|Articles, History, Media Archive, Texas, United States, Women on 2016-04-11 17:19Z by Steven|
The Houston Chronicle
Joe Holley, Native Texan
A statue of “Emily Morgan” by Veryl Goodnight stands amidst a garden of yellow roses in an office complex across the street from Memorial City Mall in Houston.
Photo: Joe Holley, Joe Holley/Houston Chronicle
Was the exhausted Mexican general in a deep daytime slumber, even as Gen. Sam Houston and his Texian army were massing for an attack just three-quarters of a mile away? That’s what Santa Anna said he was doing in a long report he presented to the Mexican government about that fateful spring day. (Actually, he said he was sleeping under a shade tree.)
Or, as Texas myth and the movies have it, was he entwined in the arms of a beautiful, young “mulatto” woman named Emily Morgan, the fabled “Yellow Rose of Texas,” and thus oblivious to the looming danger?
Of course, the latter is the spicy tale most of us would like to believe, although the intricate swirl of legend, lore and shrouded history makes it very difficult to tease out the truth. As Dallas attorney Jeff Dunn reminded me earlier this week, the Emily tale isn’t totally implausible, but with the evidence that’s been uncovered to date, there’s no way to prove it one way or the other. (Neither party took a selfie.)
Dunn, an amateur historian long interested in the Battle of San Jacinto, has researched the Emily story for 25 years. He’s as interested in how the story evolved and how it got entangled more than a century later with a popular minstrel song as he is in establishing the truth of the matter. He’ll be exploring both those issues at the annual San Jacinto Symposium next weekend here in Houston. The symposium topic is “African-Americans in Texas History from Spanish-Colonial Times to Annexation.”…
Read the entire article here.