Friday, May 28, 2015 – Texas Rising – Where? In the Southern Texas Alps?
I was glad to see on FB that I was not the only one who is having some issues with the History Channel’s Texas Rising. Issues were shared from individuals with a solid knowledge of Texas History to those with advanced and academic knowledge of the topic. I am somewhere in between.
Granted the beginning credits offer a disclaimer that it is a dramatic interpretation. And it is based on Stephen L. Moore’s book by the same name. Mr. Moore is a native Texan, whose Texas roots go way back and he is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University – Ax ‘Em Jacks! So he must have Dr. Archie P. McDonald channeled into him for accuracy. He could even be Dr. Archie P. reborn, recycled, updated, Version 2.0 or however you want to look at it.
I think the musical score is great and I really like the kaleidoscope opening of each episode And I do like many other aspects of the series so far.
But some things are stretched beyond imagination and in some cases– just made up, inaccurate stuff.
Including thoughts on FB postings regarding the first episode that aired on Monday, Here’s What I’m Thinking:
One comment said the opening was too sensationalized and went to on question March 7 as the day the bodies were buried. There is some truth to both of those. But I disagree with the sensationalism. Santa Anna riding through the streets around the mission and the following scenes resembled media footage of villages today conquered by tyrants and ruthless dictators. The scenes are violent, but unfortunately accurate. Spoiler alert – if you thought the scenes of the Alamo aftermath were violent, wait until you see aftermath of The Battle of Coleto – aka The Goliad Massacre.
As to the March 7 and waiting until the next day to bury the dead – That is plausible and possible, depending on what time the walls of the mission were breeched, a search, executing stranglers, the smoke clearing, etc. If it were shortly before midnight, the Mexicans might have waited until daybreak to begin. Hell, as crazy as Santa Anna was, he might have ordered them to wait until he could see it.
THE GEOGRAPHY and THE GEOLOGY! When I first saw Houston’s camp in Gonzalez, I thought to myself – where the hell is that? I learned that there is a small geologic formation in Palmetto State Park near Gonzales that does have a drop-off and a cliff. A similar geologic shape exists in nearby Smithville. So with a stretch of the imagination I could believe this.
Today there are views (at least on the parks’ websites) from both parks that might have resembled Texas territory in 1836. Unfortunately today, May 29, 2015, both parks are underwater due to the recent flooding. This is probably why the park in Gonzales is named Palmetto State Park.
As the rangers and soldiers move around, I can imagine some of those really high hills, and maybe some of the large rock formations and even the sandy soil with sparse vegetation. The CCC planted vegetation in that area during the 1930’s. Much of the landscape would have been destroyed with urbanization. But with an imagination stretch, maybe.
But those cliffs and mountains? Get me a confirmation from a geology nerd, but NO WAY did Texas have those types of geologic formations except in some geologic time zone like the Third Ice Age or the Mesozoic or Paleozoic Periods in that part of Texas. Since our grand state does have it all, there are places where beautiful scenes like those do exist but not in that geographic designated area.
Several of the really key watchers picked up on some questionable comments. For example, when Sam Houston says to Emily West post Alamo “Texas is not a slave state.” Well, first of all – technically was not a state, but a territory. Depends which side you are asking.
State or territory? Whichever it was, it was a slave one. Slavery was the issue in the overall problems with Mexico. Mexico’s laws outlawed slavery. And wasn’t Sam Houston a slave owner? Or had been at one time?
And Mexico was having serious issues with Americans immigrating to their country, not learning their language, bringing their slaves, putting their white children in their schools and bringing their traditions and customs. See reverse today.
And the relationship between Sam Houston and Emily West? Taking comments now! I am speechless and highly doubtful. Has anybody checked on the Daughters of the Republic of Texas? They are probably still passed out in a dead faint.