The Yellow Rose of Texas
The story of Emily Morgan or Emily West is still highly debated to this day. Emily was a house worker for Col. James Morgan at New Washington that was believed to be captured by Santa Anna during his raid through the area. Historians believe she was a worker and not a slave of Morgan’s even though records show her being a “Mulatta.” The story of Emily at the Battle of San Jacinto came from one sentence inserted in an unpublished essay written by an Englishman, William Bollaert, in 1850. An officer that engaged in the battle supposedly told Bollaert, “The Battle of San Jacinto was probably lost to the Mexicans, owing to the influence of a Mulatta Girl (Emily) belonging to Col. Morgan who was closeted in the Tent with G’l Santana, at the time the cry was made ‘the Enemy! they come! they come! & detained Santana so long, that order could not be restored readily again.’” No one has ever been able to officially authenticate the story. However, “No eyewitness accounts of the battle have surfaced to either confirm or refute the story, but there are intriguing clues that suggest the story was not merely a figment of someone’s imagination.” Also, some believe the famous song “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was written around the stories about Emily but that has no evidence to prove it either.
The information is from “Women and the Texas Revolution,” edited by Mary L. Scheer & chapter by Jeffrey D. Dunn.
The photo is of a bronze statue in The Yellow Rose Garden, on a stone waterfall pedestal surrounded by more than 200 yellow rose bushes reflected on black glass-clad office buildings on Barryknoll Lane at Gessner across from Memorial City Mall in Houston.