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A MASONIC REVIEW

1978

William Barret Travis was a young man, scarcely 27 when he gave his life here. He was a soldier and a Mason, and honor demanded that he adhere to the principles to which he had been bred. Because of the Civil War, most Masonic records in Alabama were destroyed and we cannot be certain to which lodge Travis belonged before he came to Texas, but a host of Masonic historians agree that he was a Mason. His famous statement, attributed to him by the deserter, Moses Rose, set the stage for the event that would follow: "My choice then, is to remain in this fort, to resist every assault and to sell our lives as dearly as possible. Let us band together as brothers, and vow to die together." After these words, so the story goes, Travis then drew a line with his sword in the earth, extending from the right to the left of the file. Everyone marched across the line except Rose. James Bonham was a boyhood friend of Travis and a brother Mason. When Travis urged the wealthy Bonham to join in the defense of the Alamo, there was no hesitation upon Bonham's part. We can get some idea of the grim determination of the defenders of the Alamo with a glimpse of Bonham. Whenever Travis sent a message to his brother Masons Sam Houston or James Fannin, he always chose his friend and brother Mason, James Bonham, for in him, Travis had a deep and abiding faith. Trip after dangerous trip Bonham made outside the walls of the Alamo, begging Houston for help, pleading with Fannin to move his army westward from Goliad to the Alamo. But, no help came from Brothers Fannin or Houston, although Fannin did make an effort, but the Battle of Coleto Creek and the Massacre at Goliad prevented Fannin from fulfilling his obligation; but Bonham rode into immortality while fulfilling his. The little village of Gonzales furnished more than its share of men for the defense of the Alamo. Among those with Travis and Bowie was the young blacksmith, Almaron Dickinson and his lovely wife, Susana, and their tiny babe, Angelina. Arriving at the Alamo well before the battle, the Dickinson family made their home with Ramon Musquiz, a prominent merchant, vice-governor of Coahuila and Texas, and a Master Mason. No one can ever doubt that Almaron Dickinson was a dedicated Mason. His wife said that he was a Mason, and his friends were Masons. But the greatest proof is that when the battle began, with all of the Dickinson family within the walls of the Alamo, Brother Dickinson covered his wife with his Masonic apron, and he told her that when the battle ended the apron would save her life and it did! Colonel Almonte, a known Mason, recognizing the apron, protected her from the brutality of the soldiers. Santa Anna, also a known Mason, gave her his protection. We cannot determine to what lodge Brother Dickinson belonged. 'Ve cannot even say from whence he came to Texas. Some say that it was Tennessee; others that it was Pennsylvania; but only a Master Mason would have known that the Masonic apron could protect his wife. Of all those in the Alamo, David Crockett is the most controversial. Was he slain in the Alamo? Was he captured and brutally murdered? 'Vere his ashes buried in San Fernando Cathedral? Or was he carried a slave to Mexico to live out his life laboring in the silver mines? Researchers and historians have claimed everyone of these fates for him. It is not likely that we will ever know precisely how he died, and we will never know for certain whether he was a Mason. With the exception of only a few lodges in Tennessee, all Masonic records in that state were destroyed during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Period that followed. Masonic historian believe that David Crockett was a Master Mason, and it is known that a Masonic apron claimed to be David Crockett's was preserved and treasured in Paducah, Kentucky, as late as 1920 when it disappeared. Moreover, Crockett's autobiography, which may have been ghost written, contains much Masonic phraseology, especially with respect to the death of his first wife. We believe that these men were Masons and we vouch for them as Masons. To

1978 Proceedings - Grand Lodge of Missouri  

JAMES A. NOLAND, JR. GrandMaster,1977-1978 OfficialProceedings OneHundredFifty-Seventh AnnualCommunication Ancien~ FreeandAccepted oftheStat...

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