The Anglo population came to New Spain in the early 19th Century for freedom and land. They had to swear allegiance to the Spanish king and convert to Catholicism.
Some of them brought with them African slaves. Some of them acquired slaves from the Caribbean Islands.
The people of Mexico rebelled and set up their own government in 1821. Mexico at first continued to allow Anglos to settle in Texas and bring with them slaves. However, slavery was an issue with Mexicans from the beginning. By 1827, a census showed there were 443 people of African descent. In 1826, Mexico combined the state of Coahuila with Texas to form the state of Coahuila y Tejas. In the 1827, legislature of Coahuila y Tejas outlawed slavery.
That was the beginning of strife between people of Texas and Mexico. Don’t let the Hollywood movies tell you otherwise. The big issue was slavery.
William Barret Travis made his reputation defending slave owners in Texas. Hollywood’s superhero, James “Jim” Bowie acquired his wealth smuggling slaves out of the Caribbean into Louisiana. He was almost caught, but he escaped by moving into Texas.
The Anglo Texans were not happy. It began with small skirmishes and finally all-out war in 1836.
The Mexican President Santa Anna was captured near Houston. As a captive, he signed a treaty with the Texans to give them all the land to the Rio Grande.
Mind you, the original southern boundary of Texas was the Nueces River which was just north of Corpus Christi. Some say Santa Anna was forced to sign the document. That evidence is hard to refute.
After a war with Mexico, the United States paid Mexico $10 million in gold for all the lands to the Rio Grande and west to the Pacific. It was a land grab.
During the war, the U.S. Army found a wooden leg left of General Santa Anna near Vera Cruz. Today, that leg sits in a roadside museum in Illinois. It was a war trophy.
Since we know that slavery was both illegal and immoral, why don’t American think about it and show their appreciation by returning Santa Anna’s leg? Mexico has asked for it to be returned.
Incidentally, Santa Ana is considered a national hero. He was an army officer and twice president of Mexico. Forget Hollywood! There was nothing illegal about what he did. The Anglos were on the illegal and immoral side. So, come on, send the leg back to Mexico.
This bring up the current controversy of whether to continue to tolerate the statues of Texans who supported slavery. Slavery was wrong! They fought to preserve something that was patently wrong. The statutes and monuments should be peacefully removed.
Texas Doesn’t want it’s youth to know about slavery
Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis. By William C. David, 1998.
The Alamo: An Illustrated History, by George Nelson. First Edition, 1997, In his book, Nelson explained that the Alamo was once a holding pit for negro slaves. The book quotes an article in the San Antonio Express in 1917 a witness related that the Alamo was used to hold slaves for market.
“There some … outside steps which led to the center of the building to the second floor. The step ended in a platform. That platform was one of old slave markets where Negroes were put up for auction. A stout, hardy Negro brought anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. The thin ones were not rated so high. Men brought bigger prices than woman and boys because they could pick more cotton.”
I had a long conversation with Nelson and he explained where the Alamo acquired its famous bell-shaped parapet. It came from the convento (monastery) at Mission San Jose, south of downtown San Antonio. There were no photographs of either the mission or the Alamo during this period, but clearly drawing show the parapet there and then it was missing.