A tip o’ the Master’s Hat to Christopher Hodapp (author of one of the best books on Freemasonry – Freemasons for Dummies – and an all around great guy as wel as a snappy dresser) for posting a link to the Sacramento Bee article over on his blog HERE. I read the SacBee every day, and yet I managed to miss this the first time around. How is that even possible?
The importance of this news – in addition to giving the crazy-assed conspiracy nutbags another rawhide to chew on while they pore through lists of Famous Freemasons to find some new matchstick to ignite their hate and ignorance even further – is that it lends a certain amount of credence to the legend that General Santa Anna avoided execution after the Battle of San Jacinto (1836) by the use of a so-called “Masonic sign of distress,” and then by giving “secret Masonic signs” privately to General Sam Houston to confirm that he – Santa Anna – was indeed a Freemason.
That’s some pretty heady stuff, considering Freemasons who were at the Battle of the Alamo:
- Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis (August 9, 1809 – March 6, 1836), American lawyer and soldier. At 26, Travis commanded the Republic of Texas forces and died at the Battle of the Alamo.
- Davey Crockett (August 17 1786 – March 6, 1836), King of the Wild Frontier (yes, I watched the TV show…), frontiersman, soldier and politician. Died at the Battle of the Alamo.
- The interesting thing (to me, anyway) is that there is a rumor that Crockett surrendered to Santa Anna’s forces and was executed. The other (accepted) story is that Crockett’s body was “…found in the barracks surrounded by ‘no less than sixteen Mexican corpses,’ with Crockett’s knife buried in one of them.” (from Wikipedia). As a Freemason, Santa Anna had a duty to help Crockett. This leads me to believe the accepted story; that Crockett went out as the true American hero that he was. (And besides, I’d like to think that there really was a politician out there that didn’t just pander to get re-elected, one that’d go all Abe Lincoln on the opposing party’s butt if they crossed him in the House of Representatives. Then again, I believe that a cage match between politicians would make for some good TV).
- Lieutenant James Butler Bonham (20 February 1807–6 March 1836) American soldier with the Texas Cavalry (I’m from California, I don’t say “Texian”) who died at the Battle of the Alamo.
- Lieutenant Almaron Dickinson (1814 – March 6, 1836), American soldier, died at the Battle of the Alamo.
- James “Jim” Bowie (April 10, 1796 – March 6, 1836), American frontiersman, pioneer, fighter and soldier. He was a significant figure in America and the Texas Revolution. He died at the Battle of the Alamo.
From the Sacramento Bee article:
“According to M. Douglas Adkins, the top Scottish Rite official in Texas and a member of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction, a person must be a Master Mason to be eligible for Scottish Rite membership in Mexico, as in the United States. Today’s announcement resolves arguments by Texas historians who have contended there has been no proof of General Santa Anna’s membership.
The significance of this announcement in terms of Texas history stems from numerous reports that General Santa Anna saved himself from execution after being captured at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836 by giving secret Masonic signs to Texas soldiers and later to General Sam Houston, a well-known Mason. The Texas critics of these reports have said that General Santa Anna would not have known of such secret signs unless he actually was a Mason, for which no proof had previously been provided.
Mr. Adkins explained that this confirmation of Masonic membership does not provide proof of the story that Masonic membership saved General Santa Anna’s life, but rather only refutes the arguments that General Santa Anna was not a Mason. Some Masons have said that General Houston and many other Masons at San Jacinto would have known that General Santa Anna had disowned Masonry and that his offenses in Mexico, the Alamo and Goliad would have forfeited any rights for protection he may have had as a Mason. Sources in Mexico have confirmed that he was kicked out of Masonry.
Mr. Adkins emphasized that the Texas Scottish Rite is taking no position in this historical controversy, and is only confirming General Santa Anna’s Masonic membership.
Mr. Adkins said Masonry always has celebrated its history and the lives of many of its members, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, William B. Travis, James Bowie and Davy Crockett. The Texas Scottish Rite is pleased to provide this information for the use of present and future Texas historians.”
You can read the entire SacBee article HERE.
You can visit Christopher Hodapp’s Freemasons for Dummies blog HERE.
You can pick up copies of Brother Hodapp’s books on Amazon HERE.