Ok. So I’m writing this novel, historical fiction, and sometimes I think I have no idea what I’m doing. Actually, it’s most of the time that I think I don’t know what I’m doing and I ask myself, “what in the world have I gotten myself into?”
I’ve given my story the working title of GTT (Gone to Texas. I figure it will give me its real title later.). It is set in the days of the Texas Revolution and in the beginning I just wanted one story line – a woman, Melina (aka Mel) Parker, who defies societal norms to be in a combat role in the Revolution. In a bit of backstory, her husband, Walker Donelson, abandoned Mel two years prior while they lived in western Tennessee. She decided to take back her maiden name and emigrate to Coahuila y Tejas with her friends Susannah and Almeron Dickinson. A new life so to speak and for two years she’s been making it on her own, thank you very much. Fast forward. On the eve of the Texas Revolution Walker arrives in Tejas and, you guessed it, sparks fly.
But theirs was not the only sparks because by now so many things have happened in the province of Coahuila y Tejas that everyone is on pins and needles. Things have happened that have upset the Anglo colonists and the Tejanos alike, but the biggest thing was that the leader of Mexico, El Presidente General Santa Anna, abolished the forward thinking Constitution of 1824. This was considered a federalist document because, as Jesus F. de la Teja explains it in his book Tejano Leadership, “[It was a] federated form of national government in which the states exercised most authority.”
When El Presidente abolished the Constitution, he consolidated power in Mexico City. In addition, all state militias were disbanded and citizens were disarmed. The military was now in charge and centralism was on the rise.
As always, though, there were other things. Nothing dramatic enough to change current events is ever the result of just one thing. There were new tariffs, the issue of slavery and a general consensus that the norteamericanos were coming to Tejas to make it their own. The biggest thing, however, was that abolishment of the Constitution of 1824. This sole act, ensured that many native Tejanos would most certainly get involved on the side of federalism.
You’ve heard the song Pass It On? It starts with “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” The powder keg that was Tejas was primed and ready for that spark in October 1835 when General Ugartechea in San Antonio de Bexar sent Colonel Castañeda to disarm the Anglo colonists in Gonzales. Apparently the colonists were given an itty bitty 6 pound cannon a few years back for defense against the Indians and now the authorities wanted it back. The thing was, it had never worked properly for them. Prior to them receiving it, it had been spiked and was nothing more than a noisemaker.
This is where my story starts. Time to get to work.