In the church bearing its name, there's a plaque called "Heroes of The Alamo". Alongside an alphabetized list with entries like Crockett, Davy; Tennessee, the last of the 189 names reads as follows:
_____, John; a freedman.
In the gift shop I searched for information on this man as well as more on Stockton,William; New Jersey, a NJ name familiar to me and the only hero from my beloved home State. The latter was easy to locate. As I'd surmised and suggested to the docent, the New Jersey hero was a relative of the Stockton who signed the Declaration of Independence. In a gift shop book bearing the same name as the plaque in the church, I learned Stockton was eighteen years old when he died at the Alamo. His family lineage is detailed and his young wife's name is included. In that same book, John is listed. Just one fact was documented: His unnamed master left him at the Alamo mission before Santa Ana's siege. At that moment, it struck me as unlikely that John was this hero's actual name.
Historians select events from a stream and fashion them into narratives that we call History. But there are many events to choose from, and many ways to craft them into stories. What was "John's" story? If there is more to be known, I plan to find out, starting soon after publishing this post. If you'd like to learn with me, let me know. If I don't know you, leave me your e-mail as a comment and I'll get back to you with whatever I uncover. If I do know you, just tell me you're interested in this piece of history.