A friend writes: "You have a couple of predictable and amusing comments defending Jeffrey Goldberg & the valiant defenders of the Alamo. Their argument reminds me of
the argument that your average honky fought the civil war to defend the
"southern way of life"–as if drinking sweet tea and eating hush
puppies required resorting to arms to keep those darn Yanks from taking
that away. Let them eat John Quincy Adams:
USNews: The slavery question has muddied the pristine image of the Texas revolution. John Quincy Adams, two months after the Alamo, argued on the floor of the U.S. House that "the war now raging in Texas is a Mexican civil war and a war for the re-establishment of slavery where it was abolished."
addition to enforcing Catholicism, the Mexican government outlawed
slavery. Thus, one of the great ironies of the Texas Revolution is that
the Texans were fighting for their natural right to hold other people
Ben, a former American slave who served one of Santa Anna's officers,
maintained that Crockett's body was found surrounded by "no less than
sixteen Mexican corpses" […]
spared several of the Texians found at the Alamo. He freed both
Travis's slave, Joe, and Bowie's freedman, Sam, because they were or
had been slaves, and he hoped the act of mercy would convince other
slaves in Texas to support the Mexican government over the Texian rebellion
"Republic of Texas" was a natural outgrowth of the Austin colony which
brought slavery onto Mexican soil in 1821. In 1825, twenty five per
cent of the people in Austin's colony were slaves and by 1836 there
were 5,000 slaves. James S. Mayfield, a later Secretary of State for the Republic of Texas, stated that "the true policy and prosperity of this country (Texas) depend on the maintenance" of slavery. Like all Southern plantation owners, these Anglo-Texans had a plan for their own prosperity based on the free labor of slaves.
However, the problem for the slave-owning crowd was that the fledgling national government in Mexico City threatened to restrict or abolish slavery on Mexican land.
the Texas colonists organized a convention in March, 1836 to establish
the issues for which they would do battle with the Mexican government.
In a two-week period they adopted a declaration of independence from Mexico,
declared a republic, and produced a constitution for that republic. All
of this activity occurred during the siege of the Alamo.
Finally, Richard Silverstein has whacked the Trumpeldor story from a different angle.