Texas Independence Day

From: Joe Straus


One hundred and seventy five years ago today, on March 2, 1836, Texas earned its hard-fought freedom from Mexico, becoming an independent nation. With a small band of patriots at his side, Colonel William Barret Travis fought off the Mexican army at the Alamo, buying enough time for General Sam Houston and his men to be victorious at San Jacinto, paving the way for independence. Travis and all of his men died at the Alamo, but not before he sent off one final letter detailing his predicament, and espousing the virtues of Texas’ independent spirit.

Last week in the Texas House of Representatives, we were honored to display the original letter from Travis. It was lent to us by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission. The Commission helps to tell the story of our unique state by protecting the treasures of Texas while making them accessible to researchers, students and everyday Texans.

Our Speaker Pro Tem, Representative Beverly Woolley (R-Houston) read the inspiring text of the Travis letter on the House floor, and I wanted to share an excerpt with you:

“The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch … If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country— Victory or Death.”

Col. Travis made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. As Texans, we pause each March 2 to honor Travis and those brave heroes who fought alongside him. The rallying cry of “Remember the Alamo” today, still calls to mind their bravery and independent spirit.

You can read the full text of the letter, and learn more about this important piece of Texas history online, and I encourage you to visit the Archives, as well. Texans are blessed with a unique and rich heritage, and I hope you will join me in learning more about our history and working to preserve it for future generations. With less than 90 days remaining in the 82nd Legislature, we will keep in mind that independent spirit and bravery that Col. Travis and his men embodied. We will never forget what is due to our state and our country.



Speaker Joe Straus

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