Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Southern, Crockett, Whig, and Confederate

     El Gringo Viejo recuperated long ago from brain-strains caused by his peculiar political and philosophical positions.   He retreated into the intellectual wigwam of his ancestry, his people in Tennessee, and took the advice of one of those people.     This advisor from beyond the veil spoke to many....both contemporaries and those who would dwell in Earth's instructing them to "Be sure you are right, and then go ahead".

     David Crockett would not have fit into this day and time.    He was a showman, like Wild Bill Hickock, and an orator/humourist like Will Rogers.   He was a rustic man of the Smokies and the mountains of Eastern Tennessee.   He was also among the sharpest political and cultural analysts of his generation.    He gained fame as an Indian Fighter, and was also one of the foremost defenders of the Nations of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Cree(k), and other Indian peoples.  He was a Republican of sorts in that he was a member of the prototypical Republican Party, known as Whigs, at the time.    This placed him in the northern, industrial, and banking political group although his personality and loyalty was distinctly rustic, traditional, and individualistic.    While there is some question about his ancestry, it can be assumed by his colour that, like many white people in the South, he had one or two strains of Indian blood.
File:David Crockett.jpg     He informed people of his "evolution" as a conservative politician having been provoked by a Tennessee farmer.   While out visiting constituents one day, Crockett came upon one of his supporters, Horatio Bount, pushing his mules in the black soil of Franklin County, on the back side of the Smokey Mountains.   Crockett stopped and waved-ho the farmer who reined down his team and put them at rest.   The farmer walked over to the rail fence and shook hands tepidly with the famous Congressman and said nought.   Crockett sensed that there was some recalcitrance dwelling inside the farmer's soul, and immediately sought to plumb his motives.   He enquired of the health of the family and the major animals of the farm, and after receiving the briefest of answers, finally asked,"What seems to be the problem, Horatio?   Is there something we need to take care of?   Something I can do?"
     The farmer elbowed onto the rail fence, and leaned into an instructive pose, "Yes, Davy, there is a problem.   The news came by the paper that you all met in session and heard the plight of a widow who had lost her husband.   She's a known lady in the Washington area, and everyone was moved by her new problems....having children and accounts to pay and all."
      David Crockett brightened up, and interrupted a bit,"Yes, yes Horatio.   You're talking about Widow Baker, she was in a tight way and we voted her a goodly sum to dispel her cares.   It was a great amount for her but less than a copper for the Republic.   You can be sure that we took care of her.   Yes sir."   Crockett beamed with pride over this quick disarming of the issue.     But, his broad smile did not last long.   Horatio, the farmer, continued to look down and was shaking his head in the negative.
     The farmer took off his hat, and beat the chaff off'n his leg a bit, and then responded, "Well, Davy, here's the problem.   I am sure that the widow woman is a lady and that she had a cause for help.   It was good to help her.   But there is a wrong here, and you were part of it.   If you and your Congress friends felt so moved to help this woman, then you should have taken up a collection from among yourselves....or held a social....or informed the various churches and asked for a portion...or any number of other things.    It is not right, moral, legal, or in any way correct for you and your Congress friends to take money from people in Tennessee or New Hampshire or Pennsylvania and give it to anyone as a matter of matter how distressed that person is.   It is not your money to give.   Had you begged a dime from every Negro, a half-dollar from every wealthy man within 20 miles of that poor woman, she would have had a willingly given estate of several thousand dollars.    But, you chose to raid the national treasury and displace the Samaritan with the will of a messenger carrying his master's money and spending it in a saloon.    The messenger feels good for a moment, perhaps, but he is committing an evil."
      David Crockett was left with nothing more to say, save for this promise, "Jesse, you have spoken well.   I shall return to the Congress and place my share of the award to replace the money and I shall attempt to compel my colleagues to do likewise.   Your words have cleared my mind as to the nature of my duties, and I thank you."
(This is not taken from a "wire" worn by the farmer Horatio Bount.  It is solid lore and something that was passed to El Gringo Viejo by his grandfather.   The writer's mother was born in Franklin County, Tennessee which was the residency of David Crockett and his family during his service in Congress and from whence he left to go to Texas.   The Gringo Viejo's mother's family settled into the area of Franklin County during and shortly after the time of the Revolutionary War.   While the above conversation was not personally heard by the Gringo Viejo or his family members, he can hear his grandfather telling and re-telling the same story many times and in the same accent and rhetorical composition as might well have been used by Horatio and David.   El Gringo Viejo has to this day many, many 2nd and 3rd cousins living and buried in and around Franklin County, Tennessee.)

     Crockett left the Congress, tiring of the hypocrisy of his own party concerning the lack of compliance with the Indian Treaties and in utter disgust of the vicious, dictatorial nature of Andrew Jackson.   It is probable that he and Samuel Houston both came to the same conclusion about Jackson....Houston being a close personal friend of the Old Hickory....and like many Tennesseans, they decided to plight their troth with Texas.    Like many, he thought that it would be a great final adventure to move his family to that golden place and establish a new future for his children and grandchildren.
      It is thought by many people that Crockett was an unwilling participant in the issues that confronted him in Texas.   He was used to being comfortable among people of different races and extractions, being in contact with Negroes and Indians on a very close basis.   But, once in Texas, he found that he was confronting another Andrew Jackson, but this time in the form and presence of one Generalissimo Presidente Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.   He walked into a fight, that like back home, pitted the Centralists (led by Lopez de Santa Ana) against the local control liberal federalists (Zacatecas, Coahuila, Texas, Yucatan, Durango, Jalisco, Morelia, and many, many other entities) who were supporting the Mexican Constitution of 1824.   It was that Constitutionalist tri-colour that flew over the Alamo that enraged the Mexican dictator to unreasonable military measures that indirectly led to his losing a war that he had already won decisively.
     This is not to say that he was not a fighter at the Battle of the Alamo.   It is almost certainly the case that he was a fallen hero.   That he went down swinging "Old Betsy" and waiting for Buddy Ebsen to come riding up with reinforcements is very doubtful.   Best indicators suggest that he was spared by elements of the 2nd Batallion of Combat Engineers...known as the Segundo Batallon de Zapaderos, a truly heroic and militarily correct group....and brought as a prisoner to the presence of Lopez de Santa Ana.    Before the commanding general could speak to Crockett and two Latin Alamo defenders, several particularly effeminate lesser officers fell upon the two Mexican Texans and Crockett and hacked them to death with their parade sabres.
    According to Lt. Col. Enriquez de la Pen~a, XO of the 2nd Sapper Batallion, who had respect for Crockett and the other fallen in the actions of March 6, 1836, he included the above observations in his accounts of the battle.   His unit was the first to bridge the Sacred Walls.   He also wrote a long, detailed account of the war in Texas and was bitterly critical of its conduct by a person he considered to be a vainglorious fool.   He wrote:
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
The diversity of opinions expressed concerning the Texas campaign; the accumulation of lies told to falsify the events, published in national as well as international newspapers, but especially in the latter, and the cheap adulation have rendered to the men least deserving of it; the ignorance, stupidity, and cruelty displayed by the ministry and the commander in chief of this war; the honor of the army, unjustly censured even by its own members, who without adequate knowledge have superficially or inaccurately passed judgement; the honor and self-esteem of every military man who participated, so deeply hurt by the inaccuracies in the official records as to dates, deeds, and places; and above all the honor of the country, deeply compromised by its leaders and no less by the truth and the atrocity of its crimes – these are the principal causes which compelled me to publish the diary I kept during the time I served in this unfortunate campaign

     The "Disney" historians would not like for this to be revealed, and others who prefer a hollow myth to the hallowed truth resent the telling of the true story.   The Lieutenant Colonel's account....lengthy, over-flowery like other writings of its type at the time, and detailed have been challenged.   But it becomes increasingly clear as the years go by that his accounts are true....his charges of war crimes, incompetence, corruption, and cover-ups by the Generalissimo and his lackeys have tales from the Bible....become more and more plausible.    El Gringo Viejo finds his writings, having read them in both the original Spanish and in translation, to be veritable and worthy of regard as truth.
     Enriquez de la Pen~a's description of timings, unit movements, results, the weather and climate and geography, the support of the Anglo-Irish to the south in Texas and the opposition among the Latins in the northerly parts of Texas....among many other things....point to his veracity.   He regarded Crockett's death and the two Mexican defenders deaths as murder.
      This winding account of very small moments in Col. Crockett's life shows, perhaps, a better understanding of the thought processes of a typical Southern, Confederate, Crockett, Whig.   The typical Democrat....the typical leftist....the typical stereotyper who accuses us of stereotyping while portraying us gleefully as Beverly Hillbillies....has neither the depth of understanding of history nor the native intelligence to truly comprehend things like the Tea Party movement, philosophical conservatism, or the difference between private charity and welfare.
The Gringo Viejo feels better now...for a little while.    Thanks for your time.
El Gringo Viejo