By Kent Biffle
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Extra resources for A Month of Sundays
Page 13 His opponent was David G. Burnet, who'd been war-time provisional president during the revolution. Burnet hammered a timeworn theme he'd been sounding since independence. He raged that Houston was a cowardly incompetent and a drunk. On the other side, Houston's pet name for Burnet was an Indian termwetumpka, meaning hog thief. ) They happily hated one another. Some of their remarks were unprintable. Some were, barely. Take the following newspaper exchanges. Burnet on Houston: "When the whole truth shall be known, then this reputed hero (of the Battle of San Jacinto) will be despoiled of his furtive laurels; and be depicted as a quailing, irresolute braggadocio who fled by instinct and fought by compulsion....
With all his faults appears to be the only man for Texas. He is still unsteady, intemperate, but drunk in a ditch is worth a thousand of ... " Ellen Murry from the Star of the Republic Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos in leafy Washington County told me about the warm Houston-Burnet feud. As educational curator of the museum, Ellen has wagon-loads of information on every aspect of life in the Republic of Texas. She told me that mud-slinging was often a crowd-pleasing show in elections during the time of the Republic.
Page 23 Crockett Surrender? " Well, nobody gives a rat's tail about Davy's altitude at birth. And his fans could probably adjust to the notion of Davy in a tractor hat or a Bosox cap. But the surrender part warms them to incandescence. Even Paul Andrew Huttonwho wrote the Monthly piece, but not its headlinesapproaches the subject as if he were undressing in public. He is one of the few academics who isn't afraid to write about the Alamo. A Texan who teaches history at the University of New Mexico, Hutton was a boyhood believer in Crockett's going down clubbing heads with Old Betsy.