(Drafted May 4, 2018, but not published until 1/6/23)
On April 7, 2018, Miles Mathis posted an analysis of the 1836 siege at the Alamo by David Kasady and Leah Garrit, which concludes Davy Crockett was never there, and the thing was faked. Independently prompted by the same suspicions in 2016, when I moved to San Antonio, Texas, I started researching the Alamo, myself. I had been familiar with the event my whole life. My little brother spent his childhood defending the Alamo! As a seasoned adult, I now agree it was, indeed, a “false flag operation for a false revolution,” but for other reasons than Kasady and Garrit do, the term “false flag” meaning it was staged as a pretext for going after the “perpetrators” militarily, to grab their land or take similar acts which would never receive popular support, if the real motive were known. To be clear from the outset, I do not conclude that no one was killed in this event.
The Alamo was built by the Spanish as a mission in the early 1700’s. It became the last stand of about 100 Americans who declared independence from Mexico on March 2nd, 1836, calling themselves the Republic of Texas, then incongruously holed up there to await an attack by the Mexican Army. On March 6th, 1836, that came: Mexican soldiers headed by General Santa Anna stormed the Alamo, coming over the walls and killing almost all the defenders. According to the Disney TV series and John Wayne movie, David Crockett, after running out of bullets, went to his glorious death swinging his gun Old Betsy to crack many a Mexican head.
One reason for being suspicious is anecdotal evidence that Crockett (who never liked being called “Davy”) survived. An alternative to Disney’s version is an account, not published in English until 1975, by a Mexican soldier named Jose Enrique de la Pena, who wrote his narrative long after the fact. He says Crockett surrendered, only to be executed by Santa Anna (along with five others) by sword after the siege. A coward, not a hero. But although de la Pena was there, he was not an eyewitness, and his field diary did not support his later account. In the diary he did not specifically identify Crockett–and there is no way this Mexican soldier would have even known who Crockett was. He also refers to him as tall, when Crockett was 5’8″.
A “forensic geologist,” Scott Wolter, examined whether Crockett survived in an installment of “America Unearthed” on the History Channel. His tipster, one Jason Nelson, is the son of landowners in Alabama. The original 1859 patent in Nelson’s parents’ chain of title was granted to “David Crockett” by President James Buchanan, 23 years after Crockett reportedly died. Wolter also turns up a newspaper article from April 1836, which reports that “Colonel Crockett is recovering from his injuries at the house of ___.” He doesn’t let us read much of it, so I found this copy, published in the Portland, Maine, Advertiser, which says the house of his brother-in-law, not named. Wolter surveys the Nelsons’ land with ground-penetrating radar, looking for buried bones.
Wolter decides it’s inconclusive whether the signature of Crockett on an affidavit of possession which accompanies the patent matches an authentic signature of Crockett in the possession of one of Crockett’s descendants living in Tennessee. I find it odd he didn’t he get a handwriting expert to look at it. While handwriting analysis is a black art, to be sure, an expert could bring a modicum of science to bear, not only by comparing how the letters are formed, but by examining under a microscope for similar bending of paper fibers, deposition of ink, and the like. He or she needs the original affidavit, though, and it’s not clear that was available. As for the radar, bones on the property (and they found only a rock) would not prove whether Crockett survived the Alamo. There are, by the way, reports that Crockett’s cremated remains are in San Fernando Cathedral, across the street from the Alamo, as well as in Kentucky.
I was unimpressed for another reason, because what a geologist should have realized is that the Texas Hill Country is riven with caves, which wend their tortuous ways under much of the City of San Antonio itself. Wolter could have used his ground-penetrating radar to explore for underground connections to the Alamo. For over 100 years, for example, it has been rumored that a cave links San Pedro Springs Park with the Alamo chapel, and with Robber Baron Cave. An early promoter of Robber Baron Cave as a public attraction said such a link existed; and Indians used the caves for ceremonial purposes long before the Spanish arrived. The cave access in San Pedro Springs Park is said to be closed by a rock. There is also folklore that Santa Anna’s men gained access to the Alamo via an underground passageway (4).
A cave might not even have been necessary for escape, since an irrigation canal–the Acequia Madre de Valero–ran from the San Pedro Springs to fields belonging to San Antonio de Valero mission, the early name of the Alamo, and beyond to the south. The acequia ran inside the mission compound, according to this source and this one. Many acequias were wide and deep, and at least one had to be negotiated by boat. We know from his autobiography that Davy could swim.
Or maybe he just splashed across. This is all speculation, to be sure, but no more so than the history books’ assertion that Crockett was even at the Alamo to begin with. Kasady/Garrit think it unlikely he was. He was definitely in Texas, at least, since he signed an oath before a judge in Nacogdoches in January 1836. The most astonishing thing I learned in my search was that Crockett, Travis, Bowie, Sam Houston, and Stephen F. Austin were all Freemasons–and so was Santa Anna, the Mexican general who supposedly executed the first three of these “heroes”! And so was President James Buchanan, who granted that 1859 Alabama patent, and so is Scott Wolter–who says he is now a 33rd degree Freemason, the highest rank. The association with this cult causes me to hypothesize that one reason Freemasonry is so secretive, with severe penalties (including death) meted out to anyone who violates the oath, is because its principal activity is the staging of hoaxes and false flags, in order to augment participants’ power and wealth. Importantly, Sam Houston captured Santa Anna a few weeks after the Alamo massacre, at the Battle of El Jacinto–and, instead of executing him, let him go. So much for “Remember[ing] the Alamo!” Santa Anna later went to New York and was the impetus for the chewing gum industry! James Michener’s biography of Santa Anna and Sam Houston mentions nothing about chewing gum, although does say war criminal Santa Anna went to Washington, D.C., to “plead Mexico’s case” before Congress while the Mexican-American war was still going on (5), which is strange enough.
The babble on the web and in Wolter’s video about the secret sign Masons give each other to identify themselves and ask for mercy, as the reason Houston spared Santa Anna (and Santa Anna spared Crockett), I find more misdirection. It is far more logical that all three were in on the planning of this false flag. Santa Anna appears to have been an American agent. It has been said he fought “the Mexican-American war with an aim to lose” (2). Indeed, when he stormed the Alamo as a general, in 1836, he was the president of Mexico! He became president 11 times! Doesn’t look like there were any checks and balances in play in our neighbor to the south.
I put the word “heroes” in quotes, above, because these three guys were rogues and reprobates. James Bowie’s
“business” before coming to Texas was creating fraudulent land titles in Louisiana and illegally buying and selling slaves. He was a mean drunk who cruelly killed a man he had no quarrel with, by disemboweling. There is no reliable evidence Bowie was in his sickbed during the Alamo siege. Travis and Crockett were also your basic losers, despite Crockett’s Congressional laurels. Both ran away from debts and abandoned wives and children. Interestingly, Crockett’s widow Elizabeth Patton Crockett and their three children–after what we can assume was a desperate existence, with the family’s breadwinner gallivanting about in Texas–were granted a league of land (4,428.4 acres, about 7 square miles) in Johnson County (now part of Hood County), Texas, in 1854, by the governor of the new state, as an act of gratitude for her husband’s sacrifice. Elizabeth moved cross-country with two of her adult children at age 67 to take up this grant, and died there Feb. 2, 1860, at age 74.
And now we come to the principal revelation of this post, which is that that league to Elizabeth was not the only grant she got: Texas General Land Office records show many sizable grants of land to Elizabeth Crockett, in several different counties. The “heirs of David Crockett” got even more. Most curious, some of the grants are not even to the heirs, but to “David Crockett.” See this one (cert. #1286, 196 acres on Medio Creek, SW of San Antonio; see esp. the patent at p. 8 of 9); this one (approx. 128 acres also on Medio Creek); and this one (cert. #1065, 320 acres on the Nueces River, which is SW of San Antonio, although it confusingly says this river is 91 miles north of San Antonio, along with an abstract from ancestry.com which says this nearly illegible certificate grants 640 acres). The expectation of land grants (including that 1859 Alabama patent) fits well into the false flag idea, as the reward for participation. Davy had received a bounty for his military service* after the War of 1812 and Creek Wars of 1813-14 and was a land speculator, so well aware of this perk for military service. The other Alamo heroes, as well as Sam Houston, were also land speculators. They all got land grants, Houston, Austin, and Bowie even converting to Catholicism and becoming Mexican citizens to become eligible for free land from Mexico prior to March 6, 1836 (4). The grants made directly to David Crockett, as opposed to his heirs, are more evidence, if equivocal, that Davy may have survived his reported end.
Where did these lands come from, anyway–who owned them, before the new Republic of Texas (existing as of 1836)–or State of Texas (as of 1845)–granted them to Crockett and his heirs? They are referred to as “donation lands,” with some as bounty lands. A great resource about Texas public lands is on the GLO’s website, here. Unfortunately, working these grants out is a Ph.D. thesis for someone–not for me to muddle through–so I surmise only, in passing, that the “donation” might have been involuntary, meaning it was land confiscated from Mexican landowners.
Back to the Alamo story: what, you may well ask, would be the reason for creating such a myth of glory and sacrifice for the cause of an independent Texas? The answer (not original with me) is not only the land grab, but slavery, the reality so contrary to the myth as to be laughable. Mexico had passed laws dismantling slavery from 1827 to 1829, about 35 years before the U.S. did. The Anglos who colonized Texas, calling themselves “Texians,” were alarmed: they had plans to grow cotton, an activity not profitable without slave labor. Stephen F. Austin was a slaveholder, and as an empresario promoting immigration to Texas created incentives to white settlers of a grant of 80 acres for every slave they brought in. Austin made visits to Mexico City to lobby personally against the slavery ban. Upon Austin’s being rebuffed, the “glorious battle for liberty”–of course, they didn’t mean liberty for everyone!–took place at the Alamo. A few years later, the Republic of Texas came into the Union as a slave state.
A few more comments on the article on Mathis’s site: it relies on Wikipedia to conclude David Crockett was the descendant of French royalty by the name of “Crocketagne.” But historian Michael Wallis says the “Crocketagne connection” stems from a 1928 source called Notable Southern Families, which has been discredited by reliable researchers (3). The Crocketts were “Ulster Scots”–Scots sent to Northern Ireland by the British Government in the 1600’s to hold lands confiscated from “malcontent Irish lords”–who then emigrated to America. Newspaper accounts from the 1860’s say Crockett’s people were Scotch-Irish, as did Crockett himself in his autobiography (3). Kasady and Garrit’s assumption that Davy Crockett was not a cultural icon until Walt Disney created the miniseries is also incorrect. Crockett’s folksy image was cultivated during his lifetime, another indication he was groomed to play a role in this event. Building him up as a hero of the common man would be helpful in garnering support for the war against his murderers, a war in the planning stages for a long time. This war, from 1846 to 1848, ended with the U.S. taking not only Texas, but a whole lot more.
(2) Fowler, Will. Santa Anna of Mexico. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Pres, 2007, at xi. Print.
(3) Wallis, Michael. David Crockett, the Lion of the West. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011, at 21, and 16-18. Print.
(4) Michener, James. The Eagle and the Raven. Austin, TX: Statehouse Press, 1990, at 129. Print
(5) Michener, supra, at 165-68. [As an aside, Michener’s book Texas is truly wonderful, and provides a good exposition of Texas history.]
*I am assuming this is the right David Crockett, although Wikipedia says his middle name was “Stern,” and the grantee on the warrant has the middle initial “M.” None of the other sources I consulted said David Crockett even had a middle name.