Santa Anna's Snuff Box

Ornamental box taken after the Battle of San Jacinto

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After defeating the Mexican army at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, Texas soldiers helped themselves to souvenirs from the tent of General Santa Anna. The Mexican general's smoking cap, cut-glass whiskey decanters, field glass, and chamber pot all found their way home with the victorious Texans. This snuff box was taken from Santa Anna personally when he was captured the day after the battle.

Roughly the size of a modern-day business card holder, the snuff box is covered with gold foil or a thin sheet of gold (the process of gold plating had not yet been invented). The scene engraved on the top appears to be an officer and his men overlooking a battleground. The back features a repeating pattern of hieroglyphics that may be American Indian pictographs. The box is thought to have been made commercially in the Americas, probably Mexico City.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Santa Anna's Snuff Box Artifact from San Jacinto Battlefield, Houston, Harris County
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