Featured Image (above): This is the chapel at the Presidio La Bahia in Goliad, a fortress occupied by Col. James Fannin and his men before they lost the Battle of Coleto Creek, near Goliad, on March 19, 1836. Col. Fannin and other survivors were marched back to the presidio after the battle with the hope of parole to New Orleans. Santa Anna overrode the wishes of the general who defeated Fannin. On March 27, Palm Sunday, 1836, the colonel was executed in the chapel courtyard, almost directly beneath the statue of Our Lady of Loreto. At about the same time, the remainder of his men, almost 350 in all, marched out of the presidio believing that they were going to be released. All but a few were killed near the presidio. When the news reached New Orleans, Americans were even more outraged than they had been about the fall of the Alamo three weeks earlier. “Remember Goliad!” joined “Remember the Alamo!” as Texian battle cries at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. General Sam Houston’s army defeated the Mexican force under Santa Anna on that day, a victory that rapidly turned into a slaughter of Mexican soldiers.
This site began as a book page for The Edge of Freedom, A Fact-Based Novel of the Texas Revolution. It remains so in part, but in 2013 the author added a series of blog posts about issues and events in Texas history, with frequent reference to the ways in which the Texas “past” as felt by many Texans conflicts with the academic “history” of the state as researched and written by scholars. In Texas, probably more than in any other state, this conflict is really about the definition of what Texas is–and who Texans are.
The “Edge of Freedom” title refers to the ways in which freedom can reveal its sharp edges, its manifestations that literally “cut both ways.” On the one hand, it can be liberating, ennobling, fulfilling; but unrestrained, it can lead to prejudice, cruelty, and fractiousness. The Texas Revolution is a case study of zealous devotion to the idea of freedom (or liberty) and the chaos that comes from freedom unchecked. The novel The Edge of Freedom is essentially an extended, history-based exposition of the contradictions of freedom. The state of Texas in modern times embodies those same contradictions. This essay goes into detail about the cultural currents alive in Texas at the time of the Revolution.
After a hiatus, the author will begin contributing new posts in late 2017.
The most recent post is an essay by author published in the Southwest Review, a 100-year-old literary quarterly established in 1915. The essay is about the late writer John Graves, author of Goodbye to a River and Hard Scrabble, and the work of renowned author Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, and Horseman, Pass By, along with the collection of essays entitled In a Narrow Grave.
We also plan to follow up on some of the Texas State Historical Association’s Day by Day Archive of Texas History. These updates are extremely interesting in themselves, but many of them spur our curiosity to find out more about the events. And that is what we will try to do.
More on the way!
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