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Episode 114: The Gateway


Most locations have an isolated history that is unique to them and only them. But some places have served as the entry point for a bigger idea and a larger impact on history as a whole. Sadly, that sort of significance always seems to come at a price, and it’s a cost that’s difficult to forget.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
They stand, atop the wall just after sunrise, the fiery glow of the sky around them always seems to make them look darkened featureless, like shadows, trying to be real. One figure is a man, but the one beside him is much smaller, a child, perhaps his child, and then they jump those who witnessed it never saw it coming one moment, the two dark figures are standing silently in the midst of a tranquil dawn and the next there are stepping off the edge of the wall and plummeting to their death below
Naturally, many people have rushed to find them to help them to see if they somehow survived, but every time they do so they discovered the pavement below the wall to be empty. No man, no child, no twisted wreck of human rights
Judy, nothing, it's a story that has happened over and over again putting it into the realm of local legend. Multiple people. From long time, residents to visitors from out of state have watched the scene play out over the years as if it were a real life, animated mean that pops up from time to time, every town in America seems to have a legend like this one. That story apparent might whisper to their child as they drive pass. The cemetery, the tale that gets pulled out every autumn by the cap counselor around the fire, the rumour that's passed from child the child, like the stomach bug after a school picnic every place as it stories, but some stories are more significant than others.
sure the tale of the heartbroken woodsman, who may or may not still live in the forest behind the subdivision is frightening. But it's not important, not like a city. Why disaster or a tragic outbreak of a deadly disease? Some stories leave no impression on the pages of history and others do, and this tale of the Father and son who leap from the wall is one of the latter stories its powerful and even disturbing, but beyond. All of that, its significance, not so much because of the contents of the tail, but because of where that Wallace located. It's in the american city of San Antonio, at the sight of a building and a battle that have both become legendary parts of our nations history and in the process
Is transformed into a gathering place for tales of tragedy and loss, the Alamo I'm Erin Monkey, and this is more so much of San Antonio history is really about horses. The wide open planes, dry, brush and flat land of Texas was a perfect substitute for the arid coastline of Spain, and that's where the Spanish got really good at using mounted riders to manage their large herds of cattle writers. They refer to as Voltaire US
of course, pain like a lot of european countries didn't stay in one place. Just like the English and the French, the Spanish explore the world and by the late 1600s they were firmly planted in the new soil of Central America. Then in one thousand, six hundred and ninety one a soldier, demean, go Tehran De Las Rios travelled north from his post in Peru and ass. He went. He established seven franciscan missions. They arrived at the banks of a large river on June thirteenth, which was also the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua, so they name the river after him, sand NEO. That same day, one of the friars noted just how big the river was and how it could support much more than a village. It could support a city in while it would take a long time. Those words would eventually be shown to be almost prophetic. The Spanish were creeping up the continent into what would later become southern Texas, because the
French were doing their own expansion. They, however, were spreading westward from New Orleans and selling weapons to the powerful, Apache and Comanche people along the way. So the spanish headed North and east, hoping to lay claim to land before the French arrived and to help the allied themselves with the smaller tribes of the region, who referred to themselves as friends in there, language, a word that the Spanish recorded as task. Of course, it was that, a house who had been their long before the arrival of the Spanish. They had a history there. There can be traced back over fifteen thousand years, but the Spanish moved in at the right time, just as the French equipped Apache began to raid the western territories more frequently to help the spanish military governors set up fortifications. They call them presidio, but dont. Think of them is a fortress. These were simple Adobe structures with thatched roofs. Hardly
sensible stronghold, but they were the seed that the larger supplements to come would grow out of the only problem was that those settlements will be built on the backs of the indigenous people. It was slavery. There no doubt about that. It was painted as a missionary endeavour, but much of their mistreatment put them into a class similar to the african american slaves that would follow them a century later. Still there, is one area where the settlers in San Antonio broke spanish law. They allow the native Americans to ride horses is those spanish friars were working far away from their support network and they didn't have the manpower to raise cattle themselves so Turned to the tejas among them and in an act of disobedience, they train them to be vicarious, which is
Little detail that I absolutely love in a world where pop culture built mythology around cowboys, verses, Indians, real irony, is that the very first American born cowboys were native America. My one thousand seven hundred and twenty most of those original spanish mission settlements had collapsed by the time the French decided to move into their territory. The spanish only had two missions and one person The left, so a new governor was sent to take charge Marcus DE uglier, and he brought reinforcements with him. Five hundred mounted soldiers and over four thousand spanish horses, the spanish one French were pushed back out and when a glass road victorious Lee back into San Antonio, he celebrated by kicking off a building project. To actually
this would be a grand presidio for him to rule from the other would be a replacement for the original mission that was destroyed by a recent hurricane and after that everything else seemed to grow into place. Now that there was a military force there, the subtle- blossomed into a city acquire recruited more settlers and gave out land grants and noble titles to help them get started. Construction on San Fernando Cathedral, began in seventeen thirty eight right between a Alice and the new mission and wrapped up around seventeen fifty and by then and Tony who had become something new, a true melting pot. It was a community that thrived on diversity. Spanish settlers live beside native Americans on mostly equal terms. They work together in her married and shape their own culture. Around this diversity, but in doing so the city was also carbon. Its own path and over the years began to think of them, so
jobs as their own rulers, rather than the spanish Empire to the south, which the spanish fleet by sending a new governor into San Antonio and said. it up as the capital of the entire to Hano territory. The new Go There's goal was to bring the city back in line with spanish standards and culture, but he was met with fierce resistance community that a grown up in San Antonio, like their independence, and they weren't about to change it back. They had their own local governments. They didn't need imperial power, they were doing just fine own, never mind the fact that reestablishing the spanish colonial culture would have met, placing all of those non spanish residence on a lower run on the latter, which was demeaning and wrong because of San Antonio in the late eighteenth century was a powder keg of tension and frustration. The independent
strong will people of the city weren't about to let themselves be bullied into a backwards way of life. On the other hand, governor after governor entered the city over the years like stormy waves and crashed against the rock of that. Independent community, it was attention that was unsustainable at some point. Something had to give either the community would bow to spanish wishes or the empire would admit defeat and leave San Antonio in peace. Exactly who would win was the question that was on everyone's mine and only time would provide an answer. That was the tension that assent eight.
rain stepped into looking back. Maybe he was well equipped for that sort of environment. He was a soldier after all, and a good one. He was what was known as a lancer because, aside from his rifle pistols and sword, he also carried a lance into battle and because gun powder was in short supply in firearms weren't. The most act it or reliable, he used that long spear like weapon most often descent aid, was part of the second flying company. A group of mounted lancers were stationed in Spanish Mexico far from their homeland across the Atlantic. Their life was never easy and always dangerous. Whether they were engaged in offensive maneuvers against the french or protecting the people of their own territory. A flying company was the best of the best advice.
Tate was one of their stars for the longest time they were all stationed at a place known as Alamo. That part is located south of the Rio Grande, but in one thousand eight hundred and three they were ordered to head north to San Antonio, where they would garrison a small outpost in the town when they arrived, they visibly increase the communities population, since almost all of the one hundred soldiers brought their families with them most, but not Sunday. He had been married, but his wife, Maria, had passed away seven years before so. and he rode into San Antonio. He was one of the few with no family around him, but it didn't stay that way forever A few years later after meeting a wealthy landowner and city official named Joaquin Leal Assent, a fellow love with a man's daughter who I'm not. They were married in one thousand, eight hundred and ten. Their first son Manuel was born a year later and vicinity began to settle into family life.
and well was even baptized in the local mission where the flying company had set up camp. Actually, it was more complicated than that. Ten years before their arrival, the Franciscans had secularize the mission there in San Antonio and sold it into private hands. But as far as I can tell, it was rarely used for anything and just sat empty between the cathedral and the governors Palace, so investment aid and his fellow soldiers arrived in eighteen o three the abandoned mission looked as good a place as any to set up their new home and At the same time, men well was baptized. This anti received a promotion, putting him in charge of the entire company, but trouble was brewing. then the was going to have to navigate those challenges as best he could. First, Revolution had broken out in the spanish capital farther south in modern Day Mexico. It was quickly squelched by the empire, but revolution has a way of sticking around and within weeks news of it had spread north this,
Antonio, once there it had inspired a retired military captain name jealous cause us to take up arms and joined the revolt locals flocked to his message and honestly knowing the history of San Antonio. It makes a lot of sense. They were independent people who didn't care Four imperial rule and rebellion was their path to freedom as far as they were concerned, and, surprisingly A number of assent is own flying company soldiers joined in before he knew the rebels stormed the city freed a handful of political prisoners and took the governor and vicinity captive. then at the last minute. The rebels flinched and set vicinity free, who immediately turned around and led his loyal troops into battle ending the rebellion without episode planted a seed of change inside him, the rebellion, returned a few years later, and this time those rebels were incredibly diverse. They included spanish settlers native Americans
rebel soldiers from the neighbouring United States and when they marched into San Antonio, this time dissented joined them. Maybe it was his insider view of how the spanish empire was treating its people or perhaps the independent spirit, The city had infected him over the years, whatever his Innovation might have been. He became a rebel and sent his life into a tailspin. An army of over two thousand Spanish soldiers arrived and destroy their forces. Rebel families were scattered, their possessions were confiscate. and many women and children were imprisoned among them was the sent his wife one that when she was finally released, the centre was gone, presumably killed by the empire, She went on to raise Manuel herself telling him stories. his father and the rebellion and the evils of an empire that wanted to rob them of their independence, and then the unthinkable happened.
In eighteen, twenty one, Mexico, one its independence from Spain, but like all important achievements had come at a massive cost. The people of the former Spanish Terry, Tory there in modern Day, Texas had suffered through incredible loss of life and that had decimated their economy. Yes, they were free from imperial rule were also destitute, and it would be a long hard road to rebuild their lives in eighteen. Twenty two, a bitter sweet miracle, happened, vicinity return he had escaped to Louisiana for a time plotting his return. Sadly, he arrived back and San Antonio just in time to pass away surrounded by his family, which is probably one of the things that inspired Manuel to follow in his father's footsteps. In eighteen, thirty, he was old enough to join the flying.
Company as a lancer. He even served under the leadership of one of his father's fellow exiles, Jose Francisco Ruiz. I dont get the impression that Manuel was as much of a soldier s father, but what he lacked inability he more than me, up for with passion. At the same time, american migrants that were crossing the mexican border south into men, whilst territory had been declared illegal by the mexican government. This was largely done to enforce the anti slavery. Laws that the Americans seem too eager to ignore, but it also forced the people of San Antonio. To pick signs Manuel was part of the group that shows independence over mexican rule. It seems that the people of San Antonio had one more rebellion to throw their weight behind and this time the scent son would take part in it, but no one, not even Manuel himself, could have
imagined just how significant that rebellion might be or how dearly it would cost them. Some cities have a neat and tidy bit of history behind them said. Arrived a community We started and they persevered through a few small tragedies. San Antonio is different and that's why you're getting a deeper tour because some marks left on a city aren't simple to explain their complex and interwoven with a number of larger issues. By the end of eighteen, thirty, five, a group of mexican rebels Manuel among them, had joined forces with some local to her
US and a number of settlers from the United States and together they had retaken San Antonio, City that had changed hands so many times before now belong to a small collection of rebels, and of course, we all know what happened. Next. Manuel along with Davy Crockett James Bowie, William Travis and others defended themselves from inside the old spanish mission known by then simply as the Alamo. The siege lasted thirteen days and when it was over all but one of the rebels inside had been killed. Their bodies were stacked bike firewood and burned a short while later afterwards, Mexican General Santa ANA moved on to stamp out other rebellions in the area and Santa Tony It was left to pick up the pieces and it's this one battle, a battle that arrive like an explosion after a century of build up, and most people can still feel echoes up today.
the years since that infamous battle the land around the church that had once been part of the mission compound was eventually cleared and developed. The city kept in surrounding the old mission, like the rings of a fort but parts of modern, San Antonio, give residents and tourists alike the chance to stand right on the bones of history. today, the Alamo is a museum and the centrepiece of the city but that has always been the case in eighteen, many one. The chapel inside the Alamo was used as a local police station, tucked into a pair of rooms on either side of the main gate. Visitors to those rooms today and reported seeing ghostly figures that move the bat and disembodied voices have been heard. Others have seen figures walking around outside of the Alamo. Some witnesses have described them as very uniform in their behaviour in appearance as if they were soldiers marching on petrol. On the look out for the enemy
and along with the sightings visitors, have heard the distant rumble of gunfire shouts of angry men, as if a battle were still raging on inside the old mission nearby, the cathedral is home to its own collection of sight, and experiences many modern visitors have seen mysterious figures in old clothing include a man dressed in black and a woman in a long old fashioned dress. Some tour groups have witnessed these figures following them from place to place inside the old building. The most common sightings inside the cathedral, though, are of shadow. We figures that move about the back of the main worship space. They are said to Flickr in and out of sight, but those who have managed to get a good look at them claim. They resemble franciscan monks, perhaps like those that founded the mission all those years before.
One story stands out. Among the rest, though, passed on to us by historical preservation is Edina these of Allah back in nineteen, seventeen according to the records of it The Santa ANA left San Antonio to go fight other pockets of rebels, but left behind a small game. Sin of soldiers, along with strict instructions to tear the old Alamo mission, building down After pulling the outer walls down manually, they prepared to detonate the interior, but they quickly encountered a problem. According to the legend, as the first group of men approached the building armed with a healthy supply of explosives to help them do their job, they stumbled and something other worldly. It was a gathering of six mysterious figures who stood between them and the entrance to the interior as the soldiers approached each of the figures reached down to their side and drew a sword, a flaming sword the unjust,
the soldiers were terrified and they immediately rush back to their commander with job left undone. The commander was reportedly furious that his orders had been carried out and he demanded to know why the frightened men proceeded to tell him all about the ghostly figures with their fire. Swords, but their commanding officer refused to believe such a fanciful story. So he went to do the job himself. It said that he arrived to find the same six figures standing guard in front of the Alamo, apparently more courageous, then his men, the commander, called out to be allowed to do his job, but one of the figures spoke in an eerie hollow voice. Refusing entry over the next few minutes. It said that the officer explained his purpose and bargained with the ghosts who, eventually greed to a compromise rather than detonating the building itself. But commander was alive. To disarm the cannons so that they can never be used by the rebels. Again is work was
carried out under the watchful eye of the six other worldly guardians, and when he was finished, they carefully watched him leave. The old mission, it seems, had been saved San Antonio wasn't quite finished with strife though one year after the battle of the Alamo. The Republic of Texas was formed, pushing the mexican forces back into action. Santa ANA return twice over the next decade to reclaim San Antonio, but by one thousand eight hundred and forty five. It was the United States and not me, the co that controlled the city after a century and a half about seen from one government, the next stability it finally arrived, however bitter the cost In the end, I find it a bit ironic that the Alamo was saved by figures with swords, whether or not they were ghostly and on fire, because ever since its early beginning
San Antonio. Has had swords and lances and rifles all pointed at it. In fact, some historians considered it to be one of the most fought over cities in America right up there with New Orleans, a city that was carved out and shaped by the sword was eventually preserved by one. Sometimes the past can haunt us, and sometimes it seems it can make us who we are. A lot of us have memories of visiting an amusement park: ass, a child growing up in Illinois. I have distinct memories of family trips to the local six flags, and I can still remember Shooting the air rifle in the saloon in the arcade area, but I'll be honest and admit,
that I never stepped back and considered what the name actually meant, why six flax? Well, it turns out it's because of the story we explore. today, the land that is now the state of Texas has been the centre of a massive game of tug of war for centuries, since the early so Teen hundreds it's been under the control of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States and even the confederacy during the civil war, six nations six flags, Oliver adding up to something bigger and darker, but even though you can experience tiny parts of that history inside one of their amusement parks. The real history, as you know, by now, is a lot darker than roller coaster is and saloon shootouts. It's a legacy of oppression, betrayed loyalties and social division, a legacy that isn't entirely something to be proud of.
There is still work to be done. Of course, the Non Profit Organization American Indians in Texas is actively working to locate the remains of dead native Americans that were once excavated by archaeologists and then put into storage. They seek to unmarried past, dusted off and help us respect it and understand it more clearly and that's a mission. I think we can all take refuge. within? But the buildings and history of Spanish Texas continue to rise up through the stone work of San Antonio. There are more so worries told around the Alamo than rumours of ghostly footsteps or of the six guardians and their flaming swords tourists and it alike have reported one particular vision that has left a lot of people with questions they claim to have seen Loan figure of a man in the uniform of a nineteenth century mexican military officer he's been seen
walking along what would have been the outer wall of the old Alamo Compound hands held behind his back with a serious but disappointed. Look on it face and some believe they know who he is. Almost centuries ago, when the mexican forces were gathered outside the Alamo Santa Anna was said to have gotten into a heated argument with his aid, the camp Amanda Manuel Well Fernandez. On Santa I have the intention of killing everyone inside, including those who surrendered, but Castro OWN disagreed and begged Santa ANA to be merciful, the general refused Rebel forces had never shown mercy to his own men. So why should he do any different castration However, I still believe that he could be a better man, and so one night, a handful of prisoners were brought to him just outside the gateway of the old Alamo mission has three on was said to have taken pity on them, and he promised that he would protect them.
Somehow, though, word made its way to Santa ANA who quickly arrived to confront Castro on, he demanded that the prisoners be executed, but Castro on Refer, used sending Santa ANA into a fit of rage drawing his sword? He stepped forward and hacked each one of them to death one after the other until none remained standing. But there are some who believe the soldiers are still there despite Santa on his best efforts, because there is one more detail that seems to draw a connection between those prisoners and the ghostly guards who would prevent the destruction of the Alamo a short while later there were six of them.
The history of San Antonio is long and painful. Now much is obvious, but there more to the haunted side of the city than just the Alamo Stick around. After this brief sponsor break to get a guided tour of one of the city's most infamous buildings, this episode was made possible by stamp stock. Come if you're, a small business owner you're busy enough as it is. You have time to deal with the hassle of going to the Stop us with stamps dot com. You can skip the trip and never waste another dollar or minutes steps that come with you print official postage right from your computer, so you can spend less time at post office and more time running your business simply put stamps dot. Com saves time, money and stress for more than twenty years, stamps that come here,
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save time and money. This year was stamped Stockholm sign up with a promo code law for a special offer that includes a for weak trial, free postage and a digital scale, no long term commitments or contracts just go to staff. Dotcom click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and then type in the word more that stamps dotcom offer code more staff. Stockholm never go to the post office again. Can I be honest with you for a moment whenever take you wanna, guided tour through a city? I take a lot of pleasure from opening windows for you into as many places as possible. So many of the cities we think of is haunted, have a plethora of locations that seem to drip with story and rumour some of them are
gone lost time and modern development, while others are still there waiting for one of us to explore with fresh eyes While I enjoy both types of locations, it's the latter that I find most powerful. They put us in the driver's seat of history and allow us a chance to stand right inside this Tori. Then, while we haven't travelled all around San Antonio today, there's one historic location that is just waiting for a visit, and if you get the chance, you really shouldn't pass it up. If you remember from earlier the Alamo that we know today, the stone structure with the tumble down walls was once a spanish mission, think of it ass, a sort of hybrid between a school, a place of worship and a monastery some agricultural management thrown in an because of all of that there was more to the mission than the building. You see today an entire compound that surrounded and supported it
after the mission was secularized in seventeen. Ninety three, it was abandoned, but a decade here it became home to the soldiers of the flying company, including this tureen and as the decades rolled by pieces, that larger mission compound were cleared and developed today. If you stand at the intersection of Houston Street and Alamo street you're standing inside the invisible walls of the old mission compound. But don't assume that all of the buildings in that area are brand new. In fact, one of the most popular is also one of the oldest member hotel, It's it's slightly south of the Alamo Museum on Crockett Street and was built in eighteen. Fifty nine by a local brewer and boarding House owner named William anger. Today, many
People consider the Menger to be the most haunted hotel in Texas, and maybe that's because of its legendary history by one thousand eight hundred and seventy seven a decade after it had gone up. The railroad arrived at San Antonio, making it a destination for a lot of people and because had been built so well and appointed so luxuriously. There were many who declared the matter to be the best hotel west of the Mississippi in eighteen Many seven that very well might have been true. There are tantalizing rumours about the building itself. Some say that is an ancient tunnel beneath it. That runs all the way to the Alamo building. What purpose might have served is unknown, but you can't deny that everyone seems to love a good tunnel legend. those rumours also say there is a large room beneath the hotel seller and inside that room is a large metal door with multiple locks upon it, but it's the history of the hotel above ground that is the most fast
naming? U S! President Theodore Roosevelt State at the hotel at least three times in his life. In fact it was done. His stay there in eighteen. Ninety eight that he and a fellow military officer use the bar of the hotel as a recruitment area for a union of soldiers, it would become known as the rough riders and they were the perfect sample of Texas society at the time. Vicarious gamblers. trappers native Americans and even gold prospectors. That diverse and flavorful group followed Roosevelt to Cuba and were part of his famous charge ups and one hill during the spanish american war. He returned a few years later for a sort of rough writer reunion party and that's about all. It took the cement, his legendary status inside the hotel ever since many people have claimed to have encountered a strange man at the bar, always
late at night. When the staff are closing up, they say he approaches people and asks if they would like to join his military units. Some people have been left with a feeling of deep fear, while others just find themselves smiling at the exchange But I want to introduce you to someone else, someone you ve, probably never heard of before way back in eighteen, seventy six, the first demonstration of the usefulness of barbed wire, was conducted right outside the Manga Hotel, what better place to do it too, with all the ranches in vast properties, people were looking for a bit way to manage movement on their land barbed wire, burden. New solution, one of the ranchers who purchased barbed wire. That day was a man named Richard king beyond, small one million acres, parcel of land in southern Texas, known ass, the king ranch, but spent so much time at the manor hotel than he had his own sweet. On the second floor. Thankfully, the staff loved him so much
in fact, that when he passed away in eighteen, eighty five in his room overlooking the Alamo Square, the hotel allowed his funeral to take place right in the lobby, his belongings were cleared out of his room and returned to his family. I would imagine, but after that, the housekeeper is just sort of clean the room, change the sheets and made it available for future guests Most to have stayed in the king sweet as its known today, after We had a normal stay in the hotel and you certainly can't beat the view from the balcony, but many people have reported unusual experiences over the year. Prs experiences that leave folks wondering if there might still be a bit of Richard King living with them in the room. The most common, citing by far typically happens in the middle of the night guests, have reported waking up with the feeling that some one was in the room watching them
Leap disoriented and a little frightened. These guests have all sat up to peer into the darkness to reassure themselves that no, there was no one else in the room, but they found no such reassurance. Multiple guess. Save, reported that those tense moments in the dark have all ended in the same way as the rise adjusted to the lack of light. All of them claimed seeing the figure of a man standing at the end of the bed staring down at them. Silence and unmoving, but the expression on his face and the posture of his body always seems to get the message across just as clearly as words why, he seems to say: are you in my bed,
This episode of law was written and produced by me Errand monkey, with research by Karl Nellis and music by Chad, Lawson lorries. Much more than just a podcast there's a books is available in bookstores, an on line and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them both out. If you want a bit more lore in your life, I also make two other podcast as well: Aaron, monkeys, cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I thank you, enjoy both each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic, and you can learn about both of those shows and anything else going on over in one central place: Thou world of lore dot com. Slash. Now
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.