Post by Rich Curilla on Aug 31, 2007 23:17:11 GMT -5
Bexar, Sept. 2, 1835
.......The little girls of our town I do assure you find themselves tolerably well attended to, and they do not appear much displeased at some attention being shown to them. Two nights ago I saw Melchorcite in company with her mother at Hog Monte, which is set up by the officers of the Mordes Battalion for their own amusement. She was as fine as a fiddle and as spry as a mouse. Baulete the old ladys daughter on the square and the Kings sister-in-law is at the head of the Fandango R.R. and the little girl that you frequently met mornings when you went to the river to wash is very desirous to know what has become of you. Often enquires for you and I fear she is thunder struck just under the tail bone....
Yours truly, John W. Smith
[To Thomas Jefferson Chambers]
[Papers of the Texas Revolution, Jenkins, Vol. 1, p. 407]
I came across this letter in Jenkins. John W. Smith refers to "Melchorcite" and "her mother." This, no doubt, was Melchora Iniega Barerra, who lived with her widowed mother down by the river and was the girl Santa Anna staged the mock marriage ceremony to get. So even John W. Smith considered the girl a looker -- "as fine as a fiddle and as spry as a mouse."
Rich, nice find; you may be onto something. I've been trying to backtrack how it came to be believed that Melchora [Melchorcita?] Iniega Barrera was the girl that Santa Anna married in the mock ceremony, and I'm coming up dry. Juana Alsbury identified to John S. Ford the person whom she thought Santa Anna "deceived by false marriage," but Ford left the name out of his transcript. There are some undocumented articles on the internet that name Melchora Barerra/Barrera as the girl in question. Do you know of any other sources for this attribution?
Post by Rich Curilla on Sept 4, 2007 1:35:16 GMT -5
Can't remember where I saw it , but I did see a bit on her in something contemporary (I think). She was supposedly sent to Mexico in Col. Almonte's carriage (leaving him to ride on horseback) and had a child or children by Santa Anna. I want to say it was an account like Noah Smithwick's or somebody contemporary, but who wrote it in later life.
Melchorcita would have been an affectionate name for Melchora. John W. Smith's spelling was "Melchorcite," according to John H. Jenkins.
Post by Rich Curilla on Sept 4, 2007 1:39:01 GMT -5
I doubt that she is bogus. Smith's letter sounds authentic, and his way of bringing her up doesn't sound contrived -- particularly since it doesn't comment on her Santa Anna connection, even in Jenkins' footnotes.
Post by Rich Curilla on Sept 4, 2007 1:55:02 GMT -5
O.K. I found part of the reference (without names) in Bacerra's account (not Smithwick's) which, I guess, would be from the John S. Ford papers. He tells the story of the mock marriage and ends it thusly:
"The wedding took place in late February. The honeymoon lasted until the army marched for the Guadalupe river. The deceived and trusting girl was sent to San Luis Potosi in the carriage of Gen. [sic] Minon. [Not Almonte] She was placed in the care of a very respectable family. In due course of time she became the mother of a son...."
Why she's not in the census, I haven't a clue? But Barrera was a Bexareno name.
The source for the "Melchora Barrera" i.d. of the woman Santa Anna "married" in Béxar seems to be Antonio Menchaca, statement in Gulick and Elliott, eds., Lamar Papers VI, 338. Jack Jackson, in Almonte's Texas, repeats the story that "Melchora Barrera" was the name of the woman Santa Anna duped. Jackson cited the Menchaca statement, as well as Frank X. Tolbert, Day of San Jacinto, 17-18. (He also cited Huffines, Blood of Noble Men, 55-59, but this is just a reprint of various reports about Santa Anna's marrying an unnamed woman in Béxar.)
Tolbert, whose description of Barrera relied on the Menchaca account, described "Melchora Iniega Barrera" as 17 years old and from one of the "best families" of San Antonio. She reportedly "lived with her widowed mother in a dwelling that was, for that crude frontier village, fairly impressive." According to Menchaca, Santa Anna moved in with the Barreras "several days before the Alamo battle reached its bloody conclusion."
She reportedly "lived with her widowed mother in a dwelling that was, for that crude frontier village, fairly impressive." According to Menchaca, Santa Anna moved in with the Barreras "several days before the Alamo battle reached its bloody conclusion."
So not the jacale depicted by Gary Zaboly then?
STUART In battle men are apt to lose their self possession, and do very absurd things.