Sunday, August 30, 2015

History Alive: the Alamo!

Last week our family enjoyed a week away from normal. We ventured south a bit to enjoy some time with the grandparents and to make a visit to the Alamo.

This past year's Ambleside Year 3 readings of American Tall Tales has sparked a wonder-filled world of frontier life and awestruck fascination with Davy Crockett.

Let him ... linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period,
until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period.
-Vol 1, p280

As Royal's interests gravitated toward this hero of the 19th century, I began to keep my eyes open for books he may enjoy and found a handful at various thrift stores:

I confess I did this because I was inspired by my son's interest, along with the notion that this book could be an option for Year 10's biography selection.

From my Commonplace:
(I can't help but think that Charlotte Mason would be proud to read this as well!)

What a pity it is that these theaters are not contrived that everybody could go;
but the fact is, backwoodsman that I am, I have heard some things in them that was
a leetle too tough for good women and modest men;
and that's a great pity, because there are thousands of scenes of real life that might be exhibited,
both for amusement and edification, without offending.



Let a child have the meat he requires in his history readings, 
and in the literature which naturally gathers round this history, 
and the imagination will bestir itself without any help of ours;
the child will live out in detail a thousand scenes of which he only gets the merest hint.
-Vol 1, p295

With all the past year's talk of Crockett and the Alamo, playing at frontier life and singing the Ballad of Davy Crockett, my kids were ripe for a visit to this shrine of Texas history.

Photos are not allowed inside the mission, but it was amazing to view relics once used by so many involved in the Texas Revolution...a Bowie knife, Crockett's rifle, a large wood piece from his Tennessee home's chimney, and his leather wallet (which we sketched to try replicating in the future, as Royal is now beginning to do leatherwork). 

Talking with various museum attendants:

... we learned where Davy Crockett's battle position at the Alamo was and where his body was found afterwards 

... we enjoyed handling a real flintlock rifle and .69 caliber round balls 

... and did you know Phil Collins (he was seriously my favorite rock star growing up!) is an Honorary Texan because of his generous donations of Alamo relics he has collected over the years? He has amassed around 250 articles relating to the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. A select few are already on display at the Alamo, but the rest Mr. Collins has asked specifically that there be a place where the entire collection can be housed together. These plans are in the works now.

For a bit of History in the Headlines, read this article: Phil Collins has always Remembered the Alamo

my little Davy Crockett & Jim Bowie


one of the oldest cathedrals in the USA

and the marker for the official center of the city of San Antonio lies on the floor of the back chapel:

Besides being beautiful on the outside,
the inside is quite lovely as well:

And in the entrance on the left side of the church,
another piece of history:

History is now alive in our minds!

"Education must be an appeal to the spirit if it is to be made interesting."

1 comment :

  1. What a beautiful trip! My boys (and my husband) are wishing they could check out the cannon, too! I cam easily believe that this history will remain alive in the minds of your family for a long time to come.