TX-13929 African Americans in the Texas Revolution


Many African Americans, free and slave, supported Texas during its 1835-36 War of Independence from Mexico. Although official recognition of the African American role was generally denied, recorded accounts of individual acts of bravery and patriotism survived. Hendrick Arnold distinguished himself as a guide and soldier for Ben Milam's Texas army at the Siege of Bexar and later at the Battle of San Jacinto. William E. (Bill) Goyens, a prominent African American businessman of Nacogdoches, served as an interpreter and liaison for Sam Houston during treaty negotiations with the Cherokee Indians at the outset of the war. Samuel McCullough, Jr., a freeman, was severely wounded in the Goliad campaign in late 1835 and later recognized by the Texas Congress as among the first to shed blood in the Texas War for Independence. Joe Travis was among the few defenders of the Alamo to survive the devastating siege by Mexican general Santa Anna in 1836. Travis later carried news of the battle to General Sam Houston. African Americans are counted among the Texas army massacred at Goliad, among those who contributed money and transported supplies for the Texas army, and among those who died defending the Alamo. (1994)

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