All I’ve been hearing about lately is the damn flu. John Kovalic had cancel his GenCon SoCal plans because of it, Charles Ryan had to fly home early because he got it bad, and so on. I got through the con OK, posted my update last night, and then continued to browse the web. Then I started coughing and realized, “Hey, this isn’t an I-have-something-caught-in-my-throat cough, it’s an ow-my-lungs-hurt cough.” It came on fast and by bedtime I had chills and a fever. Spent a long, long night tossing and turning, alternately freezing and burning up. Although I have no end of work to do, I just had to surrender today and rest. Hopefully, I’ll be well enough to see Return of the King tomorrow. John Tynes was cool enough to hook up Nik and I with free tickets, so I surely don’t want to miss out.
I watched a new History Channel show about the Alamo tonight and it was quite interesting. They spent about half the show putting the battle in its historic perspective, which didn’t make the Texas patriots come off very well. Basically, you had American settlers coming into Texas because the Mexican government offered them cheap land. Most of these Americans came from slave states and brought slavery with them. When Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, it became a real bone of contention. The commander of the Alamo, William Travis, believed in a fundamental right of slavery, although no such right was in the Mexican constitution. I find it pretty ironic that one of the things the freedom fighters were fighting for was, in fact, slavery.
I also learned that Jim Bowie was a huge scam artist. When he found out that land grants dating before the Louisiana Purchase would be honored, he forged enormous numbers of them. Had his claims been granted, he would have the largest landowner in the west. However, his forgeries had enough errors that investigations began and his claims were denied. He fled to Texas before he could be charged with fraud.
All in all a pretty interesting period. I studied it a bit from the Mexican POV in grad school in a class about the Mexican Revolution but I must admit my knowledge on the subject is pretty sparse. I didn’t understand until tonight, for instance, how the conflict in Mexico between Federalists and Centralists affected events in Texas. So I may be sick, but I least I learned something today.