The Irish at the Alamo

In memorium

Samuel E. Burns
Andrew Duvalt
Robert Evans
Joseph M. Hawkins
William Daniel Jackson
James McGee
Robert McKinney
James Nowlan
Jackson J. Rusk
Burke Trammel
William B. Ward

"...The largest proportion of defenders were
foreign immigrants from the United Kingdom."

From the 1800 Act of Union, the United Kingdom comprised: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Of the men that fought and died at the Alamo, 29 are known to be from the United Kingdom.

It has not been possible to trace the place of origin of 19 defenders. This suggests that they did not own land or have families in the United States, probably because they were new immigrants. I would suggest that there is more than fair chance that a high proportion, say 30%, of these 19 defenders were from the United Kingdom.

The Napoleonic Wars cost the United Kingdom dear, in 1815 unemployment and poverty were rife in Great Britain. The Treaty of Ghent in 1815 ended the War of 1812, between the United Kingdom and the United States, and opened the United States for immigration from the United Kingdom. However, the Irish potato famine did not start until, say, 1841 and did not cause mass emigration until 1845.

With this in mind, the proportion of Alamo defenders from the United Kingdom can probably be increased. Excluding: the 7 Tejanos, 2 Germans, 1 Dutchman, and John the black freedman; probably as much as 20% of the remaining 130 were new immigrants from the United Kingdom. Thus, men from the United Kingdom comprised at least 15% and may be 33%.of the defenders of the Alamo.

Submitted by Martin Smith, U.K. (Alamo Forum, November 1997)