The Alamo attracts millions of visitors every year with most of them arriving with visions of the famous battle in 1836. But the newest exhibit will give visitors a look at life more than a century before Davy Crockett and others made their valiant stand.
The 18 documents will be on display between September 6 and December 31 that go back to the initial days of the mission when it moved to San Antonio from the Rio Grande.
"This is basically the birth of Spanish Texas," said Mark Lambert Deputy Commissioner of Archives and Records for the General Land Office. "We're just trying to tell a fuller story now. The Spanish period was over a hundred years before it became the famous battle site, The Alamo, so we're trying to tell the early history of Texas."
In addition to the founding document of the Alamo, the documents include the founding of Mission San Jose, land sales and inventories of the mission during its early years. After taking over stewardship of the Alamo in 2011, the GLO decided to put its archives to use for the public.
"They've been in the archives of the General Land Office since somewhere between 1836 and 1845, probably had a researcher or two look it up but for a mass audience these have never left the GLO archives and certainly never in a collection like this. So this is a one of a kind opportunity to see the others," he said.
This exhibit follows up the Travis Letter exhibit in February and March. Lambert said visitors can expect special exhibits at least twice a year.
"People always come up and say, 'OK, I've been to the Alamo. What's new at the Alamo?' Well there's going to be things every Spring and Fall that are going to be new at the Alamo utilizing GLO archival collection, things that are in the DRT library and things that are in the Alamo collection," said Lambert.
The Alamo is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily and admission is free.