A Biography, by Alan Barber (SH)

Three days after his victory over Santa Anna’s army, Sam Houston still lay in his tent on the battlefield at San Jacinto. His left leg throbbed with the pain of a compound fracture inflicted by an enemy bullet. He was angry. His ragtag, outnumbered, volunteer army contained Texans, Tennesseans, and Louisianians, but almost none of the nearby landowners, despite his plea for help two days before the battle. Perhaps driven by that fevered anger, he struck back at them. The instrument of his retaliation was another local landowner, one of the few who had been with him since the previous year. David Levi Kokernot knew his neighbors and the neighborhood and took the assignment with apparent relish. He would regret it forever.

Kokernot, born in Amsterdam of poor Jewish merchants, had come to Texas to sell his stock of pants, vests, and cotton ticking, but found himself drawn to the more exciting events of the Texas Revolution unfolding around him. Besides the whiskey fueled rampage that resulted from Houston's order, my biography details his childhood poverty in Amsterdam; apprenticeship, at age twelve, under the alcoholic pilots at the mouth of the Mississippi; the family’s success in New Orleans and David’s squandering of it in Europe and the Caribbean; enthusiastic adoption of his new nation, Texas; his flight west, driven by angry neighbors; and his final rejection of alcohol and conversion to fundamental Methodism, the one dangerous addiction distilled into a merely annoying evangelism.

The final index is available here.

A review by the Baytown Sun is available here.

The buttons to the left will take you to a short description of each chapter and, for some, an excerpt. Follow my progress on Alan Barber's blog, too.


David Reminisces
War Again!
To the Waters of Peach Creek
Tories Strike Back
Tory Chase
Revolution!
David and Caroline Kokernot's Children
Finest Looking Man I Ever Saw
Well Nigh Dead
Barbarous Strife and Drunken Debauch
"I Came to the United States with My Father"
"I Was Born in the City of Amsterdam"
Who Was David Kokernot and Why Should You Know Him?
The Author