Today in 1836, one day after Sam Houston and his Texian Army defeated the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto, a search party led by James Sylvester, captured Mexican General Santa Anna. Now WE know em

Antonio_Lopez_de_Santa_Anna_c1853 (2)

On March 6, 1836, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s forces killed 189 Texan defenders at the Battle of the Alamo.

Santa Anna and his army then executed more than 342 Texan prisoners at the Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836.

On hearing the news of the defeats at the Alamo and Goliad, men flocked to the Texian Army under the command of Sam Houston.

By early April of 1836, Sam Houston commanded about 800 Texian’s.

Battle of San Jacinto

The Texian Army then routed the Mexican force at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 with the Texans shouting “Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo!”

Santa Anna disappeared during the battle and evaded discovery by shedding his ornate uniform for that of a common soldier.

A small search party led by James A. Sylvester, and including Washington H. Secrest, Sion R. Bostick, and a Mr. Cole was sent out the next morning, April 22, 1836.

When surrounded in high grass and compelled to surrender, Santa Anna was initially thought to be a common soldier.

However, when saluted as “El Presidente” by other prisoners, his true identity was discovered by the Texans.

Sam Houston spared his life, preferring to negotiate an end to the overall hostilities and the withdrawal from Texas of Santa Anna’s remaining columns.

On May 14, 1836, Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco, in which he agreed to withdraw his troops from Texan soil and, in exchange for safe conduct back to Mexico, lobby there for recognition of the new republic.

Santa Anna was held for six months as a prisoner of war and finally taken to Washington, DC.

There he met with President Andrew Jackson, before finally returning in disgrace to Mexico in early 1837.

The newly independent Republic of Texas received diplomatic recognition from the United States, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Yucatán.

But even after Texas became a state in 1845, Mexico still maintained claims on Texas, until it was defeated in the Mexican-American War and forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848.

Santa Anna lived in exile in Cuba, Colombia, St. Thomas, and then the United States.

In 1869, the 74-year-old Santa Anna was living on Staten Island, New York.

He tried to raise money for an army to return and take over Mexico City by importing the first shipment of chicle, the base of chewing gum.

His plan was to replace rubber in carriage tires, but failed to profit from this.

Ironically, Thomas Adams, the American assigned to aid Santa Anna while he was in the United States, bought one ton of chicle from Santa Anna. Adams then helped found the chewing gum industry with William Wrigley, Jr. Together, Adams and Wrigley added sugar to the chicle creating a product called “Chiclets”.

Santa Anna finally returned to Mexico in 1874. Crippled and almost blind from cataracts, Santa Anna died two years later in Mexico City on June 21, 1876 and was buried in Panteón del Tepeyac Cemetery.

Now WE know em

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