Originally established in 1721 along the banks of the Guadalupe river, Presidio La Bahia was moved to its present location along the banks of the San Antonio river in 1749. Since then it has been a critical location for worship, trade, protection, battle and commerce. The presidio has been taken and re-taken as Texas has earned its reputation as one of the most contested places in North America. Perhaps it’s best known as James Fannin’s headquarters before his ill-fated attempt to reach Victoria, resulting in the Goliad massacre. The chapel has hosted church services since 1749, and still does today. Fort, community center, and even graveyard, there are few places in Texas as historic as Presidio La Bahia. Join me as I interview site manager Scott McMahon and explore the Texas revolution at Presidio La Bahia.
James Fannin fancied himself an accomplished military commander. But in March of 1836 he had trouble deciding where and when to move. He finally headed for Victoria but decided to stop and feed his animals. Fannin didn’t realize how close the Mexican army was but he soon found out. Surrounded, without supplies, desperate, Fannin surrendered to Mexican General Urrea. The battleground where Fannin surrendered was the third historic site acquired by the State of Texas, right after the Alamo and San Jacinto. Enjoy learning what you can see at this sacred site from site manager Bryan McAuley with the Texas Historic Commission.
The twin sisters were two cannons graciously manufactured and donated to the cause of Texas liberty from the people of Cincinnati. They served Texas well at the Battle of San Jacinto and played a key role in Texas independence. You can see these great guns of liberty at….wait minute…no you can’t. We’ve lost them. Where could they be? Theories abound, but evidence is thin. Some say they are buried by a bayou in Houston. Some say they are in the bayou. Some say they’re in Austin somewhere. Some think they were sold for scrap. Nobody knows. Listen to the latest episode of Wise About Texas and form your own opinion, and maybe start your own search for two of the most important artifacts in Texas history…the Twin Sisters.
Old Washington, better known as Washington on the Brazos, began with a ferry crossing on the Brazos River along the La Bahia road. The convention of 1836 would cement Washington’s place in Texas history. In an unfinished building, donated to the convention for free, the Texians declared independence, elected a government and drafted a constitution. In this episode you’ll hear from Texas Historical Commission site manager Jonathan Failor as he describes what you can see and experience when you explore the Texas revolution at Washington on the Brazos.
The account of the Texas revolution makes for glorious telling, retelling and reading. It seemed that every man, woman and child in early Texas just couldn’t wait to rebel against the tyrannical Mexican government and win another glorious war for independence. Didn’t they? Well, not exactly. Just like the 13 American colonies, Texas had its tories too. Learn more about “differences of opinion” in revolutionary Texas in the latest episode of Wise About Texas
In the first days of 1836 revolution was brewing in Texas. The battle of Gonzales had spawned the Texian conquest of La Bahia and Bexar. The Texians were sure the Mexicans would soon see the wisdom of allowing the Texians their own government. The Indians, however, just saw opportunity. Depredations continued and the further up the Guadalupe river you lived, the more danger you faced. That danger reached Sarah Hibbens and her family. This wasn’t her first suffering at the hand of the indians and it wouldn’t be her last. But after a harrowing escape from the horror of captivity, she ran into a new force that would change the course of Indian/settler relations forever: The Texas Rangers. Captain Tumlinson and his men chased the Indians into the area that would later become the capital of the Republic of Texas. Hear the story of the first battle between Texas Rangers and Comanche Indians in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
The Flash was a schooner built in Connecticut for a new enterprise in Texas. She came to Texas in possession of James Morgan to support his new endeavor, a town and community called New Washington. But as war clouds gathered, Morgan mounted an 18 pounder on her foredeck and commissioned her Captain into the Texas Navy. From commerce to combat, rescuing refugees to carrying cannon, the Flash did it all during the Texas revolution. Her noble service ended quickly after her Captain was replaced with someone who apparently couldn’t find the largest harbor in Texas. The Flash carried some of the most important cargo in Texas history, presidents, cannon, even important groceries. Hear the story of the schooner Flash in this latest episode of Wise About Texas.