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 Texas : Central Texas : Trips : The Road to Independence : Monument Hill

MONUMENT HILL
History


THE SOMERVELL/MIER EXPEDITION
Santa Anna
The Black Bean Episode

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Monument Hill - The Sommervell-Mier Expeditions - Previous page
We've heard many Mexicans say that Santa Anna's most noted accomplishment was not selling the rest of Mexico to the United States. It's interesting to note that Texas' favorite villain had a compassionate side.

Recognizing a familiar name on the list of prisoners from the Mier Expedition, Santa Anna asked if the prisoner was related to the Doctor who had pumped his (Santa Anna's) stomach after his attempted suicide during his captivity. When informed "yes," he immediately signed his release and sent him back to Texas but only after entertaining him in his home for two weeks.

He also offered to adopt the youngest member of the Mier Expedition, and after the boy checked with his father (also a prisoner) a deal was struck and John C.C. Hill became the adopted son of Santa Anna. His Father and brother were released and went back to Fayette County. John learned Spanish, was sent to the prestigious College of Mines and became a civil engineer. He had a life that was several rungs up the social ladder from his poor Fayette County family and occasionally visited the U.S. before he died in Mexico in 1909.

Lice and typhus were two things that the Mexicans couldn't control and the guards suffered alongside the prisoners. Strangely, personal property was respected and prisoners who had money could buy soap, tobacco and Mescal. Used chewing tobacco was dried and sold at half price. After it's second incarnation it was shredded and smoked in pipes.

The names of many participants, whether they survived or not, should be familiar to Texans, native or naturalized. Brenham, Cameron, Daingerfield, Eastland, Hays, Hockley, Sommervell and Wallace, just to mention a few. Invasion, mutiny, racism, insubordination, survival, imprisonment and pestilence - there's something for everyone.
The Black Bean Episode - continued >
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