Mediation Date Set For Dispute Over Alamo Library


The fate of the Alamo Research Center may become clearer on July 9. - VIA FLICKR USER ANDY EICK
  • Via Flickr user Andy Eick
  • The fate of the Alamo Research Center may become clearer on July 9.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the General Land Office have set a date to wage the next Battle of the Alamo.

Both entities claim ownership of the Alamo Research Center, a collection of over 38,000 items related to Texas history that sits on the Alamo grounds. The DRT has sued the Land Office for the collection.

Mediation between the two parties will take place on July 9 — just one day before the DRT will relinquish its control over the Alamo, which it has managed for over 100 years.

Lamont Jefferson, the DRT’s attorney, said that the case will remain at a standstill until July 9.

“Since July 10 is the “witching hour” when the DRT is to hand over the keys to the Alamo, this will likely be an interesting time,” Jefferson told the San Antonio Current in an email.

New Land Commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush, announced in a joint statement with the DRT on March 12 that the Daughters would no longer manage the Alamo, citing a breach of the group’s contract with the state.

Relations between the two groups seemed almost amicable, until a question arose over whether the DRT or the GLO owned the contents of the Research Center. Both parties claimed the collection, which includes letters, maps, photographs and artifacts, some of which represent legendary pieces of Texan lore.

Two weeks after the March 12 announcement, the DRT sued to keep the items, claiming the state had illegally “unilaterally declared that Texas is the rightful owner.”

In its answer to the DRT’s filing, the state argued that “generous Texans and others donated important historical artifacts related to the Alamo and Texas history to the state through the DRT as a trustee.”

Joe Casseb, an attorney with the San Antonio firm Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate and Watson, will mediate negotiations between the Daughters and the GLO. Jefferson said that Casseb is “very highly regarded,” and was suggested by the State of Texas.

Whatever resolution they reach — if any — won’t be binding though. And with so little time between the mediation date and the contract’s expiration, a prolonged, messy legal battle could rage far longer than the structure’s original 13-day siege.

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