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Why the Confederacy Still Matters

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The Big Picture:  Federalism vs. Centralization

Texas Flags

by Paul A. Hughes

The path to the Confederacy, bred of republican Federalism, passed through Mexico to Texas, where the future of Federalism might still lie.

On September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla stood on the steps of his church in Dolores, Mexico, and uttered the “Grito” (“cry”) of independence from colonial Spain.  Hidalgo was a Francophile, steeped in the same ideals of democratic freedom that helped inspire the American Revolution.  For too long, he had watched his native and mestizo parishioners neglected and abused by a far-off, centralized government that did not represent them or their interests.  Rather, the Spaniards and native-born criollos in central Mexico maintained the masses as a permanent under-class to serve their own interests.  A revolutionary army formed almost instantly behind Hidalgo which soon threatened Mexico City, but which was ultimately defeated by government troops in a series of setbacks and betrayals.  Hidalgo’s head and those of leaders Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, and José Mariano Jiménez were displayed in cages hanging from the corners of a public building in Guanajuato for ten years, a reminder to passersby of the fruits of revolution.  Hidalgo’s cry is still echoed throughout Mexico each Independence Day.

El Grito de Independencia en 1810

El Grito de Independencia en 1810

Independence from Spain would not be realized until 1821.  Threatened by Napoleon, Spain had enacted a new, liberal Constitution in 1812 which granted New Spain (Mexico) seven representatives in government, plus Freedom of the Press and revocation of special privileges for Catholic clergy and the military.  However, the new Constitution was almost immediately set aside by the Spanish viceroy, Francisco Javier Venegas, on the premise that Hidalgo’s insurgency, which was being continued by José María Morelos, justified emergency measures.  Fernando VII of Spain, released from Napoleon’s custody in 1814, abolished the Spanish Constitution and enacted policies which caused such widespread reaction that he began to entertain forsaking Spain for a new empire in Mexico.  An apparent resurgence of liberalism in Spain encouraged conservative Centralists in Mexico to now consider the advantages of independence.  If they remained loyal to Fernando and the Church, they reasoned, there was no treason.  (Still Fernando never arrived.)  At this fortuitous juncture, Agustín de Iturbide, an ambitious army officer who had defeated Morelos, conspired with Vicente Guerrero, another of Hidalgo’s successors, in a coup d’état against the viceroy.  Supported by 6,000 troops under Gen. Anastasio Bustamante, Iturbide and Guerrero laid out the Iguala Plan, which led to the de facto independence of Mexico.

Unfortunately, Iturbide followed Napoleon’s example and set himself up to be Emperor; but soon he exhausted his personal capital with both government officials and the army, who were not getting paid.  Seizing this opportunity, Iturbide’s former protégé, Antonio López de Santa Anna, joined with yet another Hidalgo successor, Guadalupe Victoria, in a counter-coup, leading to Iturbide’s abdication and Santa Anna’s aggrandizement.

By 1823, sentiments of the upper classes swayed again toward republicanism.  The new government enacted the democratic Constitution of 1824, based largely on the principles of the U.S. Constitution.  It set up a federal system in which power was shared with 19 states and four territories.  The document, written by Don Miguel Ramos Arizpe, reflected his strong Federalist, self-rule sentiments and those of the northern states, including Texas.

Shortly before this time, Mexico’s northeastern frontier known as Texas remained an untamed wilderness, populated by Karankawa, Tonkawa, Attacapa, and Hasinai tribes near the coast, Caddos and Comanches inland, and Apaches in the Hill Country.  French traders, Spanish missionaries, and a few shipwrecked sailors had been the main points of contact by Europeans with these tribes (some rumored to be cannibals).  Spain had long sought to establish the region as a buffer zone between itself and French Louisiana, and later with the United States.  They had imported Canary Islanders into San Antonio, but were never truly successful at settling the region.

Spanish North America Map

Spanish North America

This void presented a window of opportunity, especially after Mexican independence.  Parts of the Alabama and Coushatta tribes from the east established themselves on the lower Trinity River, and by 1819 Virginia native Aaron Cherry had claimed land nearby for a plantation.  A contingent of Cherokee settled further north.  In 1821, Stephen F. Austin was granted an empresario contract to establish 300 farming families west of present-day Houston.  Irish immigrants, preferred by Mexico because they were also Catholic, established coastal colonies in San Patricio and the vicinity of Aransas Pass, while other colonies were placed further inland.  The Imperial colonization Act of 1823, enacted under Iturbide, granted 4,428 acres each to immigrant families with livestock, for a nominal fee.  Later, the National Colonization Act of 1827 continued these liberal policies but prohibited colonization within a buffer zone of 20 leagues (52 miles) of the U.S. border.  Soon plantations were staked out and land placed under cultivation all along the lower Trinity (known as the Atascosito administrative district, from the name of an early Spanish outpost near present-day Liberty).

American immigrants took great pains to present themselves as loyal citizens of Mexico.  They formally converted to Catholicism, as required, and kept the peace.  In 1826, citizens of Austin’s colony and settlers from Atascosito escorted Mexican political chief, Col. Mateo Ahumada, under arms, to put down the abortive Fredonian Rebellion in Nacogdoches.

However, settlers in Atascosito began to realize their need for organization in order to enforce the peace within their district.  Moreover, their land grants had yet to be confirmed by the Mexican government, as did the contracts of some empresarios down the coast.  According to law, settlers were entitled to have their land surveyed by the Mexican land commissioner, their titles confirmed, and a township established as their seat of government (ayuntamiento).  Juan Antonio Padilla, the secretary of state, was appointed general land commissioner for Texas.  He had just begun his work when he was accused of embezzlement and murder, and arrested (later exonerated), probably out of political retribution.  Padilla was replaced by José Francisco Madero (great-grandfather of future president Francisco Madero).

Military authorities, as an arm of the Centralist power structure, had become suspicious of Norteamericanos, and began to interfere with Federalist state authorities.  In 1828, Gen. Manuel de Mier y Terán was commissioned to assess the situation in Texas, and was alarmed by the vitality of the Anglo-Saxon settlers, the sajones, who had cultivated more land than Hispanic settlers, then numbering a scant three to four thousand, had in 300 years.  In 1829, then president Guerrero, himself part African, tried to discourage new settlement by outlawing slavery.  Gen. Bustamante seized the presidency in 1829 and enacted a strict new colonization law the next year, sending Gen. Terán with troops to enforce it.  Madero and his surveyor, José María Jesús Carbajal, were arrested by John Davis Bradburn.  The latter had been newly dispatched by Gen. Terán to establish a fort and garrison at Anahuac on Trinity Bay, and another at Velasco on the Brazos.  An Irishman born in Kentucky, Bradburn nevertheless served the interests of the Centralist military and president.

Map of Liberty County, 1895

Map of Liberty County, 1895

Interpreting Terán’s orders and the new law, Bradburn insisted that the citizens, and Madero, were in violation of the law, which prohibited new American settlement and gave all authority to act on land titles to himself.  Madero maintained that the new law did not apply to land or persons settled under previous laws.  An order to release the men was issued by the political chief at San Antonio, Antonio Elosúa.  Thereafter, Madero proceeded, during a brief period in 1831, to confirm up to 60 land titles and establish a town site straddling the Trinity River, near the crossroads at the old Atascosito outpost.  He named it, “Villa de la Santissima Trinidad de la Libertad.”  Madero laid out its streets and named them after heroes of democracy, including Socrates, Demosthenes, Cicero, and Cincinnatus, current Hispanic liberator Simón Bolívar, and recent revolutionary martyrs including Hidalgo, Morelos, Allende, and Jiménez.  (Now known simply as Liberty, the town later renamed many of its streets after heroes of the Texas Revolution, even including Santa Anna and his brother-in-law, Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos.  Liberty proudly remarked its streets with their original names for the Sesquicentennial of Texas Independence in 1986, which markers remain to this day.)

Liberty Street Markers, Sinsinato and Hidalgo

Liberty Street Markers, Sinsinato and Hidalgo

Gen. Terán ordered Bradburn to demolish the town, such as it was, though apparently this was never attempted.  The new law further placed high tariffs on imported goods.  A customs house was established on Galveston.  Authorities attempted to assess tariffs on ships already arrived within Brazos River ports, and captains complained bitterly about ex post facto laws.  Citizens were accused of smuggling.  Worse, citizens of various locales organized militias, prohibited under Mexican law, which were claimed by some to be meant merely to guard against Indian raids.  Bradburn arrested Patrick C. Jack and his law partner, William Barret Travis, Jack having been chosen captain of the Anahuac militia.  Militia groups from as far away as San Augustine and Austin’s colony mobilized to march upon the fort.  A group of militia from Austin’s colony, joined by several ready men from Liberty, purportedly numbering at least 130, made camp north of Anahuac, near Turtle Bayou.  Encountering cavalry dispatched by Bradburn as a show of force, they managed to capture and hold hostage all 19 troopers.  This action led to skirmishes at Anahuac and at Velasco, both Anglo victories.  At Velasco the first blood of what became the Texas Revolution was shed.

Meanwhile, a committee drafted a list of grievances, which reads like the Declaration of Independence and became known as the Turtle Bayou Resolutions.  These were further presented, in true Hispanic style, as a pronunciamento denouncing President Bustamante and declaring for the Constitution of 1824 and Santa Anna, who at that time was known as a liberator and Bustamante’s rival.  “This had the effect of taking their actions out of the realm of rebellion,” wrote one historian, “and placing themselves in the main stream of revolutionary activities going on throughout all of Mexico.”*  It was a master stroke.  An agreement was reached with Bradburn’s superior, Col. José de las Piedras, prisoners were released, and the settlers returned home in peace.  Gen. Terán, however, wrote to Lucas Alamán, “How could we expect to hold Texas when we do not even agree among ourselves?”  He concluded, “The revolution is about to break forth and Texas is lost.”  To add to his troubles, Mexican Federalists dealt a defeat to government forces in Matamoros.  Ill and despondent, on July 3, 1832, Terán donned his dress uniform, entered the church in Padilla, Tamaulipas, and fell on his sword.

Representatives from the various colonies and districts convened in October 1832, and again in January 1833, to discuss grievances and reforms.  The 1833 convention commissioned Stephen Austin to carry their proposals to the government in Mexico City.  Most objectionable to the Centralists was the proposal to separate Texas from Coahuila and form its own state government, which had heretofore been combined under the Constitution of 1824 (with Texas as a subordinate Department).  Unable to get results, Austin presently wrote a letter instructing local officials back home to go ahead and form a government.  This was intercepted, and Austin arrested.  He languished in a prison of the Inquisition for 18 months, without trial, before being released in a general amnesty, upon the ascension of Santa Anna to the presidency.  Austin’s health was never the same.

Stephen F. Austin with Dog

Stephen F. Austin with Dog

Soon Santa Anna issued his Plan of Cuernavaca, which repealed liberal reforms and enforced a Centralist government.  In April, 1835, a faction of the Coahuila government declared against the Plan.  Newly-elected governor, Agustín Viesca, called out the militia, intent on removing the capital to San Antonio.  Efforts to do so were hindered by troops under Gen. Cos, and Viesca was arrested.  Thus Federalism in Coahuila was stymied.

Events in Texas moved quickly.  In July 1834, Capt. Manuel Sabriego was dispatched from the old stone fort at Goliad to the town of Refugio, in the Aransas colony, with orders to displace settlers from the old Spanish mission and convert it to military barracks.  June 1835, Anahuac merchant Andrew Briscoe was arrested for violating tariff laws by bartering, prompting William Barret Travis to raise 25 volunteers and take the fort there, site of his previous confinement.  Its garrison was forced to agree to evacuate Texas.  Santa Anna sent Gen. Cos with several hundred troops to investigate, which landed on the coast south of Goliad in September.  Santa Anna’s brother-in-law had orders to arrest Travis and other instigators and discourage any settlers who arrived after the 1830 colonization law.  First stationing troops at San Antonio, Cos sent a detachment of cavalry to Gonzales, the most northwesterly Anglo settlement, to retrieve a small cannon previously granted to them for defense.  Indeed, the cannon was once used to frighten off a Comanche raiding party.  October 2, displaying a flag emblazoned with a cannon and the words, “Come and Take It,” the citizens of Gonzales forced the troopers to back down.  October 9, colonists from Matagorda and Victoria mobilized, along with 30 mounted rancheros, and captured the fort at Goliad by subterfuge.  November 4, colonists took Fort Lipantitlán, southwest of Goliad, inflicting 28 casualties without a loss of their own, and but one injury.  John Linn recognized a friend among the wounded, Lt. Marcelino Garcia, who denounced Santa Anna before he died.  The next morning, the same colonists encountered deposed governor Viesca, who had escaped confinement, headed to Goliad with an armed escort.

Meanwhile, Texans convened a Consultation at Columbia, many delegates still hoping to resolve differences with Mexico City.  Yet on November 7, the Consultation voted 33 to 14 to organize a government, under the stipulations of the Constitution of 1824.  At the same time, they declared Santa Anna to have already alienated any allegiance owed to him.

The Alamo in 1854

The Alamo in 1854

Several hundred Texan volunteers proceeded to San Antonio.  Their first skirmish took place at nearby Misión Concepción, in which the same Andrew Briscoe previously jailed in Anahuac, and freed by Travis, led a detachment of Liberty volunteers.  The Texans besieged Cos’s superior force for some weeks, finally fighting from house to house to capture the town, ultimately forcing the capitulation of the old mission known as San Antonio de Valero de los Alamos, the Alamo, on December 9.  From Gen. Cos was exacted the promise to march his remaining forces out of Texas, permanently.

By February 1836, Santa Anna crossed into Texas with his army.  He had come by way of Zacatecas, where he had defeated a well-armed Federalist militia of 3,000 and allowed his army to sack the town, raping and murdering, causing the deaths of 2,000 non-combatants.  A second army under Gen. José de Urrea, numbering 1,100, came by the coastal route, heading for Goliad by way of the Anglo settlements at San Patricio and Refugio.  The rest of the story is better known.  Santa Anna had learned from Bustamante the doctrine that all prisoners should be shot, and all combatants at the Alamo were slaughtered.  Santa Anna ordered Urrea to do the same with about 400 rebel prisoners at Goliad.  Afterward, Santa Anna led a “flying” force after Sam Houston’s army, to meet its fate at San Jacinto, while Urrea continued up the coast as far as Brazoria.

Goliad Fort and Chapel

Goliad Fort and Chapel

The public in the United States watched these events with increasing interest and enthusiasm.  The citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio, donated two matching cannon, dubbed thereafter the “Twin Sisters,” which were the two cannon used by Texans in their victory at San Jacinto on April 21.  One manufacturer of weapons, which produced a short model fighting sword for the U.S. military, provided a Texas version.  One of these was reported found on the San Jacinto battleground by a construction worker about 1936, and was more recently featured on the PBS program, “Antiques Roadshow.”

Historians and pundits have since speculated that some later-arriving settlers, namely Sam Houston, had come on a mission to steal Texas from Mexico and hand it over to the United States, perhaps on President Jackson’s secret orders.  Certainly there were those Anglos who longed for incorporation into their native country, if only for preservation of their accustomed rights as free citizens.  (Americans maintained a concept of basic citizenship rights, as had the American Founding Fathers, which harked back to 17th-Century England, see “Politics and Religious Liberty in 17th-Century England.”)  Certainly such desire to associate themselves with the United States seems to be reflected in the design of the flag of the Republic, adopted at the end of 1838, displaying one five-pointed star and one each of red and white stripes.  As we have seen, however, the evolution towards an independent Texas goes back to at least 1810 (some might point back further to Aaron Burr’s conspiracy), yet did not immediately presume U.S. statehood.

Texas was a republic for nearly ten years, then a U.S. state for barely 15 years when Secession took place.  Other causes of Secession are well-known and much-debated, but without doubt the independent, Federalist example of Texas was still fresh in the public consciousness.  The Southern states were not traitors against America, but states populated by Americans who wished to escape what they saw as the tyranny of an unresponsive and no longer representative, Centralist government and continue as American states under self-rule.  Unlike the North, the South did not raise an army to invade others’ territory with an eye to subjugating it.  The South raised an army in order to tell other states and the Centralist government to leave them alone.

There is to this day no stipulation in the U.S. Constitution that forbids states, once joined, to thereafter secede.  The matter was never settled by law, but by sheer force of arms and economic weight.  The Spanish forces opposing Hidalgo, and the armies that Santa Anna took to Texas, had done or attempted to do the same.  Same also were the palpable as well as existential violations of the inalienable rights of free and law-abiding citizens.

The same principle of Centralization is at work today, “in spades,” as special interests, a bureaucratic mentality, and socialistic, dictatorial politicians and legal activists attempt to force laws, speech, thought, and behaviors upon states (which the Constitution declares to be sovereign) and their citizens against their will—except today’s Liberals are the Centralists and Statists, and Conservative Southerners are those who wish to remain free to live as they choose, much as they have always lived, meaning no harm, but brooking little interference.  It remains to be seen when the “tipping point” will be reached, with what substantial reaction, and what form that reaction might take.

God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
”   Listen

Surrender of Santa Anna by William Huddle, 1886

Surrender of Santa Anna by William Huddle, 1886

Note

*Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin, TX: The Pemberton Press, 1974), p. 89.

Sources

Copyright © 2015 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

July 17, 2015 at 6:26 AM

What San Jacinto Day Means to All Americans – and Mexicans

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The Battle of San Jacinto by Henry Arthur McArdle, 1895

The Battle of San Jacinto by Henry Arthur McArdle, 1895

San Jacinto Day, April 21, 2011

On this day in 1836, eight hundred Texans marched across the open prairie to attack a superior force of the Mexican Army under dictator Santa Anna in broad daylight.  With them, they rolled two field cannon, the “Twin Sisters,” recently donated by the people of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Santa Anna apparently regarded the Texas Army as a cornered prey, having chased them from Gonzales in central Texas to the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou with Trinity Bay, and burning their capital, Harrisburg.

However, Santa Anna had the Texans right where Sam Houston wanted him.  Amid shouts of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” the Texans exchanged several volleys of musket fire with the barricaded Mexican troops before charging.  Their commander, Sam Houston, had two horses shot from beneath him, while being wounded himself in the ankle.

In about 15 minutes, the Texas Army wreaked havoc upon an encamped, complacent enemy, chased in disarray into the adjacent coastal swamps.  A Mexican officer, appealing to Tejano commander Juan Seguin as a brother, was rebuffed as an oppressor.  Santa Anna, captured overnight near where the modern Washburn Tunnel crosses Buffalo Bayou, formally surrendered to Sam Houston and promised to withdraw from Texas.  As Houston was well aware, two other Mexican armies stood within the borders of Texas.

Surrender of Santa Anna by William Huddle, 1886

Surrender of Santa Anna by William Huddle, 1886

Sadly, in the popular imagination, the Texas Revolution soon came to be seen as a victory of Americans over Mexicans — a misconception exacerbated by two Mexican invasions in 1842, and perpetuated in popular hero movies — but it was not that.  The Revolution was the fulfillment of the dream of Father Miguel Hidalgo, who in 1810 gave his life in a bid for democratic, republican freedom.  It was the dream of Jose Navarro, a native Tejano lawyer who participated in resistance movements in 1812-13 and represented the Mexican state of Coahuila-y-Texas in the Mexican Congress.  It was the intention of the democratic Constitution of 1824, under the banner of which, literally or figuratively, the Texans fought, and which Santa Anna had repeatedly violated.  It was also the dream of patriots in the Mexican states of Zacatecas and the Yucatan, who had been brutally suppressed by Santa Anna shortly before he turned his attention to Texas.

The victory led to the Mexican Cession, by which Texas independence was confirmed and lands reaching to the Pacific were acquired.  Whatever one’s thoughts about the rights of Mexicans, erstwhile Spaniards, who had never truly consolidated their “Wild North,” or Native Americans who had but sparsely populated and tenuously jockeyed for position in those lands, the Revolution led to a far different destiny for those lands and future occupants than the hinterland it would no doubt remain under the centralized control of Mexico City.  As it is, the North was spared the continual revolution that spanned well into the Twentieth Century, and served as a refuge for those who escaped the mix of dictatorship and lawlessness which has often prevailed.

To Americans, attitudes regarding the Revolution, and the Mexican War that followed, have ranged from pride to shame; yet there is no doubt the consequent expansion and growth west has helped make America great, by any definition, and provided a stable and peaceful domicile for millions of all ethnicities.  Texas is now the second largest American state, an agricultural, manufacturing, and oil-producing giant.

Of arguably greater importance, the idea of a democratic, republican government, in which people are equal in the eyes of the law, a law higher than self-interest and the whims of the moment:  an idea built upon the American Founding Fathers and confirmed in Texas independence, is surely the highest form of human government possible, and the key to freedom and opportunity to peoples wherever it may be adopted.

Copyright 2011 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

April 22, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Austin-Area Hindu Swami Flees Justice

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Austin Swami Prakashanand Saraswati

Austin Swami Prakashanand Saraswati

In a day when every indiscretion that can be pinned on a Christian minister or believer is trumpeted widely and often by the Mainstream News Media, it would be easy to overlook reports quietly and purposely slipped through by night regarding indiscretions by leaders of other religions.

Prakashanand Saraswati, 82, founding swami of the Barsana Dham ashram near Austin, Texas, is currently “on the lamb” after being convicted of sexual molestation of two young women, then minors, who were living at the ashram’s 200-acre compound.

See “Warrant issued against Hindu guru convicted of molestation,” in The Times of India, March 8, 2011.

According to the ashram’s Web site, “His Divinity Swami Saraswati,” also known affectionately as Shree Swamiji, “can expound upon any spiritual topic with such a clarity it is as if he is describing a visual account.  His scriptural understanding is unequalled and his books are unique examples of his exceeding knowledge related to the science of the material and the Divine dimensions.  The warmth of Shree Swamiji’s love melts the hearts of those who listen to him and drawing close to him opens the path to God.”

I am reminded once again, that there is only One Way to God, Jesus Christ, and a multitude of wrong ways.  The way of self-gratification is always the way of the flesh, and those who “walk after the flesh” (2 Peter 2:10) rather than the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16) will never see God.

© 2011 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

March 12, 2011 at 8:04 PM

The “Real” First Thanksgiving

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First Thanksgiving in El Paso

Commemorating First Thanksgiving, El Paso, 1598

The first celebration of Thanksgiving in America, according to the schoolbooks (if they still teach that sort of thing), occurred at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621.  According to participant Edward Winslow,

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.  They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week.  At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others.  And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers in our plenty.

However, others may argue that the “real” first Thanksgiving actually occurred in Texas in 1598.  Don Juan de Oñate, a Spanish Basque nobleman, had received a commission from Spanish King Philip II to blaze a trail north into New Mexico and claim that province for Spain.   Oñate set out in January of that year from the northern outpost of Santa Barbara with five to six hundred persons, including women and children to populate the new colony, plus 83 ox-carts and 7000 animals.  For more than four months, the expedition endured heavy rains, followed by a life-threatening shortage of water.  At one point, one of the horses was said to have simply exploded.

On April 20, the colonists reached the banks of the Rio Grande, near El Paso.  There they were rescued by friendly Manso Indians, who became their guides.  On April 30, Oñate declared a thanksgiving feast.  As part of the celebration, Franciscan missionaries performed a Mass, and Oñate laid claim to the territory in an elaborate ceremony known as “La Toma.”  Captain Marcos Fárfan enacted a play he wrote for the occasion, depicting the first conversion and baptism of Indians in Mexico.

Another member of the expedition, Gaspar Perez de Villagrá, wrote, “We were happy that our trials were over; as happy as were the passengers in the Ark when they saw the dove returning with the olive branch in his beak, bringing tidings that the deluge had subsided.”

~~Various sources

© 2009 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

November 25, 2010 at 2:22 AM

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The Illegal Alien Express

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Map of US Government Plan for High-Speed Rail

US Government Plan for High-Speed Rail

Yesterday, news outlets in Texas began to announce a new $5.6 Million grant toward the development of high-speed rail from McAllen, Texas, to Oklahoma City, OK (many outlets keep the McAllen point of origin quiet), noting that the plan has been in the works for 30 years without one mile of track having been laid.

See http://smmercury.com/archives/14832.

The new funding, it seems, is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), i.e., the failed 2009 Stimulus Bill.  In short, this is deficit spending, money we do not have, being fed into a program that big-government entities or special interests want.

The unspoken question is, who in Texas or Oklahoma even wants this?  What could be the purpose of a passenger rail line to and from the deep Texas border other than to enable Mexican workers, legal or illegal, not to mention drug smugglers and criminals like the infamous Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, a quicker, easier route into Texas and the Midwest?  High-speed rail is for passengers, not freight.

I have in the past joked that if Northern Yankees like illegal aliens so much, Texas should set up a special bus line to ship them directly across the state toward the Northeast.  I do not think that most Texans, however, are so ungenerous even to the rival Sooners as to pass the problem on to them.

© 2010 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

October 30, 2010 at 9:10 PM