Cave Dwellings: Another Goliad History Lesson.....(sorry, but I love it!)
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Goliad History Lesson.....(sorry, but I love it!)

Well, I fully intended to blog about our great trip into Goliad for the monthly Marketplace/flea market...However, the weather did not cooperate and it rained all damn day Saturday, so we didn't even bother..It was all outside around the courthouse square..Speaking of the courthouse, here is a photo of it.....And now for a little history lesson...The area of Goliad town was originally inhabited by Indians until 1749, when the presidio and mission were built. It was set up as a Mexican municipality in 1829. The courthouse was built in 1894. You may notice it has beautiful turrets and a clock tower..These are rebuilt from the original. In 1942 a hurricane caused the destruction of the original turrets and clocktower...they were rebuilt and finished 2003. Also of note...In 1902 a very bad tornado came through town and killed alot of people. This courthouse you see was used as a morgue and hospital..Here is a commemorative stone which stands in front of the courthouse.. you may have to double click on it , making it larger and easier to read..
Den and I walked into the town square this morning on the walkway that goes all of the way from the state park into town..about a 2 1/2 mile round trip, if you walk the "courthouse square", which we did. This walkway is really neat. You follow a paved path around and through the turns into a wooden bridge path over some of the path..and ends up on a side street one block from the Courthouse. Here is a shot of the path...
In front of the courthouse is "The Hanging Tree"..Under this tree a lot of "vigilante justice" was applied, if you get my drift. Time for another history lesson...When immigrants arrived at the gulf ports, most arrived without wagons to haul their stuff, so they hired wagons to haul it inland. Many Anglo teamsters objected to their Mexican "cheaper" competition, and the massacre of Fannin and his men was still very fresh in their minds. Goliad was a town the Mexican cartmen passed through and it was in this vicinity that many were attacked, robbed and murdered by men called "cartcutters". This was called the "Cart Wars"..The authorities of Goliad did nothing until a brutal period of bloodletting for 6 months. Complaints were even received by the Mexican Consulate in Washington and were afraid of an international incident. Finally the Texas Governor Pease sent state militia as escorts for the Mexican teamsters, but only after the citizens of Goliad had "removed" much of the bad element...tried and sentenced under this tree...and sentence commuted here too..Now for the photo of the "Hanging Tree".. We walked the trail up to the Presidio La Bahia today..This old fort is really neat..Here I am by one of the canons which defended the soldiers here..
There is another statue of Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, who is the reason for the Cinco de Mayo celebration May 5th. He was born here by the fort, son of a military family, in 1829. Thirty three years later Mexico was fighting for it's indepence from France. On May 5th, 1862, outside the city of Puebla, Mexico, Zaragoza led an outnumbered, outgunned volunteer of militia farmers and merchants against a superior french army. His army was victorious and to this day in Mexico and the American Southwest the 5th of May is known as Cinco de Mayo...and we celebrate it nationwide now since it was made a national holiday. And in 1992, the Texas legislature proclaimed Goliad the official site for Cinco de Mayo. I'll just bet this little town goes crazy that day! Here is the house Zaragoza was born in....and here is a plaque telling it better than I could..
..and here is the statue of Zargoza, which stands just outside the Presidio La Bahia..
There is another statue here on the grounds of Presido La Bahia..The Angel of Goliad. Let me explain...I told you about General Fannin and the battle of Coleto Creek, followed by the massacre on March 27th, Palm Sunday, of him and his soldiers..There are stories of a beautiful Mexican woman, the wife (some say mistress) of a Mexican army captain..She was instrumental in helping some of Fannin's soldiers escape the night before..It is told that she snuck into the fort and helped some out and she hid them. She was also upset at the terrible treatment of the Texas soldiers at the Copano Bay fort and helped get better treatment for the prisoners..She risked her life to save some of the Texas soldiers..if she would have been caught she would have been executed..Her name was said to be Francita Alavez,but her first name varies somewhat...Meet the "Angel of Goliad"...
It is said that after the defeat of Santa Anna, she and her "husband" moved to Matamoros, MX, where she helped get better treatment for Texas prisoners still held there..After that her husband took her to Mexico City and left her, penniless and homeless. It is also said that many Texans living there remembered her kindness and gave her food and shelter. No one knows when she died or anymore about her....I find it fascinating!!
OK, I have given you another bit of Goliad history. Now you know just why I love this town. I'm sure I have bored most of you, but I can't help myself..This weekend is the Goliad County Fair, and the fairgrounds is across the road, within walking distance. They also have a parade in town on Saturday morning, so you may get more blogging on the parade and fair.
I will close with one more picture of history..another shot of the Hanging Tree....
More later.....

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