Anahuac Disturbances

Anahuac, Texas is located a little less than an hour’s drive due east of downtown Houston. Early inhabitants are said to have included Native tribes such as the Caddo and Atakapan followed by European explorers. There were other European settlers living there by 1824 after which Mexican dictator Santa Anna overthrew the constitutional government of Mexico, leading to rising tensions in the area. The conflict and tension in Mexico between those who favored either the federalist or the centralist form of government was an undercurrent of the Texas Revolution and a complication for the Mexican government while trying to hold on to Texas.

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David and Hannah Burnet

David Gouverneur Burnet was born on April 14, 1788 in Newark, New Jersey to Dr. William Russell Burnet (1730-1791) and Gertrude Gouverneur Burnet (1725-1791). Dr. Burnet had been married twice, first to Mary Camp (1737-1781) with whom he had at least eleven children. After Mary died, Dr. Burnet married Gertrude, with whom he had another three children of which David was the youngest. The Burnet family was quite well known and influential in the early days of New Jersey. Many of the adult sons enlisted in the militia upon learning of the Battle of Lexington. Dr. Burnet had previously opened a medical office in Newark. During the Revolutionary War, he became surgeon general of the eastern army. One account stated that Dr. Burnet was stationed at West Point and was in the room with former patriot and traitor Benedict Arnold when he received a letter from a messenger that a British officer, a Major Andre, had been captured. Arnold knew that his activities in cooperation with the British were about to be exposed. During the war, the Burnet family hosted George and Martha Washington. Dr. Burnet and Mrs. Burnet died rather suddenly in 1791. Both of David’s parents having died when he was three years old, he went to live with two of his half brothers, Jacob and Isaac, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Vicente Filisola

Vicente Filisola is best known as being second in command to Gen. José López de Santa Anna in the latter days of the Texas Revolution. Filisola (1789-1850) was born in Ravello, Italy. Early in his life, Filisola’s family had moved from Italy to Spain, and he joined the Spanish army while still a young man in 1804. Filisola served in Europe for a time, but around 1811 is believed to have begun serving in Mexico, or New Spain as it was also known.

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Branch Tanner Archer

Branch Tanner Archer was born in Virginia to Peter Field Archer and Frances Tanner Archer. Archer’s grandfather was Colonel William Wharton Archer, who had fought in the American Revolution as had Archer’s father. As a young man, Archer had received his education at William and Mary College. He then studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia before returning to Virginia to set up a medical practice. He also served several terms in the Virginia State Legislature.

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José Antonio Menchaca

For many years, there was a road in south Austin called Manchaca Road. After some legal issues, in 2019 the name was finally changed to Menchaca Road. Some of the objections were voiced by local residents and businesses from a group known as Leave Manchaca Alone, and possibly others. The objections included arguments that Manchaca Road was perhaps not named for the individual who fought in the Texas Revolution, rather that instead it was derived from a Chocktaw word or had some other origin, that the name change would disrupt business, that property owners did not receive the proper notice of the proposed change, etc. An opposing group named Justice for Menchaca was in favor of the name change. Ultimately the judge’s decision favored renaming the street Menchaca rather than Manchaca in honor of José Antonio Menchaca.

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