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Saturday, February 27, 1836

The wind yesterday and today blew hard from the north, right in my face -- a most uncomfortable ride.  Left Edwards' after breakfast; stopt at Mrs. Panky's to feed my horse, where I got an excellent dinner of bacon, turnip tops, boiled eggs, coffee and milk, with fine corn bread.  I relished it more than any meal I have eaten in Texas.  Arrived at Washington after dark.  Met Capt. Sherman's baggage wagon going out, the men having marched on ahead.  A considerable excitement prevailing at Washington, owing to the news from Bexar.  Found that the express to the east and north had not yet gone, owing to the want of funds or energy on the part of those in authority.

Dinner and board fifty-six cents.

Sunday, February 28, 1836

Cold and drizzling.  Some of the citizens raised a collection, to which I contributed $1, to send the express on to the eastward.

The Acting Governor, Robinson, with a fragment of the Council, is here.  He is treated coldly and really seems of little consequence.  The only members of the Council now here are McMullin, an Irishman, Patillo, and Thompson.[ 6]  McMullen is he whose name appears on the maps as an Empressario.[ 7]  Powers, another Empressario, and an Irishman, is also here.  He is a shrewd man; married a Mexican woman, and speaks the Spanish well.[ 8]

Another express is received from Travis, dated the 24th, stating that Santa Anna, with his army, were in Bexar, and had bombarded the Alamo for twenty-four hours.  An unconditional surrender had been demanded, which he had answered by a cannon shot.  He was determined to defend the place to the last, and called earnestly for assistance.  Some are going, but the vile rabble here cannot be moved.

This evening a number of members arrived, among them Lorenzo de Zavala,[ 9]  the most interesting man in Texas.  He is a native of Yucatan; was Governor of the State of Mexico five years, minister of the fiscal department and Ambassador to France from the Republic of Mexico, which post he renounced when Santa Anna proved recreant to the liberal cause, and he then resided for some time in the United States.  He now lives on his estate on Buffalo Bayou, near Galveston Bay.  He is a fine writer and a Republican; a pure statesman, although by some accused of inordinate ambition.  Has published a volume of travels in the United States, printed in Paris in the Spanish language.  Memo. to procure a copy.

Monday, February 29, 1836

A warm day, threatening rain from the south.  Many other members are


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas