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Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas

Jesús F. De la Teja

Publication Year: 2010

Tejanos (Texans of Mexican heritage) were instrumental leaders in the life and development of Texas during the Mexican period, the war of independence, and the Texas Republic.

Jesús F. de la Teja and ten other scholars examine the lives, careers, and influence of many long-neglected but historically significant Tejano leaders who were active and influential in the formation, political and military leadership, and economic development of Texas.

In Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas, lesser-known figures such as Father Refugio de la Garza, Juan Martín Veramendi, José Antonio Saucedo, Raphael Manchola, and Carlos de la Garza join their better-known counterparts—José Antonio Navarro, Juan Seguín, and Plácido Benavides, for example—on the stage of Texas and regional historical consideration.

This book also features a foreword by David J. Weber, in which he discusses how Anglocentric views allowed important Tejano figures to fade from public knowledge. Students and scholars of Texas and regional history, those interested in Texana, and readers in Latino/a studies will glean important insights from Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Over thirty years ago, in the pages of the Western Historical Quarterly, I lamented the fact that historians had failed to explore the lives of Mexicans in the Southwest, even when those historians wrote about the era when the Southwest belonged to Mexico. Historians had written numerous biographies of Anglo- Americans who entered northern Mexico, from California to Texas, in the years before ...

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pp. xiii-xxii

In his essay “Native Latin American Contribution to the Colonization and Independence of Texas,” which appeared in the April 1943 issue of Southwestern Historical Quarterly and was first read at the 1935 meeting of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Harlingen, Texas, the Stephen F. Austin biographer and prominent Texas historian Eugene C. Barker attempted to explain the problem ...

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pp. 1-12

At the end of the eighteenth century, Texas appeared poised finally to develop into a productive province of New Spain. A relative state of peace with the autonomous American Indian tribes of the region based on an acceptance of each others’ interests in Texas had allowed the occupation of substantial portions of the countryside around the three areas of settlement: San Antonio, ...

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José Antonio Saucedo At the Nexus of Change

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pp. 13-28

Between the years 1823 and 1827, the Mexican province of Texas experienced a rapid series of transformations that permanently shifted the region’s social and political relations. Increased Texas by the nascent Mexican federal government, and higher levels of engagement with several indigenous groups in the hinterland required an expansive grasp of transnational and intercultural ...

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Juan Martín de Veramendi Tejano Political and Business Leader

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pp. 29-44

Three San Antonio natives born in Spanish Texas attained the offi ce of governor of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas: Rafael Gonzáles, Juan José Elguézabal, and Juan Martín de Ve-ramendi. Of these, Veramendi stands out as the only one who rose to power through a lifetime of participation in civil government and business enterprise; González and Elguézabal achieved their status ...

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Rafael Antonio Manchola Tejano Soldier, Statesman, Ranchero

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pp. 45-56

Mexican and Texas history books have neglected Rafael Antonio Manchola. Even books that have recently begun to be published on Tejano history have tended to mention Manchola only in passing. Tejano history is a developing field, and Tejanos are now beginning to be seen as having played important roles in Texas history. A few Tejano history books do recognize that the Tejanos of the Mexican ...

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Plácido Benavides Fighting Tejano Federalist

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pp. 57-76

A single decision can alter the rest of a person’s life. Plácido Benavides, alcalde of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Victoria, could not have foreseen the terrible consequences of his choice, but he knew he had reached a personal crossroads. He was a staunch federalist, a supporter of the liberal principles heralded in the Mexican ...

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Father Refugio De La Garza Controverted Religious Leader

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pp. 77-102

Father Refugiodela Garza, who pastored San Antonio throughout the Mexican period and most of the Republic of Texas years, became a historical symbol of the Mexican Catholic clergy and indeed of the Mexican Catholic Church of those times. Often referred to erroneously as one of “the two priests in all of Texas” during the Mexican period, he has been made to represent an allegedly ...

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Fernando de León Leadership Lost

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pp. 103-128

On 21 April 1836 Fernando De León, son of the founder of the empresario colony of Victoria, lost his position as thirty- eight- year- old no longer held in his hands the fates of hundreds of new Anglo- American settlers. He could no longer determine who would receive land or where it would be located. His leadership in the new Republic of Texas and control over land, the single most ...

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Ramón Múzquiz The Ultimate Insider

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pp. 129-146

It is easy to feel sympathetic toward those hardy Mexican Texans whose only guilt was to live through a tumultuous era of revolutions and wars. Life was heavy- handed to them. But at least we can learn from their difficult existence. Ramón Múzquiz was one such tortured soul.1 Like his contemporaries, Múzquiz possessed the ability to survive and even thrive in a difficult frontier environ-...

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José Antonio Navarro The Problem of Tejano Powerlessness

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pp. 147-170

José Antonio Navarro was one of the most important and most celebrated Tejanos of the nineteenth century. His list of political offices and appointments is long and impressive. He was the first alcalde of San Antonio de Béxar elected after Mexico declared its independence in 1821.1 Later in that decade he served as a Texan representative in the legislature of the combined state of Coahuila y ...

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José Antonio Menchaca Narrating a Tejano Life

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pp. 171-194

A boisterous crowd paraded through the streets of San Antonio to the city’s Alamo Plaza on the morning of 2 March 1859. Led by a band of musicians and members of the Alamo Rifles volunteer militia, the entourage included about twenty persons with badges identifying them as the “veterans of ’36,” military officers, the San Antonio Fire Association, the mayor and other local officials, teachers and ...

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Don Carlos de la Garza Loyalist Leader

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pp. 195-212

The biography of Carlos de la Garza is more than the story of his life. He lived during the critical period that encompassed the end of the Spanish empire in Mexico, the birth of the Re-public of Mexico, and the revolution that created the Texas Republic. He was born and died at the southern end of the great cattle triangle between the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers, where Texas...

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Juan N. Seguín Federalist, Rebel, Exile

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pp. 213-230

To whom did Texas belong? It is a question for which Juan Seguín would have had a clear and ready answer in January 1834, when at age twenty- seven he took the reigns of power as jefe político of the department of Béxar. Texas belonged to men like his father Erasmo and his relatives the Flores and even the rival Navarros and Veramendis. As the other essays in this anthology suggest, these ...


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pp. 231-234


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pp. 235-258

E-ISBN-13: 9781603443036
E-ISBN-10: 1603443037
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603441667

Page Count: 278
Illustrations: 13 b&w photos. Index.
Publication Year: 2010