Category Archives: history

Bullpup . . . . Muzzleloader?

Admittedly, I am somewhat addicted to Gunbroker.

For the armchair arms enthusiast, time and resources hampered by a pile of children, it’s a great way to get your gun porn on . . . the variety and type of weapons and accessories that show up on there is overwhelming.

Which is why it helps to limit yourself to a theme.

Being of a blackpowder/muzzleloader bent, I am always looking for cool vintage muzzleloader arms to take to rendezvous or a pack-in.

I am not sure how the below would fit into the pre-1840s scene, but it was certainly an interesting idea.

 

black_powder_combat_style_1 black_powder_combat_style_2 black_powder_combat_style_3 black_powder_combat_style_4 black_powder_combat_style_5 black_powder_combat_style_6 black_powder_combat_style_7 black_powder_combat_style_8

 

The Awesome!

Paintball this weekend – Orion Valley – November 5, 2011

We will be playing some paintball this Saturday, November 5th at the Orion Valley. It will be sunny with a high of 76, so perfect weather to get out and shoot your fellows. Don’t forget we are heading out to Wurstfest in the evening, so make sure to bring your lederhosen, if you are coming in from out of town and staying for the evening festivities.

Primary scenario: THE GUNPOWDER PLOT!

Remember, remember, the 5th of November . . In honor of Guy Fawkes Day, we are doing the gunpowder plot paintball style at Orion Valley. We’ll be transporting loads of gunpowder (not real) to the House of Lords Fort and giving old King James the what-for – all the while attempting to avoid the fire of the King’s guards and their matchlock markers.

Special requirements: If you have a powdered wig you’ve been itching to bring out to a game, unfortunately this scenario is a little too early, but maybe you can bring it out for the French Revolution scenario next summer . . .

If you plan on being or bringing out someone as a guest this weekend, please let me know in advance, so that we can have some gear put aside for them. We have at least 2 guests signed up, so let me know ASAP if you need loaner gear.

Bring a ruck and what you need to sustain while playing (water, camelback, etc.).

Our next game will be on Nov. 19th – back at The Ranch. More details on this game will be posted to the forums as we get closer to that event.

Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Going to Your First Rendezvous

Kind of an odd post for Orion, but this is an email I threw together explaining what kind of kit you really need when going to your first WFT (Western Fur Trade) event.

Just some basic info, piggybacking off of my articles on buckskinning.org, but a good summary of how to not overdo it at your first Voo.

Rendezvous are more or less reenacting events where people come out and portray the American Fur Trade, generally about 1800-1840. It’s the time of Jim Bridger, Mariano Modena, Liver Eatin’ Johnson, and a host of other characters who opened up the west and lived on their own in the trackless wilderness of the pre-old west.

But, . . . I don’t have a full set of buckskins!

You’re damn right ya don’t, ya flatlander, but don’t let that stop you from coming out. Though period dress is required for these events (and you can go wild with options), you don’t really need a whole lot to blend in. And honestly, after doing this hobby for ten years (sheesh) there is not a lot of my original gear that I still use . . . so you don’t want to run out and buy a bunch of crap, only to have to sell it to some sucker later, but I digress.

Here are some simple things I recommend to “blend in” to your first event:

Period shirt – this is one of the easiest things to acquire and the good news is if you don’t like it later, you can always wear it under your other clothes. I have a few spare shirts, but picking a good one up shouldn’t be a big deal. What you are looking for is a work shirt-style cut that is in a simple pattern (they were hand painted back then, so no one would sit around and paisley up some linen). Here are some examples on eBay – http://www.ebay.com/sch/Costumes-Reenactment-Attire-/163147/i.html?_nkw=mountain+man+shirt, but Crazy Crow and Panther Primitives also have some that are inexpensive and perfect for rendezvous. RenFest-style shirts are usually ok, too – provided that they are not too shiny.

Pants/trousers – for your lower half, the best thing to wear is modern pants (the untucked shirt will hang over the top of the pants, covering up the modern stuff like pockets, belt loops, etc), as long as they are not cargo pants. Jean material is ok – as long as it is not blue jeans (not invented until 1849), and tan, brown or even white jeans (remember the 80s?) are great. Tan, brown, or white chinos are good, too (just don’t have the pleats in the front). No OD green.

Footwear – Academy sells some cheap, moccasin-style house shoes that are perfect rendezvous starter shoes. They are usually around $5. Just make sure you get the ones without rubber soles. For the more ambitious, Tandy Leather sells a moccasin kit that is inexpensive and easy to assemble.

Staying warm – the best, simplest and most period way to stay warm is with a wool blanket. You don’t need to run out and get a Hudson’s Bay or anything like that, but a regular surplus military one will be great (just not OD green). Sportsman’s Guide always has a ton of these. The wool-blend “red cross” blankets are generally crappy, but one’s like this are great – http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=772917 (100% wool and only $15!). Buy two of these and you’ll be set for years. When you upgrade to a better blanket, you can cut these up to make leggings, a shooting pouch, or a rain poncho. For the true woodsman, there is no better multi-use material than wool!

Eating materials – this is the most important category, since you can’t drink out of an aluminum can or beer bottle at a period event, you must have a tin cup. If you have one and it’s legit, you are great (ask me if you need to), if not, this is probably your most important piece of kit. You can drink from it, eat out of it and most importantly – it holds your beer. The quart size is better than the pint (you can fit more in it), but either is fine. You can buy these at most events, or order one here:
http://jas-townsend.com/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=138

You will also need a spoon (or a fork, if you are gentrified), but a regular wood spoon is all you really need.
http://jas-townsend.com/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=136

Sleeping – if you are camping out, you can sleep in one of my lodges or a friend’s lodge, so your sleeping bag is ok, as long as it’s out of sight. Better yet, wrap yourself up in a wool blanket or two and sleep period style!

Other stuff – if you wanna shoot, we’ll have spare guns. Same for knives, tomahawks, firestarting kits, bows and arrows and all the rest of it. Don’t go out an buy a black powder gun until you have an event or two under your belt, or we have spent any time in the field with them. A leather belt is great, you can tie your tin cup to it, etc. Just make sure it has a simple buckle (brass preferred). There are generally one or two traders at an event, so you can pick-up some plunder there, too.

What do I eat? – most of the time when you are new, you “camp dog,” which basically means eating off of other people’s viddles. We do use coolers, but they are covered up and out of sight to keep the scene working. Jerky is great, but you can really bring whatever, provided the packaging is put away until ready for use (stored in your lodge or whatever). If you are coming out, just bring whatever you are comfortable eating and/or throwing on the fire. I’ll have plenty of pots, pans and related devices. Don’t worry about picking one up for your first event . . .

For more details, check out my website where I discuss a lot of these topics in even more detail:
http://www.buckskinning.org/

See you down the trail!

Whoop!

U.S. Blackhawk helicopters ferried about two dozen troops from Navy SEAL Team Six, a top military counter-terrorism unit, into the compound identified by the CIA as bin Laden’s hideout — and back out again in less than 40 minutes. Bin Laden was shot in the head, officials said, after he and his bodyguards resisted the assault.

More.

Paintball this weekend – Orion Valley – March 5, 2011

We will be playing this Saturday, March 5th in the Valley.

The weather will be high of 74 and sunny – unlike back in 1836, when it was cold, rainy and . . .

Primary scenario: THE ALAMO

It’s Texicans against the Mexicans in the battle royale of your 7th grade history class. One group will be forting up in the old Spanish church while assailed by an unstoppable force of undying and conscripted peasants. The closest you can get to a zombie scenario and still call it “history.”

Of course this will be a hand-load game.

Special requirements: Costumes and/or muskets are not required, but always encouraged.

If you plan on being or bringing out someone as a guest this weekend, please let me know in advance, so that we can have some gear put aside for them. At this time all of our guest gear is cleaned up and the weather should be nice, so it’s a good time to get a guest into the action.

Bring a ruck and what you need to sustain while playing (water, camelback, etc.).

Look forward to seeing everyone there!

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill, English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

Honoring 9-11

I read the below on Breitbart’s Big Hollywood blog and thought it was worth re-posting here. A good portion of our crew are current and/or former military, with 3 of them having server in the GWOT and one on his way.

Honoring September 11th: They Wants Us to Forget
by Mark Tapson

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner

“We will write our own future, and the future will be what we want it to be.” – Barack Obama

In a quiet and seemingly innocuous gesture, President Obama has designated 9/11 as “The National Day of Service and Remembrance.” Personally, I liked the ring of “Patriot Day,” and what does “service and remembrance” mean, precisely ? The idea is to get Americans to “engage in meaningful service to create change…in four key areas”: education, health, energy/environment and community renewal. None of these seems to have anything to do with honoring 9/11, but that seems to be the point: in the Huffington Post, Muslim-American playwright Wajahat Ali wrote, “In the US, we are trying to move away from focusing on 9/11 as a day of horror, and instead make it a day to recommit ourselves to national service.” An excellent Spectator article provides a blunter translation: “Nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.” Why? ”They think it needs to be taken back from the right.”

In other words, they resent the surge of patriotism and righteous outrage stirred up by the attacks, sentiments that empower the political Right. In order to advance the leftist agenda of dismantling American exceptionalism and recasting ourselves as the villain in our history books, they need Americans to put 9/11 behind us, forget the victims, forget that our enemy danced in the streets in celebration, forget that Islamic terror plots on our very shores continue to be disrupted, and forget that our rights and freedoms are under assault by a subversive civilizational jihad.

It seems impossible to believe that that morning could be forgotten – just as it was once impossible to believe that our government could erase “jihad” and “Islamic” and “terrorism” from our national lexicon, preventing us from even naming the enemy, or that an American President could proclaim us no longer a Christian nation, but rather one of the world’s largest Muslim countries. There was a time when screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh’s extraordinary 2006 ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 was going to be shown in schools across this country and be aired every 9/11 anniversary – until the Clinton administration, wanting you to forget their flaccid response to the growing threat of Islamic extremism, and fearing the show would tarnish their political legacy, pulled out all the stops to suppress it; it very nearly wasn’t aired, and today you can’t even obtain it on DVD. (This whole story has been related fascinatingly in John Ziegler’s must-see documentary Blocking the Path to 9/11). It’s impossible to forget that morning only if we fight to keep its memory alive.

Americans can commit themselves to public service any or every other day of the year; 9/11 should be reserved for solemn remembrance and renewed commitment to preserving American security, values and sovereignty. A day of greening your neighborhood? I’m all for planting trees, but what does “green” have to do with 9/11? Only that it’s the color of Islam. But if the President insists, allow me to suggest some service appropriate to the day:

Education? How about this: educate yourself and your children about 9/11 and about the continuing Islamist threat – not only of overt acts of terrorism, but the insidious dangers of “stealth jihad” and “creeping sharia.”

Environment and community renewal? Okay, beautify your block by flying the Stars and Stripes. It sends a simple but unmistakable message to the enemy and their useful idiots that, unlike our post-American President and his fawning media, you are proud to be American; you believe in American exceptionalism; you believe that making this day about installing fluorescent light bulbs trivializes the memory of 9/11’s victims; and you will never let their deaths be in vain or erased from history.

Eight years ago, nineteen fanatical Muslims turned hijacked aircraft carrying hundreds of terrified passengers into missiles targeting symbols of American might. Nearly 3000 innocents died horribly that day, including hundreds of courageous, selfless first responders making a superhuman effort to rescue their fellow citizens. The hijackers are regarded by their fellow Islamists as heroes and martyrs in the cosmic war against the Great Satan America. That war is by no means over, and thus, in the Faulknerian sense, neither is 9/11. We owe it to the victims to keep this day alive in our hearts and national consciousness – and not allow the Left to bury it.

Make no mistake, no matter how the current administration tries to downplay the threat of radical Islam or change the lexicon of the GWOT to make its language more palatable to the PC-minded, what we face is a culture war – the progressive, free-minded, free-markets vs. the last bastions of anachronistic monarchy, oppression, and closed-mindedness.

If you doubt, ask any woman who grew up under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or Christian expartriates who live and work in the Saudi kingdom.

There is no timetable for a pull-out.

There will be no Paris Accords or effective mutual withdrawal.

We will be fighting this war until the end of time.

April 21, 1836 – The Battle of San Jacinto

The battle of San Jacinto was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution. On March 13, 1836, the revolutionary army at Gonzales began to retreat eastward. It crossed the Colorado River on March 17 and camped near present Columbia on March 20, recruiting and reinforcements having increased its size to 1,200 men. Sam Houston’s scouts reported Mexican troops west of the Colorado to number 1,325. On March 25 the Texans learned of James W. Fannin’s defeat at Goliad, and many of the men left the army to join their families on the Runaway Scrape. Sam Houston led his troops to San Felipe de Austin by March 28 and by March 30 to the Jared E. Groce plantation on the Brazos River, where they camped and drilled for a fortnight. Ad interim President David G. Burnet ordered Houston to stop his retreat; Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk urged him to take a more decisive course. Antonio López de Santa Anna decided to take possession of the Texas coast and seaports. With that object in view he crossed the Brazos River at present Richmond on April 11 and on April 15, with some 700 men, arrived at Harrisburg. He burned Harrisburg and started in pursuit of the Texas government at New Washington or Morgan’s Point, where he arrived on April 19 to find that the government had fled to Galveston. The Mexican general then set out for Anahuac by way of Lynchburg. Meanwhile, the Texans, on April 11, received the Twin Sisters and with the cannon as extra fortification crossed the Brazos River on the Yellow Stone and on April 16 reached Spring Creek in present Harris County. On April 17, to the gratification of his men, Houston took the road to Harrisburg instead of the road to Louisiana and on April 18 reached White Oak Bayou at a site within the present city limits of Houston. There he learned that Santa Anna had gone down the west side of the bayou and the San Jacinto River, crossing by a bridge over Vince’s Bayou. The Mexicans would have to cross the same bridge to return.

Viewing this strategic situation on the morning of April 19, Houston told his troops that it looked as if they would soon get action and admonished them to remember the massacres at San Antonio and at Goliad. On the evening of April 19 his forces crossed Buffalo Bayou to the west side 2½ miles below Harrisburg. Some 248 men, mostly sick and ineffective, were left with the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg. The march was continued until midnight. At dawn on April 20 the Texans resumed their trek down the bayou and at Lynch’s Ferry captured a boat laden with supplies for Santa Anna. They then drew back about a mile on the Harrisburg road and encamped in a skirt of timber protected by a rising ground. That afternoon Sidney Sherman with a small detachment of cavalry engaged the enemy infantry, almost bringing on a general action. In the clash Olwyns J. Trask was mortally wounded, one other Texan was wounded, and several horses were killed. Mirabeau B. Lamar, a private, so distinguished himself that on the next day he was placed in command of the cavalry. Santa Anna made camp under the high ground overlooking a marsh about three-fourths of a mile from the Texas camp and threw up breastworks of trunks, baggage, packsaddles, and other equipment. Both sides prepared for the conflict. On Thursday morning, April 21, the Texans were eager to attack. About nine o’clock they learned that Martín Perfecto de Cos had crossed Vince’s bridge with about 540 troops and had swelled the enemy forces to about 1,200. Houston ordered Erastus (Deaf) Smith to destroy the bridge and prevent further enemy reinforcements. The move would prevent the retreat of either the Texans or the Mexicans towards Harrisburg.

Shortly before noon, Houston held a council of war with Edward Burleson, Sidney Sherman Henry W. Millard, Alexander Somervell, Joseph L. Bennett, and Lysander Wells. Two of the officers suggested attacking the enemy in his position; the others favored waiting Santa Anna’s attack. Houston withheld his own views at the council but later, after having formed his plan of battle had it approved by Rusk. Houston disposed his forces in battle order about 3:30 in the afternoon while all was quiet on the Mexican side during the afternoon siesta. The Texans’ movements were screened by trees and the rising ground, and evidently Santa Anna had no lookouts posted. The battle line was formed with Edward Burleson’s regiment in the center, Sherman’s on the left wing, the artillery under George W. Hockley on Burleson’s right, the infantry under Henry Millard on the right of the artillery, and the cavalry under Lamar on the extreme right. The Twin Sisters were wheeled into position, and the whole line, led by Sherman’s men, sprang forward on the run with the cry, “Remember the Alamo!” “Remember Goliad!” The battle lasted but eighteen minutes. According to Houston’s official report, the casualties were 630 Mexicans killed and 730 taken prisoner. Against this, only nine of the 910 Texans were killed or mortally wounded and thirty were wounded less seriously. Houston’s ankle was shattered by a rifle ball. The Texans captured a large supply of muskets, pistols, sabers, mules, horses, provisions, clothing, tents, and $12,000 in silver. Santa Anna disappeared during the battle and search parties were sent out on the morning of the 22. The party consisted of James A. Sylvester, Washington H. Secrest, Sion R. Bostick, and a Mr. Cole discovered Santa Anna hiding in the grass. He was dirty and wet and was dressed as a common soldier. The search party did not recognize him until he was addressed as “el presidente” by other Mexican prisoners. One of the eight inscriptions on the exterior base of the San Jacinto Monument reads: “Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”

From The Handbook of Texas Online

Texas Independence Day – March 2, 1836

One of the most important documents in Texas history is the Declaration of Independence, adopted in general convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, March 2, 1836.

Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Texas

UNANIMOUS
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
BY THE
DELEGATES OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS,
IN GENERAL CONVENTION,
AT THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON,
ON THE SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1836

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted; and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression; when the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood – both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, and the ever-ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants; When long after the spirit of the Constitution has departed, moderation is at length, so far lost, by those in power that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms, themselves, of the constitution discontinued; and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons; and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet. When in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication, on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements: In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation – the inherent and inalienable right of the people to appeal to first principles and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases – enjoins it as a right towards themselves and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness. Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is, therefore, submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.

Full text.

TEXAS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE . . . . The Texas edict, like the United States Declaration of Independence, contains a statement on the nature of government, a list of grievances, and a final declaration of independence. The separation from Mexico was justified by a brief philosophical argument and by a list of grievances submitted to an impartial world. The declaration charged that the government of Mexico had ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people; that it had been changed from a restricted federal republic to a consolidated, central, military despotism; that the people of Texas had remonstrated against the misdeeds of the government only to have their agents thrown into dungeons and armies sent forth to enforce the decrees of the new government at the point of the bayonet; that the welfare of Texas had been sacrificed to that of Coahuila; that the government had failed to provide a system of public education, trial by jury, freedom of religion, and other essentials of good government; and that the Indians had been incited to massacre the settlers. According to the declaration, the Mexican government had invaded Texas to lay waste territory and had a large mercenary army advancing to carry on a war of extermination. The final grievance listed in justification of revolution charged that the Mexican government had been “the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrannical government.” After the signing of the original declaration by fifty-nine delegates, five copies of the document were dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. The printer at San Felipe was also instructed to make 1,000 copies in handbill form.

More.