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It's often stated (perhaps correctly) that Davy Crockett perished while defending the Alamo in Texas during the revolution against the Mexicans. Many legends about this hero of the West, however, say otherwise and state that Crockett escaped from the Alamo somehow and lived out his days performing feats on the Great Plains.
Of course it's almost universally accepted that Davy Crockett lost his life gloriously defending the Alamo, but I'm wondering whether there's any hard, physical, historical records of witnessing his death at the Alamo.
Basically, my question is, could someone give me the most reliable HISTORICAL (like, the 1830's) records of Crockett's death at the Alamo?
The most reliable record is to be gained by cross-examining all the primary sources about this event and seeing where they are in unanimous agreement. This is the case when interpreting Crockett's fate at the Alamo.
The exact details of his death seem to be in dispute in a heated argument that challenges the legitimacy of several eyewitness accounts, most infamously Pena's. It is believed by tradition (or rumor) that Crockett died fighting. This could be refuted by the sources in this paper if they all agreed on how it happened.
Michael Lind of Texas A&M University has summed up this controversy in his well-written paper, "The Death of David Crockett." I would recommend a read through it as a summary does not do justice to his deduction. To summarize, there are three main sources from the Mexican Army that conflict on how Crockett was killed (because all accounts written before the story could become romanticized agree on this point.)
One of the first reports of Crockett's death was written by a Texas four months after the Alamo fell, after the Battle of San Jacinto. I quote Lind:
The first American newspaper account identifying Crockett as one of the executed prisoners appeared in a letter of July 19, 1836, written by a Texas army officer, George M. Dolson. Dolson claimed to have served the previous day, July 18, as an interpreter between Colonel James Morgan and Santa Anna's aide, Colonel Juan Almonte, one of the Mexican officers whom Morgan held prisoner on Galveston Island after the Texans routed the Mexican army and captured Santa Anna at San Jacinto. According to Dolson, "Colonel Crockett was in the rear, had his arms folded, and appeared bold as the lion as he passed my informant [Almonte]. Santa Anna's interpreter knew Colonel Crockett, and said to my informant, 'the one behind is the famous Crockett.' When brought to the presence of Santa Anna, Castrillon said to him, 'Santa Anna, the august, I deliver up to you six brave prisoners of war.' Santa Anna replied, 'Who has given you orders to take prisoners, I do not want to see those men living-shoot them.'" While this would appear to be strong corroboration, skeptics point out that Almonte's diary, found after the Battle of San Jacinto, does not mention the alleged incident in its description of the sack of the Alamo.
Pena claims that he saw Crockett executed by Santa Anna after the fort fell. In his memoir, he also claims to have witnessed Travis' death as he looked upon the wall -- on the North side. Based on when we know the fort fell and when the prisoners were executed, Pena would have us believe that he saw Travis die and then made his way to the other side of the fort to see Crockett killed. This may have been true, but because Pena's account was compiled after the story became legendary, historians do not overlook the very real possibility that Pena bent the truth to cash in on his claim to fame.
The other accounts by Santa Anna's aide, mayor Ruiz, secretary Caro, and Santa Anna's own field report all bring conflicting details to this interpretation. Regardless of what degree of authenticity each source may have, their unanimous agreement that Crockett did indeed die defending the Alamo can lead us to safely conclude that he did not escape and roam the prairies afterwards -- regardless of how romantic that idea sounds. I would strongly encourage a full read-through of this paper for a more clear view of things.
Government Needs an Occasional Vacation
Every time a Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or Michelle Bachman, Louis Gohmert or Marsha Blackburn dig their heels in on a point of principle (always over budget over-spending) and threaten to shut down the government, the media reacts like Chicken Little, running around proclaiming the imminent falling of the skies. But is the sky about to collapse on us if the government is forced to take a little vay-cay? How much does it hurt us if government takes a little break. It's not like they couldn't send out some social security checks during the interim. They have plenty of our money sitting in the bank with which to do that and computers to release the cash. So what's the big deal if we take a holiday from spending like drunken sailors?
Actually I should apologize to drunken sailors for that one. The government spends at a rate that would make a drunken sailor verklempt.
I've read the reports in the New York Times and the Huffing and Puffington Post castigating Republicans for the damage their brinksmanship has done to the economy. They cite a minuscule, six-tenths of a percentage drop in the Federal Reserves anticipated "growth" rate for the economy. Remember, the president can cause that big a drop just by making another one of his speeches and mentioning the word "collective" a couple of times. That economic impact of .6% doesn't mean much more than that a few nervous stock speculators saw their stock prices drop a little because other nervous stock speculators decided they didn't want to pay that much for those over-priced stocks. Some of these financial gamblers lost a little perceived value for their stocks, but if they played it smart and hung on to their stocks, most of these stock prices came back up after a while (see headline below). Standard and Poor meanwhile, worried that the shutdown of 2013 might "weigh on consumer confidence, especially among government workers that were furloughed.”
So, let me get this straight, the government shutdown worried mostly government workers? Standard and Poor tries to bring the rest of us in on it, again weighing in with a moan that, “If people (i.e. government workers) are afraid that the government policy brinkmanship will resurface again, and with it the risk of another shutdown or worse, they’ll remain afraid to open up their checkbooks.”
So, just perhaps, a shutdown might cause people to actually save some of their money instead of spending it, if only for a while. If you are one of those poor simple people who think that everybody being a little frugal and putting some money back for a rainy day is a good thing, you will find that the liberal media finds your attitude unprogressive in the worst way. People sitting on their money is something the imminent liberal economist, John Maynard Keynes, was always terrified of, as are his progressive acolytes almost a century later. The reason Keynesians like Democrats and even, sad to say, like some Republicans fear a reduction in spending is that Keynesian economic model depends on people spending steadily and paying lots of taxes, so that governments can afford to meddle in the economy, ostensibly to keep the economy stable. If people are left to their own economic devices, Keynes posits that things will be "very bad". Theoretically, a government shutdown should do serious damage to the economy if you buy into Keynesian economics.
Turns out, though, that when the talking heads and government agencies tot up the "damage" caused by the sixteen day 2013 shutdown, they figure it cost the economy around $21 billion. Sounds terrible right? In describing the impact, however, they mention casually (hoping you don't notice) that during the shutdown, the government didn't spend 10 billion dollars a week. Let's see. Let me add that up in my head. That works out to a little over 1.42 billion per day. Multiply by 16 days and you get around 22.8 billion dollars the government didn't spend. That's a bit more than 21 billion in taxpayer dollars that the government was unable to spend during the shutdown (you can't keep them from spending altogether so they did manage to apparently spend at least 1.8 billion dollars somehow.
And when it was all said and done, in 2013, right after the terrible 16 day government shutdown in October, the world went on spending and doing business quite well on its own. Some might argue that the economy bounced back nicely, perhaps with even more vigor from having had the government monkey off their back for 16 days.The CNBC (decidedly not a conservative media outlet) led it's 2013 annual year-end report with this headline:
I wonder where all those missing cell phone users are…
Someone sent me a picture of people lining up outside a Wuhan funeral home to retrieve the cremated remains of their family members. Here is an unconfirmed rumor. Each funeral home could only handle releasing 500 cremation urns per day. Don't know why they can' handle thousands per day. By one estimate, they would not complete the cremation ash delivery process before Apr 4 (their Ching Ming Festival). A ball park estimate is each funeral home could at least deliver about 6500 urns by Apr 4. There are 7 funeral homes in Wuhan. Probably another circumstantial evidence China grossly under-reported their cases and death tolls.
|I.||Tall Bull Signals: “Enemies!”||17|
|II.||The Hero of the Mule Fort||30|
|III.||With the Wagon Train||42|
|IV.||Visiting Billy Cody||58|
|V.||Davy Goes on Herd||71|
|VI.||Davy Has an Adventure||83|
|VII.||Davy Changes Jobs||100|
|VIII.||The Gold Fever||114|
|IX.||The Hee-Haw Express||127|
|X.||“Pike’s Peak or Bust”||140|
|XI.||Some Halts by the Way||157|
|XII.||Perils for the Hee-Haws||171|
|XIII.||The Cherry Creek Diggin’s||188|
|XIV.||Davy Signs as “Extra”||204|
|XV.||Freighting Across the Plains||218|
|XVI.||Yank Raises Trouble||231|
|XVII.||Davy “The Bull Whacker”||244|
|XVIII.||Billy Cody Turns Up Again||257|
|XIX.||Davy Makes Another Change||267|
|XX.||Fast Time to California||280|
|XXI.||“Pony Express Bill”||293|
|XXII.||Carrying the Great News||305|
|XXIII.||A Brush on the Overland Stage||318|
|XXIV.||Buffalo Bill Is Champion||336|
The Closest We Have to a Random Sample, from Victor Niederhoffer
The closest we have to a random sample is the 7000 on the Diamond Princess and the 1000 from the NBA. All have been tested and the death rate is less than that for the flu. We could predict bases on standard epidemiologial models that the death rate would be less than the flu. Many have compared the actual numbers of deaths in the US to flu and come to this conclusion empirically. More importantly what is the utility loss to human happiness of the shutdowns and restrictions compared to allowing people to fend for themselves.