Mount Morris Dam Lecture
Remembering the Alamo at Mount Morris history lecture
A pivotal event in America’s manifest destiny — and the defining moment in the creation of the state of Texas — occurred in the early morning dawn of March 6, 1836 inside the Alamo, a former adobe mission compound on the outskirts of San Antonio. After a 12 day siege, a small force of American soldiers of fortune and Anglo settlers defended their makeshift fortification from an all out attack by a professional Mexican army numbering more than 5,000.
To a man, every one of the defenders died in battle.
Their martyrdom inspired the Texans who defeated a part of the same Mexican army at San Jacinto on April 21, capturing Mexican President and General Santa Anna, and winning Texan independence.
Among the Alamo heroes killed on March 6 was Capt. John Hubbard Forsyth, a farmer from Avon, who had arrived at the fort one month earlier, leading a cavalry company.
The Alamo command was shared between Col. William Barret Travis and James Bowie (of namesake knife fame). At the time of the battle Bowie was confined to a sickbed, suffering from what was probably a fatal case of typhus. Travis, as reported by his slave ‘Joe’ who was spared by the Mexicans, was shot from the north wall during the early moments of the attack.
Owen C. Johnson, a contemporary military historian who serves as Training Officer for the 10th Brigade of the New York Guard, has written that Capt. Forsyth of Avon would have ranked immediately below Travis in the chain of command of the Alamo garrison and consequently would have assumed command upon Travis’ death.
For the Winter Lecture at the Mount Morris Dam Visitors Center Saturday, March 3, Howard Appell will examine the conjecture that an Avon farmer commanded the American force during the epic battle. He will discuss what we know of Forsyth’s life, making comparisons with the legendary personalities — Bowie, Travis and Davy Crockett — who also fell at the Alamo.
Lectures begin promptly at 1 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The entrance to the William B. Hoyt Visitors Center at the Mount Morris Dam is located on the west side of Route 408, one mile south of the Village of Mount Morris.