Thanks for having me as a guest again. I’ve been doing more of what I love—doffing into history.
The more I researched Texas history for my “Texas Star of Destiny” series the more fascinating it became. In 1836 when my book takes place, Texas was a state of Mexico. The last time I guested here, I wrote about the different Native tribes that lived in Texas in the 19th century. This time I want to relate the two different types of settlers who were of European descent.
The first group is one that I had never known as a distinct group. I’m talking about the “Tejano” (the “j” is pronounced as an “h”) community in Texas. The Tejanos were the descendants of the Spanish colonial settlers in Texas. The Tejanos then were and are Texans of Spanish descent. My heroine Alandra Sandoval is a Tejano, not a Mexican as I had thought before I did enough research.
The second group was the Americans who had immigrated to Texas while it was still in the hands of the Mexican government. They called themselves “Texians.” These two groups had very different experience in law and governing.
I was also unaware of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, which was a very liberal constitution very much like our own. Most Tejanos and Texians were very willing to live under this constitution.
Unfortunately, the Constitution of 1824 did not really touch the people of Texas or the rest of Mexico in any real way. Spanish colonial laws and practice had kept the Mexican people from learning how to govern themselves. It was a very top down kind of government. This type of government didn’t go over very well with the Anglo settlers who were used to governing themselves.
By the constitution of 1824, the people of Mexico were granted the right to vote for a president. But with little experience of self government and after years of political turmoil in Mexico City, Santa Anna deposed the elected president and took over as dictator. This set the stage for the Texas Revolution.
Americans have never cared for dictators. The Anglo Texians and many Tejanos resisted this power grab. A Tejano Lorenzo de Zavala served as the first vice president of the first Texian government. Another Tejano that fought for freedom was Jose Navarre of San Antonio.
My latest book Her Inheritance Forever takes place during the Texas Revolution when the Texians and many Tejanos stood up to General Santa Anna and defeated him. I had always misunderstood the Battle for the Alamo and had never heard of the Goliad Massacre which actually took more lives. When General Santa Anna ordered the slaughter of the men defending the Alamo, he was despised. And rightly so. He also ordered the slaughter of around 300 Americans who had surrendered to General Urrea at Goliad a few weeks after the Alamo. This is in direct violation of the rules of war at that time.
Santa Anna’s slaughtering of free men brought hundreds of Americans in from the surrounding states to fight and defeat him. With an army a tenth the size of Santa Anna’s, Sam Houston accomplished that at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836.
The fire for freedom goes on today all around the world. I am proud of the Texians, Tejanos and Americans who fought tyranny and won. I think that any American will thrill to the battle for freedom in this book and how it changes everyday people—even my heroine Alandra Sandoval and Scully Falconer into heroes and heroines.
I am giving away one copy of my latest book each week in August. Drop by my blog http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com and make a comment to be eligible.
Also drop by my website http://www.LynCote.net to purchase a copy of Her Inheritance Forever.