I travelled to Texas Revolutionary sites this week. In Gonzales, Texas, home of the “Come and Take It” cannon, the Guadalupe River meets the San Marcos River and here is where Mexican soldados met Texan settlers for the first significant fight in the Texian War for Independence. In 1835 the Mexican authorities came to the tiny settlement to reclaim the cannon that had been left to defend the village from Indian attacks. The Texians refused to be left defenseless and determined not to hand over the cannon. The conflict over the cannon eventually forced a violent confrontation between the armed Anglos and the Mexican army. The recalcitrant Texan rebels taunted the Mexican soldados to “Come and Take it.” The Texans repulsed the Mexican assault and forced the soldados to retreat. Perhaps the moral of the story is don’t try to take a Texan’s gun away–just try to “Come and Take It.” But more likely the story is about natural resources, geography, and environment. Here at Gonzales, Texas two beautiful spring fed rivers come together cooling the hot dry land and giving life to South Texas. And this is where the two opposing forces of colonialism met on the banks of the cold clear river. Texans hungry for land had settled at a veritable oasis in South Texas and the Mexican authorities were not willing to give up that land to the Anglos.
One of my favorite albums about Texas revolutionary history is Asleep at the Wheel’s Asleep At The Wheel Remembers The Alamo. The Wheel even plays the hauntingly beautiful tune of “Deguello,” which is the song General Santa Ana played to indicate no quarter to the Alamo renegades.