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Books

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The Immortal Thirty-two:

Memories of an Alamo Spirit

The Immortal Thirty-Two: Memories of an Alamo Spirit is a book of poetry to remind readers of the individuals who left Gonzales on February 25, 1836 to respond to a plea for military assistance at the Alamo. William B. Travis sent a dispatch out from the Alamo on February 24th, explaining that he had only 150 men against thousands of Mexican soldiers moving towards his headquarters outside the city of San Antonio. The Mexican Army was led by Santa Anna himself. The shooting had already begun, and Travis knew he could not hold off the Mexican Army without more defenders. The dispatch, carried by a courier from Travis’ forces, went to Goliad and Mina as well as Gonzales and other settlements. This was the famous letter ending with the phrase “Liberty or Death.” The men from Gonzales were the only reinforcements to come to Travis’ aid. The battle of the Alamo lasted thirteen days. The Gonzales troops arrived there on March 1st. By March 6th everyone had been massacred. Over time, history has remembered the Gonzales troops as “The Immortal Thirty-Two.”

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German Spirit for Texas Freedom
Deutsche Geist

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During the nineteenth century, Europeans were considering the merits of living in America. 

In 1831 Christian Dierks left Oldenburg, Germany for New York. Within less than two years he was living in Austin County, Texas.  Friends he left behind in his motherland had great confidence in the glowing reports of his new-found home.  Social, economic, and political chaos encouraged many to consider following their trusted friend. One such family was the Mehrens’ Clan. Deutsche Geist is the story of their immigration from Oldenburg, Germany to the areas of Colorado, Fayette and Austin Counties. 
Betsy’s third historic novel is based on authentic events that explain why German villages originated and still exist from the Gulf Coast Region up through the Texas Hill Country.  The theme of “SPIRIT” is tinged with German culture. This book will take you on a walk through history with Betsy’s German ancestors. 

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Spirit of Gonzales

There is a spirit of vigor and courage in Texas. It inspired the early settlers, and it unified them when times got rough. That spirit of determination rallied the men who defended the Alamo and fortified the volunteers who followed Sam Houston to San Jacinto. 

In 1831 Sydnie Gaston’s family shared that spirit with the other early residents in a village on the Guadalupe River. Together they overcame Indians and nature, and they helped to fight in a war against an oppressive government. 

Sydnie was one of the many authentic women who struggled to build a Republic. And it all started with the Spirit of Gonzales. 

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BOTH of these books have won the Virginia M. Law Award from the
Daughters of the Republic of Texas as the
“Most Distinguished books for teaching Texas history to young adults.”

Dauntless Spirit

As survivors of the Revolution and the Runaway Scrape, Sydnie Gaston Kellogg and the Kelloggs began their journey home. Their first stop was Harrisburg, one of the only temporary shelters available to the desperate refugees. Realizing their good fortune to have been spared, their hearts were full of hope to begin again, to go back to Gonzales and rebuild. 

Fate, however had another plan. Elizabeth would meet new friends, have a reunion with her family, and experience the hell of Comanche savages. She would also see the humanity of other Indian cultures, as she was passed like cargo from one tribal band to another.  John Benjamin Sr. would find new purpose in his work, and cling to his desperations. 

The final chapter of this family unit is a testament to incredible courage in the face of unimaginable trial and loss. It demonstrates how important seemingly simple human connections can be. It reminds us of our DAUNTLESS capacity for survival.  

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