Texas Society Board of Managers Meeting
Lake Jackson, TX
Cradle of Texas Chapter - Hosts
July 30 – Aug. 2, 2009
It was very fitting that our first official appearance as President General and First Lady was at a Texas SAR Society event. We drove to this event, which was 525 miles round trip.
Dr. Don Pugh was the chairman of the event. He organized a wonderful full day historic tour of Brazoria County, TX, entitled “The Trails and Trials of Santa Anna after San Jacinto in Brazoria County, and Other Historic Sites”. Brazoria County is named after the Brazos River, the longest river in Texas. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Brazosport, TX.
We joined about 40 Texas SAR members and wives for this tour. For the reader who is not familiar with Santa Anna, he was the Mexican general who lead thousands of Mexican soldiers against the few hundred defenders of the Alamo. Surely, the reader has heard the cry “Remember the Alamo”. Santa Anna’s army also slaughtered the defenders of Goliad, but was dispensed justice at the Battle of San Jacinto, just outside Houston, TX. This victory led to the creation of the Empire of Texas.
Santa Anna was taken prisoner at San Jacinto. It was a full time job preventing him from being lynched by the Texas survivors, who demanded blood. Wiser heads prevailed. He was kept alive as a bargaining chip. To hide him, he was brought to Brazoria County, the birthplace of Texas. In 1820, Stephen F. Austin, one of the four leaders killed at the Alamo in 1836, was deeded land in Brazoria County. The town of West Columbia, in Brazoria County, became the first capital of Texas.
Our tour took us to several of the plantations where Santa Anna was sequestered. One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the Durazno (“Durazno” is Spanish for “peach”) Plantation, which was to be Stephen F. Austin’s plantation. He died before it was developed. It became the home of his nephew. The Patton Plantation (Varner Hogg Historical Site) was the home of James Stephen Hogg, the first governor of Texas who was born in Texas. It was donated to the state by his daughter, Ima Hogg.
The meeting was held at the Cherotel in Lake Jackson. Robin and I were provided with a very handsome two room suite, which was very comfortable. Judge Tom Lawrence, state president, and his first lady Mickey, were conducting their first TXSSAR meeting since his election in March. I had appointed Tom as Vice President General of the International District, and he was an unopposed candidate for Chancellor General. Other General Officers in attendance were Secretary General David Sympson, Genealogist General Joe Dooley, both of whom were dual members of the San Antonio, TX chapter, and Vice President General for the South Central District, Harry Fife. Altogether, there were about 100 members and their wives in attendance.
Immediately after Robin and I arrived, Dr Pugh took me to the Brazosport Community College, where I was introduced to Dr. John C. Ray, Dean of Information and Community Resources. At the Spring Leadership meeting, I made a videotape presentation for prospective new members. I had understood that it would be recorded in the afternoon. When I walked into headquarters on that morning the videographers were already set up and wanted to record my presentation right then. Without an opportunity to review my notes, we completed the recording. Unfortunately, there were a few minor mistakes, which would have been unimportant to prospects. I knew the