Thanks to my new blogger friend, Bowietreks for reminding me that today is the anniversary of the Mexican victory over the Texians in San Antonio which is forever remembered as the Battle for the Alamo. My great-great-grandpa, Adna Samuel Droddy, almost wasn't my gggrandpa. [To help you keep my many ancestors straight, so to speak, A.S. is my mother's father's grandfather.] On this day in 1836, he and his company of men under the command of Capt. James Chessher were camped out on the banks of the Guadalupe River enroute to San Antonio to reinforce the Texian forces at the Alamo. If they'd have hurried, there would have probably been an additional 20 or 30 dead Texians, including great-greatgrandpappy. I know this because after the courthouse in Newton County burned in 1852 or 53, they had to recreate the title transfer of this huge amount of land. To quote the deed: "...being at the time encamped near the town of Victoria on the Guadalupe river in said republic, did then and there for the sum of six hundred dollars to me in hand paid by Wm S.Keaghey a brother soldier and member of said company,..." WTF? Nobody had that much money. They were on their way to sure death, doing what young men do in situations like that. They were drinking and playing poker. GGGrandpappy lost that hand.
My Ashworth ancestors were not welcome to serve in the Texas militia. When the Texians declared their independence, my Ashworth ancestors went to the front of the lines, only to be told that they were now considered Black by the Texians who were for the most part Southerners. One of my ancestors insisted on hiring someone to go in his stead, even if they wouldn't accept him because of their decision to consider him NOT White. Gipson Perkins, his cousin whom William paid to go in his stead, was also a person of color. Even as they rewarded us with humiliation, we continued to support them.
Other members of the family donated money and materiel to the Texians in their revolution against Mexico. The Texians repaid them by immediately negating all of the promised rewards because promises made to people of color didn't mean anything.
We never accepted their designation of us as Free Blacks. We denied we had any Black ancestry. We fought and killed people who suggested otherwise. We even served in the Confederate Army. Not all of us. The branch from which I descend avoided the Civil War completely. This is an aside, but another of my branches, the Droddys, were deserters and Jay Hawkers. I am very proud of them. They were poor whites in Rapides Parish. They and another branch of my family, the Willises, were not enthusiastic in their support of the Confederacy and did everything they could to not participate.
Anyways, back to Texas. Do you know that to this day, Texas continues to use the one-drop rule against my family when they tell their story? If you search Ashworth Family in Texas, you'll come across a site that says that Moses Ashworth, a White man, and his four free Black sons, came to Texas around 1830 and became wealthy. We have offered to engage them in a discussion as to the nature of the Ashworth family's racial make-up, but they didn't need the facts in 1836 and they're not interested in them now.
Is this a good story though, or what? If anyone knows Steven Spielberg and can get me ten minutes to pitch this story, I know it'll be a blockbuster movie. Mr. Spielberg, have your people call my people and let's do lunch. Ten minutes is all I ask, and I'll pay for lunch.
Anyway, thanks to Bowietrek for giving me an excuse to talk about my people. My grandmother was an Ashworth, as were both of her parents. My goal in life is to annoy the people at the University of Texas enough to get them to reconsider and acknowledge their own complicity in their racist history. Tall order? Perhaps, but I've got time.
Another branch of my family, the Hortons and Bullocks (my paternal grandmother's maternal people) were big time early Texas revolutionaries. In 1832, four years before the rest of Texas joined him in revolting against Mexico, my gggggrandfather, Col. James Whitis Bullock, surrounded the Mexican garrison at Nacogdoches demanding that they declare for the Mexican Constitution of 1824. His brother-in-law, Col. Alexander Horton, my ggggreat uncle, was General Sam Houston's aide-de-camp. That just goes to show my affinity for Sam Houston has historical roots. We also share two names, and just as Sam Houston always referred to himself in the third person, I do as well, annoying more than a couple of close friends.
Anyways (Piggy's favorite word), the Texans won the war because the Mexicans were both stupid and corrupt. When they finally threatened to get their shit together 9 years later, the United States stepped in and whipped their sorry asses, humiliating them in a way that annoys them even to this day. I had a group of Mexican queens attempt to give me grief about this one holiday and I stopped them cold and told them that Mexico was a piece of shit Republic then just as it is today, and that hispanic culture did not lose in that war, just their corrupt political structure. Today the second largest Spanish speaking city in the world is Los Angeles. San Jose, California is probably third. The Southwest is as hispanic today as it was 160 years ago, and continues to be more brown and more Spanish speaking with each new day. We are not, thank god in heaven, Mexicans. If we think the rich have it good at the expense of the poor here, check out Mexico.
Happy Fucking Remember the Alamo Day, my dear fellow Texans. Look back on your history and remember what low-lifes you were. Then. And now.