A Guide to the Darden (Fannie A.D. Baker) Narrative, 1870
Texas writer and painter Fannie Amelia Dickson Baker Darden (1829-1890) produced a number of novelettes, stories, and paintings and taught art at Colorado College in Columbus (1857). Her paintings tended to have religious themes, but she wrote about historical events and her own personal experiences. Darden’s prose works include “Romances of the Texas Revolution” (1884) and “Reminiscences of Early Childhood in Texas” (1884).
James Walker Fannin, Jr., a commander of Texian forces during the Texas Revolution, was likely born in 1804 and studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1819 to 1821. In the autumn of 1834 he and his family moved to a plantation in Velasco, Texas. In September 1835 Fannin became active in the volunteer army and participated in the battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. On October 28, Fannin and James Bowie led the Texas forces in the battle of Concepción. Fannin was commissioned as a colonel of the Provisional Regiment of Volunteers at Goliad in February 1836, but his army was surrounded by Mexican forces and forced to surrender at the battle of Coleto in March. Fannin and his men were imprisoned at Goliad and executed by order of Antonio López de Santa Anna on March 27, 1836.
Dillard Cooper was born in South Carolina in possibly 1814 or 1816. He lived in Alabama and Tennessee before traveling to Texas with Capt. John Shackelford's Red Rovers, which was sent to join the Texian army under James Fannin. Cooper was wounded at the battle of Coleto and escaped the Goliad Massacre. After the Texas Revolution, Cooper lived as a farmer in Hays County and subsequently settled on a tract of land on the east bank of Cummins Creek in Colorado County. His account of the Goliad Massacre was published in the Columbus Citizen on July 30, 1870.
Sources: Clinton P. Hartmann, "FANNIN, JAMES WALKER, JR.," Handbook of Texas Online http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffa02 accessed November 21, 2010.
"COOPER, DILLARD," Handbook of Texas Online http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fco58 accessed November 19, 2010.
The Fannie A.D. Baker Darden Narrative, 1870, contains a transcript and two copies of an historical narrative, entitled “Incident of Fannin’s Massacre,” published in the Columbus Citizen in 1870. The piece describes the escape of Dillard Cooper and three companions from the Goliad Massacre in 1836 according to Darden’s interview with Cooper in Columbus.
This collection is open for research use.
Darden (Fannie A.D. Baker) Narrative, 1870, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers