Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy San Jacinto Day!

On this date in 1836, Texas forces under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the army of Santa Anna in a surprise attack along the banks of the San Jacinto River near present-day Houston. The complete destruction of the Mexican army secured independence for Texas. Many Texans know that a significant credit to the victory is due to Emily Morgan, a mixed-race indentured servant of reputed beauty. She was captured by the Mexican army and Santa Anna became enamoured with her. Santa Anna, eager to bed her, ordered his army to encamp along the banks of the San Jacinto River over the objections of his generals who argued the position was indefensible. Thus was Sam Houston able to catch Santa Anna with his pants down--literally. The song "Yellow Rose of Texas" is specifically about Emily Morgan, as mixed-race people of the time were often referred to as "yellow." I'm partial to the late Stan Freberg's version, myself, despite his mispronunciation of "Rio Grande."

People sometimes wonder when I insist the story of La Grange's Chicken Ranch brothel is very much that of Texas itself, and I stand by that assertion. But as you can see, the republic (and by extension, state) of Texas owes its very existence, at least in part, to illicit sex. It's literally embedded in the cultural fabric from day one. Amazing what history isn't taught in history class!

Now Playing: The Kinks Did Ya
Chicken Ranch Central

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