Remember Goliad, Remember the
Alamo! was said to be the chant at the Battle of San Jacinto where in less than
twenty minutes of battle the Texians and Tejanos sent the Mexican Army into
rout. More than 600 Mexicans were killed and hundreds more were wounded or
captured. Only nine of the Texians and Tejanos died in the fight although it is
thought to believe that the Mexican troops numbered between 1,100 and 1,300 and
the Texians around 900. What a vision Texas must have seemed to a people such as
the Moravians who were toiling under the restrictions and rigors imposed by the
Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Even if Davy Crocket was led away and executed in a
remote desert region of Mexico (as goes the account of Enrique de la Pena)
instead of dying while defending the Alamo, the Republic of Texas was founded on
some mighty tall shoulders and impressive imagery.
And, from that time until the great
tragedy that was the American Civil War, Texas continued on it own bold,
colorful, and inextricable development. Although the Spanish and Mexican
influence on the Southwestern half of the State greatly flavors the culture to
this very day, it as the Anglo culture of the deep American South that was
entrenched in the Eastern part of the state from the time of the Stephen F.
Austin Empressario Land Grant that in great part flavored the economic
development of the State and indirectly affected the settlement patterns of the
Czechs and Moravians in Texas.
The Austin Colony was established
in East Texas where the rivers ran deep enough to transport heavy goods to a
regional port and beyond. And, it was also there that the Old South cotton
plantation lifestyle was recreated. In great part, it was men with connections
to this part of Texas who fought for the Texas at the Battle of San Jacinto
(along with a company of Mexican-Americans (Tejanos), commanded by Juan Seguin).
These men from East Texas were old Texans who had family and land to defend.
They had an investment of years of toil in building their homes and
A good number of Czechs and
Moravians may have been led to Texas, at least in part, by a sense of admiration
for the Texians and how these men liberated their lands. But, once the Slavs set
foot on Texas soil and saw a lifestyle based, in considerable degree, on the
enslavement of African Americans, they knew they could not participate in that
lifestyle (in addition to the definite anti-slavery position of the Czechs and
Moravians, they also could not afford to purchase the huge tracts of land
necessary for a plantain lifestyle) . It was from the yolk of serfdom that
they themselves had only recently been released. It was then to the German
communities that the earliest of our Czech and Moravian immigrants gravitated.
First, while the use of the German language had been an imposition in the Old
Country, it was a tool that allowed them to communicate with whole communities
in Texas. Secondly, the Germans were either small-scale farmers or businessmen
and their interests were much more closely connected to the needs of the Czech