James (Santiago) McGloin
Irish Empresario & Co-founder
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McGloin's letter to Ayers points to the fact that he feels that by taking the oath, he might have to support "independence" if the governor and the council should come to support it. He is definitely in favor of the federal Constitution of 1824. Christmas of 1835 had been celebrated in the same way as that of 1834, but there was now a feeling of great apprehension. The war cloud could be felt as it cast its shadow over San Patricio de Hibernia. Ira Westover, originally a San Patricio settler, rode into town on the 7th of January after having resigned his seat in the General Council. He felt now a desire for action. He came to the conclusion that his military talent was needed more at this point than his presence in the General Council so that Captain Westover came home to search for a company to join him. As we have seen in the previous chapter, quite a few were recruited by him from San Patricio on January 7, 1836.
For almost four months the idea of an expedition to Matamoros had been the subject of letters, messages, and conversations among the leaders and most prominent men in Texas. Therefore, the inclusion of a detailed account of the varied and conflicting opinions of the idea of an expedition to Matamoros in the sketch on James McGloin is apropos because his is the only eyewitness account by a Texan of its tragic end in San Patricio. It is seemingly impossible to discover who first conceived the idea of an expedition to Matamoros, for it sprang from an age-old military strategy, namely, Shall we let the enemy come to us, or shall we go to the enemy and bring the destruction of war to his own territory? Each strategy has merit. Those who were in favor of the Matamoros Expedition thought it a good way to keep the war out of unprepared Texas. They also hoped to be joined by Federalists south of the Rio Grande who were wholeheartedly against the Centralism of Santa Anna; by it there was hope of their troops being supplied with provisions and ammunition which were scarce in Texas. Stephen F. Austin was aware of both the gains and the dangers of such a venture.
After the victory of the Texians in the Siege of Bexar (Dec. 5 -10), the planter colonists made their way back to their farms thinking the war was over. Austin doubted that they could act in unison to fight. But there was a stream of volunteers from the United States flowing into Texas. They had come to fight and wanted action; they could not bear the thought of languishing in some fort waiting for the Mexicans to attack them. If the war was allowed to come to the colonies, the colonists would suffer destruction and death; all their labor in the fields would be lost, their cattle driven off and butchered, and their homes looted and burned. Although the colonists, busy on their farms, did not envision this, Stephen F. Austin, as early as November 5th, 1835, sent a message to the president of the Consultation, even though he realized the risks which might prove disastrous.
It is to be noted that he wanted Mexia, a native Mexican, to lead the expedition. This way the war would not assume a national character; i.e. Texas vs. Mexico, but only aid to the Mexican Federalists against the Centralists. If Matamoros were taken, Bexar would fall, for all supplies of funds and troops would be cut off. It is to be remembered that Bexar at this time was under siege and had been for over a month. The strategy of the Texians was to keep provisions, ammunition, and troops from coming to General Cos at San Antonio de Bexar.
[NOTE: Josť Antonio Mexia had been a staunch friend of Santa Anna until the latter became a Centralist. Mexia, a sincere Republican, became involved in several of the revolts which broke out against Santa Anna in Mexico. These uprisings were crushed, and Mexia escaped to New Orleans in 1835 where he began recruiting an expedition to Mexico]
Dimitt goes on to say that if it could be accomplished, there would be much to gain. One day later in a communication to Wily Martin he said that he had now come to the definite conclusion that Mexico, both Federalists and Centralists, in the final analysis, would go against Texas. The statement was prophetic. He goes on to say,
While the above messages were going back and forth concerning General Josť Antonio Mexia's leading an expedition to Matamoros, he was in New Orleans organizing a group of volunteers from the United States, and a few from Canada, England, and Ireland, to make up an expedition to Tampico. On the 15th of November Mexia of the Army of the Federal Republic made his proclamation to the Mexican people at the bar of Tampico, denouncing Santa Anna's Centralist Government, which had usurped the laws, made the constitution and congress null and void, dissolved the legislatures, and substituted military government to all the states except Coahuila and Texas. He had come to avenge their offended rights. Mexia further stated, "A small number of Texians have come with me. Unite with them. Their motto is, 'The Federal Constitution and the disavowal of all acts of the usurping administration. [Mexia's Proclamation, November 15, 1835, Ibid., p. 426] Mexia's plan was to attack Tampico, and succeeding there, he would move on to Matamoros. But this plan went awry. His attack on Tampico was a complete disaster, ending in shipwreck, withdrawal, and death; death to a few in battle and twenty-six prisoners shot. The expedition to Matamoros had not been started much less achieved, but the idea persisted. McMullen and McGloin in San Patricio realized the peril of their position on the frontier especially since a sizable force of Mexicans had reoccupied Fort Lipantitlan. On November 16th Dimitt at Goliad became aware of the problem and proclaimed to the public,
Is it any wonder that the San Patricians had not settled down to hold an election of delegates to the Consultation? However, on the 19th of November the election was held and Lewis Ayers became the representative of the municipality of San Patricio. Fannin expressed his view to Governor Smith in a message November 31st stating that
a great saving can be attained by offensive operations, and thus cripple the enemy by carrying the war into his own country, and make them pay the cost and save our own firesides from the scourge---I do not pretend to the gift of prophecy, but little doubt the fulfillment of the last suggestion, if suitable and timely preparation be made to repel the first onset. [Fannin to Smith, November 31, 1835, Jenkin's Papers, III, p. 63]
This last clause together with the other recommendations he made to strengthen the army before a move could be made give an insight into Fannin's character. Fannin was ready to take the offensive when everything was right; but unless it were so, he could not make a decision. This characteristic, in part, accounts for his indecisiveness at crucial times to come, and one such bout with indecision cost him his life and the lives of his men. The idea of an expedition to Matamoros was still being bandied about. Dimitt at Goliad had changed his mind. He no longer harbored the apprehension which he expressed before, but urged an expedition to Matamoros with Lorenzo de Zavala as the nominal head and suggested that a counter-revolutionary flag be adopted so that "the liberals (Federalists) of all classes would join us." [Dimitt to - December 2, 1835, Ibid., p. 77]
But Lorenzo de Zavala wrote to Dimitt on Dec. 9th, not knowing that Mexia's expedition to Tampico had failed, that if Mexia's expedition succeeded in Tampico, Dimitt should send an expedition to Matamoros. [Zavala to Dimitt, December 9, 1835, Ibid., p. 131] Travis stationed at Mill Creek, recruiting men and bursting with desire for action, sent an express to Lt. Gov. Robinson on Dec. 17th saying that he hoped the council would take measures to fit out an expedition to Matamoros immediately to take the port and the city of Matamoros. [Travis to Robinson, December 17, 1835, Ibid., p. 241] F.W. Johnson, chief of the volunteers, wrote to Governor Smith on December 18th from San Antonio de Bexar saying,
This statement gives reason to believe that Col. Johnson, veteran of the Siege of Bexar, was ready for more action. The Nueces would be the point of departure for the expedition to Matamoros, although he had not yet been granted permission to lead it. Houston had been made commander-in-chief of the army of Texas. On the 16th of December Governor Smith wrote to him to establish his headquarters at the town of Washington until further ordered. In the meantime he was to do everything to promote the proper organization of the army and inform him of his success or any impediments in his way. [Smith to Houston, December 17, 1835, Ibid, p. 239] There was, indeed, an impediment which was to cause the disorganization of the army.
[NOTE: The Consultation's Provisions for an Army and Military Defense---Article 11: The regular army shall consist of a commander- in-chief of all the forces (both regulars and volunteers) called into service during the war. (It must be borne in mind that the forces then in the field were volunteer citizens, acting in the entire absence of government who would and who did come and go at the individual pleasure of each man.) Article VI: The regular army of Texas shall consist of men enlisted for two years and of volunteers for and during the continuance of the war. (The volunteers wanted to be free to choose their own leader and wanted no restrictions regarding the length of service. So, Sam Houston was only their nominal leader.
Houston wrote to Smith acknowledging his letter and informing him of the difficulty of organizing an army. He said, "More than a month has elapsed since the adjournment of the Consultation, and the regular army is not yet organized, and although I have ordered officers on the recruiting service, it has been on my own responsibility." [Houston to Smith Dec. 17, 1835, Jenkin's Papers, p. 224] Before leaving San Felipe, Houston ordered James Bowie to undertake an expedition to Matamoros. Fortunately, he did not receive the order. At this time F. W. Johnson was organizing his volunteers and was asking the provisional government to commission officers at his suggestion. On Christmas Eve of 1835 at headquarters at Bexar F.W. Johnson wrote to the Committee of Military Affairs (Wyatt, Hanks, Clements):
On Christmas Day of 1835 he (Johnson) wrote to Lt. Governor Robinson from San Antonio de Bexar in answer to Robinson's suggestion that an expedition to Matamoros be made. Johnson was in San Antonio de Bexar with a group of volunteers from the United States. In his message to Robinson he said,
Johnson believed that an expedition to Matamoros would not only cripple the enemy in his resources but it would scare the Mexican Federalists into action and give employment to Santa Anna in other parts of the country besides Texas. It can be seen by the two letters from Dimitt written on the 28th and 29th of December that Dimitt's mind is flexible, his attitude adaptable, and his awareness keen to changing conditions. He has now given priority to the protection of the southwestern frontier by the volunteers from the United States rather than pushing for the Matamoros Expedition. He wrote,
In the same letter he (Dimitt) wrote to Robinson,
Meanwhile Houston wrote to Governor Smith from Washington on Dec. 30 before leaving Washington to make a treaty with the Cherokees so that there would be no enemy at their rear. In his post script he says,
On January 3rd Johnson wrote to the Council, in regard to the expedition to Matamoros,
Col. Johnson went to San Felipe and reported that the troops were leaving Bexar for the new front (San Patricio). However he discovered that the council was about to give command of the volunteers to Fannin. Johnson on the 5th of January declined to have any further part in the matter. The next day he changed his mind and offered to proceed. [Huson, Refugio I, p. 261] The council had appointed Fannin to raise, collect, and concentrate all troops at El Copano and make a descent to Matamoros. R.R. Royall had written Houston from Matagorda asking him why he hadn't used the volunteers in Texas: 160 in Velasco, 75 at Washington, 75 at Goliad, 3 to 400 at Bexar, and in all 6 to 700. He said,
Houston realized that the volunteers did not recognize his authority. They wanted to choose their own leaders, but in this case he asserted his authority and ordered them all to El Copano. And from there they would gather at Refugio. At this point Houston was not decidedly against the expedition to Matamoros, neither was Governor Smith; however, the governor was not for accepting any help from the Federalists of the interior. He was for independence. There was a great weakness in the Texian Army caused from not having volunteers and regulars under one command. They were legally, but not actually, under one command. After the arrival of the volunteers in Refugio, Houston met with them. He saw the disorganization of the army with two leaders for an expedition to Matamoros: Fannin and Johnson-Grant. He realized the impossibility of a successful expedition to Matamoros. Houston talked to the volunteers and persuaded most of the men (about 300) not to attempt the expedition. But Johnson and Grant were adamant. Houston could see that the disorganization of the army was such that an attempt to hold them together would be chaos. Furthermore, the Mexicans in the interior were gathering at Matamoros ready to move into Texas. Time was of the essence.
At one time Houston had considered Dimitt's idea of fighting the war on the Texas frontier. But he also gave this up for the same reason. He had a regular army of not more than 200 men and no control over the volunteers. It was too late for a war on the frontier and too late for an expedition to Matamoros. So Houston left Refugio and went back to finish his talks with the Cherokees. After Governor Smith received a letter from Col. Neill and shortly after another from Sam Houston telling him of conditions at the Alamo after Johnson and Grant had taken both soldiers and supplies for the expedition to Matamoros, the governor, enraged, vetoed the expedition after the council had ordered it. The council overrode the veto, whereas the governor retaliated with a scorching letter to the council which has been discussed in the previous chapter on McMullen. The governor was impeached by the council, and the council refused a reconciliation. Texas was left practically without a government; furthermore, the army was in a state of complete disorganization at a time when the Mexicans of the interior were stationed at various points, including Matamoros, ready to move into Texas. Johnson and Grant, without the aid of Fannin and his men, went on with their preparations for the Matamoros Expedition, hoping that Fannin with his 160 men would join their 60 troops at San Patricio. But after Fannin's arrival at Refugio February 4, by way of El Copano, he heard Houston's opinion of the Matamoros Expedition and had second thoughts. He agreed with Houston and did not act. The story of the Matamoros Expedition, according to the eyewitness account accredited to James McGloin, and sometimes titled "McGloin's War," to be found in the Lamar Papers, goes as follows:
[NOTE: Santa Rosa Ranch above is still in operation near present Raymondville. At one time the ranch belonged to Charles F. Stillman , founder of Brownsville]
Word had come to San Patricio through its spies that General Josť Urrea had left Matamoros on his way to San Patricio to abort the expedition that was planned to leave there for Matamoros. It was the 22nd of February and James McGloin, realizing the weakened condition of the colony, took the opportunity to send a message to Fannin at Goliad. John Turner, who had written Fannin of the condition of San Patricio on November 30th, was now at Washington-on-the-Brazos after being elected to represent the municipality of San Patricio at the convention of March 1st. John White Bower had also been elected, but had been delayed and was now ready to leave San Patricio for Washington via Goliad. James McGloin wrote the following letter to Bower:
Col. Johnson on his return sent the horses out to a ranch some few miles from town under the care of some volunteers and Mexicans, and the rest were stationed at three different houses, Captain Pearson with eight men lodged on the public square ... When on the morning of the third day at 4 A.M. all lay asleep little thinking it would be the last for some . . . the place was surrounded by 450 cavalry. Col. Johnson on being asked to surrender by the enemy which was at the front of his place was answered from within by Daniel Toler ... that he would surrender but at the same time opened the back of his tent (cabin) and got to Mission Refugio the next day at 12 A.M. without hat, shoe or coat. (Col. Johnson, John H. Love and James M. Miller also escaped.) The Texians seeing from within that they were going to set fire to the place called to Captain (Pearson). When asked to give himself up he answered "No" and commenced to fire encouraging his men to do ... (the same). They killed the Mexican Col. and two men wounded; four men died after. The men called out "Surrender"; and in going out to give themselves up they were shot or lanced, among them Captain T.K. Pearson, Dr. J. Hart, Benjamin Dale, Lt. Coony (?) all of which were interred the next day by the Rev. T.J. Molloy in the churchyard of the same place, the other part surrendered and was saved, made prisoners of General Urrea who commanded, (Urrea) sent out his spies after Col. Grant, who was between them and the Rio Grande when on the third day intelligence was brought that Grant was to be in the next day, orders was immediately to march and meet him in the plains. There were also two spies sent them to tell him that Col. Johnson and his party was well and expecting him (Grant) momentarily, which was done, then did 400 horsemen go to the 25 of Col. Grant ... he commenced his journey in the morning to join the others, but what must be his surprise when he got himself enclosed in by such superior forces, there was no way to escape, He (Grant) told the men to hold out their ground and fight until killed; the enemy not giving them time to look but rushing on to them, separated them ... they all took to run, but the enemy in coming up to them speared or lanced them off their horses, showing no quarter stripping them naked before they were dead. Col. Grant ran his horse seven miles before he was overtaken by the Lt. He (Grant) fired one of his pistols and pared the leaf off his hat, the second he fired without effect, the other came up and lanced him through the back. [McGloin, "Historical Notes," Lamar Papers, V, p. 281-282
It is interesting to note how the news of General Josť Urrea's victory in the Battle of San Patricio was received in Mexico. In the newspaper "Mercurio de Matamoros" dated March 2, 1836, an article appeared after word had been received of how General Urrea had aborted the much-talked-of expedition to Matamoros.. [Mercurio de Matamoros, March 2, 1836, Matamoros Archiv Catholic Chancery, Austin, Texas]
Another article in the same paper dated March 3rd, 1836, consists of a letter from Urrea to Santa Anna after the defeat of Grant and his men at Agua Dulce. It reads as follows:
In McGloin's ''Historical Notes" previously quoted, he tells of Johnson's taking the horses he had gathered to the ranch of Julian de la Garza on the river below San Patricio and of his leaving several men to guard them. What became of the horses and the men? General Urrea says in his Diary February 27, 1836,
Many years later in an accounting for the men taken at the rancho of Julian de la Garza below San Patricio, A.P. Mahan, an eyewitness and one of the guards stationed there said,
Thus ended the belated effort for an expedition to Matamoros, the far-reaching effects of which shook Texas like an earthquake. It precipitated the split between the governor and the council, and at a crucial time left Texas almost without a government. It made Houston realize that a united army of regulars and volunteers under his command, at this time, was impossible; it stripped the Alamo of 200 men and supplies, thus contributing to its certain defeat. The Matamoros Expedition was on the minds of the Texas leaders from the time Dimitt suggested it on October 5, 1835, until February 27 when Johnson's and Grant's men were defeated. The same idea was to be conceived after San Jacinto and Filisola's retreat with the Mexican Army.
General Josť Urrea remained in San Patricio with his army after the Battle of San Patricio and the defeat of Grant and his men at Agua Dulce. For ten more days after the ambush of Grant, he waited, drilled his troops, and shouted instructions at them. The exact spot where he was encamped is not known, but the colonists for those ten days were acutely aware that the right wing of the Mexican Army was in their midst. Each day they waited and watched, and listened wondering what the next move would be. No doubt they asked McGloin, "Why does he stay? What is he waiting for?" while the tension mounted each day. If they had known the truth, he was waiting for the 200 troops he had left in Matamoros who were to bring him supplies, ammunition, and hardtack. Knowing about the Texian plan to take Matamoros, he had left in haste for San Patricio. Six of his unacclimated men from Yucatan had perished on their way because they could not endure the cold, penetrating wind of a Texas "wet norther" which caught them on their forced marches from Matamoros to San Patricio. They died and were buried at present Kingsville, Texas. [Interview with J.E. Conner April 4, 1977, Kingsville, Texas] Fortunately, there were no Yucatan soldiers among those he was waiting for now.
Finally, on the 12th of March General Urrea and his troops marched and rode out of San Patricio much to the relief of the colonists. Santa Anna had ordered Urrea to "take cattle, supplies and the colonist's belongings. " Cattle Urrea took for food (his army was on meager rations), and he came upon quite a lot of arms and ammunition in the defeat ofJohnson's men at San Patriclo. But Urrea states in his Diary that "the town and the rest of the inhabitants did not suffer the least damage." [Castaneda, Mexican Side, p. 225] The colonists relaxed when General Urrea and his troops rode out of San Patricio toward Refugio and Goliad. But soon a great fear came over those who had husbands, sons, and brothers with Fannin in Goliad. The question, if not uttered, was thought, "What will become of them?" Mary O'Boyle had a lingering, but secret, hope that Col. Francisco Garay, to whom she had dispensed hospitality, would somehow save her brother. He had asked her how he could repay her for her kindness. She had asked him that if or when he had the opportunity, would he be kind to her brother, Andrew Michael O'Boyle, who was with Fannin. He had said that he would; she could not help but believe him.
General Urrea had swept the troops from San Patricio and Agua Dulce. Now his goal was to vanquish them at Refugio and Goliad, thus leaving the southwestern frontier clear of the rebellious enemy. In a period of one month (February 27 to March 31) the southwestern frontier was left defenseless. Meanwhile, Generals Santa Anna and Ramirez y Sesma had taken the Alamo at Bexar. Travis and his men were no more. Mexican victory over Texas seemed inevitable. The aforementioned period of one month was a period of stunned disbelief for the San Patricians. They had heard of the fall of the Alamo and the massacre of King's men at Refugio, but no word had reached them about the massacre at Goliad. They were suspended between fear and hope and had nothing to resort to but their prayers. It was up to McGloin to comfort the colonists who feared for their loved ones. Empresario McMullen was making preparations to go to the East to make a loan in order to buy foodstuffs and other necessities for the remaining half-starved colonists.
The Texian victory at San Jacinto did not end the fear and tension until a month had elapsed. James McGloin realized that there were not enough men to defend the town against the bands of marauders, bandits, and Indians who would plunder, loot, and burn the vacant cabins. Would they do the same to some that were not vacant? McMullen's letter to Vice President Lamar says, "Some colonists were found murdered in their houses." But who they were is not known. Rumors of Mexican military invasion persisted. San Patricio had become such a dangerous place to live that it is safe to say that eventually it was completely deserted by the colonists. A few families hung on until May 1836: James McGloin, Michael Haley, Patrick Fadden, Patrick O'Boyle, Mary and Roderick O'Boyle, and Thomas Pugh. Rebecca Ayers and her children were also in San Patricio in May but left soon after to join Lewis Ayers, who was in Matamoros. [THA2 Vol. 9, p. 281] The above settlers served as sponsors at the baptism of the Ayers children in San Patricio in May 1836. The exact date is not known, but some time after the Battle of San Jacinto there was an exodus of colonists that sought safer grounds. Thomas Pugh claimed that he was the last colonist to leave San Patricio. The Mexican rancheros, with few exceptions, left for south of the Rio Grande and later put up their land for sale.
James McGloin decided to take his family to Bexar; the above named went to Victoria. By 1838 Victoria had an Irish colony of refugees from San Patricio. The daughters of Mark Killelea, Mary and Rose, were in Victoria in 1838 and were now married to Michael Haley and Peter Mahony, respectively. In this year they were having their father's will probated, who was said to have died in New Orleans. Margaret and Patrick McGloin, whose son John was killed with Fannin at Goliad, moved to Victoria and did not return to San Patricio, but stayed on in Victoria the rest of their lives and are buried there. The exposed location of San Patricio on the Camino Real and the Santa Margarita Crossing made it a sitting duck for all the lawlessness that was bred by Indians, bandits, and marauders of that unsettled area south of the Nueces to the Rio Grande. The Republic of Texas claimed the land between these two rivers. Mexico claimed the Nueces as the boundary between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. This was another reason, besides the recapture of Texas, for the constant threats of re-invasion. San Patricio was the logical point for the entrance of an invading army. The Comanches also claimed the land between the Nueces and the Rio Grande; therefore, they were another threat to San Patricio. Walter Prescott Webb said of this semi-desert region claimed by the Comanches,
The Republic of Texas was never at peace with both Indians and Mexicans at the same time. The Nueces was called "the deadline for sheriffs". The Mexican Congress of May 20th, 1836, decided to continue the war against Texas. General Urrea was given command on June 5th of troops destined for a new campaign in Texas, and he advised the troops at Matamoros that he would head them into Texas as soon as the government ordered it. [Nance, After San Jacinto (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963)] General Thomas Rusk, commander of the Texian Army, with only 350 troops at Victoria called for United States volunteers. Lt. Col. Juan N. Seguin with his company was ordered to move from Bexar toward Victoria. He said to the people of Bexar,
An invasion by land was not the only threat, for there were equally alarming rumors of an invasion by sea. Houston said, "We will need aid and that speedily." And that aid was coming from the United States; over eighteen hundred men had volunteered since the Battle of San Jacinto. These with 672 Texians made up the army. After Rusk asked to be relieved of his command, Felix Huston, a soldier of fortune, was chosen by the army to be its commander. Huston was in favor of an expedition to Matamoros. Sam Houston heard of this intention after Huston had advanced 500 troops to San Patricio. Again the soil of San Patricio reverberated with the sound of horses hooves as these troops rode down Main Street. But Sam Houston's opposition to an expedition to Matamoros stopped it in its tracks. He wrote to Rusk,
In early September the reports from Matamoros were that the Mexican Army was being daily diminshed by desertion. By mid September in Texas the idea of an expedition to Matamoros had floundered. Later, however, once again there was strong talk of the renewal of invasion of Texas. General Nicolas Bravo had replaced General Urrea as commander-in-chief of the Army of the North. Houston ordered reorganization of the militias, and that each man should provide himself with a horse, a rifle, and 100 rounds of ammunition. The war was postponed, but the fiery threat of an invasion of Texas and an expedition to Matamoros smoldered and were not forgotten. Is it any wonder that James McGloin had decided he must take his family to a safer place than San Patricio? While he was packing his belongings in the ox-drawn cart in the fall of 1836, he thought how life would become more unbearable in San Patricio. He saw that it would continue to be the stamping ground for invading soldiers from both sides; he saw it as a spot where rangers would gather to quell disturbances, the spot where cattle would be herded to be driven off by both Texians and Mexicans. The exact time of the departure of McGloin is not known. Juan N. Seguin did not consider Bexar a safer place to live, and before he left advised its people to evacuate; but McGloin, thinking it far less vulnerable to attack than San Patricio, set out for San Antonio de Bexar.
When McGloin and his family arrived in Bexar after a five-day journey, it was a two-pronged town of low-flung adobe houses, each with a courtyard in the back where herbs, vegetables, and flowers grew. East of the San Antonio River was La Villita de Bexar consisting mostly of the soldiers of the garrison and their families. North of it on the same side of the river stood the Mission of San Antonio de Valero, better known as the Alamo. It stood, battle-scarred but intact. Stones loosened from the walls and the chapel by the cannon balls of Santa Anna's army lay in piles around the entire enclosure and the chapel, visible but silent evidence of the thirteen-day siege of the Alamo. On the west side of the river where the Canary Islanders settled in 1732 was the Villa of San Fernando de Bexar. It contained the ancient Governor's Palace of the Spanish regime, the San Fernando Church which took the citizens of Bexar many years to build, the Veramendi house where Ben Milain fell in the Siege of Bexar. Add to this the Main Plaza and the Market and you will have the Villa where John McMullen chose to live among the Canary Islanders and other recent arrivals.
The fact that McMullen had decided to live here must have had something to do with McGloin's decision as well as the fact that Eliza would be near her mother, Esther McMullen. However, the McGloins did not live with the McMullens; they lived in their own adobe house, the location of which is not known. In describing his house in a deed, McGloin said it was "in a day's water from San Juan Mission''. [Deed Records, Book T1, p. 556, Office of the County Clerk, Medina County] It is established that James McGloin was well known enough in San Antonio to have served on a jury in 1838. [Records of the District Court, Book A, 1838, Bexar County Courthouse] In 1839 he received a letter from John Dunn of Refugio who wrote him from Houston regarding the Patrick Neven League for which McGloin had been given the power of attorney after Neven's death with Fannin at Goliad. [John Dunn to James McGloin, Jan. 26, 1839, Houston, Texas; Bexar Archives, Special Collection, Bexar County Courthouse, Office of the County Clerk] In October Eliza gave birth to an infant daughter. She was baptized Theresa Jane fifteen days later at San Fernando Church by Father Calvo on October 19, 1841. [Baptismal Records, entry #627 San Fernando Church, San Antonio de Bexar, 1626-1858] The following year was to be a year of turmoil in San Antonio de Bexar.
OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS