Alamo, the


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Alamo, the

(ăl`əmō') [Span.,=cottonwood], building in San Antonio, Tex., "the cradle of Texas liberty." Built as a chapel after 1744, it is all that remains of the mission of San Antonio de Valero, which was founded in 1718 by Franciscans and later converted into a fortress. In the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was taken by Texas revolutionaries in Dec., 1835, and was lightly garrisoned. When Mexican General Santa AnnaSanta Anna, Antonio López de
, 1794–1876, Mexican general and politician. He fought in the royalist army, but later joined Iturbide in the struggle that won independence for Mexico (1821). Santa Anna then entered upon a long and tortuous political career.
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 approached with an army of several thousand in Feb., 1836, only some 150 men held the Alamo, and confusion, indifference, and bickering among insurgents throughout Texas prevented help from joining them, except for 32 volunteers from Gonzales who slipped through the Mexican siege lines. Defying surrender demands, the Texans in the fort determined to fight. The siege, which began Feb. 24, ended with hand-to-hand fighting within the walls on Mar. 6. William B. TravisTravis, William Barrett
, 1809–36, hero of the Texas Revolution, b. Edgefield co., S.C. He moved to Claiborne, Ala., where he practiced law. Travis later moved (1831) to Texas and soon acquired local prominence.
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, James BowieBowie, James
, c.1796–1836, American frontiersman, b. Logan co., Ky. With his brother, Rezin, he engaged in land speculation in Louisiana and Arkansas. In Texas from 1828, Bowie became a leader of American settlers who opposed the Mexican government and joined in the
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, Davy CrockettCrockett, Davy
(David Crockett) , 1786–1836, American frontiersman, b. Limestone, near Greeneville, Tenn. After serving (1813–14) under Andrew Jackson against the Creek in the War of 1812, he settled in Giles co., Tenn.
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, and some 180 other defenders died, but the heroic resistance roused fighting anger among Texans, who six weeks later defeated the Mexicans at San JacintoSan Jacinto,
river, c.130 mi (210 km) long, rising in SE Texas as the West Fork and flowing S to Galveston Bay. Its chief tributary is Buffalo Bayou, and both the bayou and the lower river are used for the Houston ship channel.
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, crying, "Remember the Alamo!" The chapel-fort became a state preserve in 1883. Its surroundings were added in 1905, and the complex, restored in 1936–39, is now a major tourist attraction.

Bibliography

See A. G. Adair and M. H. Crockett, ed., Heroes of the Alamo (2d ed. 1957); Lon Tinkle, 13 Days to Glory (1958); W. Lord, A Time to Stand (1961); W. C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (1998); R. Roberts and J. S. Olson, A Line in the Sand (2000).