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Correspondence

Remember the (Unrevised) Alamo!

The revisionist historians are at it again, this time taking on the Alamo—a perfect target because of its position in the hearts of those horrible Texans.  Many historians are merely would-be journalists who choose as their playground past eras because, by the time honest historians can expose the new misconceptions and biases, the revisionists already have their Pulitzers.  Joe Ellis, author of several popular books on the Founding Fathers, proved this when he released the untrue story of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, in Nature.  Ellis twists not only the nation’s past but his own, announcing for years his service in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne, though he never even left the United States.  After he was exposed by the Boston Globe and this writer’s prior article in Chronicles, Ellis had to apologize publicly, and there was talk of revoking his Pulitzer.  That never happened.  The public, knowing little of history, still accepts his word in his books on the Founding Fathers as Holy Writ.

The heart of the attack on the Alamo is the allegation that Davy Crockett and several other defenders surrendered and were executed, rather than fight to the death.  This claim first surfaced in the 1970’s, based on a single paragraph in a book entitled With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution, by José Enrique de la Peña.  It is...

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