From the Annals of the Anagrams – In 1829, the Mexican government officially changed the name of La Bahía to Villa de Goliad. Coahuila y Texas state legislator Rafael Antonio Manchola had proposed the name change because neither the settlement around the mission and presidio of the same name was not located on “the bay.” He suggested the name of “Goliad” which was a partial anagram to honor Father Hidalgo, one of the leaders of the fight for Mexican independence.
From the Annals of the Pioneer Women – In 1821, Jane Long said goodbye to her husband James Long at Fort Las Casas on the Bolivar Peninsula. James was travelling to La Bahía as part of his mission to overthrow of the Mexican government. He never reached La Bahia and was captured at San Antonio de Bexar and taken to Mexico City. He never returned to Texas and died in prison in Mexico. Jane sought a pension from Governor José Félix Trespalacios, a friend of her husband. Denied any compensation, Long opened a boarding house in Brazoria which she operated for several years before moving to her land grant in the Austin colony. In Richmond, she opened another boarding house and built a plantation both of which were successful. The Civil War, however, reversed her fortunes and after the war she was dependent on her children and grandchildren. Often referred to as the “Mother of Texas”, Long claimed to be the first English-speaking woman to bear a child in Texas. The title stuck even though her claim was inaccurate. Numerous Texas landmarks bear her name today.
From the Annals of the War Slogans – In 1836, Col. James W. Fannin raised a flag over the La Bahia mission at Goliad with the words “Liberty or Death”. Fannin and his followers got death at the hands of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and against the express wishes of Gen. Jose de Urrea who pleaded for clemency and was outraged at the massacre. Some Texans ultimately got Liberty. Others remained slaves as one major focus of the Revolution was to protect the institution of slavery in Texas.
From the Annals of the Filibusters – In 1821, James Long and his filibuster forces to Mexican Army troops commanded by Colonel Juan Ignacio Pérez at La Bahia. Long was a former U.S. Army surgeon with dreams of conquest. The Long expedition was one of the first Anglo-Americans attempts to seize control of Texas from Spain. The expedition was formed in the Natchez, Mississippi area by elements who were opposed to the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase as set up in the Adams-Onís Treaty. In 1819, Long had some initial success in taking Nacogdoches and declaring a new Republic of Texas with Long as President. But the filibusters were quickly driven out by Pérez and the nascent Republic lasted less than a month. Undeterred, Long regrouped and joined forces with José Félix Trespalacios, who was organizing an expedition in New Orleans to support the Mexican liberals. Long established his headquarters at Fort Las Casas near Point Bolivar. There he was joined by his wife, Jane Long, the “Mother of Texas.” He later broke with Trespalacios, and sailed with his wife and an uncertain number of men to the coast south of La Bahia. The group easily took the presidio but was just as easily routed again by Perez days later. Long’s filibustering career was over. He was captured taken to Mexico where he died in prison six months later after being shot by a guard.
Photo of La Bahia from Texas Parks & Wildlife