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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - Texas History - Susanna Dickinson an Alamo Survivor - #TidbitThursday


Welcome to one of my favorite columns of this blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

I'm really excited to be able to share my research, my favorite reference books, shows or movies I've seen that inspire, as well as my passion for history with you in a quicker and more regular way. My focus will be on my current WIP (Work in Progress) - a western romance fiction novel. So I hope you enjoy!!

This post we will take a look at a very brave woman named Susanna Dickinson who survived the Battle of the Alamo (one of the most famous battles in Texas history).

Susanna Wilerson was born in HArdeman County near Memphis, Tennessee in 1814. She met Almeron Dickinson (who was born in Pennsylvania) when she was 15 years old and rejected his affections. He courted her best friend and proposed. The day before her friend's wedding, he decided he waned to marry Susanna instead (I assume the feeling was mutual) and rode to her family's farm to get her. They stopped at a county court clerk's office to get a marriage license and were married that day (May 24, 1829).

It seems the situation became awkawrd for they moved to Gonzales, Texas two years later where Almeron established a blacksmith's shop.

On December 14, 1834, their daughter, Angelina Elizabeth, was born.

Almeron volunteered with the Texians (the growing rebellious group) and was appointed lieutenant of artillery. Eventually they end up at the Alamo in San Antonio with a small force of men.

February 1836, he sends a letter to Susanna asking her and the baby to join him at the Alamo.

February 23, 1836, a large Mexican army of thousands arrived at the Alamo for battle. Susanna, her daughter, 2 black slaves of Travis and Bowie, and 12 Mexican women and children were placed in a small room in the chapel. Susanna took on the role of nurse ripping her own clothing for bandages.

After the battle, Susanna's family friend, Ramon Musquiz beseeched Santa Anna to spare Susanna and her daughter. They were the only Anglo survivors of the battle. Any other Anglo survivors were killed and/or burned. While she approached Santa Anna, someone shot her in the leg (it's not clear whether it was on purpose or by accident). Musquiz took her to his hacienda to be cared for. Santa Anna came and was so enchanted by Angelina that he offered to adopt her and take them both to Mexico. She refused. He released her so that she could spread the news that any rebel who opposed Mexico would be killed and she was to take a letter stating the same to Sam Houston in Gonzales.

Susanna eventually moved to Houston. December 1837 Texas passed a law to give 640 acres to heirs of Alamo defenders. August 1839 she received her land grant.

Susanna went on to have several failed marriages. Her daughter also found herself in several relationships.

April 27, 1881, Susanna visited the Alamo. It was reported in the San Antonio Daily Express news.

Susanna died October 7, 1883. She was 68 years old.

Book - "From Angels to Hellcats" by Don Blevins; ISBN#0-87842-443-1