Thomas Rife was Custodian of the Alamo, 1885–1894.

The Alamo as it appeared on September 3, 1894. Thomas Rife died less than three months later, on December 28, 1894, after nine and one half years as the first custodian. A wood stove was set up for the comfort of the custodian and the stove pipe can be seen protruding out of the lower right window. Photo courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

In March 1883, the 19th Texas Legislature passed a bill allowing the Governor to transfer the Alamo building to the City of San Antonio.1 The San Antonio City Council then authorized the mayor “to appoint some suitable person as custodian of the Alamo.” This resolution set the building's hours of operation, the duties of the custodian, and his wages. The Custodian of the Alamo had the power and authority of a regular policeman.2

On September 30, 1885, the Alamo church building was formally turned over to the City by the State. On July 27, 1885, Mayor Callaghan appointed Thomas C. Rife, a Mexican War veteran, as custodian of the building,3 perhaps because Rife had recently left the police force. The custodian’s salary was set at $50 per month. The position, officially the “Keeper of the Alamo,” was more commonly called Custodian of the Alamo.4

The Alamo was opened to visitors.

On August 1, 1885, the Alamo church building was opened to visitors with Rife as the custodian and tour guide.5 According to a newspaper reporter, Rife was selected for the job because he was known to be courteous to strangers and had extensive knowledge of Texas history which he “knows by heart and delights in recounting the history of the past that magnifies the deeds of the patriots, yet withal he is modest and reticent in speaking of his own career.”6

Rife was the only employee at the Alamo. He had no staff and, while the doors and windows could be locked, the property was not fenced.7 On at least two occasions, Rife arrived to find that thieves had broken into the Alamo building, forced open the monument contribution box kept there, and stole the money in the box.8 There was no night watchman.9

Up to twenty out-of-town travelers visited the shrine each day.10 Occasionally Rife was forced to expel people who were intent on defacing the building.11 To prevent vandalism, Rife guided tourists through the site in groups12 while telling the story of the Alamo “in a manner and a tone so impressive that the mind (of the newspaper reporter) unconsciously (went) back to the story of the Iliad.”13 In an attempt to discourage vandalism of the stone building, Rife kept a supply of broken stone on hand that he had soaked in dirty water until appropriately “antiqued.” He used these stones to accommodate the demand for souvenirs.14

The Custodian was the Tour Guide.

The text of Rife’s tour has not been found, nor is it known whether Rife wrote the script of the tour himself or whether others provided it. He had a reputation for veracity15, but, as an “old veteran” who had arrived in Texas from Louisiana shortly after the Texas Revolution, his generation’s prejudice against Mexicans and Indians colored his opinions.16 Miss Leonora Bennett, who was the Keeper of the Alamo for five years after 1900, published her version of the tour in 1904.17 Earlier versions of the script were paraphrased by newspaper reporters18 and visitors19 and satirized by writers.20 None of the accounts from that time questioned the essential elements of the Alamo myth. In that myth, the Mexicans were generally portrayed as the enemy21, and the Alamo became a nationalistic symbol.22

While no written script of Rife’s tour is known to exist, visitors occasionally wrote down what they heard. A New York Herald reporter took the tour when he visited the Alamo in 1893. In his account, the tour began with: “Want to see the Alamo?” Rife asked him. When he said that he did, Rife called to a small Mexican boy, “Chico, stand in the door and look out for thieves.” He began; “In this hall, the Spanish monks met in devotion. Here is where Travis, Dave Crockett, and the rest of them made their last stand, and there is where the bodies of the Texans were piled ten feet high.” In a side room, he pointed and said, “In that corner, died Colonel James Bowie. When Santa Anna's troops broke through, he was on a pile of straw in that corner sick with Typhoid fever. There was a woman in here with him - a nurse. She tried to protect him, but it was no use. They shot and bayoneted him to pieces. Under my feet are the bodies of the monks and priests who served their God in the Alamo. They did not call it the Alamo then. Their name for it was the Church of the Mission of San Antonio de Valera.” He continued, “I had a party in here last week. One of the ladies was very fat. I think she must have weighed close to three hundred pounds. I said to her, ‘You're standing on the graves of the Spanish priests.’ Just then, the ground began to give way with her, and if I hadn't pulled her away, I think she would have gone plumb down in the vaults among them bones. Some folks have an idea that Davy Crockett and Bowie and Captain Travis are buried under here somewhere, but there ain't no danger of that. They were all buried – 172 of them – right out in the plaza there, and there's an old woman living in this town today that seen the whole thing.” The reporter’s opinion was that Rife, “… is a student of Alamo history; but, unlike the average guide, he is full of truth."23

In May 1894, another reporter said that Rife “pointed out to us the place where Col. Crockett lay to the left of the front entrance, nearly covered with dead Mexicans, also the room where Mrs. Dickenson and child, the only survivors, remained during the siege."24

While it is unknown how Rife learned the details about what occurred at the Alamo on March 6, 1836, pieces of the narrative were beginning to appear in print as early as 1851. Some stories were based on eyewitness accounts.25 Most accounts were based upon archival material and interviews with individuals who had some hearsay knowledge about the events.26 The first comprehensive retelling of events was Yoakum’s History of Texas that appeared in 1855.27 Yoakum’s history was followed by other Texas histories in 1888,28 1892,29, and 1894.30 Each of these texts contained details about what happened before, during, and after the fall of the Alamo.

Whether or not Rife had access to these accounts is not known. Even if he did not, he heard stories told by many men and women who visited the Alamo and who had some knowledge about the fall of the Alamo that may never have appeared in print. His contacts in the Mexican community should have given him access to eyewitness accounts that were largely ignored by Anglo writers until Miss De Zavala began to publish them after 1894.

The Alamo attracted growing numbers of tourists.

Rife’s tour was free of charge, although visitors were encouraged to tip the tour guide. After 1881 visitors were also encouraged to put donations in a tin box placed near the exit by the Alamo Monument Association to finance the construction of a monument to be built on Alamo Plaza.31

Rife, on occasion, conducted tours for celebrities. In February 1887, Edwin Booth, the “great tragedian” actor, made his stage debut in San Antonio and received a tour of the Alamo shortly after his arrival.32 Many visitors to the building signed a registry33, but none of the registration books used during Rife’s tenure are known to exist. It is also not known how many people visited the Alamo in the twenty years between 1885 when the tours began and 1905 when the Daughters of the Republic of Texas took possession of the building. Based on newspaper accounts, the authors estimate that more than 100,000 people visited the Alamo during those twenty years.34 By the late 1920s that many people visited the Alamo every year.35

In March 1891, Rife was reappointed Custodian of the Alamo by the San Antonio City Council during the bi-annual review of city employees following civic elections.36

Thomas Rife was an amateur historian.

There was no museum to house historical artifacts related to the Alamo. It seems that Rife was trusted by many to hold artifacts for safekeeping. It is not known if they were displayed at the Alamo. San Antonio newspapers reported on September 16 and 17, 1885, that Rife “has a collection of pictures of noted men,” which he invited the public to see.37 The collection included photographs of Walter P. Lane, Colonel Jack Hayes, Colonel Tom Green, Henry McCulloch, Colonel Neally, and Colonel Frank W. Johnson.38 In August 1886, Rife exhibited to a newspaper reporter a document signed by David Crockett in 1818 while he was Justice of the Peace in Lawrence County, Tennessee.39 In March 1887, a visitor to the Alamo presented Rife with a cannonball that he had recovered from the site of the Battle of the Salado against Mexican General Woll in 1843.40

Relics were found on the Alamo grounds on January 22, 1889. Workers installing mesquite pavers in Alamo Plaza found several six-pound copper cannon balls believed to have been used in the siege of the Alamo in 1836. Rife “managed to get two of the relics, which he is saving as public property at the Alamo…” but the contractor disputed ownership of the others.41 Six months later, seven smoothbore cannons were discovered about 18 inches deep during excavations at the site of the Maverick Building, “not a stone’s throw from the Alamo. They are of ancient pattern, bear the stamp of Spanish handiwork, are smooth-bores and bell-mouthed. One of them will chamber an eighteen-pound ball.” Samuel Maverick and Tom Rife both believed them to have been used in the siege of the Alamo.42 The cannons were donated to the Alamo Monument Association.43

Samuel Maverick revealed in a newspaper account that when he was a little boy, “we dug a trench right out there (pointing to the spot) to build a fence and found eleven of the old guns. One was an enormous brass piece about 12 feet long. General Harney, of the United States Army, was here then and took it and sent it north to some foundry where he had three smaller cannon made of it. One of these he sent back to my father, and my brother Albert still has it up at his house. We used to fire it off on the 4th of July when we were boys. Those they have just found were left in the ground and have been there ever since.” Some believed that after Santa Anna was defeated at San Jacinto, the garrison that remained at the Alamo buried the cannon there.44

On March 13, 1888, Judge James Lynch presented a copy of the poem “The Siege of the Alamo” to Rife, San Antonio Mayor Bryan Callaghan, and former Governor of Texas, John Ireland, at a ceremony at the Alamo.45 The poem, which compares the Alamo to Thermopylae (in Greece) and W. B. Travis to Leonidas (a Spartan leader) with “Mexia demons” led by Santa Anna taking the role of the Persians, was included in a souvenir book sold by the custodian in 1904.46 The authors have no information as to the fate of these relics. Rife and his family were renters who often moved so that the documents may have been lost.

Rife kept in contact with fellow soldiers of both wars in which he participated. He was an officer of the Bexar County Association of Mexican War Veterans. He was elected treasurer at a meeting to re-organize the association on November 4, 1887.47

The Colonel of the Thirty-second Texas Cavalry, CSA, Peter C. Wood, invited surviving officers and soldiers of the unit to a reunion to be held in San Marcos on July 30, 1886. It was estimated that 5,000 persons attended the reunion. “They came in by north and southbound trains, in wagons, on horseback and every conceivable means of conveyance,” reported the San Antonio Daily Express. After being photographed by detachments, they marched to McGehee’s grove on the river to a barbeque feast followed by speeches by Governor Ireland, Colonel Wood, and General Bee. “Politics was left entirely out of the programme.”48

On August 15, 1888, the San Antonio Reunion Committee organized a two-day reunion of war veterans attended by an estimated 10,000 persons. The veterans camped with their old military comrades at a campground by the San Pedro springs49, and some 800 people visited the Alamo building during the first day. “They came in crowds of ten and twenty, swarming about the mission building like bees and keeping janitor Rife and his assistants busy all day long…”50 This is the only mention found of Rife having assistants. He may have paid some young men or veterans out of his pocket. According to the San Antonio Light, “Capt. Tom Rife was here, there and everywhere. ” He was able to “prompt the failing memory of the various narrators as they would hesitate at dates and names, while he was ever ready to prove a veritable stumbling block for any who might try to win cheap glory by drawing on their imagination for their facts.”51

Rife’s position at the Alamo was not without controversy.

In February 1887, William “Big Foot” Wallace visited San Antonio and defended Rife’s military service record against that of other men. He said that Rife “is the right man in the right place.”52 The Star-Vindicator of Blanco claimed that Captain C. H. (Rufe) Perry was more suitable for the job of Custodian of the Alamo building.53 Wallace was a celebrity, and his endorsement was essential.54 Another endorsement for Rife came from the Floresville Chronicle. “The Chronicle has known him many years, and a better, braver, more modest and deserving man does not live in Texas.”55

In May 1887, Rife arrested E.I. Coyle, the editor of the Southwestern Chronicle, for smashing to pieces a statue with Masonic symbolism that was stored in the Alamo. Rife heard a commotion in the chapel, and “when I got there, I found Coyle breaking the statue, which is stored on the ground floor, in pieces. As I advanced, he raised the sledge-hammer he was using. I drew my pistol and commanded him to drop the hammer, telling him … if he did not I would kill him . . . he dropped the hammer, and I arrested him.”56 Coyle’s arrest resulted in a lawsuit against the City57 and received extensive coverage in newspapers.

Rife was not afraid to take controversial stands on issues relating to the Alamo. On March 25, 1889, he, John Ford, and several San Antonio elders and officials signed a petition urging the State to grant a pension to Andea Castañon de Villanueva, known as Madam Candelaria.58 Madam Candelaria was an alleged Alamo survivor and a local celebrity.59 The signers included Hamilton P. Bee, Sam and Mary Maverick, W. Morgan Merrick, William Menger, and Sheriff McCall.60 Rife, however, publicly doubted that either Madam Candelaria or Mr. Rose was telling the truth about their activities at the Alamo.61

Rife also expressed his public disbelief in the “Line in the Sand” story. A man named Moses or Louis Rose purportedly told friends that he was in the Alamo in March 1836 but left a day before the final assault.62 In some versions of his story, he said that he witnessed William Travis draw a line in the sand with his sword and ask those men who were willing to stay and defend the Alamo to step across the line. Rose also claimed that James Bowie, being too ill to stand, asked to have his cot carried across the line.63 The story was, and is, firmly entrenched in the public’s mind, yet Rife doubted it.64

In July 1889, Rife told reporters that a biography of Davy Crockett was fraudulent. “A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee” was published in 1834 and claimed David Crockett as the author.65 A play based upon the book (or its sequel) was presented at the Grand Opera House in San Antonio and ignited a controversy.66 In an attempt to clear up some of the confusion about Crockett’s history, Rife wrote to Crockett’s son, Robert Patton Crockett, who was living in Hood County, Texas. In reply, Rife received a short biography of Crockett’s life that probably clarified details of Crockett’s history, which are today well known. On this basis, Rife publicly questioned the earlier Crockett biography.67

Rife did not believe that the Alamo was haunted.

A belief in spiritualism was firm in late nineteenth-century America, and the Alamo was believed by many to be haunted. It was sometimes used as the setting for séances during Tom Rife’s tenure as the Alamo keeper.67 “There is a legend among the Mexicans that when it rains and the wind howls widely around the old Alamo building … the ghosts of the departed heroes, or some of them, notably those of Davy Crockett, Bowie and Travis, arise and stalk about the old building with the measured tread of heavily armed and booted men on guard."68

In 1893, a small shed attached to the Alamo was made into a police station. It was attached to the south wall and included a window with double iron bars cut through the five-foot thick wall. “This opens directly from the room where the two mounted officers who are detailed at the station sit. Adjoining this room is a small cell room, which had been used for a long time. Since the police station has been opened, stories have been told that some prisoners who were confined there at various times had complained of strange noises in the main building, and always on dark, rainy nights. They heard walking and the trailing of muskets and chains. The two policemen … also insist that they have heard very strange sounds in the mail building, and always on a dark, rainy night.” If the reader “reads faithfully, as every good Texan has, the story of the Alamo, he will remember that at the time of the capture by the Mexican Butchers, it was stormy weather."69

In October 1895, Rife unlocked the door at midnight to allow a group of spiritualists to hold a séance. Upon entering a disused room, the wooden floor collapsed, and the woman and Rife fell into the pit. Rife’s son, Tom, brought help, and they were extracted; Rife left, and the séance commenced.70 “The custodian, when asked, stated that he didn't know anything about ghosts in the place."71

Memorial events were held at the Alamo.

Before 1889 the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo went virtually unnoticed, although the anniversaries of Texas independence were celebrated there.72 On March 23, 1889, noting that the flag at the Alamo had been flying at half-mast for several days, a San Antonio Express reporter asked Rife about it. Rife explained that it was to commemorate the fall of the Alamo. The reporter wrote, “It is a pity more of us are not as well acquainted with the trials, tribulations, and victorious achievements of the early Texans as is Tom Rife.” 150(237)

In April 1891, two years after Rife began marking the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo, the First Battle of the Flowers, which celebrated the Battle of San Jacinto, was held to coincide with the visit of the US President Benjamin Harrison to San Antonio. The finale of the Battle of the Flowers centered on the Alamo with a parade to Alamo Plaza and a mock battle between floats using flowers as missiles. In its early years, the festival ended with flowers being thrown at the Alamo church.73

Rife was involved in writing the history of the Alamo.

In August 1891, Rife was helping Colonel John S. Ford, a historian and newspaper editor, write a book about the Mexican War.74 During this period, John (Rip) Ford was living in San Antonio and spent hours in San Antonio coffee shops talking with other history buffs and writing historical pieces for newspapers.75 On the day that Rife died, the newspaper announced that Colonel John S. Ford’s book on the Alamo was ready for print.76

The first edition of Ford’s book was called “History, Battles, and Fall of the Alamo: with Points of Interest, Etc, of San Antonio.” It consisted of 34 pages and included a list of those killed in the Alamo.77 Ford wrote the short book in response to a call by the Alamo Monument Association for a synopsis of the fall of the Alamo. Ford was the first to submit, and his book was accepted for publication.78 Mary Maverick, the wife of Samuel Maverick, a long time resident of San Antonio and President of the Alamo Monument Association, also wrote an account of the events in Béxar in 1835 and 1836 based upon conversations with participants. However, she decided not to submit her work when she learned that it had already been submitted by Ford.79 It is impossible to know how much of Ford’s book and Mrs. Maverick’s manuscript was based upon Thomas Rife’s understanding of what happened at the Alamo in March 1836, but he almost certainly was a contributor.

The De Zavala Daughters formed to preserve historic buildings.

In 1889 Miss Adina Emilia De Zavala, a schoolteacher and resident of San Antonio formed an association of women that became the De Zavala Daughters.80The purpose of the association was to foster patriotism by keeping alive the memory of the “founders and pioneers of Texas.” Miss De Zavala began to gather historical data about San Antonio, including paintings, manuscripts, old and rare books, and relics. She was particularly interested in the Spanish and Republic of Texas periods. The association repaired Mission San José and hired a custodian to guard it. They placed plaques on historic buildings such as the Veramendi House, the Alamo fort, and on the site of Ben Milam’s grave. The De Zavala Daughters affiliated with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas when it was created in 1891 and became the De Zavala Chapter of the DRT.81

Miss De Zavala would have been acquainted with Tom Rife in his role as the Custodian of the Alamo.82 He also collected material relating to the history of San Antonio and gathered relics that he stored in the Alamo.83 Many people considered Rife to be an expert on the history of the Alamo84, although we now realize that much of what he knew about the Alamo was not factual. There is no evidence that he and Miss De Zavala worked together, although they shared similar interests.

While Miss De Zavala examined archival material and collaborated with archivists as far away as Mexico City, Tom Rife probably learned what he knew of the Alamo’s history from the recollections of veterans and survivors who visited the Alamo.

Rife had little accurate knowledge of events that occurred beyond living memory. As a historian, he had numerous critics.85 On the same day that Rife died, a letter to the editor of a San Antonio newspaper criticized him in his role as Alamo tour guide for his recital of oral history, “which is likely to be inaccurate.”86 This letter was signed “Bowie,” perhaps the son of James Bowie who may have nurtured a grudge against Rife for publicly doubting the story wherein David Bowie asked to have his cot carried over Travis’ line in the sand because he was too sick to get up and walk.87

Little information is available about Rife’s views on whether or not the Hugo-Schmeltzer building was a historic structure. He seemed to believe that the Long Barracks had been demolished.88 He would have known Mr. Schmeltzer, who knew that the building played a role in the siege of the Alamo.89 By 1890 the question of whether or not the Long Barracks dated to the mission period had become embroiled in politics and Rife may have chosen just to avoid the topic.90

The Alamo Monument Association was formed to build a memorial at the Alamo.

The Alamo Monument Association organized in 1879 to build a monument to the men killed at the Alamo after a previous monument disappeared.91 The group hoped to use the Alamo building as a library or museum92, but by 1893 they favored the idea of restoring the building to its pre-1836 condition.93 Mrs. Mary A. Maverick was the Association’s President from 1881 until at least 1896, and the officers met monthly in her husband’s office in the Maverick Bank.94 The Association’s twenty-five or so Directors included many of the town’s most influential men and women.95 The association began collecting money in 1879.96

While the primary purpose of the association was to erect a monument, they were also interested in restoring the old Alamo church. In the last week of January 1893, the association presented to the Legislature a memorial request to the State to restore the Alamo. The request was referred to the appropriate legislative committee. The committee then requested an estimate of expenses to complete the work. An architect, “along with H. P. (Hamilton) Bee and Captain Rife, the custodian of the building, made an intelligent and thorough examination of its present condition and forwarded a report, together with the estimate of the probable cost” to the Legislature.97

While Rife was ill in the spring of 1893, a group of New England investors announced plans to demolish the main building of the Alamo fort (the Hugo-Schmeltzer building or Long Barracks) and build a hotel on the site.98 This announcement prompted Miss Adina De Zavala to approach Mr. Gustav Schmeltzer, one of the three owners of the firm of Hugo, Schmeltzer, and Co., with the request that, should the property be offered for sale, the De Zavala Daughters be given the first option to purchase it.99 Miss De Zavala’s request was the first salvo in a controversy over the building’s future that eventually split the State and City governments and destroyed the De Zavala Daughters. The extent of the involvement of Rife and the Alamo Monument Association in all this is uncertain.

Rife was distracted from the controversy by troubles of his own. A few weeks before Rife returned to his job at the Alamo, his oldest son Willie was found guilty of aggravated assault and fined $25.100 By November 1894, Rife was again unable to work. Captain William McMaster was appointed acting custodian of the Alamo during Rife’s illness.92 Rife was sick and unable to work for two months101, and on December 27, 1894, he died at his home.102

  1. Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen Gammel, The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Vol: 9, (1898, repr, Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2004), 126; Bennett, Historical Sketch and Guide to the Alamo, 76 ↩︎

  2. City Council Minutes, 1884-6, Book F, p. 455, City Clerks Office, City of San Antonio; Pryor, “Tom Rife-an Early Alamo Custodian”, 28 ↩︎

  3. City Council Minutes, 1884-6, Book F, p. 462 ↩︎

  4. City Council Minutes, 1884-6, Book F, p. 683 ↩︎

  5. Galveston Daily News, August 2, 1888 ↩︎

  6. Corner, comp. and ed., San Antonio De Bexar: A Guide and History, 8 ↩︎

  7. Randy Roberts and James S. Olson, A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory, (New York: The Free Press, 2001), 202 ↩︎

  8. Galveston Daily News, February 14, 1890; San Antonio Daily Express, Aug. 9, 1889 ↩︎

  9. Ramsdell, San Antonio, 20 ↩︎

  10. San Antonio Light, September 30, 1885 ↩︎

  11. San Antonio Light, June 8, 1886; San Antonio Daily Light, August 6, 1890 ↩︎

  12. Pryor, “Tom Rife-an Early Alamo Custodian,” 28 ↩︎

  13. Edward Tabor Linenthal, “A Reservoir of Spiritual Power: Patriotic Faith at the Alamo in the Twentieth Century”, The Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91, (April 1988), 513 ↩︎

  14. San Antonio Light, April 14, 1886 ↩︎

  15. San Antonio Light, August 18, 1888; San Antonio Daily Express, August 19; New York Herald, January 7, 1894 ↩︎

  16. Mary Rutledge, Application for Membership, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, DRT Achieves, Austin; Pierce, Travels in the Republic of Texas, 1842, Vol: II, 36; T. R. Fehrenbach, Seven Keys to Texas, (El Paso: Texas Western Press, The University of Texas at El Paso, 1983), 17 ↩︎

  17. Bennett, Historical Sketch and Guide to the Alamo ↩︎

  18. Evertt, San Antonio, 19 ↩︎

  19. Pryor, “Tom Rife-an Early Alamo Custodian,” 29; Corner, comp. and ed., San Antonio De Bexar: A Guide and History, 8 ↩︎

  20. Alexander Edwin Sweet, Alex Sweet’s Texas: The Lighter Side of Lone Star History, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 7-13 ↩︎

  21. David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987), 223; Bennett, Historical Sketch and Guide to the Alamo, 69 ↩︎

  22. Roberts, A Line in the Sand, 308; Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 305-7 ↩︎

  23. New York Herald, January 7, 1894 ↩︎

  24. Daily Light, (San Antonio), May 20, 1894 ↩︎

  25. R. M. Potter, The Fall of the Alamo, reprinted from the Star and Watchtower (San Antonio), Western Texan (San Antonio), March 6, 1851; Francis Antonio Ruiz, “Fall of the Alamo, and Massacre of Travis and His Brave Associates”, 1860 Texas Almanac, Galveston News ↩︎

  26. D. W. C. Bakers, comp., A Texas Scrap-Book made up of History, Biography and Miscellany of Texas and its People, (New York, Chicago and New Orleans: A.S. Barnes & Company, 1875) ↩︎

  27. H. Yoakum, Esq., History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846, (New York: Redfield, 1855) ↩︎

  28. Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker/Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker, A New History of Texas for Schools, Tyler, Texas, 1888 ↩︎

  29. John Henry Brown, History of Texas: from 1685 to 1892, L. E. Daniell, Publisher, Printed by Becktold & Co., St. Louis, 1892 ↩︎

  30. Mrs. Mary M. Brown, A School History of Texas From Its Discovery in 1685 to 1893, (Dallas: Published by the Author, 1894) ↩︎

  31. San Antonio Express, May 12, 1881 ↩︎

  32. San Antonio Daily Light, February 28, 1887 ↩︎

  33. San Antonio Daily Light, June 2, 1886 ↩︎

  34. San Antonio Sunday Light,* January 5, 1947; *Daily Light,* (San Antonio), January 4, 1890 ↩︎

  35. Roberts and Olson, A Line in the Sand, 228, 228 ↩︎

  36. San Antonio Daily Light, March 31, 1891 ↩︎

  37. San Antonio Daily Light, September 16, 1885 ↩︎

  38. Dallas Herald, September 17, 1885 ↩︎

  39. San Antonio Daily Light, August 26, 1886 ↩︎

  40. San Antonio Light, March 29, 1887 ↩︎

  41. The San Saba News, February 1, 1889; Galveston Daily News, January 23, 1889; ↩︎

  42. Galveston Daily News, August 2, 1889; Daily Light, (San Antonio), August 1, 1889 ↩︎

  43. Daily Light, (San Antonio), August 2, 1889 ↩︎

  44. Lockhart Register (Texas),* August 9, 1889 ↩︎

  45. San Antonio Daily Express,() March 14, 1888 ↩︎

  46. Everett, San Antonio, 126 ↩︎

  47. San Antonio Light, November 1, 1887; Fort Worth Daily Gazette, November 4, 1887 ↩︎

  48. San Antonio Light, June 8, 1886; San Antonio Daily Express, August 1, 1886; (1466) Galveston Daily News, August 1, 1886 ↩︎

  49. The Daily Light, (San Antonio), August 16 and 18, 1888 ↩︎

  50. San Antonio Light, August 18, 1888; San Antonio Daily Express, August 19;New York Herald, January 7, 1894 ↩︎

  51. San Antonio Light, August 18, 1888; San Antonio Daily Express, August 19;New York Herald, January 7, 1894: San Antonio Light, February 26, 1961 ↩︎

  52. San Antonio Light, February 28, 1887 ↩︎

  53. Daily Light, (San Antonio), February 22, 1908; San Antonio Light, February 23, 1887 ↩︎

  54. San Antonio Light, February 28, 1887; J. Frank Dobie, “The Flavor of Texas,” Port Arthur News, April 19, 1936, 72 ↩︎

  55. Floresville Chronicle (Texas), March 5, 1887 ↩︎

  56. Roberts and Olson, A Line in the Sand, 202; Corner, comp. and ed., San Antonio De Bexar: A Guide and History, 144; Galveston Daily News, May 27, 1887; Daily Light, (San Antonio), May 19, 1887 ↩︎

  57. San Antonio Free Press, February 28, 1888 ↩︎

  58. Legislature Records, Mementos and Petitions, Alamo Monument Association for Relief of Madame Candelaria (February 12, 1891), ARIS-TSLAC; Edward King and J. Wells Champney, Texas 1874: An eyewitness account of conditions in post-reconstruction Texas, (Houston: Cordovan Press, 1974), 121 ↩︎

  59. Pryor, “Tom Rife-an Early Alamo Custodian”, 29; Frances R. Pryor, ed., “Genealogical Gems”, STIRPES 35, No. 4, (December 1995), 19-20; James, Frontier and Pioneer Recollections, 150 ↩︎

  60. Legislative Records, Memorials and petitions, Candelaria, Madame, for Relief (March 28, 1889) ARIS-TSLAC ↩︎

  61. Walter B. Stevens, Through Texas: A Series of Interesting Letters, (St. Louis: St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1892), 77; Robert F. O’Connor, ed.,Texas Myths, (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 1986), 180; Shiffrin, Echoes from Women of the Alamo, 89 ↩︎

  62. Bennett, Historical Sketch and Guide to the Alamo, 67, 84; Pennybacker, A History of Texas for Schools, 183 ↩︎

  63. San Antonio Daily Light, April 22, 1893; May 1, 1894; June 30, 1894 ↩︎

  64. Daily Light (San Antonio) June 30, 1894; Daily Light (San Antonio), May 1, 1894; Farber, Texas, C.S.A., 68 ↩︎

  65. The Daily Light, (San Antonio), August 16 and 18, 1888 ↩︎

  66. San Antonio Express, January 25, 1888 ↩︎

  67. Galveston Daily News, July 12, 1889 ↩︎

  68. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), June 25, 1893 ↩︎

  69. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), June 25, 1893 ↩︎

  70. The Daily Light, October 6, 1895 ↩︎

  71. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), June 25, 1893 ↩︎

  72. Everett, San Antonio, 79 ↩︎

  73. Everett, San Antonio, 88; Donald E. Everett, San Antonio Legacy, (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1979), 63 ↩︎

  74. San Antonio Daily Light, August 28, 1891 ↩︎

  75. Stephen B. Oates, Editor, Rip Ford’s Texas by John Salmon Ford, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963), xliv ↩︎

  76. San Antonio Daily Light, December 28, 1894 ↩︎

  77. John S. Ford, History, Battles and Fall of the Alamo, (1894, repr, Austin: Shelby Publishers, 1980) ↩︎

  78. Green, Samuel Maverick, Texan, 421 ↩︎

  79. Green, Samuel Maverick, Texan, 51-56 ↩︎

  80. Shiffrin, Echoes from Women of the Alamo, 112 ↩︎

  81. De Zavala, History and Legends of the Alamo, 213 ↩︎

  82. Shiffrin, Echoes from Women of the Alamo, 111 ↩︎

  83. San Antonio Light, March 29, 1887; The San Saba News, February 1, 1889 ↩︎

  84. San Antonio Daily Light, August 28, 1891 ↩︎

  85. Roberts and Olson, A Line in the Sand, 202 ↩︎

  86. San Antonio Daily Light, December 27, 1894 ↩︎

  87. San Antonio Daily Light, May 1, 1894 ↩︎

  88. New York Herald, January 7, 1894; Galveston Daily News, September 10, 1885 ↩︎

  89. Shiffrin,Echoes from Women of the Alamo, 221 ↩︎

  90. Everett, San Antonio, 122 ↩︎

  91. Corner, compiler and editor, San Antonio De Bexar: A Guide and History, 14; San Antonio Express, March 7, 1879; Herbert Bolton and Eugene Barker, With the Makers of Texas: A Source Reader in Texas History, (Austin: Gammel-Statesman Publishing Co, 1904), 169; Bennett, Historical Sketch and Guide to the Alamo, 76 ↩︎

  92. San Antonio Express, April 19, 1884 ↩︎

  93. San Antonio Express, January 8, 1893 ↩︎

  94. San Antonio Express, February 22, 1889 ↩︎

  95. Daily Light (San Antonio) April 16, 1894; Fort Worth Daily Gazette, November 4, 1887 ↩︎

  96. The San Antonio Daily Light, December 4, 1894 ↩︎

  97. San Antonio Daily Express, January 31, 1893 ↩︎

  98. Shiffrin, Echoes from Women of the Alamo, 113 ↩︎

  99. De Zavala, History and Legends of the Alamo, 47 ↩︎

  100. San Antonio Daily Light, February 7, 1894 ↩︎

  101. Frances R. Pryor, “Tom Rife, An 1890’s Custodian of the Alamo”, STIRPES 35, No. 3, (September 1995), 46; Mortuary Certificate, Mortuary Records, San Antonio City Clerks Office, San Antonio, NARA; Pensioner Dropped, Records of the Bureau of Pensions, Mexican War Pension Application Files, 1887-1926, Records of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, RG 15, NARA ↩︎

  102. Galveston Daily News, December 28, 1894; San Antonio Daily Light, December 27, 1894; San Antonio Daily Light, December 28, 1894; Mexican War pension records, Thomas Rife File, DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio ↩︎