people. The state of Coahuila did not cooperate with Santa Anna's plans, and the state of Zacatecas rebelled, but was brutally crushed by the military. One of Santa Anna's "reforms" was to reduce the number of the militia to one soldier for every five-hundred inhabitants, and to disarm the remainder. This arbitrary decree was a sufficient justification of Texas for her subsequent acts. [Historian H. Yoakum wrote the following in 1855:] "Every one who knows the Texans, or who has heard of them, would naturally conclude that they never would submit to be disarmed."
The eighteen men in Gonzales, willing and able to conduct an organized fight, removed all boats from the Guadalupe River, and hid the ferry in a bayou north of town. Next they captured the handful of Mexican soldiers waiting near town--but one man escaped, and rode hallooing back to Bexar.

Meanwhile, volunteers responding to the call to arms rushed to the scene, and the little Texan force of 18 mushroomed to 150 on September 30...167 on October 1.

Also at this time, Sara Seely DeWitt and her daughter Evaline made the flag, back then referred to as the Old Cannon Flag, now called the Come and Take It flag. Depicted on a white cloth was a cannon with a lone star above it, and the words "come and take it" beneath the cannon. It was Texas' first battle flag, and first lone star flag. [To my knowledge, it is also the only flag that indirectly equates arms to liberty, and that openly defies a tyrant's attempts at gun control. Ed.]

On October 1, 1835, Captain Francisco Castaneda arrived from San Antonio with something less than two hundred men. Ugartechea intended a show of force. Castaneda, blocked by the Guadalupe, demanded the ferry be restored, and the cannon handed over. There was some parleying, a demonstration by the Mexican cavalry near the town, and considerable yelling and taunting by the Texans, who dared the Mexicans to "come and take it!" echoing the words emblazoned on their newly created flag flying in the breeze.
The fog lifted suddenly as a curtain, showing both forces drawn up on an open prairie. With the Come and Take It flag flying, the Gonzales cannon fired, and Captain Castaneda immediately requested a parley, asking why he was being attacked.

Colonel Moore, commander of the Texans, explained that the Captain had demanded a cannon given to the Texans for 'the defense of themselves and the constitution and the laws of the country,' while he, Castaneda, 'was acting under orders of the tyrant Santa Anna, who had broken and trampled underfoot all the state and federal constitutions of Mexico, except that of Texas,' which last the Texans were prepared to defend.

Castaneda answered that 'he was himself a republican, as were two-thirds of the Mexican nation, but he was a professional officer of the government,' and while that government had indeed undergone certain surprising changes, it was the government, and the people of Texas were bound to submit to it.

Moore then suggested to the Captain, if he were a republican, he should join the revolution against tyranny by surrendering his command, and join them in the fight. Captain Castaneda replied stiffly that he would obey his orders. At this, Moore returned to his own lines and ordered the Texans to open fire. There was a brief skirmish, and the Mexican force immediately abandoned the field and rode back toward San Antonio.

Three hundred Spartans prepare for glory at Thermopylae:

Hollywood imagines the epic Molon Labe moment.



Paul_In_Houston said...

I have a suspicion that it's only an urban legend that "Your Honor: He NEEDED killin'" was ever successfully used as a defense in a Texas courtroom.

But, I confess to a certain sneaking admiration for the pragmatism of that outlook. :-)

gcotharn said...

Ya know ... maybe you could have pled that in front of the famously iconoclastic Judge Roy Bean. He would've understood what you were saying!

Paul_In_Houston said...

It's been a long while since I've seen it, but I remember John Milius' "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (Paul Newman in the title role), where you instantly knew a tall tale was about to unfold when a written prologue scrolled up the screen in the beginning, announcing (as near as I can recall)...

"1882 - It was desperate times; there was no law west of the Pecos River, and only bad men and rattlesnakes lived there
If this ain't the way it was, it's the way it should have been."

(Or, something like that;   you get the drift.)

Paul_In_Houston said...

Oh, and thanks for that link to Jaded Heaven. I've bookmarked it and will keep an eye on it.