One of the least known but most important battles of the Texas Revolution occurred not with arms but with words, not in Texas but in New Orleans. In the fall of 1835, Creole mercantile houses that backed the Mexican Federalists in their opposition to Santa Anna essentially lost the fight for Texas to the Americans of the Faubourg St. Marie. As a result, New Orleans capital, some $250,000 in loans, and New Orleans men and arms—two companies known as the New Orleans Greys—went to support the upstart Texians in their battle against Santa Anna.
Author Edward L. Miller has delved into previously unused or overlooked papers housed in New Orleans to reconstruct a chain of events that set the Crescent City in many ways at the center of the Texian fight for independence. Not only did New Orleans business interests send money and men to Texas in exchange for promises of land, but they also provided newspaper coverage that set the scene for later American annexation of the young republic.
In New Orleans and the Texas Revolution, Miller follows other historians in arguing that Texian leaders recognized the importance of securing financial and popular support from New Orleans. He has gone beyond others, though, in exploring the details of the organizing efforts there and the motives of the pro-Texian forces. On October 13, 1835, a powerful group of financiers and businessmen met at Banks Arcade and formed the Committee on Texas Affairs. Miller deftly mines the long-ignored documentation of this meeting and the group that grew out of it, to raise significant questions. He also carefully documents the military efforts based in New Orleans, from the disastrous Tampico Expedition to the formation of two companies of New Orleans Greys and their tragic fates at the Alamo and Goliad.
Whatever their motives, Miller argues, Texas became a life-long preoccupation for many who attended that crucial meeting at Banks Arcade. And the history of Texas was changed because of that preoccupation.
What Readers Are Saying:
“The author develops the most complete account available to date on efforts by New Orleans businessmen to raise funds and gather soldiers for Texas resistance to centralization of government in Mexico”--Alwyn Barr, Professor of History, Texas Tech University
“Miller’s research, then, fill a much-needed void in the literature of the Texas Revolution, and reminds us that the military events of 1835-36 that have so preoccupied scholars and the general public could not have occurred, or at least would have turned out very differently, had it not been for the activities of a handful of southern business leaders...an eminently worthwhile project” --Dr. Sam W. Haynes, University of Texas at Arlington
“In a book that sparkles with remarkably thorough and innovative research, San Antonio history teacher Edward L. Miller relates the drama of the Texas Revolution as seen from just offstage in New Orleans.” --Southwestern Historical Quarterly
“Miller’s book...provocative and groundbreaking . . . .In offering an economic interpretation of the Texas Revolution, tied firmly to region, Miller has done almost the impossible: he allowed us to view this familiar historical event with fresh eyes.” --The Journal of Southern History
“It is an intriguing and valuable story that should have been researched and written long ago.” --Password
“Passions leap from the page, driving the reader to the next event.” --East Texas Historical Association
“Both an enjoyable and enlightening read…Anyone hoping to intelligently discuss the Texas War of Independence or Masonic conspiracies needs to read this book.” --The Journal of America’s Military Past