Sleuthing The Alamo Analysis

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In his book, Sleuthing The Alamo, James E. Crisp goes beyond the mere description of the historical events that took place during the Texas Revolution. Crisp’s passion to uncover why certain events of the Texas Revolution were remembered in a specific way, propelled him to closely examine and critically analyze the motive behind a number of writers and historians. It was this determination that forced Crisp to take no for an answer and to “attempt to separate Texas myth from Texas history”. What makes Crisp’s book Sleuthing The Alamo so unique, in contrast with most historical books, is that Crisp involves himself in his text in such a way that it becomes very personal to him. Additionally, Crisp doesn’t conceal his own personal biases as …show more content…
While the popular and most accepted belief was that Crockett died heroically in battle (as was clearly depicted in numerous films), the emergence of a diary written by Enrique de la Peña, a Mexican officer, who claimed “to be an eyewitness to the capture and execution of Davy Crockett in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of the Alamo” was about to send shockwaves to the historical circles. The first source that Crisp analyzed was Bill Groneman’s Defense of a Legend: Crockett and the de la Peña Diary. Groneman, a police detective and a historian, who latter would become one of Crisp’s lifelong colleagues, argued that the de la Peña diary was a forgery, thus the claim of Crockett surrendering was not accurate. The controversy surrounded Crockett’s death intrigued Crisp, who later on uncovered that de la Peña manuscripts came from J. Sánchez Garza, who had privately published them under the title La Rebelión de Texas: Manuscrito Inédito de 1836 por un Oficial de Santa Anna. After carefully studied Garza’s publication, Crisp felt that they were more questions raised than answered. Upon more digging, he discovered that de la Peña had written two separate manuscripts while he was imprisoned so Crisp arranged to get both copies and study them meticulously. Additionally, a second description of Davy Crockett’s execution, which would to be known as the “Dolson Letter” was accidentally discovered by a Rice University graduate student, would come to reinforce the claim that Davy Crockett surrendered rather than died fighting. After examining and analyzing all the sources Crisp could master, he concluded that based upon all the evidence, Crockett most likely surrendered, after General Castrillón promised him a safe conduct, but was condemned to death by an infuriated Santa

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