By Stan Delk
(Fifth generation direct descendant)
This site is in memory of my great, great, great, grandfather,
Andrew Jackson Kent.
Andrew Kent was an early settler and homesteader in Spanish Tejas (Texas). He was a close friend of Daniel Boone. Andrew was married to Elizabeth Zumwalt and had 5 children. Many years later Andrew and Elizabeth's daughter, Mary Ann would entertain her friends with stories about Andrew and "Ol' Dan'l".
In order to lay claim to his homestead, Andrew converted to the Catholic Church, became a Mexican citizen, took title to his league and labor of land, and settled in with his family to work the land. We know from written records that Andrew was an accomplished carpenter. He built his home in the standard "Texas Dog Run" style consisting of two separate areas of living quarters (each with fireplace) and an open space in between. He raised cattle, and split shingles for his neighbors.
Like many other Mexican/Anglo citizens, Andrew Kent became convinced over time that Texas must become independant and free of the oppresive Mexican rule. Andrew fought in at least two skirmishes with the Mexican army prior to the siege of the Alamo. In both of these battles the Texans were victorious.
Andrew Kent and his 18 year old son, David Boyd Kent, had been at the Alamo several times prior to the final siege. It seems they had been coming and going in order to help defend the makeshift fortress, take care of business back at home, and forage for food for the Alamo defenders.
When the call came from Colonel Travis for additional volunteers, both Andrew and David were at home. It seems they had quite a bitter argument about whether David would accompany Andrew back to the Alamo. Andrew felt David was needed at home to assist the family and David wanted to be at the Alamo where the action was. Andrew probably realized that whoever went into the Alamo this time would not return.
Andrew prevailed and David reluctantly went home while Andrew returned to the Alamo as one of the 32 brave men from Gonzalez who answered the call of Colonel Travis. Andrew re-joined the small rag tag army headquartered in the Mission San Antonio de Bejar (the Alamo) who were already engaged in the fiercest battle to date with General Santa Ana.
David didn't remain home for long, however, and soon began operating as a courier between Colonel Travis and Colonel Fannin in Gonzalez. He stealthily ventured back and forth many times carrying messages. During one of David's trips away from the Alamo the final battle was fought and Andrew Kent lost his life along with Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Colonel Travis, and many other heroes in pursuit of freedom and liberty.
If you've read James Michener's book "Texas" you'll recall the McNabb's (both father and son). I am of the opinion that the McNabb's were loosely patterned after Andrew Jackson Kent and a composite of two of his sons, both David and Bosman Clifton Kent. If you'll recall, young Oscar McNabb acted as a courier between the Alamo and Colonel Fannin in the same manner as David Boyd Kent. Also, young Oscar was only 5'2", became a Texas Ranger, and was noted for his ferocity with his Navy Colt revolvers. My great, great, great uncle Bosman Clifton Kent was only 5'2". Because he was so short he was only allowed to join the Rangers as a bugler. When they discovered just how mean he was, they had to let him become a full fledged Ranger. Just like the fictional Oscar McNabb, Bosman was one of the first Texas Rangers to make use of the Navy Colt 1851 revolver.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit San Antonio in April of 1993 and walk on the grounds of the Mission San Antonio de Bejar and view the remaining buildings and their surroundings. I was moved by the experience.
I had grown up ignorant of my family history and the significance of the actions and heroics of my forebears. Maybe learning these things later in my life has actually been beneficial, as I have been able to appreciate them from an adult perspective rather than the idealistic viewpoint of a child. I have often wondered what my response would have been if confronted by the same dilemma as my grandfather. Would I be possessed of the same courage to answer the call when few others would? Would I be willing to join in a cause that I knew was hopeless and would surely end in death? Would I value freedom and liberty enough to freely lay down my life in their defense? These questions about myself will probably remain unanswered, but I take great pride in the key roles my family played in the history of our nation.
I found modern day San Antonio a wonderful and delightful place to visit. My three days there were too short to fully experience everything the city had to offer, but the sights I saw and the people I met were just great. Blending it's Mexican heritage with it's Anglo heritage, San Antonio is a lovely mixture of culture, art and architecture.
I was enchanted with the River Walk, gorged myself on Tex-Mex cuisine in the riverside restaurants, shopped till I dropped in the Mercado, and thoroughly enjoyed my stay in one of the country's cleanest and most attractive big cities.
Below are a few photos I took of the Mission San Antonio de Bejar, the surrounding grounds, and the River Walk. If you get a chance to visit San Antonio, please take advantage of the opportunity. I'm glad I did.
For a fascinating account of the event, visit:
The Fall of the Alamo by Dr. John Sutherland.
Other Alamo Links:
Daughters of the Republic of Texas - The Alamo
Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas - Andrew Kent, Alamo Defender
Battle at the Alamo - Texas History
Totally unrelated, but it's one of mine so I'll list it:
The Monterey International Pop Music Festival - 1967
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