Up until the time of the Texas Revolution, Goliad was the crossroads of the earliest communities in Texas. By the time of the fall of the Alamo in March of 1836, Goliad had already been the site for the important La Bahia Presidio, or fort, the site of an early victory by Texas, and the site where the first Texas Declaration of Independence had been signed in December of 1835. Seven of those who signed this declaration were Masons who also had a part in designing a white flag with a bloody arm holding a sword. They were making it clear that they would rather have an arm cut off than give in to oppression. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Goliad had its most famous and most tragic moment as Brother James W. Fannin along with 329 prisoners were executed by explicit orders from Santa Anna. This massacre, along with the fall of the Alamo, enraged Texans to the point that many accused Houston of cowardice as he retreated across Texas during The Runaway Scrape. During the battle at San Jacinto some of the Texans became so crazed they slaughtered Mexican soldiers who were trying to surrender. Other Mexican soldiers sought mercy crying, “me no Alamo,” “me no Goliad.” The Texans’ rage would probably have been even greater if they could have seen the bodies at Goliad as they rotted on the stacks of green wood that had failed to burn very long. Goliad, like the Alamo, gave Texans and Americans an even greater hatred of dictators and a rekindled desire to oppose oppression at all costs.
Grand Master (2001) David B. Dibrell places the Masonic emblem at the Goliad Memorial
Grand Master David Dibrell and Marlene Dibrell at the Goliad Memorial
Left to right
Deputy Grand Master Michael D. Nanny,
Grand Senior Warden M. Boyd Patterson,
and Grand Master David Dibrell. (2001)