SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
2006-
2017, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved

 

The following are chapters from

Continuous Presence of Italians and Spaniards in Texas as Early as 1520,
Including the Participation and Consequence of Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution
by Alex Loya
(Submitted to the public on The Texian Web Forum 2006/reprinted by permission of the author)

Alex Loya is a US Army Chaplain and a contributor to Somos Primos, the online magazine dedicated to Hispanic heritage and diversity issues.  Robert H. Thonhoff, author, historian, and former President of the Texas State Historical Association says concerning his work:

"We have much yet to learn in American history. With this fine book, Chaplain Alex Loya has uncovered and revealed a lode of significant gems of American history that have heretofore been buried deep in the sands of time. Imbedded within its pages are many new insights, which to my knowledge have never before been perceived by historians. A prime example is that the little place of Penitas, Texas, subject to archeological confirmation, may well be the site of the first European settlement in what is now the continental United States of America! Moreover, his Loya ancestors were among its first settlers. Another perception revealed by author is that Texas was a veritable fourth front during the American Revolution. I think that Chaplain Loya may well be correct in these postulations and that he is on his way to being the world’s greatest authority on these subjects."

Chapter 3.   SPANIARD AMERICANS [Modified 7-31-06]
Chapter 4.  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ONE MILLION?
[previously COLONISTS NOT CONQUISTADORES, Modified 7-31-06]
Chapter 7.  THE PARTICIPATION OF TEXAS AND LOUISIANA IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Chapter 8.  TEXAS: THE FOURTH FRONT OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Chapter 9
THE ANGLO AND SPANIARD TEXIANS:  BITTER ENEMIES OR FRIENDS AND BROTHERS?
Chapter 10.  1811-1845: THE TEXAS REVOLUTION
Chapter 11.  THE AMERICAN DESTINY AND IDENTITY OF THE SPANIARD TEXIANS
Chapter 12.  AMERICAN ROOTS OF THE SPANIARD TEXIANS
Chapter 13.  THE TEXAS REVOLUTION: A SPANIARD TEXIAN CAUSE
Chapter 16
THE LEGITIMACY OF THE TEXAS BORDER AT THE RIO GRANDE
Chapter 17.  THE SPANIARD TEXIANS AND THE AMERICAN BORDER
Chapter 18.  SLAVERY AND THE MEXICAN WAR
Chapter 19.  GOLIAD:  MASSACRE OR LEGITIMATE EXECUTION?
Chapter 31.  WE ARE AMERICANS!

What is a Colonial Tejano?

 

Chapter 3

SPANIARD AMERICANS

Jose Antonio MenchacaThe oral inheritance my father passed down to me was that the family of Gabino Loya, my great grandfather, our family, was Spaniard. This Spaniard identity in my family was in opposition to a Mexican identity.  The Spaniards and the Loya were “us”, and the Mexicans were “them”.  The Spaniards and the Mexicans in my family’s understanding were not the same group of people, as indeed they are not.  Surely, that old Pink Floyd song I used to listen to in my youth expressed some wisdom when it said “…us and them, and after all we are only ordinary men”, but, certainly, this ethnic distinction is significant in the development of accurate history.  As I got a little older my father told me and I understood that although our family was Spaniard, we were actually of Italian origin, that is, a vicci-Italian or Italian Spaniard family, the memory and tradition of French origin in my immediate family was all but lost.  Ironically, as the research I share in chapter 21 shows, the tradition of French origin turned out to be our true lost heritage, lost in the sands of time because of our long association with Spain, and the geographical proximity of the place of Loya, the Baie de Loya, in the Province of Labourd in France to Spain.

But perhaps my father felt somewhat of a loyalty to Spain, however, because he would refer to the Celtic invaders of the Iberian Peninsula, the Visigoths, who produced the Spaniard Celt-Iberians, as “our ancestors”.  He would also sometimes refer to the King of Spain as “our majesty, the king”.  I believe he felt this way because in his family they held on strong to that identity; as a young 14 year old I witnessed the last of a dying culture when in a rural setting far from the city life and the Heavy Metal Rock and Roll I knew, I observed my relatives at a small family reunion, with full, thick beards and the Mediterranean faces of the Conquistadores, singing the songs and dancing the dance of Peninsular Spain… and my uncle Antonio spoke to me about Mother Spain.  My father also felt this way because on his father’s maternal side they were new comers born in Spain (as they were on my mother’s father’s maternal side). We had close relatives come to the United States from Spain as late as the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.  I distinctly remember how on one occasion when we were kids my father, perhaps working through some disappointment, told my brother and I that he would rather have us feel we were Spaniards rather than Americans… well, our surname and forefathers, I found, came from France, through Spain, and our clan originated in Italy perhaps a thousand years ago, and we have been a part of this country from its beginning.  And my father did enroll me in the Boy Scouts of America, where an American Patriotism was unashamedly fostered.  I am an American.

Growing up we were members of a country club called “Centro Asturiano”, that is, “Asturian Center”, so called after Asturias, the northernmost province of Spain.  Many of the members in this country club were newly arrived Spaniards, and the feast of Covadonga, a Spaniard holiday celebrating the beginning of the reconquest of Spain from the Moors [1], was the central celebration there.  In the middle of the country club there was a huge statue of King Pelayo, first king of Asturias who, from the caverns of Covadonga in the Cantabric Mountains, had started the military campaign against the Arab invaders back in the year 722 A.D.[2]  I remember how within this country club somehow a few other kids with Italian surnames and I banded together and we were the “Italians” in that Spaniard club.

Certainly, however, the identity of Spaniard in my family was established and very strong, and my grandfather’s sister Pilar Loya Escontrias, who was born in San Elizario, Texas in 1877, confirmed the strength of this identity.  Although neither my father nor us had ever met her or her descendants, her obituary called her a pioneer woman and identified in writing her family of origin by the phrase “they were Spaniards”, an identity which was also passed down to her descendants by word of mouth.    

The identification of my great aunt in her obituary as a pioneer and a Spaniard is to be noted because that ethnic identification gives us a clue and sheds an important light on how the original colonial Tejanos saw themselves and what they understood themselves to be.    The colonial Tejanos in colonial days did not see themselves as Mexican Texans as the label is commonly imposed on them today.  How could they? As I already mentioned, Texas belonged to Mexico for only 14 years!  They saw themselves as Spaniards, and, as the evidence in the next chapter will show and as we go along in this book it will become clear, they saw themselves as Americans of Spaniard origin and were in fact Americans of Spaniard descent, like the ones in South Louisiana, a good number of who were Italian and French Spaniards.

Juan SeguinWhen I say that most of the original Tejano Texians did not see themselves as Mexican Texans as the label is commonly imposed on them today, it is important to realize that I am speaking not only of families like the Loya family who specifically saw themselves as and called themselves Spaniard as opposed to Mexican, but also of those Tejano Texians as well who although in writing they referred to themselves as Mexican, in context, they clearly recognized they were criollos (cree-oh-yohs), that is, full blooded Spaniards born in the New World, and not mestizos or genizaros as the great majority of Mexicans are.   In other words, although they recognized the fact that they had been under Mexican jurisdiction for 14 years, and that most of them had come from Spain via Mexico, they understood they were different racially and distinct ethnically from the Mexican Mexicans, and they invariably spoke of their European and Mediterranean origin[3].  And it is absolutely essential to understand that even though they often referred to themselves as Mexican in writing for lack of another term to refer to those who were already in Texas when Texas became a part of Mexico and lack of association with another government, as the Anglo-Mexicans[4] were so that they could be identified as Anglo-Americans, but yet in context making it clear they were criollos, it is absolutely essential to understand that deep in their hearts many of them did not see themselves as Mexicans at all, and they resented deeply having had that identity imposed on them.  In fact, the resentment the original Spaniard Texians felt against the Mexicans because of the Mexican identity being imposed and forced upon them was so deep that that was one of the strongest motivating factors in their taking up the Texas and American cause rather than the Mexican cause[5].  This is a fact that is clearly expressed in an incident and words which were uttered in the thick of battle, when emotions run high and true feelings emerge, rather than in the thought out, controlled request for pensions not paid for military service rendered when sacrifices made in the past are carefully expressed to draw a positive response, which is the context in which often times the Spaniard Texians referred to themselves as Mexican, “hey, we fought against our own countrymen for you, if anyone deserves a pension it is us!”.  True feelings, however, are expressed when emotions run high and all guards are down. 

During the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, even after the battle had been won and the Mexicans wanted to surrender, many among the Texians engaged in a slaughter of the defeated Mexicans in revenge of the merciless slaughters the Mexicans had perpetrated upon the Texians at the Alamo and Goliad.  While many of the Texians attempted to save the lives of Mexican soldiers and to stop their fellow Texians from committing this atrocity, emotions were running too high to be stopped until half of the Mexican force had been killed.  I suppose the surviving half of the Mexicans were grateful that the Texians got a hold of their avenging emotions, because the Mexicans had not let one Texian live at the Alamo.    Half is better than none.  At any rate, in the thick of the battle and the slaughter,

“Juan Seguin’s Tejanos were in the thick of it, shouting ‘Recuerda el Alamo!’ A Mexican officer recognized Tejano soldier Antonio Menchaca as an acquaintance and pleaded with him as a brother Mexican to interecede for his life.   Menchaca looked at him coldly,’No, damn you’, he said, ‘I’m not Mexican! I’m an American!” and turning to his Texan comrades, he said, ‘Shoot him!’” (Edwyn P. Hoyt, The Alamo: An Illustrated History, p.163).

Sr. & Sra. Ambrosia RodriquezStop! Look. And listen!  Antonio Menchaca’s words uttered in the thick of battle, and the action by his fellow Tejanos that followed, strongly illustrate for us, authoritatively express to us the true feelings of the original Tejano Texians regarding having the Mexican identity imposed upon them. Listen carefully! He said, “No, damn you, I am not a Mexican! I’m an American!” and then he, and his Tejanos, shot the man to death.  The curse followed by the statements regarding his identity, and the bullets, reflects a very, very deep-seated resentment that went beyond that moment.  It is evident that for a long time Antonio Menchaca and his Tejano Texians had been resenting the impositions of the Mexicans, including the imposition of the Mexicans’ foreign identity upon them.  He was saying I am sick of it, I don’t want to hear this anymore, you must stop calling me what I am not!     Read his words again.  That resentment exploded in words and in a hail of bullets when the guard went down in the heat of emotion in battle, and this way back in 1836, only 15 years after Texas was dropped on the lap of Mexico by Spain, 23 years after the First Republic of Texas had been established with its government of adherents to the American government, and 70 years before the first mass migration of Mexicans to the United States.  And just as Menchaca and his fellow Tejano Texians resented the identity of the Mexicans being imposed upon them, in their heart of hearts they identified with and saw themselves as Americans, not Mexicans. “Damn you! I am not a Mexican! I am an American!”  And that it was not just words uttered in mindless emotion but the true feelings regarding their own identity is clearly seen in the way years later Antonio Menchaca expressed the same identity as Americans and not Mexicans of the Tejano Texians when he wrote his history of Texas entitled “Memoirs”, which we will study later in this book.  But we need to stop, look and listen, really listen!  Because up until now the cry of the original Tejanos regarding their identity as Spaniards and Americans has fallen on completely deaf ears, and today invariably and always the colonial Tejanos are identified as “Mexican Texans” or “Texans of Mexican heritage”. STOP! This has to stop!  If you who are historians and writers of Texas history who have failed to listen and constantly refer to the original Tejanos as “Mexican-Texans” and “Texans of Mexican heritage” had been present during the Battle of San Jacinto, you would have heard the deep, bass voice of Antonio Menchaca telling you “No, damn you! I am not a Mexican! I am an American!” and then you would have fallen under a hail of bullets from the rifles of the Tejanos whose precious identity and heritage they would have understood to have lost because of you.  Eventhough at times the original Tejanos certainly referred to themselves as Mexican and to deny so would be absurd, in context, it is abundantly clear they did not mean what it means today, and they invariably and always, and do I mean always, spoke in their own words or through those who interviewed them of their Spaniard, Canary Island and Mediterranean heritage… and American.

Jose Maria RodriquezJudge Jose Maria Rodriguez, for example, although in his “Memoirs Of Early Texas” he refers to his father and himself as “Mexican Texans”, he is aware of the fact that they were descendants of the Canary Island families that settled San Antonio.    Jose Antonio Navarro in his “Memoirs of Jose Antonio Navarro” and his “Historical Commentaries of San Antonio de Bexar by an Eyewitness” as well as his “Commentaries of Historical Interest”, clearly identifies the “Mexicans” of Texas as descendants of the noble Canary Islander families who came from Spain and as descendants of other Spaniards and refers to their “Spanish” genius, making it abundantly clear that the ancestors of the “Mexican Texans” came from Spain.  When Narciso Leal and his friends convinced him to have his Historical Commentaries translated into Spanish back in 1869, they made sure to make it clear that Navarro’s father was from Ajaccio, in the Island of Corsica in Europe, the same island Napoleon was born in, and that his mother was a full blooded Spaniard, a criolla born in San Antonio, Texas.  They made sure to make it clear that “his appearance is of the Spanish type” (Narciso Leal, A Brief Biographical Sketch Of The Author Of These Commentaries, Historical Commentaries Spanish Translation, June 20, 1869).

Jose Cassiano is numbered among the “Mexican Texan” heroes of Texas yet it is recognized he was born Guisseppe Cassini in San Remo, Italy.   Another example would be Antonio Menchaca whose “Memoirs” we will study.    James P. Newcomb, who wrote the introduction to Menchaca’s “Memoirs” thought it worth it and was careful to protect and preserve his friend Antonio Menchaca’s true ethnic identity, and that of Menchaca’s Texian compatriots, when in his introduction he wrote,

“I knew Captain Antonio Menchaca personally, and enjoyed his friendship and confidence.  He was a distinguished man in his day and generation.  In personal appearance he was physically a large man, not overly tall, but massive, his complexion fair, his eyes blue, his countenance strong and dignified, he bore the marks of a long line of Castilian ancestors”. (James P. Newcombe Introduction to Antonio Menchaca’s Memoirs, copyright 1997-2002 Wallace L. McKeehan). 

Jose Cassiano (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)Menchaca himself, as we will see, stressed the fact that the Texas patriots were descendants of the original families from the Canary Islands who founded San Antonio.   Then, after having consistently described the Royalist Army during the Mexican Independence as Mexicans and the Texas rebels as Americans, when the First Republic of Texas failed and Spanish rule was established once again in Texas he is careful to refer to himself, now serving in the Royalist Army, not as a Mexican but as a soldier of the King of Spain[6].  Considering what happened at San Jacinto, this was not without intent.

Another example is Don Martin De Leon, founder of Victoria Texas, whose portrait appears in the Gallery of Spaniard Founding Fathers of Texas in this book.  Described as of a full 6 feet in height, Martin De Leon was born in Nuevo Santander, New Spain, present day Tamaulipas in Northern Mexico, of parents both of whose families were from Burgos, Spain.  He married a beautiful young woman, Patricia de la Garza, who was also born of parents whose families came from Spain [7].  The De Leon family is an example of the people who settled in Texas, the American Southwest and Northern Mexico, they were criollos, Spaniards born in the New World.   Juan N. Seguin was born in San Fernando de Bejar, which is now San Antonio, Texas, in New Spain, and he was the descendant of Guillaume Seguin, who had originally come from Gevaudan, Lozere, France, and of the Canary Islanders who settled San Antonio [8].  An Anglo-American reporter for the Clarksville Standard Newspaper who interviewed Juan Seguin on March 4, 1887 described Seguin by saying, “He comes of pure Castilian descent, his ancestors being of the first colony that came from the Canaries to San Fernando, as San Antonio was first called” (Timothy M. Matovina, The Alamo Remembered, p. 48).   Actually, Seguin is a Germanic French Gascon surname, from the German Sieg, meaning victory, and win, meaning friend, Seguin [9].

Martin De LeonEulalia Yorba, a witness to the fall of the Alamo who was interviewed by the San Antonio Express on April 12, 1896 is described as “a poor old Spanish woman” and the priest is described as “a good old Spanish priest” (Matovina, pp. 54-56).  Andrea Casta�on Villanueva, a survivor of the massacre at the Alamo who was interviewed by the San Antonio Express on February 19, 1899 is described by the statement, “Though every ounce of her blood is Spanish blood, she has never loved Spain, from the fact that her father’s family was forcibly moved to Texas from the Canary Islands…” (Matovina, p. 58-59).    To use the word “Spanish” to describe someone’s ethnicity then was not the same thing it is now. Back then “Spanish” meant “Spaniard” specifically.  Maria de Jesus Buquor, another witness of the fall of the Alamo interviewed on July 19, 1907 by the San Antonio Express, is described as having been, at the time of the fall of the Alamo, a child “in whose veins courses the warm blood of Castile” (Matovina, p. 90).  The list goes on and on and on, of all the original Tejanos described, only two are described as being Indian or descendants of the mighty Aztecs, and both are said to have come to Texas from old Mexico, as opposed to the others who were born in Texas.   All of the rest are described as Castilians or Canary Islanders or of pure Spain Spanish blood, and that by their contemporary Anglo-American friends or interviewers, reflecting the reality of the census records and the historical facts we will study, that Texas, New Mexico, California and Northern Mexico were settled mostly by criollos, making their descendants Spaniard Americans and Spaniard Texans.  Their portraits also bear testimony to this fact.

Obviously, this is not an arbitrary assumption on my part, and at the “grassroots” level, many of the descendants of original settlers not only of Texas but also of New Mexico, who colonized Arizona, also still cling to their original identity.  In Northern New Mexico, at the starting point of the Rio Grande, people are very emotional about this issue, and to refer to one of them as other than a Spaniard is, as they say, “fightin’ words”. In fact, a fascinating thing about these Spaniards of Northern New Mexico is that to this day the Spanish language they speak is the 16th century Spanish brought by their ancestors with Juan de O�ate!   That is absolutely fascinating!  Yet it simply reflects the reality of their true identity and of the isolation they lived under for centuries after their arrival.  When one looks at the portraits or pictures of the pioneer families of Arizona, who came from New Mexico, as well as the portraits of the pioneer families of California, the same Spaniard criollo heritage can be observed. 

This should not come as a surprise, considering that from the beginning of colonization of Northern New Spain, as we will see, persons of mixed blood were generally excluded from participating in the process by governmental policy, by the law of “limpieza de sangre”, purity of blood [10].  At the other end of the Rio Grande, by the coast, Willacy,  Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, many people still cling to that same identity, as the public mural in Raymondville, Texas, which is on the cover of this book, reflects that sentiment.     R. H. Thonhoff also documents and testifies to this Spaniard identity of the original Texans when he writes on page 5 of his “The Vital Contribution of Texas in the Winning of the American Revolution”, “…in 1779…About three thousand Spanish citizens lived in and around the settlements at Bexar, La Bahia, and Nacogdoches”.  Indeed, Francis Bayles, an Anglo-American writer of that time, in a book written by him in 1851, described the Spaniard Texians as “… the descendants of the noble and chivalric Castilians…”, and this he does in contrast and comparison to the “aboriginal savages”. (McDonald & Matovina, Defending Mexican Valor in Texas, p. 22).

Jose Navarro (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)When one thinks about it, it is evident that to the original Tejano Texians whose voice has been silenced in the garble of other people’s ideas, their identity was important to them.    I am simply attempting to recover and preserve what was important to our ancestors so that we can pass it down to our descendants.   My father had told me his family were Spaniards, his aunt, Pilar Loya, whom he had never met, evidently felt so strong about it that it was written in her obituary, where last words and wishes, where how one desires to be remembered is communicated and one’s heritage is preserved.   Similarly, Antonio Menchaca, the man who felt it important to preserve an eye witness account of the history of early Texas and its people, as we will see, had made sure that when it came time to communicate who he was, and who the original Texans he loved and lived among were, he made sure to specify that he was a soldier of the King of Spain and those who led the Texans were descendants of the first families from the Canary Islands who settled San Antonio. That his friend and amanuensis James P. Newcombe thought it necessary to comment on Menchaca’s Castilian lineage only shows that Menchaca’s identity as a Spaniard was precious to Menchaca, a fact that becomes more significant when one remembers he felt the sting of the criollo as opposed to the Peninsular, and he reflects the feeling of his contemporaries who held him in very high esteem.      Exactly the same thing can be said of Jose Antonio Navarro and of the way he specifically described the Spaniard Texians as criollos, and how his contemporaries and friends went through the trouble of describing his European and criollo parentage and his Spaniard appearance.  It’s not so much that it is important to me, it is that it was important to them.  From Antonio Menchaca, to James P. Newcombe, from Jose Antonio Navarro, to Francis Bayles to Narciso Leal, all of them are very concerned and go through the trouble of being very clear to mention in no uncertain terms, albeit tactful, that the great majority, not all, of original Spaniard Texians, the original Tejanos, were the descendants of Canary Islanders and Castilians and not mestizos.  Like I said, it is not so much that it is important to me, it is that it was important to them.

The claim to full Spaniard blood, the claim to Canary Island or Castilian ancestry is so absolutely pervasive in the writings of the original Spaniard Texians and of their Anglo-American friends who wrote about them, it is so total and so obvious, so blatant and insistent, that I will not even say it is a wonder how historians have missed it.  They could not have missed it!  It is impossible!   Rather, I will say that it is appalling at how disrespectful historians have been of the original Spaniard Texians, completely disregarding their claim of who they were and, instead, imposing on them their own preconceived ideas of what a Tejano ought to be.  It is truly appalling!  In fact, this complete disregard of what the original Tejanos had to say about their own heritage, and of the historical facts that support that claim, is so deeply entrenched, that I will go out on a limb here and say that many of you who will read this will feel your fur is being rubbed the wrong way when I say the original Tejanos were not Mexicans but, rather, they were Spaniards, and Americans, “No, damn you! I am not a Mexican! I am an American!” (how much clearer can it get?)

When I was in BibleCollege, one of our professors, David Cook, did an excellent experiment with the class to teach us the importance of paying attention to what one reads in the Scriptures and of divesting oneself of preconceived ideas and beliefs in order to be able to grasp what the Bible actually teaches.  On the blackboard, brother Cook wrote a paragraph in which there were six letters “f”.  Amazingly, when he asked us to read the paragraph, we only saw three “f’s”.  He told us there were six, and we told him there were three, and so we went back and fourth arguing about the number of letters “f” in the paragraph he had written on the blackboard.  Finally, he told us to take a moment to copy the paragraph on a piece of paper.  To our total surprise, when we actually took the time to carefully copy the paragraph, we all saw that, indeed, there were six “f’s” in the paragraph and not three like we had been insisting!  The trouble had been that three of those letters “f” were in the word “of”, which we pronounce “ov” rather than “off”.     Professor Cook explained that because we were all used to pronounce the letter “f” in the word “of” as a “v” and not as an “f”, this created a psychological grid that literally prevented us from seeing the letters “f” in the three words “of” when we were reading the paragraph on the blackboard!  It was truly amazing!  This he taught us to teach us the reality of preconceived grids, how they affect our understanding of what we study, including the Bible, and the importance of laying aside our grids and really paying attention when we study the Bible or any other work. 

The claim to full Spanish, Canary Island and Castilian blood in the writing of the original Spaniard Texians and their Anglo-American contemporaries is so absolutely pervasive and complete, that it is abundantly evident that thus far many who study Texas history have gone into that study with a solidly well fixed psychological grid of what the words “Mexican” and “Mexico” and “Tejano” mean.     This grid is so deeply entrenched that although over and over and over the original Texians, both Anglo and Spaniard, tell us of the full Spaniard blood and heritage of the original Spaniard Texians, that claim has gone completely invisible in those scholars’ eyes, and although they read over and over and over again the claim to full Castilian and Spaniard blood, they can not see it.

Jose AldreteWell, you need to read this chapter again, and the next chapter, and then you need to go back and read all of the writings of the original Spaniard Texians and really pay attention to what they said regarding their heritage.  And then you need to respect it and humbly accept it.  If you do this, you will be able to see clearly that the original Tejanos who pioneered Texas were a distinct crowd from the crowd that lived in Mexico, that their heritage was not the heritage of the mestizos, but, rather, their heritage was that of the criollos.    This, in turn, will give you a basic foundational understanding as to why the original Spaniard Texians did not identify with the Mexicans or their cause.  Now, if after doing what I recommend here you still just want to say the original Tejanos were all just a bunch of Mexicans like the rest ov’em, then you really need to ask yourself why you feel this way and you really need to take it up with the Lord.  You should ask yourself why when they all said they were Spaniards, in your heart you still want to say they are Mexicans.  Could it be that your heart is consumed with pride and prejudice?   I don’t know, I am asking you to ask yourself.

And we shouldn’t think it strange or awkward that many among the original Texans felt and saw themselves as Spaniards rather than Mexicans; if one thing is understood by Menchaca’s characterization of himself as a soldier of the King of Spain is that he, and he is evidently stressing this, was born a citizen of Spain, and so were his contemporaries and compatriots from Texas. Because Texas belonged to Mexico for only 14 years, Menchaca and Seguin and Ruiz and Navarro and every Texan at that time was born a citizen of Spain, was born a criollo Spaniard.  Maria Angeles O’Donell Olson, the Honorary Consul of Spain in San Diego, did an excellent job putting this reality into perspective when, in a speech delivered at the 21st Annual San Diego Spanish Founding Families “Descendants’ Day” on June 28th, 2003 she said:

“The news of the independence of Mexico from Spain arrived in Santa Fe (New Mexico) the 26th of December of 1821.  In California, not until early 1822, was the Spanish flag stricken. For 309 years, from 1513 to 1822, the colors of Spain governed the territory above the Rio Grande, also for 257 years (from 1562 to 1822), the Spanish flag waved uninterrupted… How long have other flags waved in the United States?… in what it refers to Mexico, it succeeded Spain in 1821, and disappeared with the signing of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty of 1848 (27 years).”

Actually, since as Ms. O’Donell says, it was not until 1822 that the Mexican flag succeeded the Spanish flag in the United States, the Mexican flag ruled for only 26 years, and, in Texas, for only 14 years, as opposed to the 309 years the flag of Spain “governed the territory above the Rio Grande”.

This is one of the reasons why before Texas was wrested from Spain by Mexico, and before they began to identify themselves with the United States at the time of the American Revolution, the pioneers who colonized Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, saw themselves completely different from how people today mistakenly think about them.  At that time, the early pioneers of Texas and of the rest of Northern New Spain, had no concept at all of a mestizo or Mexican identity as a people, eventhough there was a minority of people of mixed blood among them. Their identity was that of Spaniards.  They did not call themselves Mexican, they did not call themselves Tejanos and they did not call themselves Texians, they called themselves Spaniards.    It is important to understand that their claim to being Spaniards was not just in response to a census question, but it was the way they understood themselves in every day life, it is what they were, generally as individuals, and as a people.  

Jos� Maria J. CarbajalWhen the Spanish Inspector of the Province of Nuevo Santander, Jose Tienda de Cuervo, who was actually Dutch, conducted his inspection of the Escandon Settlements of the Rio Grande and of Northern New Spain in 1757, it is clear the colonists he interviewed had no other concept of their identity other than as Spaniards.  When he was conducting a “Review of Indians” at the town of Jaumave, an Escandon settlement, the local priest, Fray Juan Llanos, gave a report of a violent incident that had occurred between the settlers and the Indians in which a number of settlers and of Indians had been killed.  According to Fray Juan Llanos, the Indians, who had been previously living in peace, “killed Spaniards… four residents of this settlement…”.   Fray Llanos goes on to describe how the “residents” armed themselves and went in pursuit of the Indians, and how “the people of the settlement” in turn killed a number of Indians.  The important thing here is to notice how in this first hand account, Fray Llanos refers to the residents and settlers of this Escandon settlement as “Spaniards”.  Clearly, to Fray Llanos, the settlers were neither Mexicans nor mestizos, they were Spaniards, and this identification he used not in the census itself, but in relating an episode in the life of the colony (Fray Juan Llanos in response to Don Jose Tienda del Cuervo in his Review of Indians during his 1757 Inspection of the settlements established by Jose de Escandon).

Nine years later in 1766, Fray Vicente Santa Maria, a Presbyter of the Order of San Francisco, wrote an historical report of the settlements established by Escandon, the Father of South Texas.  In his historical account, Fray Santa Maria writes about how Spaniards were living in the area settled by Escandon “before the Conquest”, that is, before Escandon arrived with his settlers.  That in itself is an important fact which we will examine in another chapter, the point for the present discussion, however, is that to Fray Santa Maria, the early settlers of the area of South Texas and Northern New Spain were Spaniards and not Mexicans or mestizos.  Fray   Santa Maria relates how the Indians let the Spaniards establish themselves in the area Escandon later settled before Escandon arrived.  The Spaniards were few in number but “the number of Spanish ranchers grew”, and this before the Conquest.   As he went on writing about the history of the area, he addressed the question of:

“Whether the Indians have quarters in the settlements for their congregation and habitation separate from the Spanish settlers, at what distance they are from each other…”(Fray Vicente Santa Maria, Historical Report of the Colony of Nuevo Santander and the Gulf of Mexico)

  Obviously concerned with the law of “Limpieza de Sangre” which I will discuss in the next chapter, Fray Santa Maria clearly states that the settlers of the immediacies of the Rio Grande, were Spaniards, not Mexicans or mestizos.  Continuing with his report, Fray Santa Maria tells His Excellency the Spanish Viceroy, and his Catholic Monarch, the King of Spain, that the “movement of our people… the Spaniards” disquiets the Indians.   To Fray Santa Maria, a Spaniard, the settlers of the Rio Grande area were the same people as himself, the Viceroy and the Catholic Kings of Spain: Spaniards. The people who colonized Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain, then, did not see themselves as Mexicans or mestizos at all, like the people of central and southern Mexico saw themselves even then, rather, as a people their identity was decidedly that of Spaniards.

Sylvestre DeLeonIn a letter dated September 8, 1680 and addressed to Fray Francisco de Ayeta, Francisco de Otermin, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico, clearly and strongly underscores the aforesaid distinction in the mind of the colonial settlers of Texas and New Mexico between themselves and those they understood as Mexicans.  After stating how one of the leaders of the Pueblo Indians in the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680 had “lived all his life in the villa among the Spaniards” and how he now was leading Indians in the killing of Spaniards, clearly identifying the colonists of New Mexico who soon there after became much of the population of the El Paso area in West Texas, as Spaniards, Otermin goes on to make a statement that is crucially important in the present discussion and in the understanding of the identity of the colonial settlers of Texas and New Mexico.

“He came back from there after a short time, saying that his people asked that all classes of Indians who were in our power be given up to them, both those in the service of the Spaniards and those of the Mexican nation of that suburb of Analco.” (Antonio de Otermin, Resistance and Accommodation in New Mexico, letter addressed to Fray Francisco de Ayeta dated September 8, 1680; Digital History Source: C. W. Hackett, ed., Historical Documents relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773, vol. III [Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1937] pp. 327-35.  Previous quotation as well.)

This statement, and this letter, is crucially important in the understanding of the identity of the colonial settlers of Texas and New Mexico not only because, as Tienda de Cuervo and Fray Santa Maria did in their reports of the settlers of South Texas, he makes it clear that their identity was that of Spaniards, but because in this letter Otermin distinguishes between the Mexicans and the Spaniards.  Otermin tells about how during the Pueblo Rebellion the Pueblo Indians demanded of the Spaniards that they release to the Pueblos “all classes of Indians who were in our power”.     Stop.  There are a couple of things we need to notice from this statement.    First, Otermin identifies a group of people who are in “power” over “all classes of Indians”.  Second, when Otermin says these “classes of Indians” were in “our” power, Otermin places himself among the group of people in power.   Otermin goes on to identify who the people in power over “all classes of Indians” are when he continues “all classes of Indians who were in our power both those in the service of the Spaniards”.    According to Antonio de Otermin, his people, the Spaniards, are in power over a different people, “all classes of Indians”.    Now, Otermin had already stated several times that the Spaniards were those who lived in the Villa, and how it was against them that the Pueblos were rebelling and whom the Pueblos had been killing.  On the other hand, the Pueblos are demanding that “all classes of Indians” under the “power” of the Spaniards be released to them.   This is important to notice as well because in the mind of the Pueblo Indians those who were the settlers of New Mexico, the Spaniards, were distinct from the “all classes” of Indians that the Pueblos were demanding that the Spaniards release.  In other words, both the Pueblo Indians and the Spaniard settlers understood and saw as distinct the Spaniard settlers from the “all classes of Indians” who were in the “power” of the Spaniards, and the Pueblos wanted to set those “all classes” of Indians free.  The question, then, is, who were those “all classes” of Indians who were under the “power” of the Spaniard settlers, whom the Pueblos wanted to set free and who were seen and understood by both Otermin and his Spaniard settlers and the Pueblos as distinct from the Spaniard colonial settlers?  Otermin answers this question when he writes “his people (the Pueblos) asked that all classes of Indians who were in our power be given up to them, both those in the service of the Spaniards and those of the Mexican nation of that suburb of Analco.”  Clearly, in Otermin’s understanding and the Pueblo Indians’ understanding, the “all classes” of Indians were “both those in the service of the Spaniards and those of the Mexican nation”.  No question, the Spaniards and the Mexicans in both Otermin’s and the Pueblos’ understanding were two distinct peoples, and the Mexicans were among the “all classes of Indians”.    That in Otermin’s understanding the Indians of the “Mexican nation of Analco” are the Mexicans, as opposed to himself and the settlers who were Spaniards, is clearly seen in the following statement in the same letter just a couple of sentences down:

“…these parleys were intended solely to obtain his wife and children and to gain time for the arrival of the other rebellious nations to join them and besiege us, and that during this time they were robbing and sacking what was in the said hermitage and the houses of the Mexicans” (Antonio de Otermin, same letter and source as previous quote)

Jose Ruiz (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)There are a couple of things to notice in this statement that are very important as well in the present discussion.  First, when Otermin says the Pueblos were buying time for other Indian nations to come and join them in the besieging of “us”, the Spaniards, while at the same time they were robbing and sacking “the houses of the Mexicans”, Otermin is describing how the Mexicans, who were among the “all classes” of Indians, lived in separate quarters from the Spaniards.   The Spaniards were in a physical location of the area, the Villa, waiting to come under siege, while the Pueblos were in a separate area already sacking “the houses of the Mexicans”.  The Spaniards and the Mexicans lived in segregated quarters.  Second, when Otermin says the Pueblos were about to besiege “us” while they were already sacking “the houses of the Mexicans”, he shows an “us and them” mentality, Otermin and the Spaniards were “us” the Mexicans were “them”, even as what I shared at the beginning of this chapter, that in my own family the Loya and the Spaniards were “us” and the Mexicans were “them”.    Clearly, in Otermin’s understanding and the Pueblos’ and everybody else’s understanding in the year 1680, the Spaniard settlers of New Mexico and West Texas and the Mexicans were two distinct peoples.   When the Spaniards and their Indian servants, including the Mexicans, fled from New Mexico to the El Paso del Norte area, census records of later years, which we will examine in the next chapter, clearly show that this practice of segregation of towns, between the Spaniard settlers and the Christian Indians among whom the Mexicans were, continued.  The writing of Antonio de Otermin, Jose Tienda de Cuervo and Fray Santa Maria as examples of the writing of others of their era as well, clearly shows that the colonial settlers of Texas and New Mexico saw themselves and understood themselves as Spaniards in contrast, in their understanding, to the Mexicans of central and southern Mexico, whom they saw as Indians.   

All of the preceding historical facts are why the terms “Spaniard Texan” and “Spaniard American” more accurately describe who the original colonial Tejanos and the rest of the colonial pioneers of the American Southwest were. To use the terms “Mexican American” or “Mexican Texan”, which do apply to those who came from Mexico starting at the time of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, to describe the colonial settlers of Texas and the American Southwest is to apply a misnomer to them which denies the historical realities, the census records, the family histories, the written memoirs being discussed.  And that is putting it lightly.  If I may be bold, to call the colonial Tejanos, the Tejano Texians, “Mexican Texans” shows an appalling lack of knowledge and a complete disrespect of the founders of Texas because they insistently claimed to be criollo Spaniards.     They were Spaniard Americans, whose presence was also represented in the man who became the Father of the United States.

“George Washington, ‘The Father of Our Country,’ was abundantly endowed with some good Spanish genes that trace back to the great Spanish king and saint, San Fernando, and beyond.” (Robert H. Thonhoff, “Essay on the San Fernando-George Washington- Bernardo de Galvez Connection”).

 The descendants of the original Texans would do well to assert their true identity as Spaniards, which identity assimilated also those who were in the colonial mestizo minority.    As Luigi Enaudi said, he who does not look back to his ancestors does not look forward to his descendants.


Chapter 4

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ONE MILLION?
(previously
COLONISTS NOT CONQUISTADORS)

Enrique EsparzaThere is really no question, as we saw in the previous chapter, the people who pioneered Texas invariably claimed to be full-blooded Spaniards.  In reality, when writers like Weber and Tijerina claim that the colonial people of Texas were composed of deeply racially mixed individuals and Mexican Indians, they claim so in contradiction to what the pioneers claimed for themselves. Although it seems to me that that it is deeply disrespectful that they totally disregard the pioneers’ claim, I want to make it perfectly clear that I believe that as it pertains to eternity, it does not really matter, that the only pure race is the human race.

On one occasion recorded in the 8th chapter of the Gospel according to John, when Jesus Christ found Himself in an argument with some of His fellow Jews regarding His identity as the Son of God, the Pharisees, wanting to deeply insult Him told Him,

“Are we not right to say that you are a Samaritan and you have a devil?”

The Samaritans had been born as a consequence of the fall of Israel during the Babylonian invasion.  The Babylonians enforced a policy that when they conquered a land, they would take people from that land captive and leave the poorest among the conquered people in their land.  They would then bring different peoples from various different conquered nations to live in the newly conquered land so that they would intermarry with the newly conquered people.  By doing so, the Babylonians caused the conquered people to loose their identity as a people and so cause them to loose the reason to fight.  The Samaritans were born of this circumstance, being a mix of Jew with many other different peoples.     The Samaritans were deeply despised by the Jews, to the point where they would not even set their foot in the land of Samaria or have any dealings with the Samaritans.  To call a Jew a Samaritan was deeply offensive to Jews, one of the worst insults that would bring a violent response.  When His fellow Jews called Jesus a Samaritan, they were doing their best to deeply offend Jesus and hopefully cause Him to respond in a way that would discredit Him.  But listen to how Jesus responded:

“I don’t have a devil, but I honor my Father and you do dishonor me.”

Jesus addressed their accusation of Him being demon possessed because the only unpardonable sin was to blaspheme the Holy Spirit by claiming the miracles Jesus performed were done by the power of Satan, which is what these people were doing.  But let’s listen again to His answer to their intended racial insult in saying He was a Samaritan:

“I don’t have a devil, but I honor my Father and you do dishonor me.”

Did you notice?  What a mature man Jesus was! Jesus didn’t even acknowledge their intended racial insult!  Not a word about them calling Him a Samaritan.  Why? Because in the end, it doesn’t matter, God created all people, including the Samaritans, and the mestizos, and the mulattos and the coyotes and the zambos, and He loves them all, and for His lost sheep among them Jesus laid down His life.  It does not matter.

Furthermore, although Jesus was a Jew among Jews, the One God endorsed as the Jewish Messiah when the Holy Spirit landed on Him in the shape of a dove, and though King David was a Jew among Jews chosen by God to be the first divinely chosen king of the Jews, the prostitute Rahab who was a Canaanite was in their genealogical line, and Ruth who was a Moabite, yet having these non Hebrew ancestors in their genealogical line did not take away from their Jewish identity, they were still Jews among Jews.  Similarly, although some of the descendants of the Spaniards who colonized Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, have some Indian ancestors in their line, it does not take away from their Spaniardness, as the mestizos who moved north were diluted into the majority Spaniard population.  And then again, the fact is that in Northern New Spain, the white population did not intermarry very much.

Santos BenevidesProfessor Robert McCaa, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, historian and ethnographer expert in Mexico who has written numerous articles about the subject, attests to this trend when he writes, “The Indian base was never as dense as in the South (of Mexico) and in the North many Indian groups were annihilated by wars over the centuries... the white population did not intermarry very much (as I have shown in a couple of publications and as one can still see today in Parral)... Racial terms are rarely used, but the markers are readily understood and respected when it comes to selecting marriage partners” (Dr. Robert McCaa in a personal email to me dated November 16, 2003).   Although it is true that at the beginning of the Exploration and Conquest Period most Spaniards traveled without women and took Indian women for their wives, it is also true that the experience of Spaniards asking for wives from the Indians in the area of Northern New Spain resulted in enmity between the two [1].  The Indian and Spanish cultures did not meet in Texas (in intermarriage), as some have erroneously said. Rather, the few mestizos (mehs-tee-zohs; people of mixed racial heritage, the offspring of intermarriage between Spaniards, or any other whites, and Indians) that came with the original settlers who were mostly Spaniards had been conceived in the south of New Spain before they came north to Texas.     Consequently it was Spaniard families that settled Texas, the American Southwest and what is now Northern Mexico.  I am speaking generally, of course.  I am not saying there was not any mestizaje (racial intermarriage) in Northern New Spain, I am saying it was nowhere near to the degree that it happened in Central to Southern Mexico.  Beatriz Amberman also recognized this fact when she wrote in her book “Hispanic Folk Ballet”, “The northern region of Mexico was heavily settled by Europeans who brought their own musical instruments and traditions”.

The previous assertion is not just based on the simple observation of the faces of the descendants of the original settlers of Texas and Northern Mexico, which in itself would be sufficient evidence for scholars familiar with the science called physiognomics [2], that is, the science of determining ethnic and racial background by the observation of facial features, it is a fact that, despite its being buried and forgotten, has been preserved, as I mentioned, in old archives and census records of Colonial Texas. The list of families who came with Juan de O�ate to the area of San Elizario in West Texas shows that the great majority of those settlers were new comers born in Spain, as well as Canary Islanders, Balearic Islanders, Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese, as well as criollos, full Spaniards born in the New World, from several different Spanish colonies.  Of the approximately 600 individuals, in 200 families, that came with O�ate, only 94 were identified as mestizos, Indians, mulattos or blacks, or simply as servants [3].  This was due to a little known historical precedent set by Don Juan de Frias, the appointed inspector of the Juan de O�ate colonizing effort.  Before the expedition to colonize the northernmost frontier of New Spain set out to fulfill its purpose, and with the authoritiy of Viceroy Don Gaspar de Zu�iga y Acevedo, Count of Monterrey and Lord of Ulloa and Biedma, who himself had the authority of King Felipe II of Spain, Don Juan de Frias ordered that individuals of mixed blood were to be discharged from the colonizing expedition [4].  With the exception of O�ate’s wife, the only individuals of mixed blood, or of non-European stock, allowed to continue with the expedition, were those who were listed as servants. This decision set a precedent in policy by the Spanish government in the colonization of Northern New Spain from the very beginning of colonization.  Weddle and Thonhoff recognized this fact when they wrote,

“Prestige, position, wealth, and honors were restricted almost exclusively to Spaniards, either peninsulares or criollos.  An immense social gulf separated them from the castes created by New World miscegenation, and the distinction was recognized by law.  Discrimination aimed at maintaining blood purity, limipieza de sangre, was written into Spain’s social and religious code.” (Robert S. Weddle & Robert H. Thonhoff, “Drama & Conflict; the Texas Saga of 1776”, p.50, emphasis mine.)

This legal discrimination was put into full effect in the colonizing of Northern New Spain from the very beginning, and people of mixed race were by this law excluded from colonizing Northern New Spain, which included Northern Mexico, Texas and the American Southwest, except as servants and only in small numbers.  This law of “Limpieza de Sangre” required that prospective pioneers of Northern New Spain prove they were of “pure Christian blood”, which translated into pure Spaniard or hispanicized European blood.  Consequently blacks, Indians, mestizos and mulattos were prevented from migrating in large numbers to Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, since they had “pagan” blood.   The only province of Northern New Spain that did not require colonists to prove their purity of blood was Nuevo Leon.

“As far as is known, Nuevo Leon was the only grant that did not require prospective settlers to prove limpieza de sangre [purity of Christian blood]” (Charles M. Robinson III, Flour Tortillas and Other Jewish Legacies of Colonial Texas).

Early Texas HacendadosConsequently, Robinson writes, many Jewish families, starting with 160 men with their wives and children, migrated from Spain to Nuevo Leon becoming the founding families of Nuevo Leon and, later, of South Texas.  Those 160 pioneering families were followed by more, and soon 695 pioneer Jewish families from Spain became the ancestors of much of the population of Nuevo Leon and South Texas [5].  Jews, despite what many racists claim, are generally a white Semitic people, so whites were still the majority in South Texas.  Of course, if Nuevo Leon was the only province that did not require prospective colonists to prove purity of blood that means that all the other provinces of Northern New Spain did. The law of Limpieza de Sangre, purity of blood, was not only put in effect in the process of colonization of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, but it also ruled the code of conduct in the establishment and distribution of settlements:

“From the latter part of the sixteenth century the Spanish crown, in many ways and for different but mainly humanitarian motives, favored the residential separation of Indians from non-Indians… In the Spanish towns Indians were to reside in quarters of their own.” (Magnus Morner and Charles Gibson, Diego Munoz Camargo and the Segregation Policy of the Spanish Crown, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 42, No. 4, Nov. 1962, pp. 558-568)

This is why it is a mistake to say that the Spanish and Indian cultures met in intermarriage in Texas, they could not even live in the same place, and that by royal law! The practice initiated by Don Juan de Frias during the Juan de O�ate expedition of excluding people of mixed blood from the colonization of Northern New Spain, was formally put in the books in the “Recopilacion de leyes de los reinos de las Indias”, Summary of Laws of the Kingdoms of the Indies, of 1680[6].    This legislated segregation and discrimination that resulted in the colonization of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, by a majority of Spaniards, criollos (full blooded Spaniards born in the New World) and hispanicized Europeans, was not a small thing:

“Although the many decrees and laws issued to these ends did not form a systematic complex, they were explicit enough to justify our understanding them in terms of a consistent policy of segregation.” (Morner and Gibson, emphasis mine)

It really is appalling how historians by and large have missed this and have falsely portrayed the colonial Spaniards of Texas and the American Southwest as the deeply racially mixed Mexican mestizos who, in reality, were consistently not allowed to colonize Northern New Spain. The following data is very elucidating and it reflects the consequence of the legal precedent set by the Spanish government during the Juan de O�ate expedition regarding this issue:

The Census of 1784 of the El Paso, Texas area lists 395 Spaniard men, that is, men of European stock, white men, living in El Paso proper as opposed to only 46 mestizos.  The town with the highest density of mestizo population in the El Paso del Norte area was the town of Socorro, with 45 mestizo men living there as opposed to 48 Spaniards, roughly 50-50.    Including the town of Socorro, and the largely Indian town of Senecu, which had only 8 white men living there, the Census of 1784 lists 516 white men living in the broader El Paso area as opposed to 117 mestizos [7].  Three years later, the Census of 1787 of the El Paso Area lists a total of 547 men 22 years old and older, 534 women, 201 boys and 142 girls of European blood, families living in the El Paso area for a total of 1424 white people, mostly Spaniards and some hispanicized Italians and French (also listed as Spaniards), as opposed to 102 mestizo men 22 years old and older, 121 women, 92 boys and 37 girls, for a total of 352 mestizos living in families in the same El Paso Area [8].

Jose de Escandon is known as the father of South Texas for 6 settlements he established (from a total of 23) along the Rio Grande; following is the data from the Escandon settlements of South Texas.  Of the 54 families which originally founded the settlement of Revilla/Guerrero, located a few miles West of McAllen on both sides of the Rio Grande, only 4 were mestizo, the remaining 50 were Spaniard, that is, of full European blood. A little less than 40 years later the 1791 Ecclesciastical Census of Revilla/Guerrero lists 706 Spaniards as opposed to only 70 mestizos. The 1750 Census of Camargo, another Escandon settlement with land on both sides of the Rio Grande, lists 312 Spaniards versus 54 mestizos.    The June 16, 1750 Census of the South Texas Escandon settlement of Reynosa lists 138 Spaniards vs. 63 mestizos and the March 1, 1750 Census of Mier lists 94 Spaniards   (58 of these have no race listed but I count them as Spaniards because of their family names which are almost always listed as Spaniards) versus only 8 mestizos. In 1787 Laredo had eleven families consisting of 85 men women and children, all Spaniards, while the Hacienda de Dolores had 122 settlers all Spaniards as well. 

Maria de Jesus Curbelo (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)The same is true deeper in the heart of Texas, with the incomplete 1783 Census of San Antonio de Bejar showing, among the heads of household of 303 individuals, 32 Spaniards and 1 Frenchman as opposed to only 5 mestizos [9], another authority reveals that the 1782 Census of San Fernando de Bexar listed 109 Spaniards as opposed to only 17 mestizos, San Fernando and San Antonio being the same place. The November 19, 1790 Census of the Mission San Jose de San Miguel de Aguallo listed 135 Spaniards and 0 mestizos while the November 22, 1790 Census of San Francisco de la Espada listed 60 Spaniards and 0 mestizos as well.  I should note that the Census of both San Jose and San Francisco de la Espada show the race of only those listed as servants, San Jose having 40 servants who were Spaniards and 0 mestizos, while San Francisco de la Espada listed 14 servants who were Spaniards, and also 0 mestizos.  The total number of Spaniards in each of these missions or settlements is discerned by the fact that the vast majority of free men were Spaniards and by the fact that people of mixed race were generally not allowed to participate in the colonization of Northern New Spain except as servants.  Servants who were Spaniard, of course, were free servants, somehow like the European indentured servants who came to the 13 British Colonies.  The 1790 Census of the jurisdiction of La Bahia del Espiritu Santo (La Bahia), listed 282 Spaniards and only 11 mestizos, the 1790 Census of Bexar listed 175 Spaniard families as opposed to only 1 mestizo family, the December 31, 1792 Census of the Capital of the Spanish Province of Texas, San Fernando de Austria, listed 615 Spaniards as opposed to 102 mestizos, finally the 1792 Census of the little mission of San Antonio Valero listed 27 Spaniards as opposed to 0 mestizos.  The documentation clearly shows that, indeed, it was European families, colonists, that settled Northern New Spain, and there were very few mestizos among them.  In fact, the documentation strongly asserts that to say that the colonial Tejanos were mestizos and not Spaniards is patently absurd! [10]

When one considers the Indian population recorded in the 1784 and 1787 Census of the El Paso Area, what Professor McCaa asserted and what is plainly visible in the faces of the descendants of original settlers of Texas and Northern Mexico becomes evident.  The Census of 1784 lists 74 Indian men, including 23 Genizaros, that is, hispanicized Indians, Indians who had lost their tribal identity and used Spanish names, 395 white men and 46 mestizos living in El Paso proper, and 267 Indian men including 42 Genizaros, 516 white men and 117 mestizos in the broader El Paso Area. The 1787 Census lists 257 Indian men, 196 women, 198 boys and 123 girls, for a total of 774 Indians living in families in the El Paso area, as opposed to 1424 whites and 352 mestizos, all living in families. When one thoughtfully considers this data, what Dr. McCaa asserted, what was encouraged by law and what is historically true becomes very evident, that the whites and Indians were not intermarrying to any significant degree in Northern New Spain.  This becomes especially evident when one observes that in the 1787 Census among the whites there were 547 men and 534 women, among the Indians there were 257 men and 196 women and among the mestizos there were 102 men and 121 women.  In other words, there were enough men and women within each racial group so that the prevailing attitude among both Indians and whites of refusing to intermarry could be perpetuated.  As I said, Dr. Robert McCaa noticed the same trend in his research:

“The white population did not inter-marry very much (as I have shown in a couple of publications and as one can see still today in Parral).”
(Dr. Robert McCaa, University of Minnesota Department of History, in a personal email to me dated December 16, 2003.)

But the study of the ethnic composition of the population of colonial Texas yields some fascinating facts beyond these that, like many things mentioned in this book, have remained unnoticed or purposefully set aside by historians.     One of these fascinating facts is that this study clearly reveals that the population of colonial Texas, and of the rest of Northern New Spain, was palpably different from the population of Mexico in more than the one way we just studied.  Not only were true Spaniards in the majority and mestizos in the minority, but even the mixed population of Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain was different from the mixed mestizo population of Mexico.  While the 1790 Census of San Jose de San Miguel Mission listed 0 mestizos, 14 mulattos (and 135 Spaniards) were listed.  This same pattern can be observed in the rest of the Census records of colonial Texas; the 1792 Census of San Francisco de la Espada Mission listed 0 mestizos but 12 mulattos (60 Spaniards), the 1790 Census of la Bahia listed 11 mestizos but 71 mulattos (282 Spaniards), and the 1790 Census of Bexar listed 1 mestizo family but 26 mulatto families (175 Spaniard families).  The 1792 Census of San Antonio Valero, that is, the Alamo, reveals that the mulattos there outnumbered both the mestizos, who were 0 there, and the Spaniards, who were 29, with 41 mulattos, and the 1782 Census of San Fernando de Bexar reveals 151 mulattos versus only 17 mestizos and 109 Spaniards. On the other hand, the Escandon settlement of Reynosa on the Rio Grande lists only 13 mulattos as compared to 63 mestizos (138 Spaniards).  The 1791 Census of the Escandon settlement of Revilla listed 154 mulattos and 70 mestizos (706 Spaniards), and the 1792 Census of San Fernando de Austria, which although within present day Coahuila just south of the Rio Grande, it became a base for colonizaton of South Texas, listed 102 mestizos, 234 mulattos and 615 Spaniards, clearly showing a majority of Spaniards as in the rest of Texas.`

Juan Leal (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)There are several very important facts to be gleaned by this difference: As can be plainly observed, the mixed population of Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain consisted of mulattos and not mestizos, making Northern New Spain, including Texas, completely different from Mexico.    While in Mexico it is asserted that the vast majority of its population consists of mestizos, in Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain the vast majority consisted of Spaniards and the mixed minority consisted of mulattos rather than mestizos, making the two peoples two completely different peoples.   This is crucially important to observe and understand in the historical context that I will discuss in chapters 7 and 8 dealing with the participation of Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution because while the fact that the majority of the Tejano Texians were white Mediterraneans racially, with a minority of mulattos rather than mestizos, made them a different people from the mestizo and genizaro Mexican people, it made them the same people as the people of Louisiana who were a majority of white Mediterraneans, including Frenchmen, Spaniards, Italians, Canary Islanders etc. with a minority of mulattos rather than mestizos among them [11].  It can be observed as well, by studying the racial composition of the colonial Tejanos, that from the very beginning of colonization the immigration of people to colonial Texas was very much the same as that of the people of Louisiana rather than the people of Mexico.  Contrary to what is popularly believed it was not the poorest Mexicans who moved on north to colonize Texas and the American Southwest in colonial days, since Mexico as a modern nation and the Mexican nationality as such did not yet exist.  Rather, it was white Mediterraneans bringing their mulatto slaves with them who were the colonists, much like the population of Louisiana and much like the Anglo Americans later came with their black and mulatto slaves. Dr. Robert McCaa, author, historian and expert ethnographer from the University of Minnesota also testified to this fact when he wrote concerning Northern New Spain:

“There was quite a heavy importation of Africans, particularly in the 17th century to work…” (Dr. Robert McCaa, University of Minnesotta Department of History, in a personal email to me dated December 16, 2003)

You see, it is not as some writers have struggled with because they simply can not conceive that the colonial population of Texas was different from the Mexicans, that apparently, they write, the mestizos were referred to as mulattos for some strange reason.  That is not the case, the reality is that Africans were imported to work during the Spanish colonial period, and their mixed offspring were the mixed population of Northern New Spain including Texas.  These factors are crucial to understand because they help explain all the history that followed, how the original Tejano Texians identified more with the U.S. than with Mexico etc., that is, all the history that I will continue to study in the chapters that follow in this book.

An interesting thing to note as well is that the census records indicate that while the mulattos were the mixed population of Texas, the American Southwest and Northern Mexico rather than the mestizos, they were more highly concentrated in Central and South Texas than in West Texas where the mulatto population group was less numerous.  The higher concentration of mulattos in South and Central Texas as opposed to West Texas is directly related to the fact that the province of Nuevo Leon, as I mentioned and documented before, was the only province of Northern New Spain that did not require purity of blood. The reason the lack of requirement of purity of blood in Nuevo Leon did not result in a larger mestizo population but it did result in a higher concentration of mulattos is because, as Dr. McCaa explained, the mulattos were imported by the whites to work as servants, they did not generally migrate on their own.  It is important to keep in mind as well that a sizeable number of the mulattos did not come to Texas as part of the colonizing group, but, rather, they were the descendants of Africans who had somehow, perhaps by shipwreck of a slave trading vessel, arrived on the coast of Texas before the colonization of the Spaniards:

“On the banks of the River of the North, also found in the year ’47 by the discoverer D. Jose de Escandon and in that of ’66 by the commissioners Camara Alta y Tienda de Cuervo… a certain nation of Indians… descendants of the Africans… they were called mulattos even by the Indians… their forefathers had come to the beach, men alone, totally black, in no small number… taking women… they managed… to form a nation, not small in number…” (Fr. Vicente Santa Maria, Historical Report of the Colony of Nuevo Santander and the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico).

Evidently, and truly as a consequence of a mystery of history, a good number of those called “mulattos” in Texas were not a part of the Spanish colonization process of Texas, but were already there.  On the other hand, the Spaniards were still the vast and overwhelming majority in all of Northern New Spain, regardless.  And I am not the only historian who has noticed these facts, but many, as I mentioned in the previous chapter, are so blinded by their own modern day prejudices that they can not see the facts infront of them, or, when they do see them, they dismiss them.   Like one writer, for example, who after pushing the myth that California was colonized by deeply racially mixed Mexicans, attempts to support his bias by quoting a contemporary Peninsular Spaniard who in a letter wrote that although the colonials claim to be Spaniards they are not really Spaniards.  Well, maybe that contemporary Peninsular Spaniard had a chip on his shoulder, maybe he was like so many European born people at that time were, who thought that being born in Europe made them superior to their own ethnic and racial brethren who were born in the New World just because their racial brethren were born in the New World, like the British who believed the Anglo American colonials were just a bunch of rustics.     Maybe that Peninsular Spaniard was a bigot like Hitler who called the white people of the United States a “mongrel race” [12].   But, instead of taking the testimony of the Spaniard colonials of the American Southwest concerning their own identity and the data that supports that claim at face value, that historian chose to dismiss all of that and instead accept the statement of one man who was evidently a bigot and use it to support his own misconceived biased view that California and the American Southwest were colonized by deeply racially mixed Mexicans, in fact telling in his book blatant lies regarding this issue claiming the exact opposite of what the historical facts and data indicate.

Juana Leal (nee Perez) (Chabot's With the Makers of San Antonio)This anti-Spaniard bigotry in favor of Mexican “mestizoness” among some historians who have had a strong influence in people’s understanding of the colonial population of what would be Texas and the American Southwest can be observed, it can be easily pointed out in the way they repeat the myth that the colonial population “whitened” itself.  Invariably, some writers stress as though it were a fact, which it is not, that as time went by and people became more financially affluent, they would “whiten” themselves in the way they were listed in the census.  Invariably, the case of one individual, Antonio Salazar, a colonist of San Antonio who was from Zacatecas, is used as an example.  In four different documents dated between 1789 to 1784 he is listed in incremental levels of “whiteness”, being listed in the earliest documents as “Indian”, and then as “mestizo” and finally as “Spaniard”.  Based on this one example, and several writers use this same example, they conclude that the people “whitened” themselves in the census; they were really mestizos but, so these writers erroneously assert, they said they were Spaniards (David Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America, p.324).  This man, Antonio Salazar, is touted and showcased to, again, promote the myth that the Spaniards of Northern New Spain were really mestizos… yet nothing is ever, and I do mean ever said about a man by the name of Perez Nieto from Sinaloa who in the May 20, 1782 garrison list of San Diego, California is listed as a Spaniard, but eight years later in the San Diego Census of 1790 he is listed as a mulatto, in fact experiencing a “darkening” of his race, exactly the opposite of what some writers claimed happened.  Or nothing is ever said about Francisco Serrano, who in the 1782 garrison list and the 1790 Census of San Diego, in one he is listed as a mestizo and in the other he is listed as a European, while in both he is identified as having been born in Sastago, Aragon in Spain.  In other words, it is agreed in both listings that Francisco Serrano was a Peninsular Spaniard, yet in one he is identified as a mestizo, experiencing a “darkening” of his race in contradiction to what some influential writers argue using the example of Antonio Salazar.  Yet, Francisco Serrano and Perez Nieto are both completely ignored while Antonio Salazar is showcased!  It is evident that these writers are affected to the point of manipulating the truth by their own bias. It could be argued just as easily that the opposite of what these writers claim is what happened, maybe they were all actually Spaniards and over time these writers have made them mestizos… which claim would actually be a more accurate reflection of what has actually occurred in writing.

So what is it then, if some individuals’ race changes from census to census?   Well, one thing is certain, the fact that in a few cases some individuals’ race changed from census to census, and only the ones in which the race becomes whiter are mentioned while the ones where the race becomes darker are ignored, one thing is certain: that occasional circumstance should not be used to cast shadows on the “Spaniardness” of the colonial settlers of Northern New Spain.  Those are isolated instances and should not be used to draw conclusions about the whole.  Rather, the written testimony of who they were should be taken at face value, and that testimony says that the overwhelming majority of the colonial settlers of Northern New Spain including Texas and the American Southwest were Spaniards. Hey, Francisco Serrano was Peninsular!     As Dr.McCaa’s research showed, the white population of Northern New Spain did not intermarry very much…

It is one of the two, historians who claim that Texas and the American Southwest was colonized by Mexican mestizos and mulattos have not actually studied the documentation and write their own assumptions as history, or they have studied the documentation but they stubbornly refuse to accept the claim of the colonial Tejanos to full Spaniard ancestry and the data that overwhelmingly supports that claim, and have chosen instead to continue to stubbornly write their own bias as fact.  Now, if they have not studied the documentation which is there, and, instead, have written their own assumptions as history, the question for you to ask is, are these people then qualified to teach about the subject?  They have not studied the documentation but they write their own assumptions as history, wouldn’t this disqualify them from teaching this subject?  Think about it… you be the judge of this.  On the other hand they have studied the documentation but stubbornly refuse to accept it and instead write their own bias as history… are they qualified to teach this subject?  Think about it… you be the judge.   And, if they have studied the documentation and they know that most of the colonial Tejanos claimed to be and understood themselves as Spaniard and the census record and laws in place support this claim but yet they choose to portray the Mexicans over the Spaniards as the colonial Tejanos, knowing the opposite is the truth, wouldn’t this make them bigots and racist?    If they know, but choose the Mexicans over the Spaniards anyway? Isn’t this bigoted and racist?  Think about it… you be the judge of this.

But, the issue is here settled, there is no arguing against the truth, you may go through the census records yourself and count one by one the inhabitants as I have done, you may read their writings and interviews yourself and pay attention to their claim as I have done, you may go over their pictures and notice their faces yourself as I have done, and you will see that the conclusion I reach here is just the facts.  It was white Mediterraneans who colonized Texas, Northern Mexico and the American Southwest with their mulatto slaves (the same records reflect that the mulattos, the offspring of whites intermarrying blacks, were produced before they were brought north, since these census records clearly indicate that intermarriage was, though not non-existent, rare reflecting the fact that intermarriage was discouraged by law in Northern New Spain), and not mestizos.

The issue on hand here, however, is the colonization of Texas and the American Southwest by Spaniards and hispanicized Europeans in contrast to the falsely asserted colonization of the same area by Mexican mestizos, since it is the latter group that is commonly believed to have colonized the area.  As we saw, some settlements had 0 mestizos, but, indeed, there were a few.  Yet the mestizo population of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, would have been and was assimilated and diluted, by and large, into the white Mediterranean population.  By the Tables of Ethnicity set forth by the Spaniards in colonial days, the intermarriage of a white man with an Indian produced a mestizo, the intermarriage of a white man with a mestizo, produced a castizo, and the intermarriage of a white man with a castizo produced a white man[13].  By this standard, considering the information set forth above, when indeed some white men intermarried with mestizos, the mestizo population was diluted into the white population, making the descendants of the original settlers of Texas and Northern Mexico white people of Spaniard stock, white Mediterranean people, and not the other way around.  A small number of the white population that I count in this book consists of the offspring of the few marriages between Spaniards and mestizos, since that is what the Tables of Ethnicity do.  I did not count the offspring of the few marriages between Spaniards and mulattos as whites, rather, I counted them among the mulattos since these same tables indicate that sub-Saharan African blood could not be assimilated.

The wife and children of Don Juan de O�ate exemplify this process of assimilation of the few mestizo individuals who actually came with the Spaniards to colonize Texas and Northern New Spain into the white population of the same group.  O�ate’s wife, Isabel de Tolosa Cortes y Moctezuma was the grand-daughter of Hernan Cortes, the Spanish Conquistador, and his Indian woman, Isabel Moctezuma, whose birth name was Tecuichpotzin [14], daughter of the famous Aztec emperor Moctezuma.  Their daughter, Leonor Cortes y Moctezuma, of course, since Hernan Cortes was a full blooded Spaniard and his woman an Aztec Indian, was a true mestiza.  Being wealthy, however, and of the ruling class, she married a Spaniard, Juanes de Tolosa, producing Isabel de Tolosa Cortes y Moctezuma, who would then herself be not a mestiza, as she is always said to be, but a castiza.  Isabel de Tolosa Cortes y Moctezuma married Don Juan de O�ate, a criollo, that is, a full blooded Spaniard born in New Spain, so that their children, Cristobal de O�ate y Cortes Moctezuma and Maria de O�ate y Cortes Moctezuma would have been, according to the Tables of Ethnicity set forth by the Spaniards, white people of Spaniard stock. Don Juan de O�ate’s children were true representatives of what happened with most of the mestizo population of Texas, New Mexico and Northern New Spain, including northern Mexico; their mestizaje was diluted into the white Spaniard population of Northern New Spain, according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards.

Gary Felix, Administrator of the Genealogy of Mexico DNA Surname Project also recognizes the fact, based on DNA studies, that the mestizo population in Northern New Spain was relatively small and that Northern New Spain was generally settled by families from Spain when he writes:

“It is correct that the north ended up being settled mostly by Spaniards. This is because the North of New Spain is somewhat desolate and doesn't have the Native American population the south had…  The early migrations to the north were from relatively late arrivals (early 1600's) from Spain. They were tasked with settling the North for expansion purposes. Cortes' conquistadors took most of the south by the encomieda system early after the conquest. The colonization of New Mexico was no different than Monterrey or Saltillo. All were outposts far from the populace settled by the same types of people seeking to expand the interests of New Spain.” (Gary Felix, The Genealogy of Mexico, Gateway to the Past; From Our Ancestors Forward, DNA Surname Project)

Mr. Felix also writes in another place:

“In the years just after the Conquest of Mexico, the Native-American population was decimated by disease and war leaving a relatively small gene pool of Native-American and Iberian ancestors. It is estimated that half the adult male population of Iberia set out to colonize two continents. Many of these early conquistadors set out to the Americas with relatives or sent for relatives upon settling.” (Gary Felix, The Genealogy of Mexico, Gateway to the Past; From Our Ancestors Forward, DNA Surname Project)

Dr. Robert McCaa concurs with Gary Felix’s DNA founded conclusion when he writes:

“The Indian base was never as dense as in the South and in the North (of Mexico) many Indian groups were annihilated by wars over the centuries. There was quite a heavy importation of Africans, particularly in the 17th century to work the silver mines. The white population did not inter-marry very much. (as I have shown in a couple of publications and as one can see still today in Parral).” (Robert McCaa, Ph.D., Professor of History, Department of History, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)

The DNA Surname Project headed by Mr. Felix strongly supports the data recorded in the census records I examined, and the Tejano Texians’ ever-recurring claim of full Spaniard heritage.   In a sample of 163 individuals belonging to about 100 different Spanish or hispanicized surname groups from Spanish Colonial Texas and Northern Mexico, their DNA showed that out of the 163 individuals, 139 had their origin in Europe, including 77 Western Europeans, 35 Jews, 19 Nordics, 7 from the Caucasus area and 1 Eastern European.  Of the remaining 24 “Hispanic” individuals in the sample, 19 were Indian (Native American), 2 were African, 2 were Euroasian (mixed white and Asian, under which Native Americans fall) and one had his ancestry in Southeast Asia.  Clearly, this DNA sample concurs with the data in the census records we studied, including the ratio of Spaniards to mestizos, since the DNA sample showed 139 individuals tracing their DNA ancestry to Europe as opposed to 2 who were Eurasian, a mix of European and Asian, under which the Indians fall.  What this means is that the data in the census record is accurate, those who have stated that the colonial settlers of Texas, Northern Mexico and the American Southwest just claimed to be Spaniard without being so are wrong.  The DNA data and the census data concur “to the t”. 

Mr. Felix goes on to further explain why the Native American YDNA is largely missing among the descendants of the colonial settlers of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, even though there were some Indians who were allies of the Spaniards, such as the Tlaxcallans, who began to settle in Northern New Spain:

“While settlement in the North involved some Native Americans allies of the Spanish from the south there was still the problem of disease. If you had two Native American parents in Mexico you lacked the thousands of years Europeans had developing resistance to diseases they brought over unintentionally. If you were mestizo you had some protection. There was an unfortunate natural selection at work here, to the detriment of the Native Americans.” (Gary Felix, DNA Surname Project)

Guided by his research in genetics and DNA, Mr. Felix hits the nail on the head where many historians have missed it when they read that in 1591, for example, four hundred families of Tlaxcallan Indians migrated north led by the Spaniard Francisco de Urdinola to settle San Esteban which is located next to the Spanish town of Saltillo.   Just as diseases, such as smallpox, which the Europeans unintentionally carried to the New World decimated to extinction the Indian population of the first places they settled, like the Island of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba, so the few Indians who came to Northern New Spain with the Spaniards were decimated by European diseases against which they lacked any immunity.   The mestizos had some protection against European diseases, but they were not fully immune, this is one more reason why the mestizos are so few in the census records of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, and why true mestizos, those who are of 50-50 white and Indian blood, are virtually non-existent in what was Northern New Spain, including Northern Mexico, Texas and the American Southwest.  Mr. Gary Felix points out that autosomal studies on the mestizo population of Nuevo Leon, which was the only province of Northern New Spain that did not apply the law of Limpieza de Sangre, Purity of Blood, in its colonization and so consequently had more people of mixed background than the other provinces of Northern New Spain, and more Jews, Mr. Felix points out how autosomal studies of the mestizo population of Nuevo Leon have shown a 60-37 European to Native American admixture, which would then make them, according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards, castizos or Spaniards and not mestizos.  Considering that, according to Mr. Felix, DNA studies in Europe have shown that Haplogroup Q, which is the same origin as Native Americans, is found in Jews and in some Nordic countries, and that Haplogroup O which if of Asian origin has turned up in Italy, in Central Europe, and considering that many Jews settled in Nuevo Leon and South Texas, as well as some Italians, who also intermarried with the Spaniards in Spain, and many Spaniards with Nordic Visigothic ancestry, the 60-37 European to Native American admixture shown in the autosomal studies of the mestizos of Nuevo Leon is further reduced in significance and meaning as it pertains to their mestizaje, and the claim of the colonial Tejanos to full Spaniard origin is further strengthened and supported. In fact, Robert Tarin, whose family owned land around the Alamo at the time of the fall of the Alamo and who is a descendant of the Canary Islander founder families of San Antonio, found traces of this Jewish Q Haplogroup in a sample of Texas Hispanics.  The incidence of Haplogroups Q and O in European and Semitic peoples which migrated to the area of Nuevo Leon indicates that even in cases where European-Native American DNA admixture is apparent, it does not mean that intermarriage of Spaniards and Indians in Northern New Spain actually occurred in all cases where the admixture is apparent. On the other hand it does mean that such mestizaje was low in incidence, even as the census records indicate, and it means that there are no “pure” races but the human race.  It also means that, generally speaking, the colonial Tejano Texians were indeed genetically Spaniards as they claimed, whether because of the process of assimilation and dilution as codified in the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards, or because they did not actually intermarry very much, as Dr. McCaa’s research has shown. 

On the other hand, in central and southern Mexico, where Hernan Cortes established his jurisdiction and his men established the “encomienda” system,

“The brutality of the Cuba campaign and the subsequent extinction of the Indian population from disease, overwork and despair would later influence Cort�s's more careful treatment of the Mexicans as Captain-General of New Spain, making possible, ironically, the survival of so many "genotypically" full-blooded Indians, Indian tribes, and Indian languages in Mexico today.”(Unique Facts About Mexico: Hernan Cortes, GNU)

So often vilified, Hernan Cortes was responsible for “the survival of so many ‘genotypically’ full blooded Indians, Indian tribes and Indian languages in Mexico today”, allowing us to contrast at the genetic level the population of central and southern Mexico with the population of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest.  While, as we have seen, DNA studies show the European genotype is dominant in the area that was once Northern New Spain, it is the Indian genotype that is dominant in the rest of Mexico.   

Further detail of the autosomal study mentioned by Mr. Felix, which was conducted by a group of scientists and geneticists from Nuevo Leon, Texas and Spain led by Dr. Ricardo Cerda Flores and Dr. Maria C. Villalobos Torres, of the Centro de Investigacion Biomedica del Noreste, out of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and the Human Genetics Center of the University of Texas in Houston respectively, which appears on the American Journal of Human Biology, issue 14 in the year 2002, entitled “Genetic Admixture in Three Mexican Mestizo Populations Based on D1S80 and HLA-DQA1 Loci” showed that the homozygosity and the allele distribution in the gene pool of the mestizo population of Nuevo Leon is significantly different from that of the mestizo population of the Federal District, in Mexico City, with the proportion of Amerindian genes being larger in the Central and Western states of Mexico compared with Nuevo Leon.  Conclusively, two different peoples settled the two areas, and this difference is underscored by the fact that these studies focused on carefully chosen samples of the mestizo population of these areas. 

Let me say it again, the study focused on the mestizo population of the areas, and their subjects were carefully chosen.  The individuals picked for this study had to be mestizos whose mother and father and four grandparents were all Mexican mestizos.  All people whose genealogical tree had at least one grandparent who was Spaniard or any other hispanicized European, or a mulatto, were excluded from the study.  In other words all those Spaniards in the census we examined, and all the mulattos, were excluded from the study, and that on purpose.  It does not appear to be a coincidence that out of all the northern provinces, it was the mestizo population of Nuevo Leon that was chosen for this DNA study since Nuevo Leon, as we saw, was the only province of Northern New Spain that did not enforce the law of Limpieza de Sangre, Purity of Blood, and thus would have a higher incidence of mestizaje and of mestizos.  This is very, very significant for the present discussion because while the mestizos from the Federal District were true mestizos, showing a 50-50 ratio of European to Amerindian admixture, the carefully picked mestizos from Nuevo Leon turned out to be castizos according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards, having a 60-37 ratio.  What this means is that, indeed, the European population in Nuevo Leon was much larger than in the south.     It also means that, as the example of the O�ate family shows, the mestizos of Northern New Spain were indeed largely assimilated and diluted into the Spaniard population, again, making the population of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, white people of Spaniard stock according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards.   

And you can not say that you can look at the data the other way around and say that they were all mestizos regardless because there was an Indian admixture with the Spaniard because the control group was carefully selected to include only people who claimed to be mestizo with both sets of parents and grandparents all Mexican mestizo, and it excluded any who had at least one grandparent in the genealogical tree who was or claimed to be a Spaniard.  The question, rather, that must be asked is, why?  If the subjects for the DNA study were all carefully picked mestizos, why do the “mestizos” from Nuevo Leon, and, as we will see, Colorado, have a higher European and a lower Indian admixture?  If all of them were equally carefully picked mestizos?      Because the sample of individuals was carefully selected to include only mestizos with both parents and both sets of grandparents were all Mexican mestizos and to exclude any Spaniards, the findings have far reaching implications as it pertains to the Spaniard population of colonial Texas and the American Southwest.  Although the DNA study focused on specifically mestizo populations, the results of the study are just as useful and decisive in determining the contribution of Spaniards to the demographics of the area.

The study showed that the further north the mestizo population moved, the less Indian and the more European they became genetically, with the mestizo population of the Federal District of Mexico in Mexico City showing a 50-50 European to Indian admixture, Jalisco showing 56-43, Nuevo Leon showing 60-37, and, other studies of the same population group in Colorado conducted by Anthropologist Andrew Merriweather showing a 67-33 European to Indian admixture.  This is extremely significant because it shows, genetically, an increasing white population that was increasingly diluting the mestizaje of the mestizos as they moved north. The reason, genetically, this dilution and genetic assimilation would occur incrementally as the carefully picked mestizo population migrated north is because there was a majority of whites who contributed to the dilution of the mestizo sample.     The further north the mestizos migrated, the more whites they encountered, not the more Mexican Indians or deeply racially mixed people.  That is what the increasing European and decreasing Indian admixture in the DNA sample of carefully picked mestizos as the study moves north indisputably shows.  This “whitening” of the carefully picked mestizos of this study as they “move” north also serves as genetic evidence of the distribution of the population in colonial days.

“According to Michael C. Meyer and William L. Sherman in "The Course of Mexican History," and Augustin Cue Cavanos, Historia Social y Enconomica de Mexico   (1521-1854) (Mexico, 1972), p. 134:

In 1793 The General Population of New Spain is thus:
Indians 2,500,000 (52%); Peninsulares 70,000 (1%; Criollos 1,025,000 (21%); Mestizos 1,231,000 (25% various mixes; Blacks 6,000 (0.1%).  For a total population of 4,832,000. 

In 1810 The General Population was:
Indians 3,676,281 (60%), Peninsulares 15,000 (0.3%), Criollos 1,092,367 (18%), Mestizos 704,245 (11%), Mulattoes and Zambos (Afromestizos) 624,461 (10%), Blacks 10,000 (0.2%) for a total population of 6,122,354.”
(Mr. Dan Arellano, author/historian in a personal email to me dated July 26, 2006)

Although Mr. Arellano disagrees with me, even he can not get away from the fact that in 1810 there were 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards, as opposed to only 704,245 mestizos.  In other words, the mestizos were significantly less than the criollos, concurring with what the census records of Northern New Spain show.  The same criollo to mestizo rate would be true in 1793, but in 1793 the mulattos and others were counted among the mestizos.  Clearly, however, the mestizos were less than the criollos.  But 1,107,367 full blooded Spaniards in 1810 and 1,095,000 in 1793 are a lot of people!  A lot!  That is more than one million!  In 1793!  The very first time I saw the 18th century census of El Paso and I saw the number of Spaniards, the first thought that came to my mind was “that’s a lot!” because I know Mexico, I used to live as an American resident in Mexico, but a million people are even more!    The fact that the specifically and carefully picked mestizos of the DNA study led by Dr. Ricardo Cerda Flores which appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics become more genetically European as they move north is due to the fact, and is genetic evidence, that the majority of those 1,107,367 Spaniards were concentrated in Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, especially when it is a well known and established fact that in central and southern Mexico, the Indian population was and is overwhelming.  The true mestizos, the DNA study shows, are still concentrated in the south in the area of Mexico City which is evidence that they were concentrated in that area.  The fact that there were over one million full blooded Spaniards in New Spain, plus the fact that the mestizos become more genetically European as they move north, plus the fact that in central and southern Mexico the population is visibly, overwhelmingly and genetically indigenous, plus the fact that true mestizos are concentrated in the south and non existent in the north, plus the fact that the population in Northern New Spain was so small (in Texas there were only less than 5000 colonial settlers), is indisputable evidence that in the north, including Texas, the majority were full blooded Spaniards.  Like I said, 1,000,000, ONE MILLION, people in 1793 are a lot of people! One million people in 1793 are enough to grow into a full-scale country today!  The U.S. had 2.5 million people in 1776, we are now around 300 million (not all I know of the 300 million Americans today are descendants of those first 2.5 million, but enough are sufficient to make the point!)  One million people in 1793 are certainly enough to grow into a full-scale country today! Over one million one hundred thousand full blooded Spaniards in 1810 most of whom settled in the north are all that is needed to argue in favor of the Spaniard identity of the colonists of Northern New Spain.  Weber, Tijerina, Arellano and all of them can say all they want that Texas and the American Southwest was settled by deeply racially mixed people and Mexican Indians, and all I have to say is: one million.  Over one million full-blooded Spaniards most of whom settled in the north are overwhelming!  There is no arguing against that kind of numbers!  There just isn’t.  What Weber, Tijerina, Arellano and them suggest is, as we will see, is just impossible.

Here is the question: what happened to the one million?  What happened to the over one million full-blooded Spaniards that lived in New Spain in 1793?  Did they just disappear?  Did aliens abduct them? What happened to the one million?  As Dr. McCaa’s research showed, as the census records show, as Jose Tienda de Cuervo’s inspection showed, as the segregated housing areas showed, as the Mexican official history text books show, the white population in Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest, did not intermarry very much.  One million people are certainly enough people for them not to have to intermarry, and as Dr. McCaa showed, the boundaries between racial groups were well defined and respected when choosing marriage partners.  It was not only the laws of Limpieza de Sangre, which were enforced, that prevented the Spaniards from intermarrying, it was their attitude as well, and their numbers in the north.

Notice, in 1793 there were 1,095,000 full-blooded Spaniards, 17 years later in 1810, there were 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards in New Spain.  The number of full-blooded Spaniards did not decrease, but, in fact, it increased by 12,367 individuals.   What this tells us is that Dr. McCaa is correct in saying that the white population of Northern New Spain did not intermarry very much since their numbers were not being decreased through intermarriage with other castes as many writers today mistakenly assert.  Rather, the number of full-blooded Spaniards increased through new arrivals from Spain and through a few mestizos whose Indian genes were being assimilated by the majority of the white population.  One million full blooded Spaniards concentrated mostly in the northern provinces of New Spain are certainly enough for the few mestizos of Northern New Spain to be assimilated and diluted into the Spaniard population.  That is why the DNA studies show that although the people picked for the studies were all equally mestizos, the homozygosity and the allele distribution in the gene pool of the mestizo population of Nuevo Leon is significantly different from that of the mestizo population of the Federal District, in Mexico City, with the proportion of Amerindian genes being larger in the Central and Western states of Mexico compared with Nuevo Leon.   This is why the mestizos in Nuevo Leon and Colorado were actually no longer mestizos genetically, but castizos and even Spaniards according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards. 

And it is absolutely crucial to notice that the count of 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards in New Spain dates to the year 1810 because that was the year the Mexican War for Independence against Spain started.   In other words, the 1810 tally of 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards is the final tally, this is when the general migration of people to the north of New Spain stopped.  After this time immigration from the south to Texas was negligible and it did not increase significantly until around the time of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 when the true Mexicans began their migration to the United States.  The number was fixed at 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards at this time, and most of them had settled for good in Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest.   When the number of full-blooded Spaniards was fixed in 1810 at 1,107,367 people, most of whom had headed north, that was a whole lot of people!  And that most of the full blooded Spaniards settled in the north we know not only because of history, but because the DNA studies show that the carefully picked mestizo population becomes more European genetically as it moves north but in the south it remains true and genuine mestizo.     This is why the colonial pioneers called themselves Spaniards and why the census show a majority of Spaniards, and this is why in photographs and portraits of the majority of the colonial Tejanos and colonists of the American Southwest they look like Spaniards… because they were!  And just because many of you who are descendants of colonial Tejano Texians don’t feel Spaniard it does not mean that you are not.  Over one million one hundred thousand full blooded Spaniards at the end of the colonial period in 1810, most of whom were concentrated in the north, are more than enough Spaniards for the few mestizos of Northern New Spain to be assimilated into the Spaniard population, as in fact they genetically did, and for those of you who are the descendants of the colonial people of Texas and the American Southwest to fully embrace your identity as Spaniards and Americans and to finally fully declare your independence from Mexico, and so fulfill the destiny for which Juan Seguin fought and Antonio Menchaca wrote.

Listen, like I said, it is impossible that the over one million one hundred thousand full blooded Spaniards, most of whom settled in Northern New Spain, intermarried to any significant level.    It is impossible.  The numbers just simply do not allow for that to have happened.   The reason I say this is because the children and grandchildren will always outnumber their fathers.  For example, I am the father of five young children age 15 down to age 3.    That means my children are five times more numerous than I.   Now, my father had 4 children, one of my sisters had one child, my other sister had two children, my brother had two children and I have five (as you can see, my wife and I trust God for birth control… what do you call people who trust God for birth control?… mom and dad!).  In other words, in just one generation, my father multiplied himself ten times!  It is not uncommon that a man should have two hundred descendants in 100 years.  By 1810, three hundred years after the Spaniards first arrived in Mexico there were only about 700,000 mestizos.  Considering that one man can multiply 200 times in one hundred years, the 700,000 mestizos that existed in 1810 had to be the descendants of about 3,500 full blooded Spaniards.  As you can see, it is impossible that 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards intermarried to any significant level. Let me put it this way, out of the 1,107,367 full blooded Spaniards, only about 3,500 intermarried or produced offspring with Indian women.  Considering that there were a little over 600,000 mulattos, that would mean that about 3000 Spaniards produced offspring with Africans in Mexico for a total of about, lets say 7,000 Spaniards who intermarried to produce the 700,000 mestizos and 600,000 mulattos.  That is still a fraction of the over one million one hundred thousand full blooded Spaniards.  It is important to notice as well that the numbers of mestizos and mulattos mentioned by Meyer, Sherman and Cavanos that Mr. Arellano quoted perfectly correspond to the findings of the DNA Surname Project where 2 Euroasians and 2 black Africans were found.  The corresponding numbers underscore the reality of what I am here discussing. 

Let me be even more generous, lets say 10,000 Spaniards intermarried to produce the 700,000 mestizos and 600,000 mulattos in 300 years, that is still a fraction of the one million.  As you can see, the numbers do not allow for a great deal of intermarriage to have occurred, especially not in Northern New Spain where most of the over one million criollos settled.  The genetic “whitening” of carefully picked mestizos for the autosomal study indicates as well that most of the mestizos were originally produced in the south, where the 50-50 European to Indian DNA admixture exists, since as the mestizos move north, they become more European genetically.  In other words, the approximately 3,500 full-blooded Spaniards that produced the 700,000 mestizos counted in 1810 intermarried in the south of Mexico not in the north, and we can see this in the DNA.  And 3,500 full blooded Spaniards intermarrying with Indian women in the south to produce the 700,000 mestizos of 1810 comes dangerously close to the 600 soldiers that came with Cortes in 1519, plus the 1,400 that were sent by Velsquez to arrest Cortes in 1520 who ended up joining Cortes.  In other words, the majority of the 3,500 Spaniards that intermarried with the Indians to produce the 700,000 mestizos were the men who came with Cortes.  That is to say, the vast majority of the Spaniards who came after the first Conquest brought their families or sent for their families, even as Gary Felix correctly states:

“Many of these early conquistadors set out to the Americas with relatives or sent for relatives upon settling.”

And although not all obeyed the law, even the Spaniards who had left their wives back in Spain in the earlier period of the Conquest in the mid 1500’s were required by Royal Law to send for their wives and families.  Not all obeyed, but many did, and they sent for their wives and families, and many that came after also brought their families.  This is why in 1810 there were more than one million full-blooded criollo Spaniards.

This concurs with all that we have been studying.  The fact is that out of 1,107,367 full-blooded Spaniards, only about 7,000 intermarried with Indians and blacks to produce mestizos and mulattos.  This intermarriage occurred in the south and, the censuses indicate, the mulattos were imported north, historically for the lack of Indian labor.   Frankly, the writers who assert that the population of Northern New Spain was a deeply racially mixed people just simply don’t know what they are talking about, the numbers just simply do not allow it.  As Dr. McCaa stated, the white population just simply did not intermarry very much!  But even though all of this is true, it will not change the opinion of many who staunchly believe the population of colonial Texas and the American Southwest was composed of deeply racially mixed people and Mexican Indians.  When shown the claims of the colonial pioneers to full Spaniard heritage, they disregard them, when shown the censuses showing a majority of Spaniards, they quote a bigot who denied their claim and said that even though they claimed to be Spaniard they really were not, when shown the overwhelming numbers of criollos, they say “but really they weren’t”.  Some people will not be convinced and will always find a way to contradict.  So, I will say even as Antonio Navarro said, my writing is for the teachable and fair minded not for those who stubbornly refuse to be taught.

This increase of European admixture and decrease of Indian admixture in the DNA of carefully picked mestizos as the sampling moves north has some very important historical implications as well, it reflects the reality and the consequence of the decision made by Don Juan de Frias in the year 1598, when with Royal Authority from the King of Spain through the Viceroy of New Spain, he ordered that people of mixed blood be excluded from the colonizing expedition of Don Juan de O�ate.  These DNA studies clearly reflect the historical reality of the implementation of the law of Limpieza de Sangre, Purity of Blood, in the colonization of Northern New Spain, including Texas and the American Southwest where people of mixed blood were generally excluded from the process of colonization and the different racial groups were segregated.  Indeed, the law of Limpieza de Sangre was enforced, although some claim it was unenforceable.

One more time, the fact that these studies focused on carefully picked mestizos whose parents and grandparents were all Mexican mestizos while excluding any whose genealogical tree included at least one Spaniard grandparent, is strong evidence that the white Spaniard, and hispanicized European, population in Northern New Spain was indeed the majority as the census records we studied indicate and, indeed, the European genotype was dominant since the further north any mestizos migrated, the less Indian and the more European they became genetically.  The further north they moved, the more their matrilineal DNA, mtdna, which is where the Indian gene would come, became more and more diluted and assimilated into the European genepool, to the point where the individuals specifically identified as mestizos for the DNA study were no longer true mestizos but, rather, castizos or even Spaniards according to the Tables of Ethnicity of the Spaniards.

On the other hand, it is vitally important to notice that while these DNA studies of carefully picked mestizos clearly show the European gene increasing and the Indian gene decreasing as they moved north, the Black African gene did not increase beyond 3 in Nuevo Leon.  This is very, very important as it pertains to the present discussion because the DNA shows that the mestizos were not intermarrying very much at all with the mulattos, who were the largest minority and who were also excluded from the study, rather, the mestizos that intermarried did so with whites and thus, as they moved north, they were diluted and assimilated into the Spaniard majority, even as we saw just by studying the census records without the DNA.  With the Black African genetic markers within the carefully picked “mestizo” subjects for this study on specifically mestizo populations being 1 in Jalisco, 3 in Nuevo Leon, and 0 in Colorado, The Black African admixture faithfully represents the census and historical record in reflecting the fact that there were more mulattos in Nuevo Leon than in Jalisco, and less towards West Texas and New Mexico.  But, most importantly, what these DNA studies show, as well as the numbers of mestizos versus full blooded Spaniards during and at the end of the Colonial Period is that the claim of the colonial pioneers of Texas to full Spaniard heritage that we studied in the previous chapter, and the census records we studied in this chapter which show a vast majority of Spaniards are true, the claims of historians who say that the colonial population of Northern New Spain was deeply racially mixed and Indian are false.  We could also word the same thought like this: the claim of the colonial people of Texas, the census data, the number of full blooded Spaniards at that time and the DNA studies all concur and show that the Spaniard population was the majority in Northern New Spain, was much higher than in the south and that, generally, their identity was that of Spaniards, and these factors together show that the writers who say that the population consisted of deeply racially mixed mestizos, mulattos, coyotes, quebrados and Mexican Indians are simply wrong, and their conclusions are based not on serious study of all the data available, but rather, on out of context tidbits that support their own prejudices.  That’s a fact.   You can take that to the bank… either that or they are just dishonest because the things I mentioned are all there.  Let me put things into perspective.  As an example, since the same thing is observed in all the census records except in San Antonio, the 1784 Census of El Paso listed 395 Spaniards versus 47 mestizos, the DNA study showed 139 people of European ancestry versus 2 Eurasians, that is, mixed European with Asian under which Native Americans fall, the numbers at the end of the Colonial Period in 1810 show 1,107,367 full blooded Spaniards most of whom settled in the north versus 700,000 mestizos most of whom settled in the south… is a pattern beginning to develop here? How high do the coincidences have to stack up before we just accept the facts?

Keeping all this in mind, the question begs to be raised: If of the 500 to 700 individuals who came in families with Juan de O�ate only 94 were listed as mulatto, mestizo, black, etc, which means that the mestizos were even less than 94, and that because by governmental policy the people of mixed blood had been discharged from the expedition, meaning that the vast majority of that foundational group of colonists was of full Spaniard blood, as well as of Portuguese or Greek or Italian blood, how is it that today, invariably, it is asserted that their descendants and the descendants of the rest of the original Texans and settlers of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico are mestizos just like the population of Central and Southern Mexico?  How can that possibly be?  Evidently, this assertion is false. Somewhere along the line the identity of the less than 94 mestizos of O�ate’s party was successfully and arbitrarily imposed on the 600 Spaniards and hispanicised Europeans, the identity of the 46 mestizo men of El Paso was successfully and arbitrarily imposed on the 395 Spaniards, the identity of the 4 mestizo families of Revilla was successfully and arbitrarily imposed on the 50 Spaniard families, the identity of (absurd) the 0 mestizos, the non-existent mestizos of San Miguel was successfully and arbitrarily imposed on the 135 Spaniards… and their descendants. Where are the one million?  Influential writers have successfully made them disappear!  This, ladies and gentlemen, is an injustice!

Why is it such an injustice?  Well, simply because the ancient heritage of the original Texans, Tejano Texians, and of the original pioneers of the American Southwest, is to be found in the Medieval Castles of Spain, in the fairy tale Princess and the knight in shining armor, our heritage is found in the valiant Crusaders who fought for their convictions and what they thought was right, our heritage rode on horses with El Mio Cid Campeador!    Ours also is Dartagnan and Joan of Arc! Ours is the Roman Coliseum, ours is the Roman Senate, where both Italians and Roman Spaniards filled the seats!  Ceasar Agustus, a Roman born in Spain is ours, Seneca, the Roman philosopher born in Spain is ours, Gallio, the Roman governor who was born in Spain and is mentioned in the Bible is ours, Cornelius, the Centurion of the Italian Battalion mentioned in the Bible as the first Gentile to accept the Hebrew Messiah Jesus is ours! [15]  Ours is a rich heritage!  The Old Testament prophets, and the Apostles, the New Testament books, and, yes, Jesus Himself belong to the many Sephardic Jews who populated Northeastern Mexico and South Texas [16].  And although it is true that human heritage is counted as nothing when compared to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who in His Nature as God belongs to all and in His role of Savior belongs to all who trust in Him, our human heritage is a precious inheritance that ought to be passed down to our children… but it all is lost in submission to an imposed foreign identity.

This injustice and arbitrary imposition of a foreign identity on the original Texans can be observed in that in the U.S. Federal Census from 1920 and before, those who had been thus far identified as white, in the 1930 Census were all classified as Mexican or no race, and that only in Texas [17].  Well, it is evident that the race of an entire people could not have changed in 10 years, from 1920 to 1930, what changed, rather, was the attitude of the Census authority. The massive wave of Mexican refugees who came to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution and who had many common surnames and shared a common language with the original Texans who were bilingual, had the effect of alienating those who had been here the longest.  The fact of the matter is, however, that the great majority of the original Texans and original pioneers of the American Southwest, as the great majority of the original people of Northern Mexico, is not mestizo but criollo (cree-oh-yoh), that is, full Spaniard born in the New World, either by assimilation and dilution of DNA, or by lack of intermarriage.  The reality is that the level of intermarriage with Indians was no more prevalent among the white population of Northern New Spain than among the general white population of the rest of the United States.  When families from Spain came from Spain to Mexico only they were allowed, by policy, to migrate North to the Northern States of Mexico and Texas and the American Southwest, with the exception of a few individuals who were allowed to migrate as servants or slaves.  This policy explains the demographics in the censuses and DNA studies that we examined.  Conversely, the census and DNA studies, and the segregated living areas, show that the policy was indeed enforced in Northern New Spain.  On the other hand, as is the case with the Loya family group, a few came directly from Spain to Texas, or rather, from France through Spain to Texas, entering Texas through Brazos Santiago harbor and traveling up the Rio Grande as settlements were established.  Certainly, it can be documented that Brazos Santiago was already an official Port of Entry as early as 1820 when it was still a part of Spain [18].

Following is a summary of the historical reasons why the white population of Northern New Spain, including Texas, did not intermarry to any significant level with the Indian population around them:

1.  Indians’ attitude against intermarrying with Europeans was fierce.     When the first Spaniards that arrived to the area asked for wives, the Indians responded by killing 18 Spaniards.

2.  The precedent in policy had been established in the year 1598, from the very beginning of official colonization of the area of Northern Mexico, New Mexico and Texas, by the Spanish government through Don Juan de Frias, inspector of the Juan de O�ate colonizing expedition, to exclude people of mixed blood in the colonization of Northern New Spain. 

3.   The law of Limpieza de Sangre, purity of blood, discouraged intermarriage and it was put in full effect in the colonizing of Northern New Spain.  Only families of full Spaniard or hispanicized European blood were encouraged and free to colonize Northern Mexico, Texas and what today is the American Southwest. Prospective colonists were required to prove their purity of “Christian”, that is, Spaniard or hispanicized European blood before they were allowed to move up north. 

4.   Whites’ attitude was not conducive to intermarriage.  As Professor McCaa explained, although racial terms are rarely used, the boundaries are and were clearly understood and respected when it came to choosing marriage partners.

5.  The Indian population in Northern New Spain was very sparse and scattered throughout a vast land [19].

6.      The area of Northern New Spain was very far away and very isolated from the rest of Spain’s holdings in the New World, and from the areas of dense Indian population to the south.  Some sources indicate that caravans arrived to Northern New Spain from Mexico only every 8 years [20].

7.   With the largely Spaniard towns of El Paso and San Lorenzo as an example, the 50/50 mestizo and Spaniard town of Socorro, and the largely Indian towns of Senecu and Ysleta, the documentation shows that the racial groups segregated themselves from one another.  The reason for this is found in that the law of Limpieza de Sangre applied not only to the process of immigration to Northern New Spain, but to the arrangement of living accommodations; the racial groups were required or encouraged by royal law to live separately.  Fray Vicente Santa Maria’s historical report of  1766 shows that they did.  The segregated living areas show that the law of Limpieza de Sangre was enforced.

8.    The exceptionally high numbers of criollos in Northern New Spain in colonial times, and the even ratio of men to women within each racial group, allowed for people to choose marriage partners within their own racial group.  The census show that this is what most of them did.

9.   Except for the mission Indians, who by law did not intermarry and were required to live in separate quarters from the whites, the relationship between white settlers and Indians was one of unending warfare.  Starting with the first encounters between Indians and Spaniards in the early to mid 1500’s, the Indian Wars between whites and Indians did not stop but until the 1880’s [21].  Over three hundred years of warfare made it impossible for the two racial groups to intermarry to any significant level.  It just could not happen.


Chapter 7

THE PARTICIPATION OF TEXAS AND LOUISIANA IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Some time ago I was driving between New Orleans, my hometown, and a little town called Vacherie. My car was the only vehicle for miles and I was really enjoying the solitude of that road. The view of the landscape, the wide fields of green grass bordered by pine trees in the distance, made my mind travel back in time where, perhaps, life was simpler. Little did I know that a turn in that lonely road would indeed bring the past, a past that was so critically important yet widely unknown, a past that was so personal, bursting into the present!

With lunch-time approaching, the empty feeling in my stomach compelled me to veer off the main highway into a smaller road to the right to find a place where I could stop and eat my brown bag lunch. After driving perhaps a couple of miles, I noticed an old church along River Road, just across the street from the levee and the mighty Mississippi. It caught my attention, as I am usually interested in historical sights, so I decided that in front of the church was a good place to park and eat my lunch. As I ate my sandwich I noticed an historical marker in front of the church. I walked over to read what was on the marker and found out that this was one of the oldest churches in Louisiana. The town, or hamlet, or group of houses really, with the big historical church in the middle, Edgard, Louisiana, was just as deserted as the road. Fortunately, the gate to the cemetery was open. With this being one of the oldest churches in Louisiana, I figured I had to take a look at the grave markers. As I walked through the cemetery, with each step I began to travel back in time through American history! There were the graves of Vietnam veterans and Korean Conflict soldiers, there were WWII and WWI heroes buried there! All of a sudden, one grave marker stopped me in my tracks! It was a plain grave, perhaps the most plain of all, just a slab of white concrete on the ground, but the words inscribed on the marker made my head spin around at least 3 times! “Luis Bethancourt, Colonist and Patriot, served with the Galvez Expedition for American Independence”

I had attended good, perhaps among the very best American schools for 24 years, and not once had I heard what my eyes were reading; that Louisiana had participated in the war for independence of the United States! Urged by my discovery, I began to research and study the subject, and I found that in some sort of injustice to Luis Bethancourt and his descendants, a vital, I would say essential, chapter of the history of the United States had been buried and forgotten along with this American Patriot!…

When George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hanckock and the rest of the American Patriots had signed the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin is reputed as having said, in his characteristic bright humor, “Gentlemen, now we must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” . By 1779, the citizens of Texas and Louisiana had joined these American Patriots in their “hanging together”.

Ever since the beginning of the war, Spain, which at that time owned all the land west of the Mississippi River from the Isle of New Orleans to the Canadian tundra, had had “observers” to monitor the status of the war, and had covertly been aiding the American Patriots. Through the efforts of two of these observers stationed in Philadelphia, Juan de Miralles and Francisco Rendon, Spain was able to bring substantial aid to the Americans. As Robert Thonhoff documents on page 2 of his “The Vital Contribution of Spain In the Winning of the American Revolution”, in 1777 the Spanish firm “Jose Gardoqui and Sons”, at the request of Benjamin Franklin through Arthur Lee, sent “215 bronze cannons, 4,000 field tents, 12,826 grenades, 30,000 muskets, 30,000 bayonets, 30,000 uniforms, 51,314 musket balls, and 300,000 pounds of gunpowder… Later, in one of his letters, Franklin thanked the Spanish minister, Count of Aranda, for 12,000 muskets sent to Boston by Spain”.

Granville W. Hough and his daughter N.C. Hough recently discovered the reports of Arthur Lee in which they found the manifests of twelve ships loaded with war supplies which had sailed from Cadiz, Spain to Boston and Philadelphia (Granville W. Hough in a personal email to me dated Aug. 5, 2005, Papers of the Continental Congress, Records Group MO247, Item #83, Roll 10, “Letters from Arthur Lee, 1776-1780”). Although such help was obviously very significant, it was far from being the only help given by Spain to the independence effort of the 13 British Colonies. Because the British had blockaded the Atlantic coast, the Mississippi and Ohio River system became vital to the survival of George Washington’s and George Rogers Clark’s armies. Using the port of New Orleans as a back door and the services of Diego de Gardoqui in Bilbao and Oliver Pollock in New Orleans (who, by the way, was the 3rd single largest financial contributor to the American cause), Spain sent badly needed medicine, money, muskets, munitions and military supplies to the embattled colonials. At a critical juncture on September of 1776 when General George Washington was assessing how much gunpowder and lead he had left and was trying to decide when to fight and when to retreat based on his available resources, General Bernardo de Galvez of Louisiana sent a flatboat flotilla up the Mississippi River carrying medicine, cloth, lead, muskets and 9,000 lbs. of gunpowder, to help meet George Washington’s need through the backdoor of the Mississippi and Ohio River system. In addition to this Galvez sent an extra 1000 lbs. of gunpowder by ship with George Gibson around Florida and up the East Coast. When the Continental Congress authorized the first issue of American currency on May 9, 1776, before the Declaration of Independence, it was the Spanish treasury that backed up and guaranteed it. For this reason the new American currency took the name “dollar” from the Spanish milled “doblas” (Maria Angeles O’Donnel, Honorary Consul of Spain in San Diego, in a speech delivered June 28, 2003). In fact, although some theorize that the dollar sign ($) is composed of the letters U.S. for United States with a broken U on top of the S, Robert Thonhoff explains that what is thought as a broken U is not a U at all, but the two pillars of Hercules, and the S actually stands for Spain. Whatever the case may be, however, Spain’s help in the war for American Independence would become more involved.

While Galvez was sending badly needed help to the Continental Army, at the same time he was developing a letter writing relationship with several American Patriots including Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry, the fiery Patriot Governor of Virginia who said “Give me liberty or give me death!”, suggested to Galvez that Spain should get more involved in the war and regain East and West Florida, which Spain had lost to England in 1763, back from the British. On May 6, 1778, Bernardo de Galvez wrote a letter back to Patrick Henry that, though mentioned just briefly by historians, had extremely far reaching implications in the history of the United States! This letter, I believe, is without a doubt one of the most important documents in American history! Robert H. Thonhoff writes concerning Galvez’ closing remarks in this letter:

“Galvez concluded the letter by assuring Henry that he would not spare any effort or trouble which may redound to the benefit of the colonies, on account of the particular affection he had for them.” (Robert H. Thonhoff, The Texas Connection with the American Revolution, p. 26, emphasis mine)

This letter is absolutely crucial to American history because in it Bernardo de Galvez expressed just how committed he was to the American cause, how much he wanted the benefit of the 13 American Colonies, “on account of the particular affection he had for them”. This last statement might just as well be the statement that was heard around the world! The reason I say this is because Bernardo de Galvez was always a just and a kind man well loved by all. While he had served in Chihuahua and West Texas, for example, he was known, respected and feared for his bravery, plunging into battle to defeat his enemies, but he was loved for his kindness, which he demonstrated when he enrolled in school fourteen young Apaches he had taken captive in one of his last campaigns. Bernardo de Galvez was well known and trusted, and deeply loved by the people, consequently what he said and did, the attitude he espoused, had a tremendous effect on the people he led. The point is that when Galvez told Henry about his commitment not to spare any effort or trouble for the benefit of the United States at the time the U.S. was being born, “on accont of the particular affection he had for them”, Galvez expressed to Henry an attitude he communicated to the people involved in the fight, including the people of Texas. This statement by Galvez, in my opinion, is an absolutely essential statement to American history, truly a statement that was heard around the world, because in this statement is found the foundation and the explanation of the love and sense of destiny of being Americans the Spaniard Texans had, which I will examine later in this book, and which they later expressed at the time of the Texas Revolution which caused them to pursue freedom from Spain in 1813 and freedom from Mexico in 1835 which culminated in the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845 and the setting of the American border in 1848. In other words, this “particular affection” Bernardo de Galvez had for the United States, which he showed by his deeds, was communicated to the Spaniards of Texas and the American Southwest and it eventually resulted in the United States of America being extended to the Pacific Coast. In this statement, Bernardo de Galvez laid the foundation for the Continental United States to exist as it does today.

For this reason it is not too much that Bernardo de Galvez, the unsong hero of the American Revoluton, should rank way higher than Lafayette and Pulaski and Von Steuben and de Grasse and the other Europeans who helped the United States during the American Revolution. Their help, though appreciated, was not as extensive as the help that Galvez and the Kingdom of Spain brought to the American colonies. But beyond that, their help was limited to the phyisical realm of the war itself and/or any other help they may have given. On the other hand, Bernardo de Galvez’ influence in the hearts of the Spaniards of Texas and the Southwest through getting them involved in the birth process of the United States while comunicating to them a sincere and special affection for the United States caused them to feel American even then which resulted in the expansion of the United States to the Pacific Coast. The participation of Spain, Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution and the leadership Galvez provided paved the way for this expansion. George Washington is the Father of our country, the United States, and, the truth be told without diminishing George Washington in any way, Bernardo de Galvez is the Father of our country as it extends to the Pacific Coast today. Keep this in mind and it will become evident as you read the rest of this book, particularly chapters 8-18, chapter 29 and chapter 31.

On June 21, 1779, King Carlos III of Spain declared war on England and issued a decree ordering his American vassals to fight the British anywhere they could find them, whether on land or at sea. The British had been preparing for war with Spain in Louisiana before this declaration of war and for this purpose they had sent Colonel Dickson with an army from the British settlement at Pensacola to strengthen British positions along the Mississippi River. Governor Bernardo de Galvez, who had not yet taken the oath of office, responded by building a gunboat to patrol the Mississippi River and by fortifying the river, he also required some recently arrived British refugees to take the oath of allegience to Spain (J. Ben Meyer, Sr., Plaquemines The Empire Parish p. 15). At the same time Galvez encouraged the immigration of Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands whom he established in settlements strategically located around New Orleans. These Canary Islanders, as well as the French Acadians known as Cajuns, were encouraged to move to Louisiana by offering them land grants, farm animals and money enough to last them four years, for the purpose of increasing the Spanish presence around New Orleans as a line of defense against the British in case war broke out. Interestingly enough, only six years after Spain’s war with England during the American Revolution was over in 1783, the town of San Elizario, Texas, located 15 miles east of El Paso, was founded with the same strategic purpose as the purpose for which these French Acadians and Spaniards had been encouraged to settle around New Orleans:

“In 1789, Spain sought to protect its interests in the growing Paso del Norte region. A presidio named after San Elcear, the French patron saint of the military, was established at the old hacienda, and the settlement that grew up around it became known as San Elizario.” (Booklet “A Walking History of San Elizario”, Los Portales Museum & Information Center, San Elizario, Texas)

Considering how slow news travelled in those days, considering that Bernardo de Galvez had been the commander of the Spanish forces in the El Paso del Norte area and had fought the Apaches in West Texas on numerous occasions, and considering, as we will see, the direct relationship the Indian Wars of Texas at that time had to the American Revolution, it seems evident, at least to me, that the founding of San Elizario, Texas, and the encouraging of families to move to the site as a strategic move, was directly related to the events of the American Revolution in Texas and Louisiana. The coincidences seem too strong to be accidental! Apparently, the founding of San Elizario, Texas, in West Texas was a direct consequence of the American Revolution. It almost has to be so!

At any rate, acting as the appointed provisional Governor of Louisiana, Galvez closed off the Mississippi River to British vessels, allowing only Spanish, French and American vessels to use the Mississippi trade route, all the while expediting the flow of supplies to the 13 Colonies. In the spring of 1777 Galvez seized eleven British ships.

By the time the King of Spain declared war on Britain, the British had built forts in Natchez, Manchac and Baton Rouge. British West Florida extended all the way from Florida west through Alabama, Mississippi, what today is known as the New Orleans Northshore (where my babies were born 220 something years later) across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans proper and all the way through Baton Rouge. In Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez kept the declaration of war a secret until he had assembled a fleet of riverboats loaded with supplies and ammunition, assembled military units and commenced drill sessions. Finally, he called a general assembly at the Plaza de las Armas (Jackson Square) and as he formally took the oath of office as Governor of Louisiana (although he had been appointed provisional governor two years earlier on Jan. 1, 1777), he announced to the general public that Spain was now at war with England.

Ten months after the King of Spain declared war on England, on April 21, 1780, Domingo Cabello, Governor of Texas, read this Declaration of War to the citizens of San Antonio de Bexar, effectively involving Texas in the American Revolution. Governor Bernardo de Galvez of Louisiana, as I mentioned, had previously served as a Lieutenant of the Spanish forces in Chihuahua where he had led several campaigns against the Apaches, effectively linking West Texas and Chihuahua to Louisiana since West Texas and Chihuahua were both part of Nueva Viscaya (Nueva Viscaya adjoined New Mexico in West Texas). Because of this he became aware of the large cattle herds that roamed the plains of South Texas. In 1778 Bernardo de Galvez had sent Athanese de Mezieres from Louisiana to Texas to determine the availabilty of horses and cattle in case war erupted against England. De Mezieres’ report was favorable, the large herds of cattle that Galvez remembered were indeed roaming the plains of Texas and were available to supply the Louisiana army in the event of war against England. The next year, on June 20, 1779, Governor Galvez of Louisiana sent Francisco Garcia as an emissary to San Antonio de Bexar to meet with Texas Governor Domingo Cabello and to deliver to him a letter requesting and authorizing the export of cattle from Texas to Louisiana, a business move that was previously unauthorized, for the purpose of feeding Galvez’ army. So were Texas and Louisiana joined in their common effort against the British and for American Independence. Galvez mustered up a 7000 man army plus a navy which included Spaniards, Canary Islanders, Germans, Frenchmen, Acadians, Indians and Blacks, both free and slave, from Louisiana, a contingent of about 30 First Continental Marines from Fort Pitt, a part of the South Carolina Navy,… and a few soldiers from Texas. By law, all men between 14 and 60 years of age had to serve in the militia in the Spanish possessions.

Let me stop here for just a minute and meditate a little more on what is invariably mentioned just in passing, that 30 (some sources say 26) American Marines served with Bernardo de Galvez’ Louisiana and Texas Army. Much has been speculated as to why the French contribution to the American Revolution is well remembered when, according to Granville Hough, all of the French contribution to the American Revolution was always 50-50 in conjunction with Spain, and Spain’s contribution to the American Revolution was historically more significant. Some have thought it is perhaps because Spain and the Spaniards came to be mistakenly associated in the American mind with the Mexicans and other Latin Americans who, generally, were of a foreign race to the Americans with which the Americans could not identify. A less sinister explanation is because the French, though not as helpful to the Americans as the Spaniards, actually fought side by side with the Americans in the 13 Colonies, as opposed to the Spaniards who fought in the South and up the Mississippi River, and, as we will see in the next chapter, in Texas, outside the borders of the 13 original states. Whatever the case may be, we need to stop here for just a minute and meditate on what it means that 30 American Marines from Virginia, George Washington’s home state, fought with and under Galvez. Considering the battles in which the Spaniards of Louisiana and Texas defeated the Waldeckers and the Maryland Loyalists and the British Forces under Colonel Dickson, fighting directly alongside those 30 American Marines, those 30 American Marines were the flesh and blood link between Galvez’ Army and the Continental Army that made the two armies one. Those 30 American Marines were the flesh and blood union that made the American Colonials and the Spaniards of Louisiana and Texas one people at the time America was born as an independent nation, those 30 American Marines brought, in real life, the people of Texas and Louisiana, their Army and militia, under the American Yankee Doodle fife and drum.

After Louisiana and Texas entered the war for independence of the United States, the citizens of Texas joined in full support of the American Revolution in several capacities. First, public prayers were immediately offered to secure the help of Almighty God in the struggle against England and for the victory of Spain and of her ally, the 13 British Colonies struggling for independence. Second, a voluntary tax was collected to help the war effort. At least half a million pesos were contributed by the citizens of Texas and the other provinces of New Spain which were directly used to reprovision the legendary French Fleet which came to the aid of George Washington’s Continental Army right in the nick of time during the Battle of Yorktown. Third, as I mentioned, there were a few Texans who served as soldiers in Governor Galvez’ army, and, fourth, all Texan men between the ages of 14 and 60 would have been activated to serve in the militia, which during the war years was primarily involved in fighting Indians, who stole Spanish cattle and horses and traded the latter to the British in the Great Lakes region for guns.
The war effort of the Texas militia directly contributed to the war effort in the South, where America would later be embroiled in that painful War of Brothers known as the Civil War. I will discuss the Indian Wars of Texas as they relate to the American Revolution in more detail in chapter four. This issue is so significant and so essential to American history that it really deserves to be duscussed in a chapter all its own!

After King Carlos III of Spain commanded his American vassals to fight the British and Governor Galvez mustered up his army and navy, Spanish Texas ranchers, escorted by Spanish Texas soldiers, trailed some ten to fifteen thousand head of Texas cattle to feed the Spanish forces under Galvez. They followed a trail up Nacogdoches, Natchitoches and on to Opelousas, where the cattle was distributed to Galvez’ forces, one hundred years before the famous Texas cattle drives to Kansas, Nebraska and Montana. Supported by several hundred Texas head of horses which were used in the cavalry and artillery, Governor Bernardo de Galvez created a third front in the American Revolution. By creating this third front in the war, Galvez relieved the forces of George Washington and George Rogers Clark of pressure to fight the British more effectively in their respective two fronts. This assertion is not just something that those of us who study history have recently discerned, General George Washington acknowledged this fact in a letter dated February 27, 1780 which he wrote to King Carlos III of Spain through Don Juan de Miralles whom the King of Spain had strongly charged to contact Washington to ask for his cooperation in Galvez’s Florida campaign. Washington wrote:

“ Sir: I have the honor of your letter of the 18th… I am happy in congratulating you on the important successes it announces to the Arms of His Catholic Majesty, which I hope are a prelude to others more decisive. These events will not only advance the inmediate interest of his Majesty, and promote the common cause, but they will probably have a beneficial influence on the affairs of the Southern states at the present juncture… It appears that General Clinton was expected to be in South Carolina so early as November… It would not be surprising if the British General on hearing of the progress of the Spanish Arms in the Floridas should relinquish his primitive design and go to the defence of their own territories.” (General George Washington to King Carlos III of Spain, through Juan de Miralles, in a letter dated Feb. 27, 1780. De Reparaz, Carmen I. “Yo Solo, Bernardo de Galvez y la Toma de Penzacola en 1781” Editorial Serbal, Madrid, Spain, 1986.)

Washington’s realization of the strategic diversion the Spanish Arms would create was effectively fulfilled when the British had to draw supplies and troops from the 13 Colonies to fight Galvez, including the Pennsylvania Loyalists, the Maryland Loyalist Forces, the Waldeckers and other such units whom Galvez defeated. Incidentally, George Washington was a distant cousin of the King of Spain because he, George Washington, was a direct descendant of King Fernando III of Spain through his daughter Leonor of Castile who married King Edward I of England. If one thinks about it, that makes the participation of Spain in the American Revolution even more significant and direct, seeing that the Father of the American Revolution himself, George Washington, was also in part a Spaniard:

“…George Washington, ‘The Father of Our Country,’ was abundantly endowed with some good Spanish genes that trace back to the great Spanish king and saint, San Fernando, and beyond”. (Robert H. Thonhoff , “Essay on the San Fernando-George Washington Bernardo de Galvez Connection”)!

George Washington’s genealogical chart shows his descent from Eleanor or Leonor of Castile, born in Castile, Spain, daughter of King Fernando III of Spain, born near Salamanca, (himself the son of King Alfonso IX, King of Leon and Berengeria, daughter of Alfonso III, King of Castile), through her marriage to King Edward I of England. That General George Washington, First President of the United States and the man who became the Father of our Country, was in part a Spaniard, and a Spaniard who was a descendant of the marriage that united the Spanish Kingdoms of Castile and Leon and of the king, King Fernando III, who indefatigably fought the Arabs in the Reconquista of Spain until he reduced their presence in Spain to Granada, adds significance to the contribution of Spain and her citizens to the American Revolution. It seems also Providential that the First President of the United States was himself of Royal descent in both his English and Spaniard sides. (Genealogical chart from Marcus Cunliffe, Leslie Hume Cunliffe and David Williamson’s “Burkes’s Presidential Families of the United States”, courtesy of Robert H. Thonhoff )

As I mentioned, as soon as Spain had declared war on England, the British began to plan a two pronged attack on Spanish New Orleans. Like I said, the British at that time controlled the Great Lakes area, and they planned to send a large force to attack New Orleans down the Mississippi River. At the same time they would send another large military force against New Orleans, up the Mississippi River from Pensacola, Florida. Besides this, Simon Girty was evidently charged with expediting the flow of English guns for Spanish horses to the Indians, making it quite evident that the provision of arms and ammunition in exchange for horses stolen from the Spaniards in Texas was a British strategic move in the American Revolution all along. Governor Galvez, however, beat them to the punch. Although eventually Galvez’ army grew to be 7000 men strong, Galvez didn’t wait for the British to attack, he immediately marched against the British stronghold at Baton Rouge with a force of only 600 men. As Galvez and his little army force-marched up the Mississippi River towards Baton Rouge despite the extremely bad condition of the roads, he recruited volunteers and purchased supplies. By the time Galvez reached Baton Rouge, his army had grown to about 1,400 men, and they had captured Fort Bute (J. Ben Meyer, p.16).

Beginning with the Battle of Baton Rouge in 1779, Governor Bernardo de Galvez’ Spanish forces defeated the British all along the South. The British seemed to have found the Spanish Army, composed in large part by Louisianans and Texans, invincible! Suffering only a relatively low number of casualties, the Spanish-Louisianan-Texan Army defeated the British not only in Baton Rouge in 1779, but also in Manchac, also in Louisiana just a few miles northwest of New Orleans, and Natchez in Mississippi. The following year on March 14, 1780, in an advance they could not stop, the British were defeated by Galvez’ combined forces at Mobile, Alabama, after a month long siege of the British stronghold of Fort Charlotte. Wherever he was succesful, Bernardo de Galvez required the inhabitants of the land to take the oath of allegience to Spain, which they joyfully did (J. Ben Meyer, Plaquemines; The Empire Parish, pp. 16-17).

Governor Galvez demonstrated a tremendous tenacity in his campaign against the British during the American Revolution. As early as March 7, 1780, Galvez had attempted to invade Pensacola, the capital of West Florida, but had been hindered by several human and natural hurdles. Originally, his army and navy had not been able to agree on how to attack Pensacola, so they had been forced to call the invasion off. Then on October 16, 1780, as Galvez’ army and navy set out to attack Pensacola for the second time, a terrible hurricane scattered his forces.

After Galvez’ forces were beaten and scattered by the hurricane, the British tried to take advantage of the situation and set out to recapture Mobile, Alabama, from the Spaniards. General Campbell from the British stronghold at Pensacola, sent a force of 600 men to accomplish the task. The Spaniards holding Fort Charlotte at Mobile fought gallantly, however, and although they sacrificed the lives of fourteen Spaniards and suffered over twenty wounded, they successfully repelled the British attack (Thonhoff, The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, p. 34).
Galvez, however, was a man made of the same steel as Winston Churchill during WWII and he refused to surrender to the circumstances. Finally, on February 28, 1781, the Spanish forces under Bernardo de Galvez were mobilized to try to capture Pensacola yet a third time. Spanish soldiers from New Orleans were transported by sea to meet the Spanish Fleet that had issued from Havana at Pensacola. Meanwhile, General Galvez ordered Spanish soldiers stationed at Mobile to march over land to join the rest of the Spanish force gathering around Pensacola. At this point, yet another unexpected hurddle “reared up” in Galvez’ strategy to dislodge the British and take Pensacola.

Victory in Pensacola was wholly dependent on the Spanish fleet entering Pensacola Bay through a narrow and shallow bar that was located directly under the British battery. The foot soldiers were not able to accomplish the mission without the aid of the Spanish fleet. Unfortunately, Admiral Joseph Calvo de Irazabal, who was directly responsible for the Spanish fleet, was not directly under General Galvez’ authority and he was, as my littles sometimes say at night, scared. Admiral Calvo refused to send the Spanish fleet through the shallow bar fearing that the British cannon would decimate the Spanish ships.

At this point, General Bernardo de Galvez did something that sets aside true heroes from the general population; leading the attack, he forced his way into the Bay of Pensacola with only his own vessel. The British cannon opened up upon Galvez’ brigantine, the Galveztown, and on three smaller boats that followed. Contrary to Admiral Calvo’s expectation, the British cannon balls did hardly any damage to Galvez’ private flagship, punching holes only in the sails. Galvez’ troops cheered and, having been thoroughly shamed, Admiral Calvo finally followed Galvez, “The next day, the rest of the squadron entered the bay” (Thonhoff, The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, p. 36).

Almost three months later, on May 10, 1781, the British were, once again, defeated by Galvez’ Spanish Colonial Army and Navy in “a two pronged land and sea attack on Pensacola, the British capital of West Florida” (Thonhoff, The Vital Contribution of Texas in the Winning of the American Revolution, p.10). The Spanish Louisiana-Texas Forces under Governor Galvez had dealt a deathblow to the British forces in the South, swiftly penetrating deep into British held territory, capturing Fort George, killing over 100 British soldiers and taking 1100 British prisoners after a two and a half month siege in which, true to his good character, and in a gesture that American forces would always express, he had sent flour to the besieged Britishers so that they would not starve to death. Governor Galvez had added to Spain almost all of the Mississippi Valley and all of the land westward from East Florida to the Sabine River, for which accomplishment the King of Spain made him Viscount of Galveztown and allowed him to write on his coat of arms “Yo Solo”, I alone.

While Galvez was leading his army in this gloriously undefeated campaign against the British in the South, British forces attempted to gain the upper hand in the North along the Mississippi River. Ever since, as a consequence of the French and Indian War, Spain was given all the land west of the Mississippi, including New Orelans, by the Treaty of 1763, after which Spain had established military posts at strategic locations along the river. In May of 1780 British soldiers attacked the Spanish stronghold at San Luis (St. Louis), Missouri. St. Louis was defended by a combined force of Spanish soldiers and civilian militia under the command of Fernando de Leyba. Spanish troops from St. Genevive reinforced Leyba’s men and the British attack on St. Louis was successfully repelled. Although this battle is hardly known, it was one of the most important battles of the American Revolution because it secured Spanish control of the Mississippi River for the remainder of the American Revolution. Consequently, the Mississippi and Ohio River system remained open as a main line of supplies for the American forces through the war.

The Spaniards had set up a strategic post on the juncture between the Arkansas and Mississipi Rivers called Arkansas Post. Before Spain got militarily involved in the American Revolution, Arkansas Post had been used as a refuge for the American Patriots. In the winter of 1777 William Linn’s “Gibson’s Lambs” had been welcomed to stay out of the freezing weather on their way back from New Orleans when they transported supplies to Fort Pitt. The following year the First Continental Marines under James Willing took refuge in their expedition within the Spanish fort.

“On November 22, 1780, Spanish Officer Baltasar de Villiers crossed the Mississippi River from Arkansas Post and took possesion of the lands east of the Mississippi River in the name of the King of Spain” (Robert H. Thonhoff in a personal letter to me dated December 30, 2005).

The British did not appreciate de Villiers claim to the land for the King of Spain east of the Mississippi, and they began to plan to try to take St. Louis a second time. Fortunately for the American cause, Lt. Governor Antonio Cruzat got intelligence about the British plan to take St. Louis. Like Governor Galvez had done at the beginning of military hostilites between the Spaniards and the British, Cruzat took the initiative and beat the British to the punch. Putting Lt. Eugenio Pouree in command of 151 armed men, including 91 militia and 60 Indians, Lt. Governor Cruzat sent an expeditionary force to take possession of the British fort at San Jose (St. Joseph), Michigan (Robert H. Thonhoff in a personal letter to me dated December 30, 2005).
Lt. Pouree and his men left St. Louis, Missouri, on January 2, 1781 on their way to St. Joseph, Michigan. They traveled by water up the Mississippi River and then up the Illinois River. Enduring incredible hardship in the freezing northern winter, like good soldiers, they then marched overland over two hundred miles of ice and snow to accomplish their mission! Finally, one month and ten days after they had set out in this expedition they reached their destination. On February 12, 1781, Lt. Pouree and his Spanish militia, with the sixty Indians that assited them, attacked the British fort at St. Joseph, Michigan. Being completely surprised by the attack the British surrendered, they had been caught completely unprepared for the attack, not expecting the Spaniards to travel that long distance in the unforgiving northern winter. With these military campaigns up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri and St. Joseph, Michigan, the Spaniards had fought for the Independence of the United States literally from Texas to Louisiana through Mississippi, Alabam and Florida, and up north through Missouri and Michigan.
Besides this, the Spaniards directly helped George Rogers Clark and his army with war supplies in the battles at Vincennes, Indiana and at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, Illinois.

Two months after the victory of the Spaniards over the British at Pensacola, Francisco de Saavedra y Sangronis, the personal representative of King Carlos III of Spain, arrived at St. Domingue (Haiti) to meet with French Admiral De Grasse. At their meeting in July of 1781 Saavedra and De Grasse developed the De Grasse/Saavedra Convention or Accord in which De Grasse, representing the French, and Saavedra, representing the Spaniards, together, developed the strategy on how they would wage the war in the American Theatre and the Western Hemisphere.

“In the de Grasse/Saavedra Accord, the three-part strategy was: 1. Aid the American cause so powerfully that the English cabinet would lose hope of subduing them; 2. Take positions in various points in the Windward Islands where the English fleet lay in protected forts; 3. Conquer Jamaica and eliminate England from the West Indies. After they agreed on these aims, de Grasse told Saavedra of the Chesapeake Bay plans, which fitted well into the first aim. They made six copies of their accord in French and Spanish and sent them to their respective governments, where they were ratified.” (Granville W. Hough in a personal email to me dated August 5, 2005).

Although De Grasse and Saavedra did not know at this time that British General Cornwallis had selected Yorktown as his point of exit, they knew it would be somwhere in or around Chesapeake Bay. Accordingly, they proceeded to pursue the Chesapeake Bay Campaign that culminated at the Battle of Yorktown. Working together, De Grasse and Saavedra laid out the strategy for the Cheseapeake Bay Campaign. The French Fleet under Admiral De Grasse would proceed to Chesapeake Bay to help General George Washington, while the Spanish Navy would protect the West Indies in De Grasse’s absence, covering his back. In addition to this, the Spaniards would pick up most of the tab for the Chesapeak Bay Campaign.

A problem arose when Admiral De Grasse found out that there was no French money available for the campaign, leaving him on the lurch. He tried to raise money from the French citizens of Saint Domingue, but they refused to give of their cash for the American cause. At this point, Admiral De Grasse plainly told Saavedra that he could not proceed to Yorktown without more Spanish money. Francisco de Saavedra y Sangronis immeditaly sprung into action and personally raised, in two days, from among the Spanish citizens of Havana, the money necessary for Admiral De Grasse’s French Fleet to be able to sail to George Washington’s aid at Yorktown. Saavedra also dipped into some money that had been assigned to Spanish Haiti (Santo Domingo) and reassigned it to the Yorktown naval French expedition. R. H. Thonhoff states that at least $500,000 (pesos) that had been raised from the Spanish citizens of New Spain were also used to directly aid the French Fleet in this predicament enabling De Grasse to proceed to Yorktown. Bernardo de Galvez, who had been appointed Captain General of Louisiana and West Florida arrived at Havana where he approved of Saavedra’s plans with De Grasse and began, with the French, to prepare to invade British Jamaica. The rest, as they say, is history; the legendary French Fleet under Admiral De Grasse arrived at Yorktown in the nick of time to help General Washington and the Continental Army defeat the British Army under General Cornwallis, making Yorktown the most decisive battle of the American Revolution.

“It can be accurately said that what put us over the top at Yorktown was Spanish money, as de Grasse told Saavedra plainly that he could not sail there without it… Yorktown was thus the result of Spanish financing of cooperative efforts of the French Expeditionary Force, the de Grasse Fleet, and the American forces.” (Granville W. Hough in a personal email to me dated Aug. 5, 2005).

After their surrender at Yorktown, however, the British held Detroit, New York, Charleston and Penobscot Bay for two more years as bases from where they could reinvade the United States and again bring it under the British crown. Bernardo de Galvez, however, had raised an army of 10,000 men to invade British Jamaica and, together with the French, expel the British from the West Indies and the Western Hemisphere. The British, being more concerned with holding Canada and the West Indies, sued for peace and were thus kept at bay by the Spaniards and the French from reinvading the United States. George Washington’s words in his letter to King Carlos III, which I quoted earlier, regarding Galvez’ success in his Southern Campaign, also applied to the permanency of the success of the United States “…It would not be surprising if the British General on hearing of the progress of the Spanish Arms in the Floridas should relinquish his primitive design and go to the defence of their own territories”.

As I stood by the Patriot’s Grave, Luis Bethancourt, I was standing by an essential chapter of American history without which, evidently, it is possible the United States of America would never have been born, or would have been still born. In saying what I just said, I am not inflating the role of Spain and her American Colonials in Texas and Louisiana, I am simply asking the necessary question; what if? What if the Texas militia had not fought the Indians who were stealing the cattle meant for Galvez’ Army? Well, Galvez’ Army would not have been able to march against the British and it would not have won it’s victories at Baton Rouge, Manchac, Mobile, Natchez, Pensacola, and up the Mississippi River to Michigan. What if Galvez’ Army would not have been able to fight those battles for lack of food supplies? Well, the British already had plans to take New Orleans and invade Spanish Louisiana, they would have done so. Consequently, New Orleans would have been closed to ship supplies for the American Colonies causing both the Mississippi River system and the East Coast to be blockaded and the American supply lines to be dried up. The Mississippi River would have instead been used to supply the British and attack the Americans through the back door. What if the Spanish had not raised the money for DeGrasse’s Fleet? Well, Admiral De Grasse plainly told Saavedra that without Spanish money he could not sail to Yorktown. Consequently, the French Fleet would never have arrived to Washington’s rescue and the British would not have surrendered at Yorktown. Quite the opposite would have happened: the British would have beaten the Continental Army and the Americans would have lost the American Revolution. What if on top of all of this Spain had not had plans to invade Jamaica? Well, then the British would have been free to reinvade the American Colonies from their bases in New York, Detroit, Charleston and Penobscot Bay. But really, the British would not have had to reinvade the United States because if the things I mentioned above had happened, the Americans would not have been succesful. Evidently, without the participation of Spain, Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution, the United States of America would have been still born.

As I continued to stand by the Patriot’s Grave, a sense of awe and respect, as well as a sense of injustice, welled up inside of me. This chapter of American history was so essential, and so intimately personal to me and to all other original Texans and Louisianans, yet it was unknown to most of us! Since all men in the Spanish Colonies had to serve in the militia in times of emergency, all male ancestors of original Texans and Louisianans would have to have served in the militia during the American Revolution in one capacity or another. Providence would have it that through the series of events of the American Revolution just described, a family that had been separated in the old continent would be united, albeit without knowing it, in the common cause of American Independence. While the list of Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution includes two individuals from Massachusetts bearing the surname Loya, first name unknown, and their, presence in the 13 British Colonies is also attested by the record of Jonathan Loya from Middleburgh, New York, in one of the very first U.S. Federal Census (which started in 1790), and by the listing of Pierre Loya in a list of French immigrants to Acadia in 1772, the record of the Loya in South Texas does not stop with Enrique Loya’s birth in 1820. Granville and N.C Hough in their book ”Spain’s Texas Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution” list at least three members of the Loya family in their listings of Patriots who were part of the Texas militia which was activated during the American Revolutionary War. On pages 100 and 109 of their book, Granville and N.C. Hough include in the lists of Patriots from South Texas one Isidro J. Loya , son of Francisco J. Loya, and Fermin Solis Loya and Gerardo Solis Loya, both sons of one Ma. Luisa Loya, all from the town of Revilla, Guerrero, an Escandon settlement which had land on both sides of the Rio Grande. They would have been directly involved in fighting the Lipan Apaches who were hampering Spain’s efforts in the American Revolution by stealing horses and cattle needed to support the fight against the British from Louisiana to Florida. And here is where this chapter of American history becomes so intensely personal to me and to every descendant of original Texans and Louisianans, and here is what is so great about history, I was there in the loins of my fathers!

And here also is something that is extremely significant that is brought to light by the presence of the Loya family in the 13 Colonies, in the oldest, American Revolution significant towns of New York State and Vermont; Chazy, Ticonderoga, Middleburgh, Orwell and Rutland around Lake Champlain, and their participation in the War for American Independence. And here it is where this extremely significant point is brought into reality by the presence of the Loya family in the oldest towns of Texas; Penitas, Revilla, Presidio (San Juan Bautista) and San Elizario, and their participation in that same War for American Independence. From the very beginning, as evidenced by at least this one family group, the Loya family, there had been family ties, blood ties, uniting one end of our country with the other, Texas and the Southwest to the 13 Colonies, at the point and event of conception of the United States.


Chapter 8

TEXAS: THE FOURTH FRONT OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

As I briefly mentioned in the previous chapter, the issue I am going to discuss in this chapter is so important and so essential to American history, that it deserves to be discussed in a chapter all its own. The subject matter discussed here, to my knowledge, has never before been discerned by any historian, this is truly the very first chapter ever written about this issue. I am happy, blessed and humbled that it has befallen me to be the very first historian to write about it and in that way increase knowledge about this essentially important chapter in the history of our great American nation. Mr. Robert H. Thonhoff, one of America’s foremost historians, strongly feels I may be right, as his endorsement of my book reflects, eventhough this postulation is something that has never before been discerned by any historian.

Although at first glance the Indian Wars of Texas at this point in history may appear to be a separate conflict from the American Revolution, a closer look reveals that that was not the case.

“In June, 1780, Don Cristobal Ylario de Cordoba and about twenty men were driving 1000 cattle to Nacogdoches for Governor Galvez and his war efforts against the English. One hundred Comanche attacked them at Arroyo de Nogales, scattering the cattle and killing one drover.” (Granville and N.C. Hough, Spain’s Texas Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, p. 21)

The Indians of Texas had become an ally to the British in that many of them, including the Comanches just mentioned, as well as the Mescalero, Natages and Lipan Apaches, and the Karankawas on the coast of Texas, began an aggressive campaign of attacking ranches, killing settlers, and stealing horses and cattle, becoming a tremendous hurdle in the war effort of the Spaniards of Texas and Louisiana for American Independence. From Laredo to La Bahia on the coast of Texas, to the Guadalupe and Colorado Rivers, the Spanish Texas militia became embroiled in a fierce and continuous war with the Indians in which “There were no frontlines and no mercy was shown” (Ganville and N.C. Hough, Spain’s Texas Patriots…p. 22). Because the Texas Indians were directly hampering the War for American Independence in the southern front led by Galvez, they actually made Texas a fourth front in the American Revolution, and the Texas Spanish militia was the military force that met this challenge. The Texas Spanish militia fought the Indians to ensure that the cattle got to Galvez to feed his army. Like I said, all men between the ages of 14 and 60 were required to serve in the militia in the Spanish colonies, consequently, the descendants of men who would have been within that age bracket at the time of the American Revolution should, if what is right is pursued, be included among the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. The fourth front of the American Revolution in Texas is a historical fact that should be known; it is an indication of just how much Texas, Louisiana and the Southwest have always been a part of the United States, from the very start.

When the Comanches attacked Cristobal Ylario de Cordoba and his men, it was not without intent that they scattered the cattle meant to support Bernardo de Galvez and his expedition for American Independence. When one studies the whole historical context in which this event took place, it becomes quite evident that scattering the cattle was a strategic move to undermine the American Revolution in the third front led by Galvez. The Texas Indians were not doing this on their own, they had a long and well established relationship with the British who were intentionally fueling the Indian Wars in Texas as a strategic move in their fight to keep the American Colonials under the British Crown. It really is a surprise that historians have thus far missed what is palpably an integral part of the American Revolution! I mean, we know and have known that the Spaniards and the English were mortal enemies prior to the American Revolution; Spain had lost the Floridas to England in 1763 as a result of the French and Indian War, known in Spain as the Seven Years War, and the British knew the Spaniards now owned all the land west of the Mississippi River, including the “Island of New Orleans”. Are we to really think that there was no hostile intent on the part of the English in the trade practices that developed with the Indians?

According to Dr. Granville Hough, in his essay entitled “British Guns for Spanish Horses,” the British had inherited from the French an established business of trading guns for furs and buffalo hides in the area of the Great Lakes in Michigan. After 1763 the English began to focus their trade more on horses than on buffalo hides. Significantly, the markings on the horses that the Indians traded for guns with the English identified the horses as coming from the Spanish presidios in Texas! Dr, Hough explains that the Apache Indians from Texas would raid Spanish herds when the herds were away from the presidios and then they would trade the horses they stole for guns with their Indian neighbors to the north. In turn, Dr. Hough explains, the northern tribes would trade the horses they got from the Apaches with the British for guns.
Here is what I contend; the British in Michigan knew that the horses they got from the Indians were stolen from the Spaniards, and they knew the guns they gave the Indians would be used against the Spaniards. At the time of the American Revolution, I am sure the British knew and expected that the guns they gave to the Indians would be used to fight the Spaniards, disrupt the cattle drives and hamper the Spanish war against the British. It seems evident that the British would intentionally give guns for horses to the Indians in time of war, in other words, it was a strategic move on the part of the British in their war against Spain on American soil during the American Revolution. And I very much doubt that while doing friendly business while the war is going on, the British in the Great Lakes area and the Indians would not talk about their common enemy, it’s just human nature. Especially since the British showed they were well aware of the Spanish role during the American Revolution seeing they had planned an attack on New Orleans from the Great Lakes area and Pensacola at the onset of Spain’s military involvement in the war. I am sure the Indians knew exactly what was going on, even if nobody wrote about it.

That it was a strategic move on the part of the British to give guns to the Indians in exchange for Spanish horses, and not just coincidental trade, is seen in that Simon Girty, an infamous American traitor during the American Revolution (and a traitor he was, not just a Tory, because he had fought and been of great service to the American cause for three years before he decided to fight his fellow Americans as a consequence of having been treated unjustly by some American commanders dealing with his military promotion. A Tory was one who always favored staying part of England, such a person would not be a traitor at a time of the birth of a nation. A traitor, on the other hand, changes sides and helps his former enemies destroy his compatriots. Simon Girty was a traitor, which is not to say his descendants today are not good Americans). At any rate, during the time of the American Revolution Simon Girty expedited the flow of British guns to the Indians in exchange for Spanish horses (Granville W. Hough, British Guns for Spanish Horses). The question that we need to ask is: Why would Simon Girty expedite the flow of guns to the Indians who were bringing in Spanish horses? Well, the answer is that he, and the British he served, saw the strategic significance of supplying guns to the Indians who were fighting the Spaniards and disrupting the cattle drives. To put it more clearly, the flow of guns to the Indians who were fighting the Spaniards in Texas, stealing their horses and scattering their cattle, had to be expedited to disrupt and hamper the war effort of the Spaniards in America during the American Revolution. That the flow of guns was expedited by one who had sided with the Tories and the English shows that, indeed, the Indian Wars in Texas which were fueled by these guns were an extension of the Revolutionary War that was being fought in the 13 British Colonies. It was a militarily necessary move in the war not only against Spain, but also against the Americans who were being helped by the Spaniards. That Simon Girty understood the Spanish war effort against the British as aiding the Americans is clearly understood in that Simon Girty hated his fellow Americans, not the Spaniards. His expediting the flow of guns to the Indians who would then use them against the Spaniards was intended to undermine the American cause more so than the Spanish cause. This is one reason we should understand why the war Spain waged against the Indians in Texas during the American Revolution was an integral part of it. And this is one reason why each battle fought on Texas soil between the Spaniards and the Indians at the time of the American Revolution was an American Revolutionary battle. We would do well in identifying the places where these military encounters between the Spanish militia or soldiers and Indians took place during the war, and then place an historical marker identifying such a place as an American Revolution battle site.

But the British did not limit themselves to trading guns for Spanish horses in the Great Lakes area. And neither did the battles of the American Revolution waged in Texas wait for the formal declaration of war by the King of Spain. On May 24, 1776, friendly Indians brought news to Luis Cazorla, commander of the Spanish forces stationed at Presidio La Bahia, that a ship had wrecked on the Texas coast. The next day Cazorla led a detachment of 23 soldiers plus some civilians and a few mission Indians in search of the shipwrecked vessel. As his soldiers reconnoitered the beach, they found, among other things, British uniforms! Soon thereafter they found wrecked on the beach a British commercial frigate (Weddle & Thonhoff, Drama and Conflict, the Texas Saga of 1776, pp. 36-37). Stop! What were British military uniforms doing on a British commercial frigate? As an American soldier, especially one who serves with our Special Operations soldiers, the first word that comes to my mind is “covert”. It seems evident that British soldiers were covertly approaching the Texas coast on a merchant vessel. The intent, of course, was military and strategic.
I am sure that at this time Cazorla’s suspicions were confirmed; one year and two months earlier on March 24, 1775 he had reported on two military confrontations he had had with the Comanches after the Indians had stolen some horse herds. Cazorla wrote that when the Indian Chief raised his hand to signal his warriors, in his hand he held a British musket (Weddle & Thonhoff, p. 35). At this time, Cazorla frequently confronted Comanches, Apaches and Tonkawas from the Nations of the North, after they raided the area and killed travelers and herdsmen and their livestock, fueled by British gun traders. Cazorla proposed to build a fort on the coast of Texas to prevent the British from providing arms and ammunition to the hostile Indians. At some point before November of 1776, even the apostate Indians from La Bahia who had brought him news about the British shipwreck began to steal livestock from the Spaniards. After Cazorla caught up with these Indians and recovered the livestock, he noticed one of the Indians was snuggled in a British blanket. After being questioned, the Indian revealed to Cazorla that a British ship had come to port at Corpus Christi Bay, and the British had remained there a full month trading with the Indians! (Weddle & Thonoff, p. 38).

As early as 1772, Luis Cazorla had found illegal British weapons among the Orcoquisas. By 1774 the British had successfully penetrated Texas as far inland as the Bidai’s home, which was only a few miles from the Villa de Bucareli, giving gifts to the chiefs of the Bidai and Orcoquisa Indians, providing them with arms and ammunition. The Bidai would then pass the weapons and ammunition on to the Apaches. The Apaches, in turn, would use those wapons against the Spaniards. In May of 1776 five hundred Lipan Apaches descended upon the San Antonio and Cibolo Valley executing what Ripperda called a dreadful massacre of Spanish cattle, stealing horses and killing travelers. As a consequence of this incursion, the Spaniards at La Bahia were left without a food supply. All this while the American British Colonials were fighting for their freedom against the British on the East Coast. The English became so active in Texas and Louisiana providing such a large quantity of weapons and ammunition to the Indians and inciting them against the Spaniards to rob horses and mules and to kill their cattle, that the Spaniards in Texas began to go hungry and could not give chase to the Indians for lack of horses (Weddle & Thonhoff, p. 29).
Armed with British guns, the Comanche Indians forced the settlers of Laredo from the north bank to the south bank of the Rio Grande where they then establised Nuevo Laredo as a direct consequence of the American Revolution in 1771. In 1772 King Carlos III had to order that all missions and presidios in Texas, except for San Antonio and La Bahia, be abandoned because of the fierceness of the Texas Indians fueled by British guns (Texas Beyond History, the University of Texas at Austin). Unfortunately, the king’s order to close the presidios had the undesired consequence of a dramatic increase of Indian raids on San Antonio (Texas Almanac, Fate of Spanish Mission Changed Face of West Texas).

In the desperate situation that the British guns for Spanish horses trade had created in Texas, De Mezieres “recalled another colonial conflict in which the English had paid five pounds sterling, in guns and munitions, for a French scalp” (Weddle & Thonhoff, Drama and Conflict, the Texas Saga of 1776, p. 178).

What was the other conflict in which the English had paid the Indians five pounds sterling for a French scalp? Well, that was the French and Indian War. Now, if the French and Indian War was the other colonial conflict De Mezieres knew about in which the English paid the Indians for French scalps, what was the present colonial conflict in which the British were inciting and arming the Indians against the Spaniards in Texas? Well, that was the American Revolution. De Mezieres, then, recognized that the battles being fought against the Indians in Texas which were incited and supplied by the British were not a separate conflict from the American Revolution, but one and the same. Texas was indeed another front in the American Revolution.

The British presence and their supplying of weapons and inciting of the Texas Indians against the Spaniards were so pervasive during the American Revolution, that it really is a wonder nobody before has realized that the Indian Wars in Texas at this time were nothing more and nothing less than the American Revolution being fought. In June of 1778 a meeting of the frontier military commanders had been called by the Caballero de Croix in Chihuahua to decide upon an all out military campaign against the Indians in Texas. Bernardo de Galvez was the man they chose to lead this campaign. The King of Spain could not spare Galvez for this campaign because he had another plan to confront the British who had been inciting the war in Texas (Weddle & Thonhoff, Drama & Conflict the Texas Saga of 1776, p. 179). The fact remains, however, that the same men associated with the third front of the American Revolution led by Galvez, de Croix, De Mezieres, Cabello, and Galvez himself, were also the leaders in the Indian Wars in Texas, making this fact further confirmation that the Indian Wars in Texas were indeed a fourth front of the American Revolution.

An unknown hero of the American Revolution in the Texas battlefront was Juan de Ugalde. Juan de Ugalde was born in Cadiz, Spain on December 9, 1729. He joined the Spanish Army in 1738, and he was a veteran of the Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian War, having fought the Portuguese in the European front. He had also previously been engaged in combat against the Austrians in northern Italy, and the Moors in North Africa. On March 26, 1776 he was appointed by King Carlos III of Spain as governor of the Province of Coahuila in Northern New Spain, a province which had land into present day Texas. After taking office as governor on November 23, 1777, he became very active in fighting the Lipan and Mescalero Apaches in Texas during the American Revolution, bringing the skills he learned in northern Italy, North Africa and in Portugal during the French and Indian War. Juan de Ugalde conducted four campaigns against the Mescalero Apaches in the regions of the Big Bend and the Pecos River in Texas, chasing them into the Chisos Mountains. Although he killed only nineteen Apaches during these campaings, and took sixty-seven prisoners, he was successful in forcing the Mescaleros to flee or to make peace with the Spaniards in South Texas. This was a tremendous victory for the American Revolution in the South Texas battlefront, since by these victories Ugalde stopped the depradations of this tribe of Indians and their undermining of the war efforts of the Texians to supply Galvez’s army with cattle during the American Revolution. While the British were attempting to subvert the Indians of Texas against Spain as a conscious effort to undermine and defeat an ally of the Americans during the War for Independence of the United States, Ugalde was successful in turning the Lipans against the Mescaleros. Juan de Ugalde was relieved as governor on April 17, 1783, having served in battle and for the duration of the involvement of Spain in the American Revolution. He was also a representative of the role of the Knights of the Order of Santiago, to which position the King of Spain had appointed him before he left Spain, in the Independence of the United States.

Ugalde continued to fight the Apaches in Texas after the American Revolution, defeating 300 Mescalero, Lipan and Lipiyan Apaches in West Texas. Ugalde Canyon is named after him in commemoration of this victory, and from there the city of Uvalde and Uvalde County, Texas are named. Unwittingly, Ugalde Canyon, Uvalde City and Uvalde County, then, are named after a hero of the American Revolution. The proper authorities would do well to give him credit in whatever documents and historical markers of these places for his vital role in winning the Independence of the United States!

Now, why don’t we just take a step back, or, rather, out, and take a look from the outside at the situation in Texas during the American Revolution? In his hatred against America and the American Colonials, Simon Girty, the once “Patriot” turned Tory, was feverishly expediting the flow of weapons to the Indians he knew would use them against the Spaniards in Texas, using a trade system that now worked like a well oiled machine. The British were so active infiltrating Texas, inciting the Indians and providing them with weapons and ammunition that the Spaniard Texans began to go hungry and many had to leave Texas for a time. Thus the British were almost successful in defeating the Spaniards in Texas… during the American Revolution. De Mezieres, de Croix and even Bernardo de Galvez had to get involved. Men like Luis Cazorla and Juan de Ugalde had to confront the Indians in battle to turn the tide, as the Texas Spanish Militia, every male between 14-60 years of age became embroiled against the British armed, supplied and incited Indians in a fierce war in which “no mercy was shown and no prisoners were taken”. And all of this… why? Because as far as Simon Girty and the British were concerned, the Spaniards of Texas and Louisiana were directly helping the 13 British Colonies throw off the English yoke! Indeed, Texas was a direct battlefront of the American Revolution even before Spain had officially declared war on England.

Why would the British incite a war in Texas as a part of the war they were waging against their American Colonials? At what point did the trade the British had inherited from the French become a war effort in the Revolutionary War? The British knew they had an enemy in Spain, and that Spain had a presence just on the other side of the Mississippi River. Any military strategist would know that the Spaniards would take the opportunity to undermine the British cause. Consequently, it would only be the prudent thing to provoke a war in Texas to distract the Spaniards away from the Englishmen’s personal conflict. It was a strategic move on the part of the British. Naturally, the trade the British had inherited from the French became a war effort in the American Revolution against the Spaniards in Texas when the problems with the American British Colonials began to cause bloodshed. The Boston Massacre took place in 1770, and on July 4, 1776, Sergeant Manuel de Urrutia led fourteen Spanish soldiers from San Antonio in pursuit of Apache Indians armed with British guns. Frankly, if you cannot see how the Indian Wars in Texas were a direct battlefront of the American Revolution, well, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you in San Francisco!… But what is the significance to you and me that Texas was indeed a battlefront of the American Revolution? Well, I know that what I am going to say is going to ruffle some feathers, shake some world views and rub the cat’s fur the wrong way, but the significance is that Texas was a part of the United States before it ever was a part of Mexico, because battles were fought and Spaniard Texian blood was shed in Texas for the birth of the United States before the modern nation of Mexico was ever born. And as we will see in coming chapters, the vast majority if not virtually all among the original Texians, Tejanos, actually felt that way. Now, as an old Texan preacher, John Hagee, used to say, if the cat don’t like the way its fur is being rubbed… let the cat turn around!


Chapter 9

THE ANGLO AND SPANIARD TEXIANS: BITTER ENEMIES OR FRIENDS AND BROTHERS?

When one reads commonly written and distributed Texas history and about the general understanding of who the original Texans were, among whom the Loya are found, one is invariably given the idea that the original Texans became American only because they were defeated in a war against the United States in which the U.S. invaded the land and the original Texans were dispossessed of their land as a spoil of war. This belief is perpetuated by writers who, for whatever reason, hammer and hammer this idea until the original Texans feel like they were defeated and became foreigners in their own land. It seems almost as if some people actually have an interest and an agenda in keeping the original Texans and their descendants alienated from the mainstream of American society. When one begins to really study Texas history in depth, and the documents written by the original Texans who were actually there, a totally different picture begins to surface. Certainly, there were abuses and crimes perpetrated against the original Spaniard Texians by Anglo-American settlers, like the massacre of 9 original Texans by one “Mustang” Grey for the purpose of stealing some tobacco, or the killing of another old Spaniard Texas aristocrat by an Anglo-American who stole his horses claiming it was his reward for fighting in the Mexican War. But to focus on these incidents perpetrated by thugs and to then paint a picture as if this was the kind of relationship that existed between the Anglo-American settlers and the old Spaniard families of Texas, is really to paint a false picture of that relationship. If that had been the situation, then Antonio Navarro would have had no one to write his Historical Comentaries to, seeing that while he acknowledged there were those who were “heartless and egoists” who couldn’t care less, he wrote for the “humanitarian and cultured” among the Anglo-American Texians to learn about the sacrifices the Spaniard Texians had made in 1813 to purchase the freedom they now all enjoyed (Antonio Navarro, San Antonio Ledger, 1857-1858, Commentaries of Historical Interest, first of three installments). Certainly, Old Spaniard families who had been given land grants in Texas by the King of Spain did loose much of their real estate, but contrary to what is commonly believed, however, they did not loose the land as a spoil of war and they were not the only ones to experience this kind of abuse.

The same thing happened in Louisiana with land grants given by the King of Spain to Louisiana pioneers. Even as I write this, a dear lady who attends the church I pastor in South Louisiana, Mrs. Muriel Buras, is involved in the courts in a dispute over 2700 acres of land her family owns in Plaquemines Parish just south of New Orleans. Mrs. Buras was born on March 29, 1928, and her father was already involved in the dispute over the land before she was born. Mrs. Buras showed me a title to the land that dates to 1835 in which the United States government recognized the claim her ancestor, Hubert Buras, had over the land. Hubert Buras’ father, Juan Pedro Buras (Burat), had been given a land grant by the King of Spain in the year 1793, according to documents in Ms. Muriel Buras’ possession, during Louisiana’s Spanish Period, and the U.S. Government recognized that claim. That Hubert Buras had to put a claim before the government for the government to recognize is an indication that in the transition of power from Spain to France to the United States, which occurred within a period of 20 days between November 30 and December 20 1803, the land that had been granted to his family by the King of Spain had been lost in the shuffle.

After the U.S. Government recognized their claim to the land, Plaquemines Parish remained largely uninhabited. Consequently, at some point, a man without scruples by the name of Andrew Hodge, began to survey the Buras’ family land grant and to sell the property which was not his to people who began to settle in the land. People who paid Hodge for land that was not his soon began to also sell and lease the land to others. Today, Shell Oil, PHI Helicopters, Chevron/Texaco and other such companies have settled in the Buras’ family land grant, and the Buras family has not received one cent for the use of their land. Today they are in the final stages of a legal battle over their land that has gone on for over 70 years! The Buras family was dispossessed of their land grant not as a spoil of war, rather, at first it was lost in the shuffle of governments, and then, because the property was so vast and uninhabited, new settlers just simply began to move in on it. A man with no scruples took advantage of the situation and began to sell their land that was not his to sell.

The same thing happened in Texas. The vast land grants that the King of Spain had given to the early Spaniard settlers were lost by the families who owned them not as a spoil of war, since the original Tejano Texians who remained in Texas actually fought for Texas, but in the shuffle of governments. Like it happened with the Buras land grant in Louisiana, because the land grants were so vast and uninhabited, new settlers began to move in on their land grants, including some without scruples, and so they lost their property. Besides this, we need to remember that many among the Spaniard Texians had lost their property having had it confiscated by the King of Spain back in 1813 and had never been able to get it back, and many did not have a title to the land on paper. Because of this, Antonio Navarro and many Texians were angry at the Mexicans because after the Republic of Mexico was born, their government did nothing to give the property back to those Tejano Texians who had lost it to the King of Spain (Antonio Navarro, Historical Commentaries of San Antonio de Bexar by an Eye Witness, San Antonio Ledger, 1 December 1853, the Western Texan). Through the years, writers without scruples have turned this consequence of circumstance to make many among the original Texians feel humiliated and unable to fully embrace this American nation and its culture even years after the fact.

Although for some reason many writers exacerbate this feeling of alienation many original Texians have by hammering the instances of abuse and discrimination which actually occurred, and which always occur when different cultures meet, whether in the plains of Texas or the Italian and Irish neighborhoods of New York, the reality of the relationship between Anglo-American settlers and the old Spaniard families of Texas, was much warmer, friendlier and closer than is generally assumed. In fact, although many among the descendants of the original Tejanos feel the Anglo-Americans singled out their ancestors for discrimination, the fact is that their experience was not any different than the experience of the Italian and Irish and just about every other group of immigrants to the United States. What is different is the way the Italians and the Irish and others reacted to the discrimination they suffered as opposed to how many among the original Spaniard Texans did. Many among the descendants of original Tejanos and others who are involved in preserving Texas “history”, are really involved in preserving the bad blood that existed in instances like the ones I mentioned. When in conversation I have mentioned things such as what I will continue to discuss in this chapter, invariably they come back with “yeah, but so and so was lynched by a mob of Anglos for a crime he didn’t commit just because he was a Tejano” or “yeah but, the Anglos wouldn’t allow the Tejanos in their restaurants” or “yeah but, the Tejanos had more problems than the Anglos did collecting their pensions” or “the Anglo’s would call the Tejanos names and regard them as inferior” and so on and so forth. While it is true that things like these happened, it is false to imply that all Anglos treated all Tejanos in such a way. Secondly, as I just mentioned, contrary to what many think, the original Tejanos were not uniquely marked for this kind of discrimination, although many of their descendants keep the anger and resentment alive as if those incidents had happened only to them and today.

Italian immigrants were considered by many to be lazy and stupid. According to the Italian American Presentation, during the 1870’s Italians were depicted as lawless thugs and certain types of criminality were reported as being “inherent in the Italian race”. And this eventhough statistics showed the Italians were less prone to crime. The Italians were so discriminated in school that many children left school rather than to deal with the obstacles imposed by the “Anglo-Protestant establishment”. The Italian worker was worthless to some, blatantly paid less, fined and imprisoned on the smallest offense. Italian families were targeted in the 1920’s during the “Red Scare” and many were illegally arrested and deported. In the 1940’s Italian Americans were not allowed to speak Italian, to travel or to leave their houses after certain times of the evening. At the turn of the century, Italian Americans and immigrants were said to be “apelike” and an inferior stock, immoral and drunk. In New York City newspapers refered to the Italians as “a herd of steerage slime” (Joan Rapcinzky, The Italian American Experience in America 1870-1920, Yale New Haven Techer’s Institute) and called them “wop” “guinea” and “dago”, which I have been called. Nicolla Colella writes in his “Southern Italian Immigration”, that Southern Italians and Greeks were considered the least desireable nationalities, while Northern Italians were desireable. This is to be noted in the present discussion because the good number of Tejano Texians of Italian origin find their roots in Northern Italy. But the discrimination against Italian Americans did not stop at insults, in 1891 in New Orleans, my hometown that is full of Italians; unknown individuals murdered the chief of police. People blamed the Italians because the chief of police had been investigating the mafia. To make a long story short, 11 innocent Italian American men were arrested, acquitted… and lynched to death by a mob of 5000 New Orleanians. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for a murder that could not be pinned on them, despite numerous witnesses who testified that they had seen them elsewhere when the crime was committed. Many believe they were executed more because they were Italian than for any evidence found that incriminated them.

This kind of discrimination was not limited to the “undesireable nationalities” as the Greeks, Italians or Tejanos. Although the Irish immigrants had an advantage over the Italians, the Greeks and the Spaniard Texans in that they could speak English, the Irish were regarded as inferior to the Anglo-Americans (Dan O. Irish Immigration). The Irish were seen as lazy, stupid and dirty and were blamed for the economic problems and for the moral decline of America (The Irish-American Experience; Irish-American Prejudice During the 19th Century). The Irish were paid less for the same work, and signs in places of employment would say “Irish need not apply” and hotels and restaurants would carry signs saying, “No Irish permitted in this establishment” (The Irish American Historical Society).

“Negative stereotypes, supported by much of the Anglo-American population, characterized the Irish as ‘pugnacious, drunken, semi-savages’ that were ‘small, ugly, simian creatures armed with liquor and shillellagh’” ( Kane, Irish Immigration, p.3)

Like with the Italians, and the original Tejano Texians, the discrimination against the Irish did not stop at insults. In 1833, for example, a mob burnt down St.Mary’s Catholic Church in New York City, and in 1844 verbal attacks on the Irish in Philadelphia led to the fatal lynching of 13 Irish immigrants (Irish Immigration, Religious Conflict and Discrimination).

So, the instances of discrimination, insult, abuse and loss of land and even life that the original Tejano Texians suffered at the hands of some Anglo-American newcomers were not in any way unique to the Texian Tejano experience. The Italians, the Irish and many others endured just as serious discrimination and many Louisianans lost their royal land grants. What is unique about the Spaniard Texans is their ability to hold a grudge and to keep resentment alive, an attitude fomented by many writers of Texas “history”. The Irish responded to discrimination by consciously getting rid of their accent, some even changed their names and left the Roman Catholic Church. Although I would say that changing their surnames and such is going too far, the point is that they consciously made an effort to be assimilated into the American mainstream. Nicola Colella does a superb job in describing what the Italians did to be assimilated into the American mainstream that the Spaniard Texians, the Tejanos, did not:

“We had to learn to hide our foreigness. We had to learn how to fit and adapt and so we did. However, we still heald our heads high and were still proud of where we came from and of who we were… We learned to speak English, we found jobs, we started our own businesses… We bought our own homes and we succeeded in spite of the prejudice, discrimination, and less than friendly welcome we received in the U.S.” (Nicola Colella, Southern Italian Immigration)

The Irish and the Italians responded to the terrible discrimination they suffered by adapting to and adopting the American mainstream culture while maintaining their own identity. And although they preserve their history, they decidedly do not focus on, dwell on, memorialize and keep alive and in the forefront the terrible discrimination they suffered. They have long forgiven and forgotten and moved on. Consequently, the Irish and the Italians are now fully assimilated into the American mainstream, they are just Americans who know their heritage. On the other hand, for over a century and a half many among the original Tejanos still feel like foreigners in their own land. For over a century, rather than learning English like the Italians and getting rid of their accents like the Irish, many, the majority of the original Tejano Texians have embraced the foreign identity of the Mexicans, which is not theirs, and have chosen to memorialize and always keep on the forefront the instances of discord and discrimination. The many writers of history and their societies who have shamlessly ignored the testimony of the Spaniard Texans regarding their own “Spaniardness”, electing instead to perpetuate, by ignoring the context, the myth of the “Mexican Texan” and who have relentlessly kept alive the memory of the instances of abuse while forgetting the instances of love and kinship, have kept many of the original Tejanos in a state of foreign identity and deep resentment. To keep the memory of these unfortunate incidents alive, to the point where historical societies, historical markers and historical internet sites and tidbits memorialize these incidents while almost completely ignoring the good things and relationships that happened and existed between the Anglo-American and Tejano Texians is to not write history, rather, it is to preserve bad blood, resentment and anger.

God forgives our sins and casts them into the sea of foregetfullness when we confess and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and so we move on with Him in a relationship of love and spiritual peace and intimacy. As a people, the
Irish and the Italians have forgiven and forgotten the insults and the lower wages, and even the lynchings, and so they have moved on with the Americans as the Americans that they are. Unfortunately, many among the original Tejanos have not, and some of them and others work to keep the insults, the lynchings and the lower wages alive as if they happened today while forgetting the many good things, causing many to remain bitter and alienated. It should be the other way around, they should forgive and forget the bad blood, and they should remember, keep alive, memorialize and celebrate the friendship and the love and the kinship that existed, and the blood that was shed together for the birth and formation of this great American nation. Well, I hope my book is a start.

As I mentioned before, the relationship between the original Spaniard Texians and the Anglo-Americans was much closer, friendlier and much warmer than many care to notice and remember. When James Bowie moved to Texas from Kentucky in the year 1830, for example, he developed a warm friendship with Lt. Governor J.M. Verramendi. Soon, their friendship became closer when Bowie asked J.M. Verramendi for the hand of his daughter, Ursula Verramendi, in marriage. Lt. Governor Verramendi granted Bowie’s request and, by all accounts, Bowie and his new bride had a good marriage, complete with love letters. When Ursula died on September 27, 1833 as the first victim of a cholera epidemic, James Bowie, the hero of the Alamo, mourned the loss of his Spaniard Texian wife for a long time.
The 9 Spaniard Texians who were massacred by “Mustang” Grey that I mentioned before were the friends of Don Ysidro Benavides, and this is one incident that is touted as an example of the awful relationship between Anglo-Americans and Spaniard Texians, and how the former discriminated and hated the latter. Yet, Ysidro Benavides’ three daughters, Juanita, Maria Antonia and Martianita married Captain James Cummings (Cummings, by the way, is my wife’s maiden surname and my children’s heritage as well), Reverend W.M. Sheely, a Methodist preacher, and Mr. Warren Sheely respectively. To remember and tout the one tragic incident while forgetting the three lifetime relationships that produced descendants for generations is to write revisionist history and it is a terrible disservice to all Texans and to the United States.

According to James P. Newcomb, who published the invaluable memoirs of Captain Antonio Menchaca, in the Passing Show, San Antonio Texas, in weekly installments from June 22 to July 27, 1907, which we will briefly study, when Sam Houston was governor of Texas his first inquiry of visitors would be, “How is my old friend, Captain Menchaca, getting along?”. Juan Seguin was a good friend of Sam Houston, as his father Erasmo Seguin had been a friend of Stephen Austin. When one begins to study the life and relationships of these Spaniard Texan Founding Fathers, it becomes clearly evident that not only were the new Anglo-American Texians and the old Spaniard Texians getting along fine and developing warm friendships and marriages, but they worked together as Founding Fathers of the Republic of Texas. Juan Miguel Aldrete signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, as did Manuel Carbajal, and he was a good and trusted friend of Phillip Dimmit. When Judge Jose Maria Rodriguez wrote in his “Memoirs of Early Texas” published in 1913, “Col. Travis… was very popular and was well liked by everyone”, he just plainly stated that all the Spaniard Texians, in general, and the new Anglo-American Texians were all getting along just fine, despite the abuses that occurred. What Judge Rodriguez was doing was to focus on the friendship, kinship and love, rather than on the thugeries of a few so as to foster unity and assimilation, rather than enmity and alienation as many history writers today do. Jose Antonio Navarro just plainly taught in the history of Texas he wrote for posterity that the abuse and discrimination perpetrated against the Spaniard Texians, the original Tejanos, was not and should not be remembered as the general relationship that existed between the two groups:

“I write to inform our Americans, however indignant some of them among us may be, who with base, aggressive pretexts want to uproot from the classic land its legitimate people who are the descendants of those who fifty years ago spilled their blood searching for the liberty of which now we vaingloriously boast.” (David R.McDonad & Timothy M. Matovina, Defending Mexican Valor in Texas; Jose Antonio Navarro’s Historical Writings 1853-1857, p. 63, San Antonio Ledger, Jose Antonio Navarro, Commentaries of Historical Interest, December 12, 1857).

Navarro here explains it all; original Tejano Texians were being dispossessed of their land by Anglos to be sure, and although it is in that part of his statement that "historians" focus on today, he clearly actually said that it was “some of them among us”, not all. It is crucially important that we notice this statement because as one who was there and very concerned for the loss of land many original Tejano Texians were suffering, Navarro clearly said, in his writings which he wrote with the intent of giving information for historians of the future, that it was “some” indignant individuals among the Anglos who were doing that, not all. It was in this same context that Navarro wrote for the humanitarian, cultured and respectful among the Anglo Texans, whom he called “our Americans”, to learn of the sacrifices the original Spaniard Texians had endured for the freedom they now all enjoyed. Notice as well how Navarro said in this statement that when the Tejano Texians had fought and shed their blood for freedom back in 1813, they had done so for “the liberty we now vaingloriously boast”. Although the boast of liberty was vainglorious because “some” among the Anglos were trying to uproot the original Tejanos, the point is that the Spaniard Texians had fought fifty years ago for the liberty they all had “now”. The question is: when was “now”? Well, that was 1857. Cleary, then, Navarro taught that when the original Spaniard Tejanos had fought for freedom back in 1813, it was with the goal of becoming part of the United States, a thing that he plainly states when in the paragraph before this one he writes the Spaniard Texians had then fought “that they may be placed alongside the most free and fortunate nations of all mankind- such as the nation with the flag of stars.” (Jose Antonio Navarro, Commentaries of Historical Interest, San Antonio Ledger, December 12, 1857, McDonald & Matovina, p.63). But that is a subject for another chapter.

While Navarro clearly wrote for posterity to know that those who committed the abuses and uprooted the Spaniard Texians were “some of them among us”, he made sure through out his writings to communicate that the Anglo-Americans were the Spaniard Texians’ brave and valiant compatriots and that the United States of America was “ a great, powerful and appreciative Republic” (Navarro, Historical Commentaries of San Antonio de Bexar by an Eyewitness, Western Texan, San Antonio, December 1, 1853, McDonald & Matovina, p. 58). Appreciative of the Tejano Texians. While Navarro, Menchaca and Rodriguez were all aware of the instances of abuse, they recognized it was thugs and not the majority of Anglo-Americans and they did not focus and dwell on it. Rather, like the Italians and the Irish, they focused on the kinship, friendship and patriot love between them. Original Tejanos today would do well to do the same thing, but preservers of bad blood make it very difficult for them.

But perhaps the most graphic description of the warmth of the relationship and the depth of commitment to each other and to the cause of Texas is the exchange between Antonio Menchaca and James Bowie, as recorded in Antonio Menchaca’s “Memoirs”, on the eve of the Texas Revolution on December 20, 1835:

“As soon as he (Antonio Menchaca) arrived there, he sought Bowie, who as soon as he saw him, put his arms around his neck, and commenced to cry to think that he had not seen his wife die. He said ‘My father, my brother, my companion and all my protection has come. Are you still my companion in arms?’ he asked. Antonio answered, ‘I shall be your companion, Jim Bowie, until I die.’ ‘Then come this evening’, said Bowie, ‘to take you to introduce you to Travis, at the Alamo.’ That evening he was introduced to Travis, and to Col. Niel. Was well received.”

This depth of friendship and commitment is reminiscent of the depth of commitment expressed by Ruth to her mother in law Naomi, in the Book of Ruth in the Bible. Naomi told Ruth she was free to go because her son, Ruth’s husband, had died, Ruth replied,

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where
you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

This was the reality of the depth of friendship and commitment between the original Texians, among whom the hispanicized Italic French Loya were, and the Anglo-American new comers, as expressed in the exchange between Bowie and Menchaca. This was the relationship between the common people and not some government policy of kindness, as some misunderstand. The many writers who have relentlessly focused on the incidents of discord, which will always happen in all human relationships, have truly done a disservice to the original Spaniard and Anglo Texans alike, and to the United States of America in fostering a feeling of alienation instead of the unity that had been birthed in God’s intent to make this nation one nation under God.


Chapter 10

1811-1845: THE TEXAS REVOLUTION

As I sat at my desk studying the documents that contained the history of Texas, my eyes filled with tears as I saw and realized something that, like the role of Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution, is not widely known. We original Texians actually have a full history in Texas! We have a whole slew of statesmen, scholars, diplomats and patriots who fully participated in the Independence of Texas and its inclusion in the United States of America! We even have giants of history like Jefferson and Washington, like General Manuel Justinano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz, also known as General Lawrence De Zavala, who could read, write and speak fluent English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Latin and other languages and was honored by the Geographical and Scientific Society of France, the Courts of St. James, England, St. Cloud, France and the Court of Madrid, Spain. De Zavala was a friend of Adams, Louis Phillipe, Jackson, Lafayette and other giants of the era. Although few in number, the original Texans produced a remarkably high number of heroes and statesmen. And their faces were not the faces of the people you see today crossing over our southern border by the millions, but the faces that you see in the warm beaches of the Canary Islands and the mountains of Corsica, in the streets of Madrid, Southern France or Naples, faces like my brother’s and my father’s, my sisters’ and my mother’s, my cousins’, aunts’ and uncles’… The faces of the original Spaniard Founding Fathers of Texas who, with Houston, Bowie and Crockett fought and worked to preserve for us this American nation!

It seems like in the writing of history, both American and Mexican historians forgot to ask the people who had actually settled the land and had been there the longest what they thought and felt about the happenings in Texas. In American history it seems as though Texas history started with the arrival of Stephen F. Austin and his 300 Anglo-American settler families. In Mexican history it is forever claimed that Texas and the rest of the Southwest was stolen from the Mexicans, it was all theirs. How was it theirs? In pre-Hispanic days the Mexicas (from where you get the term Mexican), that is, the Aztecs, had no influence whatsoever in the area of Texas and Northern Mexico, none. The Aztec place name in Texas, Lipantitlan, simply shows that they passed through the area long ago in their migration, as all Indian groups passed through having arrived to the American Continent through the Bering Straight, but they had no power or jurisdiction in the area at the time of their empire. In fact, the fact that the Aztecs called the place “Lipantitlan” is in itself an acknowledgment on their part that they had no jurisdiction in the area since the name means “place of the Lipan”, one of the Apache tribes. It was the Spaniards who tamed the wilderness of Texas, it was their children who were established in the land. I use the term “Spaniard Texan” or “Spaniard Texian” on purpose to reflect this reality and to assert the distinct identity and origin of the original Tejanos, who although not all were necessarily of Spaniard heritage per say, and a small number among them were indeed mestizos, they drew their identity from the Spaniards, like the Seguin family which, though it found its roots in France, it was said to be of full Castilian lineage. Perhaps as a matter of Providential justice some of them did write histories of what took place so that we are able to see and understand what the people who actually pioneered Texas thought about it all.

Probably the most invaluable and authoritative history of Texas was that written in the “Memoirs” of Antonio Menchaca, written in the handwriting of Charles M. Barnes, his amenuensis. Antonio Menchaca’s “Memoirs” are authoritative for a couple of reasons. First, they are authoritative because he was there, he is an eyewitness to what happened, from the very start. He witnessed the struggles, the friendships, the enmities, he knew who the tyrants and the liberators were. Second, Menchaca’s “Memoirs” are authoritative because they reflect the thinking, the understanding, the identity and the feeling, the emotion, of the original Tejanos like himself. Menchaca’s “Memoirs” however, are authoritative, most of all, because his contemporaries, both Anglo and Spaniard, considered his word and testimony authoritative. Whenever there arose disputes over whose property belonged to whom in the old city and county of Bexar, for example, Antonio Menchaca would be called upon to testify. His memory and knowledge of the genealogy of the old Spaniard families of Texas and of every incident in their history was so clear and pristine, that his word and testimony was considered final and authoritative and the truth of it was never doubted by either friend or foe (James P. Newcomb, Introduction to Menchaca’s Memoirs). It is clear that to the Texians who lived at the time, both Anglo and Spaniard, Menchaca’s history of Texas would be the final authority.

When one reads Menchaca’s “Memoirs”, several things become palpably evident to the studious reader. First, his “Memoirs” make it evident that from the start, contrary to popular belief, the original Spaniard Texans felt a kinship with the Americans to the East more than with the Mexicans to the South. Second, Menchaca’s “Memoirs” make it palpably evident that to the original Spaniard Texians, the struggle for the independence of Texas from Mexico, began with the struggle of Mexico to be free from Spain in 1810-1811 and the events of 1835 were only the culmination of the same struggle which started in 1811. Third, Menchaca’s “Memoirs” make it palpably evident that from that time they, the original Tejano Texians, believed that being part of the United States was their destiny and their identity.

Menchaca’s “Memoirs”, as other historical documents, clearly reflect that when Mexico began its struggle for independence from Spain, the royalist feeling was strongest and most entrenched in Texas, as in the rest of Northern New Spain. In fact, it was Texan royalists Elizondo, Herrera, Salcedo and Jose Menchaca who captured the Reverend Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Mexico’s George Washington, and his co-revolutionaries Jimenez, Aldama and Allende, and it was in Chihuahua that they were found guilty of treason to the King of Spain and executed. Antonio Navarro plainly wrote that the northern provinces of Mexico had ultimately cast their lot with the King of Spain. This reaction of the colonials of Northern New Spain reflects the reality recorded in the census records, that the majority of them were criollos, and being full Spaniards born in New Spain, it was more difficult for them to rebel against the Mother Land. But not all original Spaniard Texians were royalists, that is, loyal to the King of Spain, and indeed there was a rebellion against Spain in Texas. Yet in his historical commentaries in the San Antonio Ledger in 1853, Jose Antonio Navarro observed that a number of the Texas rebels, as opposed to the royalists, really did not have any clear political sentiment, did not know the significance of the words liberty and independence and did not understand the reasons for the Reverend Miguel Hidalgo’s rebellion against Spain. Navarro makes it clear that in Texas those who were not loyal to the King of Spain, did not really actually espouse, though they certainly sympathized with, the cause for Mexican independence that Miguel Hidalgo espoused since they did not understand it.

Historically, in order to arouse the patriotic fervor of the Mexicans against the Spaniards during Mexico’s war for independence, the Reverend Miguel Hidalgo used the banner of a “dark Virgin”. Miguel Hidalgo held up a banner in which the dark skinned Virgin of Guadalupe was depicted. With this banner in hand, he told the Mexicans that this was their Virgin as opposed to the Spaniards’ white Virgin. Although he himself was a criollo, of pure Spaniard blood, he did this to make it possible for the Mexicans to feel morally free to fight for their independence against the Spaniards, since the Virgin had taken for herself the Indian appearance of the Mexicans. Although they certainly held Hidalgo in high regard (the name “Goliad” is a “jumbled” form of the name Hidalgo and Hidalgo County is named after Miguel Hidalgo), those Texians who rebelled against Spain did not identify with Hidalgo’s dark Virgin in their cause. Although Alonso de Leon had named the Guadalupe River in her honor during the early exploration period of Texas, and although she had devotees in Texas, unlike the Mexicans, it was not an appeal to the dark Virgin of Guadalupe that stirred the Spaniard Texians up to fight.

In Navarro’s view, many among the Texas rebels just wanted to kill Peninsular Spaniards, that is, Spaniards born in Spain. Although not excuseable, it is perhaps understandable that the Texas and Northern Mexico rebels would feel this way because the Spaniards born in Spain not only discriminated against Mexicans of Indian or mixed racial heritage, mestizos, but also against those of their own race who were born in the New World, the criollos. Spaniards born in Spain would not allow full Spaniards born in New Spain rise above the rank of captain in the army, for example, and they, the criollos, were not allowed to hold certain governmental offices and positions of authority. In other words, the Spaniards born in Spain would not allow the full Spaniards born in New Spain attain their full potential. Consequently, according to Navarro, the Texian rebels engaged in a rebellion without understanding, and so without really espousing, Miguel Hidalgo’s cause. Other historians have concluded that the colonial Texans just didn’t have much to do with the War for Mexican Independence. On the other hand, as chapter 7 in this book touches on, although thus far ignored, there is no ambiguity regarding the Spaniard Texians’ full participation in the War for American Independence. As a theologian, this contrast would help me determine and decide which country Texas was always destined to be a part of; the United States of America.

Antonio Menchaca, however, reveals an entirely different understanding of the Texas rebels during Mexico’s War for Independence which has been virtually buried and forgotten, but which has everything to do with the legitimacy of Texas as an American State. When I began to read Antonio Menchaca’s “Memoirs” I was really kind of confused because in his historical account Menchaca continually referred to the Americans and the Mexicans fighting it out in Texas, making it clear that he was talking about, specifically, the Texas Revolution, and, actually, the Mexican War. Yet, as I read the dates, it didn’t make any sense, 1811, 1813 etc. I literally had to read his “Memoirs” again, taking time to not just read them but study them to understand exactly what he was talking about. As I slowed down and really studied his work, what Menchaca was communicating became crystal clear.

In a fascinating account of a battle that took place on June 3, 1813 on the hill side of the Atascosa Creek, approximately five miles from the Medina River, Menchaca clearly portrays the events of that era as a war between Mexicans and Americans for the independence of Texas, rather than the war between Mexico and Spain for the independence of Mexico. Menchaca describes how the Mexicans, led by a man by the name of Arredondo, with 400 soldiers, cavalry and two light pieces of artillery, set off to engage the Americans. These 400 men and their cavalry were only a decoy sent out by the Mexicans to ascertain the strength of the Americans. For this reason, Toledo, the American commander from New Orleans, had instructed his second in command not to pursue the Mexicans when they fell back because they would only lead the Americans to a trap to be engaged by the larger Mexican force. The American colonel, second in command, however, saw he had the advantage so he pursued the Mexicans inflicting heavy casualties on them until they got to the main body of the Mexicans. Toledo sent word to his second in command to disengage, but the colonel responded that the fight had already started, that he would fight until he either died or conquered. The American colonel challenged the American troops to fight as men and follow him. The Americans did.

“ The battle began with great fury. As soon as it commenced Miguel Menchaca (the second in command on the American side), who cammanded one wing of the cavalry and Antonio Delgado, the left wing, pushed their men up with such vigor as to compel the cavalry which opposed them to retreat to the centre of the main body of Arredondo’s infantry… The battle had almost been declared in favor of the Americans, when by an accident Col. Menchaca was struck by a ball on the neck. He fell, and there being no one to cheer the troops on, it became discouraged, then frightened, disorder commenced. The Mexicans under Arredondo seeing this, took courage and charged with fury, got into the Americans and killed a great many of them.” (Antonio Menchaca, Memoirs)

The tide turned in this battle, the Royalists defeated the Texas rebels and Spanish rule was once again established in Texas after a brutal reprisal against the Spaniard Texans by the Royalists in which hundreds of men were slaughtered and women and children forced into slave labor.

When I noticed the names of the American commanders in this battle, however, Colonel Miguel Menchaca and Antonio Delgado, as well as the name of the commander of the American forces whom Toledo had replaced, General Bernardo Gutierrez, and the name of the American commander himself, Toledo, who was actually a Spaniard (some sources say he was a criollo from Cuba) who came through New Orleans, as Antonio Navarro reveals in his “Historical Commentaries”, I realized that in Menchaca’s account, an account which reflects the feeling of the original Spaniard Texians who were Menchaca’s contemporaries, the Americans were not only Augustus William Magee and his army of selfless Anglo-Americans whom Antonio Navarro called "Leonidas North Americans" referring to the outsanding courage and selflessness displayed by the Spartan soldiers who were led by King Leonidas in the ancient past, but the Spaniard Texian rebels whom he had said did not understand or really espouse and identify with Miguel Hidalgo’s cause of Mexican Independence (although Navarro had referred to those among the Texas rebels who had committed an atrocity as the ones who had no cause).

It became crystal clear that in Menchaca’s history, the events of 1811-1813 were not Texas’ cooperation with Mexico in its war to gain its independence from Spain, but were an entirely separate, separate in intent, Texan war to gain Texas’ independence both from Spain and from Mexico, and even then to eventually become part of the United States. In Menchaca’s account, in his view, which reflects the view of his Tejano Texian contemporaries and compatriots, the Texas Revolution did not begin in 1835, but in 1811, and it was a continuous struggle which did not end until Texas became part of the United States in 1845.

And eventhough in his “Historical Commentaries of San Antonio de Bexar by an Eyewitness” and his “Commentaries of Historical Interest” publised in a series of articles in the San Antonio Ledger in 1853 and then again in 1857-1858, (These articles in the San Antonio Ledger were the English translation of his Apuntes Historicos Interesantes de San Antonio de Bexar, which he wrote in Spanish. I have both the English and Spanish versions in my possession in the book entitled “Defending Mexican Valor in Texas” a compilation of Navarro’s works put together and edited by David R. McDonald & Timothy M. Matovina)) eventhough Antonio Navarro takes a different approach in describing the events in Texas that ocurred in 1811-1813, by identifying them as part of the overall War of Mexican Independence from Spain, and by identifying the Texan rebels as Mexican, the Spaniards as Spaniards and the Americans as Americans, he concurs with Menchaca in several points.

First, Navarro clearly identifies the majority of the Texan rebels or patriots as being criollos, of Spaniard or Canary Island origin, with a few men of Mexican origin among them, in contrast to the Mexicans of southern Mexico who fought alongside Hidalgo whom he identifies as Indians (McDonald & Matovina, pp. 48,65,67&75). Second, eventhough he identifies Magee, Kemper and Perry and their men as Americans in contrast to the Texans, he calls them patriots and compatriots. Third, he called the Americans compatriots while at the same time saying that the Spaniard Texians had by their courage earned their place among the Americans, thus making the Anglo-Americans one with the Spaniard Texians, even as Menchaca does (McDonald & Matovina pp. 46, 54 & 63). Lastly, Navarro clearly states that the blood shed by the Spaniard Texians in 1811-1813 was shed to gain the freedom all Texans now enjoyed as Americans (McDonald & Matovina p.63), in essence contradicting his own approach that the events in Texas in 1811-1813 were part of the overall War for Mexican Independence and, instead, like Menchaca, making the Texas Revolution an originally Spaniard Texian cause and one continuous struggle that began in 1811 and culminated and found its victorious goal in 1845 when Texas became part of the United States. We will look into this fact in more detail in the next chapter.


Chapter 11

THE AMERICAN DESTINY AND IDENTITY OF THE SPANIARD TEXIANS

Menchaca’s account of the Texas Revolution that I briefly examined in the previous chapter clearly shows that in his view, the Spaniard Texas rebels were Americans even then as early as 1811. This view, Menchaca’s view, is extremely important, although it has been completely buried. It is extremely important because it tells us that as far back as the War for Mexican Independence, the original Texans favored becoming part of the United States. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, they basically espoused the cry of many Americans who believed that the new border of the United States, should be the Rio Grande. This feeling is reflected not only by Menchaca’s continual referring to the Spaniard Texan Rebels at the time of the War for Mexican Independence as Americans and the Royalists as Mexicans, not only by his portraying those events as the true beginning of the Texas Revolution, but by his account of Bernardo Gutierrez’s etablishment of an independent government in Texas, which other writers have disdained as a self appointed presidency:

“Then Bernardo Gutierres determined to establish good order in the City of San Antonio. He called a council, the president of which was Dr. Francisco Arocha, Thomas Arocha, Ignacio Arocha, Clemente Delgado, Manuel Delgado, Miguel Delgado and Antonio Delgado, all gentlemen of the City of San Antonio, descendants of the first families who emigrated from the Canary Islands in 1730, all adherents of the American Government” (Antonio Menchaca “Memoirs” dictated to and handwritten by Charles M. Barnes, as published in the Passing Show, San Antonio, Texas June 22-July 27, 1907, emphasis mine).

We should notice that Menchaca took the time to stress the point that this governing council of the First Republic of Texas, which actually drafted the First Texas Constitution, were descendants of the first families who emigrated from the Canary Islands. It is important because Menchaca was stressing the point of their identity, that they were criollos, and that, being descendants of some of the oldest families of San Antonio, they reflected the feeling deep in the heart of the original Texans; they were all adherents of the American Government. In other words, not only did they favor an independent Texas, but even then they, the original Spaniard TexIans, favored the annexation of Texas by the United States.

It can not be overly emphasized how important it is that Menchaca made the point to indicate that the governing council chosen by the rebels of Texas when this first Republic of Texas was established in 1813 were, all of them, adherents of the American Government. It can not be overly emphasized because, one, these were the people who would be involved in the government of the new independent Republic of Texas they had just set up, and, two, it can not be overly emphasized because by underscoring that they were adherents to the American Government, Menchaca is indicating to the reader that although they had just set up an independent Texas, which act in itself reflects the lack of kinship with Mexico, their intent was to become part of the United States from the very start. It is not so much as Navarro thought, that the Spaniard TexIan rebels at the time of the Mexican Independence did not understand the meaning of the words freedom and liberty or Miguel Hidalgo’s cause, it is that their cause was a different cause and their goal of freedom and liberty was not only freedom from Spain, but also from Mexico, and ultimately, the freedom and liberty they felt destined to have was that which was enjoyed by the citizens of the United States of America.

And, indeed, as I briefly mentioned in the previous chapter, even Navarro taught that the goal of the Spaniard Texians back in 1811-1813 was to eventually become part of the United States.

In a letter to the editor of the San Antonio Ledger, dated December 12, 1857, in his “Commentaries of Historical Interest”, Antonio Navarro states he was motivated to write his historical essays so “that some able and conscientious future historian will have the materials to enhance the history of this my beloved land” (McDonald & Matovina, p.62). In other words, it was Navarro’s desire to preserve an accurate history of Texas and of the Tejano Texians for future generations to know the truth of who they were, and of their aspirations, goals and national destiny. It was in this context that Navarro wrote that the original Spaniard Texians were the descendants “of those who fifty years ago spilled their blood searching for the liberty of which we now vaingloriously boast”. That is, when the Tejano Texians had fought and shed their blood for freedom back in 1813, they had done so for “the liberty we now vaingloriously boast”. Although, as I said before, the boast of liberty was vainglorious because “some” among the Anglos were trying to uproot the original Tejanos, the point is that the Spaniard Texians had fought fifty years ago for the liberty they all had “now” in 1857. Cleary, then, Navarro taught that when the original Spaniard Tejanos had fought for freedom back in 1813, it was with the goal of becoming part of the United States. Navarro leaves no room for guessing about this issue when in the paragraph before this one he plainly states the Spaniard Texians had then fought “that they may be placed alongside the most free and fortunate nations of all mankind- such as the nation with the flag of stars.” (Jose Antonio Navarro, Commentaries of Historical Interest, San Antonio Ledger, December 12, 1857, McDonald & Matovina, p.63).

As we have just seen, Jose Antonio Navarro and Antonio Menchaca, the two most reliable and authoritative authorities of the history of the Spaniard Texians, strongly concur in that the destiny of the Spaniard Texians was always, from the very beginning, to be part of the United States of America. While Menchaca stated the goal of the government set up by the original Spaniard Texians in 1813 was to eventually become a part of the United States, and he revealed their self identity as Americans at that time, Navarro stated the reason they fought and shed their blood on Texas soil was to fulfill their destiny of being part of the United States. Just how deep this sense of American destiny and identity was in their hearts was expressed by Antonio Mencha’s relative during the Battle of San Jacinto, when in the heat of battle he cried out “I am an American!”. Now, if the original Tejano Texians felt that way from before Mexico became an independent nation, what is the implication? Although Texas had been dropped on the lap of Mexico by Spain when Mexico became independent and the Tejano Texians then became citizens of Mexico, in their hearts, the Spaniard Texians had seen Magee and Kemper as compatriots, in their hearts they always felt American. In other words, although Spain dropped Texas in the lap of Mexico in 1821, the Tejano Texian’s hearts were in the United States, Mexican rule was something that they never desired, Mexican rule was imposed on them. It would not be inaccurate, then, to identify the period of Mexican rule of Texas as the period of Mexican occupation of Texas, because the people whose land it was, the original Tejano Texians, never desired Mexican rule and always felt Texas belonged in the United States.

Wallace L. McKeehan, in his historical essay “Events in Texas 1811-Texas Letter-Yanaguana Society” (Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas) also, whether intending to or not, shows what Menchaca the eyewitness testified to. Gutierrez’ and the other Spaniard Founding Fathers of Texas’ feeling of kinship and affection towards the United States, and their sense of destiny to be part of the United States, is clearly communicated in Bernardo Gutierrez’ stirring speech at San Antonio in which he called the original Texans to battle against the Peninsular Spaniards, which McKeehan quotes in his historical essay:

“…Rise en masse, soldiers and citizens; unite in the holy cause of our country! I am now marching to your succor with a respectable force of American volunteers who have left their homes and families to take up our cause, and fight for our liberty. They are the descendants of the men who fought for the independence of the United States; and as brothers and inhabitants of the same continent they have drawn their swords with a hearty good will in the defense of the cause of humanity; and in order to drive the tyrannous Europeans beyond the Atlantic.” (Bernardo Gutierrez in a speech given in the year 1812, as quoted by Wallace L. McKeehan, Sons of DeWitt Colony, Texas, Events in Texas 1811-Texas Letters-Yanaguana Society, historical essay, 1997-2003).

Clearly, to Gutierrez, a Spaniard Texian Patriot who was there, the Anglo-Americans were “brothers” who had selflessly left their homes and families to join the Spaniard Texans in their cause. Let me underscore this again, it is vitally important to notice that Gutierrez stressed the fact that the Americans had left their homes and families to come and fight for the liberty of the original Spaniard Texans. To Gutierrez, the Americans were not the pirates and crass invaders that some today claim they were. Also crucially important is to notice that Gutierrez referred to the Independence of Texas as “our cause” when speaking to the Spaniard Texians way back in 1812. The Texas Revolution, clearly then, was originally a Tejano Texian cause, the Anglo-Americans had simply joined the Spaniard Texians as brothers in that cause.

Let me take this opportunity to set the record straight right here! Agustus Magee and his men are invariably portrayed as a filibustring American army that, in a sign of things to come and displaying the Americans’ insatiable hunger for land, just took it upon themselves to invade Texas at this time. This is completely incorrect, it is a lie! Bernardo Gutierrez recruited as officers Augustus Magee, Ruben Ross, Henry Perry and Samuel Kemper and their men, and they volunteered to come help the Spaniard Texians in their fight. In fact, when the Texan Royalists captured Don Miguel Hidalgo and his men, Hidalgo was on his way to the United States to try to recruit American volunteers. Jose Antonio Navarro, as a Spaniard Texian, compliments the honor, courage and integrity of the American volunteers when he writes, “… Bernardo Gutierrez entered Texas. With that little army of Leonidas North Americans he took La Bahia and later San Antonio, on April 1, 1812.” (Antonio Navarro, Commentaries of Historical Interest, San Antonio Ledger, 2 January 1858, McDonald & Matovina, p. 75). Of course, when Navarro called Magee and his men “Leonidas North Americans” he was referring to King Leonidas of Sparta who died heroically with his army of Spartans and Greeks in the year 480 BC defending his home land against the much larger Persian army.

That Guitierrez was not using the word “brothers” as a hypocritical politician is seen in that the rank and file between the Spaniard Texans and the Anglo-Americans actually felt that way. When Benardo Guitierrez, Augustus William Magee, and their Republican Army were caught in a stalemate with Governor Salcedo and his Royalist Army at Presidio La Bahia some time after the speech, Governor Salcedo offered to give safe passage to the Anglo-Americans back beyond the Sabine River. Part of the agreement was that the Republican Army would have to turn over the Spaniard Texan rebels to Governor Salcedo. As McKeehan wrote, these “terms were refused by the rank and file, both Anglo and Hispanic, the cease fire ended and the stalemate continued” (McKeehan, Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas, Events in Texas 1811 historical essay). As I mentioned before, the kinship between the old Spaniard Texans and the Anglo-American immigrants was at the rank and file level rather that at a policy level. When one notices that the Anglo-Americans took up, like “brothers”, the original Texans’ cause while the British were trying, once again, to take over the United States in 1812, one realizes just how deep that kinship was.

And “brothers” is a strong word of kinship. That Bernardo Guitierrez used it in his speech not to stir the original Texans to fight for the Independence of Mexico, as some mistakenly assume, but, rather, to stir them up to fight for the Independence of Texas and her ultimate union with the United States is clearly seen in that Guitierrez and the other Texas Patriots declared Texas independent of Spain on April 6, 1813, introduced the first Constitution of Texas, and appointed men to the governing board who represented the founding families of San Antonio and who were, as Menchaca put it, all adherents of the American Government.

It is also critical to notice Gutierrez’ statement in his speech: “They are the descendants of the men who fought for the independence of the United States”. It is critical to notice for at least two reasons. First, it is critical to notice because Gutierrez was appealing to the Tejanos’ emotions. What he said in his speech was meant to elicit an emotional response in the hearts of the original Texans and so exhort them to fight alongside their American brothers for their own freedom. When he mentions that the Americans who are joining the Spaniard Texians in their struggle for freedom were the children of those who fought for the freedom of the United States, Gutierrez is appealing to the memory of a common cause that, evidently, the Tejanos were emotionally attached to. If the Spaniard Texians had not been emotionally invested in the American Revolution and the freedom it brought to the American Colonials, if they had not felt it was somehow also their own, Gutierrez would not have appealed to that fact in his speech. I know, I’m a preacher.

Besides this, Antonio Navarro clearly stated that the Tejano Texians drew their inspiration and motivation from the Americans and the American Revolution when he wrote in his Historical Commentaries in the San Antonio Ledger on 2 January 1858, “… new aspirations were already entering the impetuous hearts of the noble Islanders, transmitted from the neighbor republic to the north, across the seas and through the narrow trails of what then were the unsettled lands of Texas.”(McDonald & Matovina, P.75).

Second, it is crucially important to notice because in this highly emotional speech, in this statement, as in Navarro’s revelation, the deep divide between the Mexicans and the original Spaniards of Texas is strongly and decisively underscored. In these statements Gutierrez amd Navarro strongly show just how deeply distinct the Spaniard Texians were from the Mexicans in their ethnic, historical, cultural and political identity and their sense of ultimate destiny. Miguel Hidalgo had appealed to the “dark Virgin” to exhort the Mexicans to fight for their independence from Spain, Bernardo Gutierrez, on the other hand, appealed to the Spaniard Texians’ kinship with the Americans and their memory of the common cause of the American Revolution.


Chapter 12

AMERICAN ROOTS OF THE SPANIARD TEXIANS

Why did the Spaniard Texians, very evidently, from the start, even before Stephen F. Austin moved into Texas with his 300 Anglo-American families, have the sense of destiny of actually becoming part of the United States? I believe there are at least a few discernible and identifiable reasons. First, part of the answer is given to us by Menchaca in the other point that he stressed, which is ignored, buried, forgotten and even frowned upon when acknowledged, that the governing board of the new First Republic of Texas was composed of descendants of the first families from the Canary Islands who settled in San Antonio in 1730. Canary Islanders, known as Isle�os, had also settled in Louisiana around the same period, and much of the population of Louisiana was composed, and is composed of criollos, that is, of full-blooded Spaniards born in Louisiana. The point, stressed by Menchaca, is that there were ethnic and kinship ties between the criollos of Texas, including the descendants of Canary Islanders, and the criollos (not to be confused with creoles) of Louisiana, including the Canary Islanders. In other words, it was a matter of identity. The Spaniards born in Texas identified themselves more with the Spaniards born in Louisiana than with the Mexicans of Central and Southern Mexico.

That the original Texans identified more with the people and destiny of Louisiana than with the people of Mexico to the south is evident in that although the oldest and best university in the Americas was located in Mexico City, invariably, original Texan families of means would send their children to be educated in New Orleans. The question is, again, why? Why would they send their children to be educated in New Orleans when the University of Mexico was the very first and best university to be established in the New World? Why? The answer is found in their ethnic identity and human nature, evidently, they identified more with the people of New Orleans than with the people of Mexico and, accordingly, they sent their children to school where they felt more comfortable. Do people ever do any such thing?

But this evident sense of destiny that the original Texans had to ultimately enjoy the freedom enjoyed by citizens of the United States was founded not only in their ethnic kinship with the people of Louisiana, but also in their mutual political ties which ran very deep. Although LaSalle had claimed the Louisiana Territory for France in 1682, the fact is that the very first white men to have settled in Louisiana at the mouth of the Mississippi River were Spaniards who were the survivors of DeSoto’s expedition of 1542. After LaSalle claimed Louisiana for France, other than New Orleans, which was founded in 1718 by men who were given French wives 10 years later in 1728, French settlements in Louisiana were very sparse, Louisiana remained to a large extent an uninhabited wilderness. The most significant colonization of Louisiana came after the French ceded the land back to Spain in 1763, it was during the Spanish Period that most of the Louisiana pioneers arrived, including not only the Canary Islanders known as Isle�os, but the famous Cajuns, who were Acadians from French Canada. Consequently, most of the Louisiana pioneers, like the original Tejanos, whether Canary Islanders, Spaniards, Frenchmen, Cajuns, Germans, etc. colonized Louisiana as Spanish subjects.

“Galvez was somewhat worried because there was such a mass integration so he required them to take the oath of allegience to Spain” (J. Ben Meyer Sr., Plaquemines The Empire Parish, p.15)

Because of this, a little realized fact is that, like Texas, Louisiana was a Spanish speaking territory. This fact is clearly observed in that in colonial days even the Frenchmen of Louisiana had Spanish given names, such as Antonio LeBlanc, a cattle buyer from Louisiana during the American Revolution, or Pablo LeBlanc or Antonio Dubois. That their given names were Spanish during the Spanish Colonial Period of Louisiana simply shows us that the language they communicated in was Spanish, although they certainly were French/Spanish bilingual. This, of course, was another major link between Colonial Texas and Colonial Louisiana, they spoke the same language.

Although it is commonly asserted that Spain ceded the Louisiana Territory back to France in 1800 and then Napoleon sold it to the United States in 1803, the fact of the matter is that the Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800 in which Spain ceded the land back to France was only a draft. That draft began to be ratified March of 1801 and it was not fully ratified but until December of 1802.

People in Louisiana, however, had no idea that Spain had ceded the land back to France until March of 1803 when Laussat arrived to New Orleans as the new French Prefect. The following month, April of 1803, Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States, but nobody knew this, not even Laussat. March of 1803 to November 30, 1803 was a transitional period, and although the people of Louisiana knew by now that Spain was going to cede the land to France, Laussat was not yet in a position to deal as a French diplomat from Louisiana.

In fact, by August of 1803 the people of Louisiana began to doubt that Spain was actually going to cede the land to France since no French soldiers had arrived. When the ceremony finally came on November 30, 1803 in which Spain formally ceded Louisiana to France, as the Spanish flag was lowered and the French flag was raised at the Plaza de las Armas, now known as Jackson Square in New Orleans, the announcement was made, to the astonishment of the crowd, that Louisiana had actually been sold to the United States. Twenty days later, on December 20, 1803, the French flag was lowered and the American flag was raised. For all practical purposes, Louisiana had been a part of New Spain only 20 days before it became part of the United States, and in the eyes of the Louisianans, the Texans, and the whole world, the people of Louisiana had passed from being citizens of Spain to being citizens of the United States in one day, French rule in Louisiana at this time had been non existent.

For this reason many Americans felt the new border of the United States should be the Rio Grande, and, surprise to many, so did the original Texans like Antonio Menchaca. Those few original Texans who disagreed left Texas and moved to Mexico when this destiny was realized. Those who, like Menchaca, saw it as Texas’ ultimate destiny stayed and were made American citizens. McKeehan put it this way,

“Opinions by some vocal factions in the USA that the Louisiana Purchase extended to the Rio Grande River had not diminished since the territory became temporarily part of New Spain, France and then the USA in 1803. The objectives of the resilient Texas frontier peoples remained the same as their Anglo-American counterparts to the east-economic and political freedom with local governmental control” (Wallace L. McKeehan, Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas, Events in Texas 1811 historical essay).

But the bond that united the people of Texas with the people of the United States went beyond the ethnic, language and political ties that the people of Texas and Louisiana shared. As the events recorded in chapter 3 of this book describe the people of Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain had been very much invested in the Americans’ struggle for independence from Britain. With money, cattle, horses, militia, soldiers and prayers and their direct participation in the defeat of the British all over the South and up the Mississippi River, the pioneers of Texas had, naturally and evidently, been bonded with the American cause and the American nation. They had come to feel that they were a part of the United States from the beginning since they, together with Louisiana, had played such an essential role in its birth.

King Juan Carlos I of Spain expressed this natural bonding and identification with the United States that the Spaniards of Northern New Spain evidently experienced when, in a speech delivered on June 3, 1976 at the inauguration of Bernardo de Galvez’ statue in Washington D.C., he related what Bernardo de Galvez himself had felt:

“…Years later Bernardo de Galvez… married a criolla from New Orleans, a city he loved as if it were his own. Galvez always felt himself to be just another American.”

That is why it is so absolutely important that this history not remain hidden! That is one reason why it is such a tragedy that thus far it has!

When in World War II the Germans sent the infamous Zimmerman Telegram to Mexico urging Mexico to join in the war against the United States, which thankfully and wisely they didn’t, the carrot before the horse offered the Mexican government was that they could recover all the land the United States had stolen from Mexico in the Mexican War. To this day, people around the world, including many Americans, think the United States bullied a weaker nation and stole all that land from Mexico. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact of the matter is that the people who actually pioneered Texas had been emotionally, spiritually and in many other ways invested in the United States ever since their participation in the American Revolution starting in 1779. And one thing we need to remember is that this Texan investment in the birth process of the United States occurred before Mexico was ever conceived as an independent nation. For this reason, ever since the Spaniard Texians had fully participated in the American Revolution, as later Bernardo Gutierrez so eloquently put it, the Spaniard Texians had begun to feel a bond of brotherhood with the American people, and that bond only strengthened in the battle fields in the years that followed until Texas actually became part of the United States, and the Spaniard Texians saw what they felt was their destiny fulfilled.

In other words, the legitimacy of Texas as an American State, as well as the rest of the Southwest, the legitimacy of the Continental United States to exist as one nation under God, runs as deep as the ethnic and language ties that united the people of Texas and Louisiana, the political ties that existed under Spain, and the brotherhood that developed under fire starting with the participation of Texas and Lousiana, and the rest of Northern New Spain, in the American Revolution. The participation of Texas in the American Revolution with its consequent effect in the hearts of the original pioneers of Texas lends true legitimacy to the annexation of Texas by the United States. It made it a matter of destiny from the perspective of the original Texans because, like I just said, they had actually been fully invested in the birth of the United States before Mexico ever birthed its independence from Spain. And they had been fully invested in the birth of the United States while they were geographically located in the most distant and most isolated frontier of New Spain, it was only natural for them to bond with the United States.

When the pioneers of Texas participated in the American Revolution, they evidently learned and began to yearn for some freedoms hitherto unknown to them and which have gone largely ignored by historians. Through their participation in the American Revolution the Spaniard Texans had learned of the freedom to elect their representatives in government, and they had learned of the freedom to worship God according to one’s conscience and the freedom to read the Holy Writ. This truth is so neglected, that I almost missed it when doing my research! I actually read right through an absolutely essential and crucial statement because it was mentioned so “in passing” and not at all noticed by the writer himself. It was not until later, when I was thinking about what I had read, that I noticed the following statement:

“Young Carbajal (A Texas Revolution Patriot, signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence) next appears in the Austin Papers in his own letter to Stephen F. Austin, dated Bethany, Virginia, March 8, 1830, requesting Austin’s help in selling Spanish bibles in Texas…” (Harbert Davenport, General Jose Maria Jesus Carbajal, historical essay, Sons of Dewitt Colony).

The statement was so, like I said, in passing that I read right over it. As I thought about it, however, I realized how absolutely crucial this statement is to American and Texas history and to the legitimacy of the sense of destiny the original Texans had that one day they would enjoy the freedoms Americans enjoyed!

The Mexican Constitution of 1824 established Mexico as a secular republic in which the official religion of Mexico, the only religion recognized by the secular government of Mexico, was Roman Catholicism. No other religion would be tolerated in Mexico. Of course, Roman Catholicism at that time, and until relatively recent times, forbade its adherents to read the Bible, and the Mass was held in Latin. The original Texans had, evidently, because of their participation in the American Revolution, discovered that the Bible, the Word of God, could be made available to the common people. Although they were mostly Roman Catholic, their participation in the American Revolution had birthed in them a longing to worship God freely, and a desire to read the Word of God, since Freedom of Religion was one of the basic ideals for which the Americans had fought.

This desire to worship God, read the Bible and practice religion according to ones own conscience and not according to prescribed laws, as Mexico required, is exemplified by the marriage of Maria Antonia Benavides, Ysidro Benavides’ daughter, to the Reverend W.M. Sheely, a Methodist preacher.

This, in my book, is all the legitimacy Texas needed to be free, and to be American.

When one studies works such as Robert H. Thonhoff’s “The Texas Connection to the American Revolution”, and one begins to learn just how intense business became between Texas and Louisiana during the American Revolution, a few things begin to surface that are extremely important that, like all of this history, have remained hitherto unnoticed.

As I thought and pondered about all the business activity going on between Texas and Louisiana, it became evident to me, as I read behind the lines, that during the time of the American Revolution the attention of the Spaniards of Texas was wholly occupied with the events in Louisiana and the American Revolution. When Bernardo de Galvez arrived in Louisiana just in time for the events of the American Revolution, it was not a coinicidence that he had previously had extensive experience fighting the Apaches in Chihuahua and West Texas, he was a man truly born “for such a time as this”. Galvez was not just aware of the vast herds of cattle available in Texas that could feed an army, but he was also aware of the fact that San Antonio, the seat of authority in Texas, had been established and settled by Spaniards from the Canary Islands. It is not a coincidence that even before war erupted Galvez sent De Mezieres and Francisco Garcia to Texas to ascertain and to authorize the transportation of thousands of head of cattle to feed his army in preparation for the war to come, while at the same time he encouraged the immigration of Spaniards from the Canary Islands to Louisiana and required other Europeans who lived or who came to Louisiana to take the oath of allegience to Spain.

Whether he wrote about this or not, it seems evident to me that the strategic intent in bringing Canary Islanders to Louisiana went beyond just increasing the Spanish presence there, and it included increasing the sense of kinship between these two territories of Northern New Spain. This intent would be totally consistent with Spain’s historical “system” of hispanization wherever they established a colony or conquered a people. Bernardo de Galvez’ initiative to bring Canary Islanders to Louisiana, the same group of people who founded San Antonio, was evidently intended to begin to make the people of the two areas feel as one people.
Whether Galvez intentionally did so or not, bringing Canary Islanders to Louisiana and opening commerce between Texas and Louisiana had a tremendous effect on the people who inhabited Texas, Louisiana and the Southwest.

The Spaniards of Texas and the rest of Northern New Spain had been hitherto extremely isolated from the rest of the Spanish possessions in the New World. As I mentioned before, caravans bringing supplies from Mexico would arrive in the El Paso area only every 3 to 8 years. Besides this, when the Spanish government had adopted the policy executed by Don Juan de Frias of excluding mestizos from the colonization of Northern New Spain, this decision had the effect of further alienating the people who populated Northern New Spain, including Texas, from the population of Mexico. Ever since the first Spaniards had settled in Texas in the beginning and at the end of the 16th century, they had been tremendously isolated, they had been, as it were, lonely.

When Galvez encouraged the immigration of Canary Islanders and Spaniards to Louisiana, when he encouraged the immigration of other Europeans requiring them to take the oath of allegience to Spain, making them adopted Spaniards, as many Italians, Greeks, Frenchmen and others who came to Texas as Spanish subjects, and when he opened the lines of communication and commerce between Texas and Louisiana, the people of Texas all of a sudden found that they were not alone in the furthest frontier with only tumbleweeds and sand blowing in the wind. Suddenly they had, as it were, a sweetheart! Suddenly they had people with whom they had things and background in common with whom to communicate and do commerce back and forth with. Suddenly they had a sweetheart with whom they could go frolicking by the stream, skipping rocks and chasing fireflies! And the sweetness of their bond was deepened and united them with the 13 British Colonies in their joint sruggle to be free.

Certainly, if one thing is clear by the intense commerce and correspondance between Louisiana and Texas at the time just prior and during the American Revolution, it is that the Spaniard Texians' attention was focused on Louisiana and the American Revolution, their minds, their concerns, their heart was in Louisiana and the 13 Colonies struggling to breath free and not with Mexico.

The coals of this, as it were, "romance" were still smoldering when in 1811-1813 Texas attempted to gain its own independence, hence Gutierrez’ appeal to their kinship with the Americans and to the memory of the American Revolution. For this reason also the governing board of the First Republic of Texas was composed of Spaniards, Canary Islanders, who were all adherents of the American government, hence Menchaca’s insistence that the Spaniard Texians were Americans even then.

Bernardo de Galvez had brought the colonists of Louisiana from Spain and under Spain, he had introduced a foundation of people, the Canary Islanders, who had a common origin with the founders of the seat of authority of Texas. Furthermore, Bernardo de Galvez had opened the lines of communication and commerce between Texas and Louisiana; he had encouraged the unification of Texas and Louisiana politically, linguistically and in terms of citizenship and loyalty. Bernardo de Galvez, with all of this, had a deep commitment, more than for the victory of Spain in its war with England during the American Revolution, for the success of the 13 British Colonies in their struggle to become an independent nation, and he communicated this commitment and affection, which he called "a particular affection" to the people he led both in Louisiana and Texas.

These things Galvez did, and these things are the things that caused the Spaniard Texians to identify with the United States and feel destined to be Americans. Because of this, Bernardo de Galvez is single handedly responsible for creating the circumstances which created the sentiment in the people of Texas which caused them to identify with Louisiana and the United States. He created and communicated the sentiment itself.

In summary, the original Tejanos couldn’t but feel they were part of the United States from before Mexico was ever conceived because of ethnic, language, political, religious and historical ties (including their participation in the American Revolution) to the people of Louisiana and the people of the United States, and Bernardo de Galvez was the man responsible for creating these ties. Bernardo de Galvez, then, is the unsung hero, the unrecognized original foundation layer of the Texas Revolution, and he alone is, therefore, responsible, at a raw foundation level, for the independence of Texas and the eventual inclusion of Texas and the Southwest into the United States.

In the participation of Texas and Louisiana in the American Revolution as led by Bernardo de Galvez, the American Revolution and the Texas Revolution became one extended struggle, one extended period of gestation, for the birth of the Continental United States as it was always meant to be from sea to shining sea.


Chapter 13

THE TEXAS REVOLUTION: A SPANIARD TEXIAN CAUSE

After Miguel Menchaca, Antonio Delgado, Bernardo Gutierrez and their Texas rebels, among whom were both Spaniard Texians and Anglo-Americans but whom Antonio Menchaca calls simply Americans, were defeated by Royalist forces under Arredondo, Royalist rule was established over Texas. There ensued a brutal reprisal in which Texan men were slaughtered and women and children enslaved. The Royalists remained in power in Texas until news came from the south that Mexico was now independent from Spain. Antonio Menchaca, the writer of “Memoirs”, was the individual who carried that news, as a soldier of the King of Spain, to COL Galicia the commander of the Spanish forces in Texas. I believe that the way Menchaca described how news arrived in Texas is very significant and should be carefully considered. Menchaca simply describes himself, as a soldier of the King of Spain, handing a letter to COL Galicia telling him the news of Mexico’s independence, there is no clebration, there is no rejoicing in the streets, there is no “Viva Mexico!”. Menchaca just says he delivered the news and, quietly, Texas came under the jurisdiction of the new country of Mexico. Contrary to what some say that Texas was a province of Mexico and Mexico was under Spanish rule, Texas was not a province of Mexico, it was a province of New Spain, a part of Spain, Mexico did not yet exist as a modern nation before this time. Yet many in Texas today celebrate the day of Mexican Independence, September 16, as if that was a day celebrating the heritage of Texas when, as Menchaca clearly presents it, it was not. The goal, the desire and the destiny of the Spaniard Texians were not fulfilled on the day of Mexican Independence, they were fulfilled April 21, 1836 when the Texian Army defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, and April 22, 1836, when Santa Anna recognized Texas’ independence and, ultimately, when Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845. These should be the days celebrated by the descendants of the Texians, whether Anglo or Spaniard.

As we saw in chapter 10, in Antonio Menchaca’s writing there is no break between the first Republic of Texas of 1813 and the Texas Revolution, it is all one continuous struggle for Texas’ Independence. After the war with Spain was over, there was an uneasy peace, at times the grumblings of revolution by the Texians against Mexico became so loud that the Mexican Army had to be deployed in 1828 to suppress them at Nacogdoches. Everything remained uneasily quiet as more Anglo-American families began to move into Texas. As I described in chapter 9, the relationship between the new Anglo-American Texians and the older Spaniard Texians remained warm and close, as when Gutierrez had described their relationship as that of brothers. It is a mistake to think that the Texas Revolution was birthed only in the hearts of the Anglo-American settlers. Like I said, by all accounts, their relationship with the Spaniard Texians was very warm and close, generally speaking, and in that warmth and closeness the yearning for freedom of both groups, who were beginning to live as one, was revived. As Jose Maria Rodriguez, judge of Web County and son of Texian Patriot Ambrosio Rodriguez, wrote in his “Memoirs of Early Texas”:

“Colonel Travis was a fine looking man of more than ordinary height. I recollect him distinctly from the very fact that he used to come up to our house from the Alamo and talk to my father and mother a great deal. Our house was the first one after you crossed the river coming from the Alamo and Col. Travis generally stopped at our home going and coming. He was very popular and was well liked by everyone. My father was always in sympathy with the Texas cause…” (Jose Maria Rodriguez, Memoirs of Early Texas, 1913).

When I was watching the movie “The Alamo”, which was an excellent movie and historically fairly accurate for Hollywood, or Disney, I couldn’t help but notice how they portrayed Travis as not being liked by the local San Antonians contradicting Judge Rodriquez’s testimony that he was well liked by all. It is really sad that the movie missed it on this point because it was in this warm kind of friendship that Judge Rodriquez described, in those often conversations between the Anglo- American Texians and the Spaniard Texians, that the move for Texas’ freedom was, not birthed, but revived.

And here I must pause and make an observation that is vitally important. Menchaca and Judge Rodriguez and all those who wrote of the warm relationship that existed between the new Anglo-American Texians and the old Spaniard Texians were eyewitnesses and participants in that relationship. This is important to note because, as I said before, today many writers claim that the new Anglo-American settlers were nothing but a horde of barbarians who hated and despised the old Spaniard pioneers of Texas, who, according to these writers, were not Spaniard but Mexicans like the ones in central Mexico. Menchaca and Rodriguez lived through that whole period, they were there before, during and after the Anglo-Americans came to Texas, they were there when the incidents of abuse so often touted ocurred, and yet they see no such hatred and discrimination. Today’s writers think they know better than the people who were actually there, bringing their own Johnny come lately prejudices into the picture. But to Menchaca and Roriguez who were there, and even to Antonio Navarro who acknowledged the abuses committed by some Anglo-Americans, no such enmity existed, that enmity exists only in the prejudicial minds and foolish assumptions of today’s writers.

When Santa Anna abolished the Mexican Constitution and government and crowned himself emperor of Mexico, the Texan settlers were under no obligation to submit to this self-crowned king. At this point in history, what they had sworn allegiance to had been dissolved and they were within their full rights to declare their independence from this “kingdom” or “empire” of Mexico. As I mentioned, the province of Texas was not the only province to declare its independence from Mexico at this time, the northern provinces of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua and New Mexico also declared their independence and established the Republic of the Rio Grande, and not the Republic of the Rio Bravo as the Mexicans called the Rio Grande, it is important to notice this. All these provinces were within their legitimate rights to declare their independence because the new Republic of Mexico no longer existed and a megalomaniac had declared himself emperor and king. Santa Anna is even reputed as having gone so far as to have said, “If I were God I would still want something more” (Wild West Tech. “Alamo Tech” Documentary 9/23/04 The History Channel). Santa Anna, by the way, was a criollo as most of the original Texians were, and not a mestizo or genizaro as most of the Mexicans are and as he is commonly portrayed.

This renewed Texian revolutionary fervor gave rise to a new generation of Spaniard Texian heroes. The listing of Spaniard Texian heroes could not be complete without mentioning General Lorenzo De Zavala, the giant of Texas history. De Zavala was one of the framers of the first Constitution of Texas and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He designed the first flag for the Republic of Texas and was elected the first Vice-President of Texas. De Zavala “…openly advocated the separation of Texas from Mexico before many would dare to even think of it…” ( Wallace L. McKeehan, Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas). DeZavala put in operation the first successful public school system west of the Alleghenies in the United States, started the first political newspaper in the same area and strongly presented the cause for Texas independence before the people of Texas in his published speeches.

The Seguin family of Texas, which, by the way, was an hispanicized French family, was perhaps one of the families which contributed most to the Texas Revolution. Erasmo Seguin, father of Juan N. Seguin, being the Texas Deputy in the Mexican Congress during the Mexican period of Texas, after Santa Anna abolished the Constitution and declared himself emperor and after securing Stephen Austin’s release from a Mexican prison, returned to Texas convinced that the Texians, both Spaniard and Anglo together, once again as brothers, should declare their independence from Mexico. Don Erasmo Seguin had developed a solid friendship with Stephen F. Austin and with his father Moses Austin before him.

Erasmo Seguin was an ardent supporter of the cause of Texas. He was responsible for securing the empresario grant from the Spanish government just before Mexico’s independence from Spain by which Stephen Austin could actually fulfill his father (who had died before he could fulfill his plan) Moses Austin’s plan to bring 300 Anglo-American families into Texas. When hostilities began Erasmo Seguin cheerfully gave cattle and crops from his ranch to sustain the Texian Army and encouraged other ranchers to do the same. When the Texians were forced to retreat at some point in 1836, he followed them with a herd of sheep so that the Texian Army would not go hungry. Any veteran who has experienced a forced march in the U.S. Army or Marines can appreciate the depth and value of this beautiful gesture. As they say, an army travels on its stomach, and without beans and bullets there is little an army can do. Don Erasmo Seguin was truly a Texan and an American hero that should be remembered by all Americans!

Juan N. Seguin, Erasmo’s son, recruited fighters among the original Texans to fight Santa Anna’s army. At the Alamo, Juan Seguin and his men fought alongside Bowie, Travis and Crocket. He was not killed at the Alamo because, at the order of Colonel Travis, he had broken through the Mexican lines to try to get reinforcements. After the Alamo fell, he and his men rushed to defend the citizens of Texas who were fleeing for their lives from the Mexican Army during what is known as the Runaway Scrape. Captain Seguin commanded the Cavalry Company of the 2nd Regiment during the Battle of San Jacinto in which Santa Anna was defeated and the independence of Texas secured. Captain Seguin then enforced the orderly withdrawal of Santa Anna’s troops from Texas, and went, with his army, to San Antonio to accept the surrender of the Mexican forces. By appealing to his friend Sam Houston to rescind a previous order to burn San Antonio to the ground, Seguin saved San Antonio from being destroyed by fire. Juan N. Seguin, like his father, was a true Texas and American hero.

Much could be written of the Spaniard Texian Founding Fathers who have been all but forgotten. Men such as Ambrosio Rodriguez, Antonio Menchaca, Manuel Flores, Jose Antonio Navarro, the vicci Italian Jose Cassiano, the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho and others who, like Erasmo and Juan Seguin, unselfishly gave of their money, their cattle and their blood, literally pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to ensure that Texas asserted its distinct identity and became part of the United States. These were the men whose ancestors, like the Loya family group, had pioneered Texas, had cleared the land, had fought the Indians and had shed both blood and tears and buried their fathers in the plains of Texas. It was them who, from the start, for the reasons I enumerated in chapter 11, thought of their country as being destined to be a part of the United States. For them, the Texas Revolution was one continuos struggle that started not in 1835 but in 1811, the Anglo-Americans, very far from being the land hungry invaders and conquerors of the Spaniard Texians, as some scholars appalingly ignorantly assert, simply joined them in that struggle and destiny and that at the Spaniard Texians' request, a different people a thousand miles to the south had no right or say over them or over their land.


Chapter 16

THE LEGITIMACY OF THE TEXAS BORDER AT THE RIO GRANDE

When Santa Anna abolished the Mexican Constitution and the Mexican Republic, the Texans were under no obligation to submit to this self-crowned king, they legitimately had the right to declare their independence from Mexico. As the unsung giant of Texas and American history Lorenzo De Zavala so eloquently put it before his fellow Texans in an address urging them to resist Santa Anna:

“The fundamental contract having been dissolved, and all the guarantees; of the civil and political rights of citizens having been destroyed, it is incontestable that all the States of the Confederation are left at liberty to act for themselves, and to provide for their security and preservation as circumstances may require. Coahuila and Texas formed a State of the Republic, and, as one part of it is occupied by an invading force (the Mexican army), the free part of it should proceed to organize a power which would restore harmony and establish order and uniformity in all the branches of the public administration, which should be a rallying point for the citizens whose hearts now tremble for liberty. But as this power can be organized only by means of a convention which should represent the free will of the citizens of Texas, it is my opinion that this step should be taken, and I suggest the 15th day of October as a time sufficient to allow all the departments to send their representatives.” ( Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz; General Lawrence DeZavala, Wallace L. McKeehan, Sons of Dewitt Colony, Texas, 1997-2003).

It can not be overly emphasized how absolutely important and significant this speech by the giant of Spaniard Founding Fathers of Texas Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz, also known as General Lawrence De Zavala, is. This is an authoritative source, General De Zavala was there, he was a scholar, a Texas Patriot, a statesman of the highest order, an honest man and a man held in high regard. He had helped write the Mexican Constitution of 1824, he had traveled through out Europe promoting Mexico’s right to be a sovereign nation after it gained its independence from Spain in 1821. If any original Texian’s opinion of the fortunes and happenings in Texas is authoritative, it is that of Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz (I write his full name to stress the point. One can just imagine how he came to be called General Lawrence De Zavala: Imagine when Sam Houston and General De Zavala first met, “Hi, my name is Sam Houston, what’s your name?” “Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz” “Say what?!” “Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz” “Come again?” “Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz” “Just one more time, please?” “Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz” “Uuhh, I think I caught a Lawrence there somewhere… you mind if I just call you Lawrence?”).

In his speech De Zavala said,

“Coahuila and Texas formed a State of the Republic, and, as one part of it is occupied by an invading force the free part of it should proceed to organize a power which would restore harmony and establish order…”

This statement by De Zavala is crucially and essentially important because in it he, as a Texian Founding Father of Spaniard origin and not an Anglo-American Texian, addressed the issue of Texas Independence and American intervention at its foundation. According to De Zavala, Coahuila and Texas were one single State of the Republic of Mexico, not two different states. It is crucially important to notice as well that DeZavala did not consider the fact that Texas and Coahuila had been joined as one state a trumping of Texas’ rights by the Mexican centralist government. It is important because some today use that to argue that the Texians, both Anglo-American and Tejano, revolted simply to assert their rights as Mexican citizens to have their own state. DeZavala, who was there and is a Giant of history, didn’t see it that way, he saw Tejas y Coahuila as a single state and in his speech DeZavala argued for the right of this single State of Coahuila Texas to declare its independence from Mexico. The problem was, said De Zavala, that part of this one state, that part called Coahuila, was occupied by an invading force, that is, the Mexican army under Santa Anna. Because part of it was occupied by that invading force, the part of that one single State of Coahuila Texas that was still free needed to go ahead and organize an independent government. And so De Zavala called for a Texas Convention to declare independence from Mexico.

As we just saw, in his speech, De Zavala identified the Mexican army under Santa Anna as an invading force that had successfully already occupied one of the two parts of the one State of Coahuila Texas. That De Zavala was not the only one who saw the Mexican army as an invading force is evident in that in 1840, just a few years after the Texas Revolution, the occupied part of the one State of Coahuila Texas, that is, Coahuila, along with the other States of the Republic of the Rio Grande, also attempted to expel the Mexican invading force but failed to do so. That invading force had to be stopped.

For a short time, 14 days to be exact, in 1836 the Texians raised the Mexican flag with the year 1824 embroidered on it representing the Mexican Constitution of 1824. They did this not because they felt any sense of Mexican pride as some mistakenly assume and as the very short time they flew that flag tells you, but because in Santa Anna’s abolition of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 the Texians found justification and legitimacy for their move for independence from Mexico, and, really, because they had no flag of their own. Their intent had always been to be independent from Mexico, and, as Menchaca clearly shows, and Ruiz always felt, to become part of the American Union. It was separation from Mexico that DeZavala eloquently called for in his speech, not reformation of Mexico, and he did this by appealing to the abolition of the Mexican Constitution of 1824.

When in his speech DeZavala said, “The fundamental contract having been dissolved, and all the gurantees of the civil and political rights of citizens having been destroyed…”, he was with words doing what the Texan troops had done when they had raised the Mexican 1824 flag, not advocating a Mexican pride, but, like I said, underscoring the legitimacy of the Texians’ cause for independence and separation from Mexico, as the rest of his speech makes clear. That is why it was DeZavala himself who shortly thereafter in the same year, 1836, designed the very first “Lone Star Flag of the Republic of Texas”, a blue flag with a single five pointed white star in the middle and the letters T-E-X-A-S between each point of the star. For this reason, the Americans who joined the Texians like brothers in the fight were not pirates but Patriots.

When American troops crossed the Sabine River or the Medina River, they were not invading Mexico unprovoked, they were not starting a war under false pretenses, as some disingenuously assert who (for some deep seated and unknown reason) like to blame their own country first. The American army was recognizing the border claimed by Manuel Justiniano Lorenzo de Zavala y Saenz and the Republic of Texas of the free part of the one State of Coahuila Texas that DeZavala had exhorted his fellow Texans to organize into a free state, and defending it against invasion. They were rescuing from the lion’s clutches the one part of Coahuila Texas that had not yet been brutally crushed and its yearning to breathe free suffocated by the invading force during the period of the Republic of the Rio Grande. They were not, as Santa Anna claimed and some believe him today, invading another country as pirates and mercenaries, they were selflessly once again leaving their homes and their families to, like brothers, join the Texians, both Spaniard and Anglo-American, in their struggle and their cause. And this they did because the Texians, both Spaniard and Anglo-American, had requested of the American people that Texas should be a part of the United States, and the request had been granted.

We would do well to remember that after Mexican forces surrendered to Juan Seguin and Sam Houston they were escorted out of Texas at the Rio Grande. When the Mexicans agreed to leave Texas and left unmolested in return for their parole, they agreed to leave at the Rio Grande, by their action recognizing that the border of Texas, which had never been well defined, was the Rio Grande. The Mexican peace commissioners also recognized this border when they said,

“ The intention of making the Bravo a limit has been announced in the clearest terms for the last twelve years… After the battle of San Jacinto, in 1836, that was the territory we stipulated to evacuate, and which we accordingly did evacuate by falling back on Matamoros. In this place was stationed what was called the army of the north”. ( Z.T. Filmore “The Annexation of Texas and the Mexican War”, The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Vol. V, page 46, July 1901).

By their own admission, when after their defeat at San Jacinto the Mexican army peacefully evacuated the area south of the Nueces and Medina Rivers and fell back south of the Rio Grande and stationed their army of the north at Matamoros, Mexico recognized and legitimized the Texas border at the Rio Grande. It is important to notice that in their admission the Mexican peace commissioners used the words “we stipulated” because those words give the agreement that was reached after the Battle of San Jacinto legal pertinence and authority. In other words, the Mexican peace commissioners after the Mexican War were acknowledging that tweleve years before the Mexican government had legally recognized the Texas border at the Rio Grande. By what they said, the Mexican peace commissioners were simply acknowledging that the present formalization of the Texas border at the Rio Grande after the Mexican War was something Mexico had already legally recognized twelve years earlier after the Battle of San Jacinto.

Consequently, because by their own admission both in word and in deed the Mexicans had recognized and legitimized the Texas border at the Rio Grande, when they crossed the Rio Grande to attack General Taylor’s forces they did so on purpose and with intent, not to defend Mexico, but to invade and forcibly reannex Texas which had sovereignly decided to be part of the United States. What really happened then is that the Mexican government reneged on its own word and commitment.

When in a cataclysmic flood the Rio Grande had changed course in 1830-31 placing San Elizario and its neighboring West Texas towns north of the deepest channel of the Rio Grande right in the nick of time before the Texas Revolution, with a bigger faith than mine you may call it coincidence, I recognize the eternal intent of Divine Providence that San Elizario and its neighboring towns should be part of the United States… of course, I am a theologian as well as a fledgling historian.

As President Polk pointed out in a message dated December 2, 1845

“The government of Mexico by a formal act agreed to recognize the independence of Texas on condition that she would not annex herself to any other power. The agreement to acknowledge the independence of Texas, with or without this condition, is conclusive against Mexico. The independence of Texas is a fact conceded by Mexico herself, and she has no right or authority to prescribe restrictions on the form of government which Texas might afterwards choose to assume.” (Z.T. Filmore, p. 38).

But the reason the Mexican government felt that it could prescribe restrictions on the form of government Texas chose while conceding its independence is because Mexico was acting deceitfully, despite her words, Mexico regarded independent Texas as a rebellious province. Mexico was doing to Texas what Spain, which did not recognize the independence of Mexico but until 16 years after the fact, had done to Mexico. Mexico started the Mexican War long before American troops ever crossed the Medina River, which was not the Texas border, the Rio Grande was, when it promised to go to war against the United States if the United States ever annexed the Republic of Texas. Mexico was forgetting that it was the United States who had first recognized Mexico’s own independence from Spain.

When General Taylor arrived at the Rio Grande across from Matamoros, he found the area free of Mexican soldiers because the Mexicans had recognized that area as Texas when they had left after the Battle of San Jacinto. General Taylor had strict orders from President Polk not to engage the Mexican army but in self-defense. Unfortunately, when he sent General Worth across the river to deliver a courteous note to the Mexican commander telling him of his desire that the two armies would be at peace pending a settlement between the two governments, the only reply he received was a rude note telling him his actions were acts of war. When Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and attacked American forces, they were not defending their country, they were knowingly invading a territory they had conceded was part of the independent Republic of Texas, which had already voluntarily become part of the United States, and they were attempting to impose their will on a republic they themselves had recognized as sovereign. They were invading American soil. They had started the Mexican War.


Chapter 17

THE SPANIARD TEXIANS AND THE AMERICAN BORDER

As I was doing research for this particular section of this book, as I was writing this chapter, I just happened to go over my family’s, my ancestors’, family records in San Elizario, Texas. I had no intent, as I was doing so, to link my own family’s history with the issue I am presently discussing. But as I perused over the records, I found something so absolutely fascinating and so evidently linked with this particular discussion, that I had to include it here!

As I was looking over the baptismal records of my great grandfather’s great grandfather’s children, Estanislao, Antonio, and Maria Tereza Loya, born in 1799, 1800 and 1801 respectively, I noticed something very interesting. I noticed that they had been born in San Elizario, Texas but had been baptized at the Church of Nuestra Se�ora de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is located in present day Juarez, Mexico. I thought that was interesting, especially when, as I “traveled” up in time to 1844 perusing the documents, I noticed that Maria Diega Loya, daughter of Arcadio Loya, older sister of my great grandfather Gabino Loya, was also born in San Elizario, Texas (circa Nov. 30, 1844) and baptized, as was the custom, across the Rio Grande in Mexico.

Now, by 1844 the Rio Grande had changed course so that San Elizario and present day Juarez were no longer both on the south bank of the river. In other words, in 1844, one year before the annexation of Texas by the United States, not just the Loya family, but all people who were born in San Elizario, Texas and the El Paso area, were traveling across the river to Mexico to be baptized. That was an established pattern that I noticed starting as far back as 1799 at the time San Elizario, Texas was founded, and continuing up until 1844. As I did more research, sure enough, I found out that up until November of 1882 the people of El Paso would cross the Rio Grande on a hand pulled ferry to attend mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Se�ora de Guadalupe) in Juarez. (The Handbook of Texas Online, El Paso, Catholic Diocese Of).

As I continued to do research I found something fascinating! When my great grandfather, Gabino Loya, was born three years after his older sister, on February 2, 1847, he was born in San Elizario, Texas, but, unlike his older sister and his predecessors, he was also baptized in San Elizario by one Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho. I thought that was fascinating! Ever since 1799 at least, and up until 1844, the Loya family, and everyone else, born in San Elizario had to go across the Rio Grande to present day Juarez to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church to be baptized. Abruptly, in 1847, my great grandfather was both born and baptized in San Elizario, Texas!

As I read the record of the birth and baptism of my great grandfather Gabino Loya’s uncle, Mercedes Loya, born to Gabino’s grandparents Antonio Loya and Gregoria Zeraffini, only six months before Gabino’s birth, on September 25, 1846, once again the absolutely fascinating became absolutely and extremely historically significant! Mercedes Loya was born on September 25, 1846 in San Elizario, Texas, and was baptized on October 1, 1846 also in San Elizario, Texas by, again, the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho. The year 1846, as reflected by these baptismal records, appeared to be a crucial year in braking the pattern of people born in Texas and baptized in Mexico that had been established for a long time in the El Paso area. Starting in 1846, people born in San Elizario were now also baptized in San Elizario, they no longer traveled across the Rio Grande to be baptized, thanks to the services of the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho.

As I compared the photocopy of the primary handwritten document of my great grandfather Gabino Loya’s birth and baptism, with the translation of his uncle Mercedes Loya’s baptismal and birth record, as translated by Mrs. Lillian Trujillo, the genealogist with the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society who is in charge of translating the church records, including the cemetery, marriage, baptismal and birth records (she is leaving a great legacy for generations to come!), I noticed it said basically the same thing, with one important difference. In 1847 in my great grandfather’s baptismal and birth record the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho identified himself as priest of “San Elceo” (San Elizario), whereas in his uncle’s baptismal and birth record six months earlier in 1846 the same Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho identified himself as from the Parish of San Antonio. In both he was under “holy visit” baptizing them.

When I read what Mrs. Lillian Trujillo translated, that the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho came from the Parish of San Antonio, I was amazed because 1846 was the year the Mexican War started after the United States annexed Texas at the Republic of Texas' sovereign request one year earlier in 1845, and San Antonio was the seat of authority for the Republic of Texas which was now the State of Texas! As I did more research my amazement became absolute when I discovered that the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho, who was the first priest of San Elizario, had arrived and started his ministry at San Elizario on January of 1846 (rootsweb.com/txelpaso/priests), the same exact month President Polk had sent General Taylor south of the Medina River to the Rio Grande! Apparently, when President Polk sent the U.S. Military to assert the border of the United States where the people of the Republic of Texas and Mexico had both in word and deed recognized the border of Texas to be after San Jacinto, Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho had arrived to West Texas from San Antonio to assert the same border by making sure that those who were born on the north bank of the Rio Grande were also baptized within the border the Republic of Texas claimed! Fascinating!

And this action was not only fascinating but also absolutely significant because, notice, the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho was not the Reverend Sean O’Flahearty or the Reverend Dean Johnson, he was the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho. In other words, from among the original Spaniard Texians, the original Tejanos, they sent the clergy to make sure those born within Texas were baptized within Texas and to assert the border Texas claimed and Mexico had recognized and accepted after the Battle of San Jacinto. For this, the name of the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho should forever be remembered among the heroes and Founding Fathers of Texas.

When President Polk sent the U.S. Military to assert the U.S. border down in South Texas, the original Spaniard Texians sent their clergy to assert the border in West Texas.
This in itself is significant because since the American military was not present in West Texas, the clergy, evidently, took up the responsibility to assert the border there, also at the Rio Grande. And this the clergy, in the person of the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho, did, not just geographically, but emotionally and spiritually by, again, braking the established pattern and making sure that through the duration of the Mexican War those who were born in West Texas were also baptized in West Texas, having started this practice at the exact time all knew war was imminent because the Mexicans had threatened to start a war should the U.S. honor the sovereign desire of the Republic of Texas to be annexed by the United States.

It is not so much as some say, including many Mexicans who have no right to say so but who claim for themselves a land that was not theirs, that “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us”, but, rather, the reality is that the Spaniard Texians took it upon themselves to positively assert the Texas and American border at the Rio Grande in West Texas at the same time the U.S. Army asserted the border in South Texas, a loud and clear statement as to where the Spaniard Texians felt their heritage lay.

The parents of the children who during this time of a war to decide the destiny of two nations chose by their own free will to go along with the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho and have their children baptized in San Elizario, Texas instead of going across the Rio Grande into Mexico as had been the custom since the founding of San Elizario also showed where they felt their loyalty and heritage lay. The fact that parents such as my great grandfather Gabino Loya’s parents went along with the Reverend Camacho is a clear and loud statement of how they saw their home and themselves as a part of the Republic of Texas and of the United States, of how their lot was cast alongside Bowie, Houston, Travis and Crockett. This is absolutely evident by the documentation, which can be found at the Church of San Elizario, Texas and at the Latter Day Saints Genealogical Archives.

To be honest, I have not had the opportunity examine the primary document that Mrs.Lillian Trujillo translated to verify that, indeed, the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho came to San Elizario from San Antonio. I don’t have any reason to doubt the accuracy of Mrs. Trujilllo’s translation, specially since she is the genealogist for the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society who is in charge of translating all those documents, but sometimes old handwritten archival records are hard to read. Never the less, it does not matter whether the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho came to San Elizario from San Antonio. For all that matters, he could’ve come from China because the point is that in the year 1846 the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho broke the long established pattern of people being born in Texas and baptized in Mexico, and made sure that starting in 1846, at the exact time that General Taylor was asserting the Texas border at the Rio Grande, and, like I said, through the duration of the war, people born in West Texas would also be baptized in West Texas.

The point in history in which the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho started baptizing babies born in West Texas in West Texas is too crucial, too momentous to be coincidental! I mean, he did so when all knew that a major war, which had long been threatened by Mexico, was about to break out and would forever establish the Rio Grande as the border between these two neighboring nations. He did so through the duration of the Mexican War. It is clearly evident his actions were intended to assert the border of Texas, and of the United States, at the Rio Grande in West Texas. It is clearly evident his actions were intended to ensure that people born in West Texas, by also being baptized in West Texas, would feel, emotionally and spiritually, that they belonged in Texas and the United States, that they were fully and legitimately American. By going along with him, the people of West Texas asserted their Texian and American heritage. For this, like I said, the Reverend Jose de Jesus Camacho ought to be remembered and honored as a Texas and American hero.


Chapter 18

SLAVERY AND THE MEXICAN WAR

Frankly, those who say the Mexican War was started by President Polk just to include another slave state in the Union do not know the facts, or purposefully conceal them. The former disqualify themselves from teaching this chapter of American History, the latter disqualify themselves from teaching anything at all. The reason I say this is because, when one studies the facts regarding the issue of slavery in Texas, it is evident that, like I said, the issue of including another slave state had nothing to do with the annexation of Texas by the United States. The free States of Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, New York, Illinois and New Hampshire with a total population of 6,201, 991 white people voted for the annexation of Texas by the United States. On the other hand, the free States of Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio and Connecticut with a total population of 3, 281, 401 white people voted against annexation. In other words, twice as many people from free states voted for the annexation of Texas by the United States than those who voted against it.

That the war had nothing to do with the issue of slavery is also seen in that of the slave holding States, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and, of course, Louisiana, with a total population of 2, 489, 358 white people voted for the annexation of Texas by the United States. On the other hand, the slave holding States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina, with a total population of 2, 092, 515 white people voted against annexation. In other words, people in slave holding States were divided roughly in half regarding the annexation of Texas by the United States. Twice as many more people in the free States voted for the annexation of Texas, while half the people in the slave holding States voted against annexation (Z.T. Filmore p.36). Clearly, to say that the Mexican War was about adding another slave State to the Union is just plain ignorant or intellectually dishonest and therefore perfidious.

Outside of New England, the concern and argument against the annexation of Texas was that the annexation of Texas would result in Mexico waging war against the United States. When we realize that it was the fear of war with Mexico that actually affected the vote regarding the annexation of Texas, and not at all the issue of slavery, we are able to see that the kinship ties between the people of Texas and the people of Louisiana which I mentioned earlier in this chapter were very real and went both ways. Louisiana voted for the annexation of Texas knowing full well that doing so may lead to war with Mexico, and knowing full well that because of Louisiana’s proximity to Texas the war could possibly spill over into Louisiana, where the children of Louisiana would learn of the horror of war with their own eyes. Yet, Louisiana voted to annex Texas. By doing so the Louisianans showed the kinship they felt for Texas because they showed they were willing to sacrifice everything and to fight for Texas even if they had to do so in their own house.

The fact that the vote for the annexation of Texas was directly affected by the fear of going to war with Mexico also serves to determine which country was picking a war before it ever started. To this we add the fact that Stephen F. Austin was a Southerner who vehemently opposed slavery, that his colonists included people from the most influential countries of Europe and from all over the United States including at least 60 families from New York State, and that the empresarios who actually brought colonists to Texas included men from England, Ireland, free States and Mexico, and it becomes clear that slavery was not at all a motivating factor in the colonization of Texas or its subsequent annexation by the United States.


Chapter 19

Goliad: Massacre or Legitimate Execution?

When American troops crossed the Medina River, they were fulfilling the manifest destiny, not of the Anglo-Americans, but the manifest destiny of the original Spaniard Texans, the manifest destiny of which Antonio Menchaca and Judge Rodriguez wrote about, the manifest destiny that Francisco Ruiz always had a conviction of, Jose Antonio Navarro was willing to give his life for and Jose de Jesus Camacho labored to fulfill, the manifest destiny the original Spaniard Texans, also known as original Tejanos, held to that they should be and were a part of the United States of America ever since they invested money, prayers, cattle and soldiers in its birth before Mexico was ever conceived.

It was the new Empire of Mexico that had no right then to attack Texas to try to crush it and forcibly re-annex it as it had brutally done with the other provinces of Northern Mexico which had also legitimately attempted to be free. When the border between the United States and Mexico was drawn at the Rio Grande, it was legitimate and ethical to do so because that was the border of the part of the one State of Coahuila Texas of which De Zavala spoke that had not yet been occupied by the invading Mexican force and it was the border Mexico itself had recognized and accepted in word and in deed after the Battle of San Jacinto. There really would not have been any border dispute had Mexico kept its commitment after San Jacinto, but although the territory was disputed, the provinces which laid claim to the land, as the Republic of Texas did, had also legitimately attempted to be free from Mexico, even then making its annexation by the United States legitimate.

American troops did not attack Mexico unprovoked, they defended De Zavala’s home and Menchaca’s dream with their lives and their blood, like brothers. Why! The United States was so ethical in its conduct of war with Mexico that it was then that the U.S. Army mustered the first Roman Catholic chaplains into service! And it did this specifically as a gesture of respect towards the people of Mexico and to ensure their freedom of religion while the U.S. Army briefly occupied their land into Mexico City. By deploying Roman Catholic priests as chaplains for the first time, the U.S. Army also intended to dispel the rumors among the Mexican people that the Americans despised their religion and went to war with Mexico to threaten their religion and impose Protestantism on the Mexicans. It was the hope of the American government and the U.S. Army that by deploying Roman Catholic priests with the American soldiers into Mexico, the Mexican people’s fears and worries would be dispelled and their hearts set at peace and encouraged. To further help calm the fears of the Mexican people not only were these the first Roman Catholic priests mustered into service with the U.S. Army, they were also the first hispanic chaplains, Ignacio Ramirez and Anthony Rey, the latter of whom was killed in action in Mexico. Such was the concern and the ethical conduct of the United States and its Army and people during the Mexican War, as in every war, to bring freedom from unnecessary fear to their enemy!

On the other hand, the Mexicans had no problem openly calling the Americans heathens and heretics, and about ten years earlier, on Palm Sunday, the day that Christian people celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, March 27, 1836, Mexican soldiers under Colonel Portilla, in what is known as the Goliad Massacre, brutally murdered over three hundred Texan prisoners of war, including 40 wounded Texans who were in the chapel and could not even stand up, turning the day of Christian celebration into a day that will truly live in infamy. The Texan prisoners of war had been led to believe that they would be paroled and sent home in peace because Fannin had secured their just treatment on paper. The Mexicans marched the Texans out in single file forming two columns, one on each side of the Texas line of soldiers. At some point Col. Portilla gave the order to stop the march, and then he gave the order for one column of Mexicans to step across the line of Texans to the other side so that the two lines of Mexicans were now both on one side facing the unarmed Texans. Then the Mexicans opened fire on their unarmed Texan prisoners!

Some Texans who had survived the first volley of fire ran for their lives. The Mexicans chased them down on horses and murdered them with spears and bayonets, except for a small number who managed to escape. The 40 wounded Texan prisoners who were inside the chapel at Goliad were dragged out and shot dead on the church porch. After shooting the wounded soldiers at the chapel the Mexican soldiers proceeded to entertain themselves by taking turns shooting the chapel bells, demonstrating a marked difference between them and the Americans in their respect for their enemies’ religion. When Colonel Fannin asked three simple things as his last request before the Mexicans executed him; that they would not shoot him in the face, that his personal belongings be sent to his family and that he be given Christian burial, the Mexicans shot him in the face, a Mexican officer took his personal belongings and his body was burned and discarded along with many others. Incredibly appalling!… The Mexicans left the Texans’ bodies exposed for two months to be eaten by coyotes and dogs (Katheryn Stoner O’Connor, Presidio La Bahia, & The Sons of Dewitt Colony).

Survivors of this tragic incident would later write of the heroic actions of Francisca Alvarez, whom they called the “Angel of Goliad”. Francisca Alvarez had been truly an angel of mercy in the midst of the horror at Goliad. When she discovered that 75 men of William P. Miller’s Nashville Battalion had had their hands bound so tightly by their Mexican captors that their blood circulation was being cut, she arranged for their bonds to be loosened and for them to be given food and water. Later she was instrumental in saving the lives of more than 60 of James W. Fannin’s men, including a 15 year old boy whom the Mexicans were going to execute with the other soldiers. She succeeded in reversing the order to execute some and helped others escape and then, disregarding her own life, she, along with at least one other lady, stood between the Mexican firing squad and some young Texan prisoners, causing their lives to also be spared. Her heroic actions saved the lives of at least 70 unarmed Texan prisoners of war.

Incredibly, however, there are those today, even among some who call themselves Americans, who are pushing for the terrifyingly appalling and brutal events just described to no longer be called a massacre but a legitimate execution, and for Fannin’s soldiers to be called not Texas Patriots but pirates and criminals!… To agree with Santa Anna, the megalomaniac who desired to have more power than God, that these men were pirates and mercenaries, and therefore this horrifying treatment was deserved, rather than to recognize them as the selfless Patriots they actually were, is a shame and an ungrateful injustice… Boy! These present day revisionists of history must really put forth some effort to suppress and muzzle their own conscience! I say this because the God given conscience of any human being inately knows that such treatment of unarmed and wounded prisoners, even if they were pirates, is barbaric, evil and wrong! Wouldn’t you agree? But in their effort to portray the Goliad Massacre as the legitimate execution of criminals and pirates because Mexican law called for the execution as pirates of foreigners who fought the Mexican government, these modern day revisionists unwittingly make the point. The brutality of the Mexican government as evidenced by their law and their actions, which today’s revisionists hold up as the banner for their call, only serves to expose just how unjust the Mexican government was, and it only serves to underscore the rightness of the Texas cause and American intervention.

The assertion I just made is not the out of context observation of someone with a 21st century point of view of what constitutes justice in an armed conflict. Some may argue that to say what I just said is the opinion of an American reading his beliefs into a different culture at a different time. The truth of the matter, however, is that the assertions I made are not just based on the sensitivity of human conscience, which transcends culture and time, but on ancient teachings about “just war” with which the Mexicans, the Texans and the Americans were all familiar with.
The doctrine of just war dates as far back as St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century and St. Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century. Both of these men are hailed as champions of the Roman Catholic faith that the Mexicans were claiming to defend against the heretical Anglo-Americans and Spaniard Texans. In short, the doctrine of just war deals with two basic aspects of armed conflict between nations. First, it deals with what is called “Jus ad bellum”, that is, the doctrine that deals with the morality of becoming engaged in war to begin with. Second, the doctrine of just war deals with what is known as “Jus in bello”, or the morality of the behavior of combatants already engaged in war. To call the Goliad Massacre the Goliad Executions to satisfy the inner inadequacy of some who think political correctness is more expedient than truth, is to callously, and vainly, toss aside the long standing doctrines of Jus ad bellum,and Jus in bello.
If we were to scrutinize the Goliad Massacre by itself in the light of Jus in bello, it would be clear that the incident was indeed a massacre, a war crime by any standard. When along with it we also examine the Texas cause in the light of Jus ad bellum, however, the point is made even stronger. When Lorenzo DeZavala gave his speech urging the Texans to throw off the yoke of the Mexican government, he did a masterfull job demonstrating how the Texas cause fulfilled the requirements of Jus ad bellum. It seems evident that in his speech, being the scholar that he was, he was intentionally addressing Jus ad bellum.

Based on the teachings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, LTC (Lieutenant Commander) Donald L. Davidson in his “The Just War Criteria: A Contemporary Description”, identifies three causes that justify war. One of these morally justifiable causes for going to war is “…to restore rights wrongfully denied” (p.D-4). Lorenzo DeZavala specifically addressed this morally justifiable reason to go to war for the independence of Texas from Mexico when he said “The fundamental contract having been dissolved, and all the guarantees; of the civil and political rights of citizens having been destroyed…”. DeZavala was clearly making the point that when Santa Anna abolished the Mexican Constitution of 1824 he was wrongfully denying the rights of the citizens of Mexico, including the Texans. Therefore, in order “to restore rights wrongfully denied”, the citizens of Texas, and of all the other provinces that attempted to throw off the Mexican yoke during the period of the Republic of the Rio Grande, were morally justified in going to war against Mexico to restore the rights that had been wrongfully denied to them.

Some indeed argue that Fannin and his men were not citizens of Mexico or of Texas, that they were foreigners who were intervening in an internal affair of Mexico elliciting insurrection and were therefore pirates and were justifiably executed. According to Jus ad bellum, however, “This cause permits a war of ‘intervention’, including crossing another nation’s borders to correct a flagrant and persistent denial of justice- as a defense of the innocent.” (Davidson, p. D-4). According to the long standing and long accepted Jus ad bellum, Santa Anna’s abolition of the rights of Texas’ citizens by the abolition of the Constitution of 1824 constituted just cause for Americans to intervene in the Texas Revolution to help the Texans restore and defend their rights. By the Jus ad bellum standard, Fannin and his men, even those who were American and not Texan citizens, were fully justified in intervening because, one, the Texas cause was right, and, two, the right of intervention was also right. As Donald L. Davidson identifies the principles from the just war doctrine:

“(5) Intervention is justified in behalf of a revolutionary force seeking to overthrow an extremely oppressive regime, provided that this force has general popular support and has requested intervention” (Davidson, The Just War Criteria: A Contemporary Description, p. D-4).

The citizens of Texas, both Anglo-American and Spaniard, as we have seen, fully supported and requested American intervention in their struggle against tyranny. For this reason, according to Jus ad bellum, Fannin and his men, and later the American Army, were fully justified and morally right in intervening on behalf of the citizens of Texas.

On the other hand, while Jus ad bellum determines the morality of going to war, Jus in bello determines the morality of the behavior of combatants once engaged in war. All is fair in love in war is really not so, there are certain expectations of behavior by soldiers engaged in war that are founded on what is right and just. For this reason, American soldiers today are issued a card to carry and a tag to hang along with their “dog tags” around their neck in which the Seven Army Values are inscribed. The Seven Army Values are loyalty, duty, respect, self-less service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Every American soldier is taught these Seven Army Values and physically carries them around his neck into the combat zone, that is why American soldiers have always been among the most honorable and ethical warriors, as well as the most powerful and lethal, that ever walked the earth. Certainly, God first, if our soldiers and our government were as unethical in war as many falsely assert, there would be no enemies left to fight us. But let us get back to the issue we are presently discussing.

Augustine’s and Aquinas’ teaching on Jus in bello was, not surprisingly, the fruit of their theological reconciliation of New Testament teachings regarding what our attitude towards our enemies should be and a Christian’s participation in war. On the one hand Jesus specifically said we should love our enemies and pray for them (Mtt. 5:44). He also said that when someone strikes us on one cheek we should turn the other (Mtt. 5:39). On the other hand, John the Baptist while instructing soldiers to not abuse their authority, he endorsed their military profession (Luke 3:14), and the Apostle Paul taught that police and military authorities are ordained of God to bear arms and to forcibly punish evil doers, even to the point of execution (Romans 13:1-4). From their work of reconciliation of these and other passages like them, Augustine first, and then Aquinas, developed the doctrine of Jus in bello.

There are at least two principles that are applied in determining Jus in bello; the principle of proportionality (which is also applied in Jus ad bellum, together with the principles of right intention, formal declaration and last resort, all of which were met by the Texas cause and American intervention), and the principle of discrimination. In Jus in bellum, that is, in the behavior of soldiers actively engaged in combat, proportionality is related to what is called “economy of force”. Proportionality and economy of force “Both suggest that assets be judiciously employed to achieve victory with a minimum loss of lives and resources… It is not right to cause unnecessary suffering” (Davidson, Donald L. “The Just War Criteria: A Contemporary Description” p. D-8). While the American forces were careful to reduce the suffering of the Mexican people during the Mexican War to a bare minimum going so far as to provide hispanic Roman Catholic chaplains to calm the fears of the Mexican people, the Mexicans showed no such restraint. During the Texas Revolution when the Texans defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, the Texans paroled the Mexican soldiers and let them go in peace back into Mexico, unharmed and well fed, careful to limit the loss of life and suffering among the Mexicans. No such mercy was shown to the Texan prisoners of war at Goliad. The Mexican soldiers did not keep the loss of life among their unarmed Texan prisoners to a minimum. On the contrary, the Mexicans attempted to totally anhilate the Texan prisoners at Goliad. When Col. Fannin asked as a last request not to be shot in the face, that his belongings be returned to his family and that he be given Christian burial but, instead, the Mexicans shot him in the face, stole his belongings and burned his body leaving it exposed, along with the bodies of hundreds of Texans, to be eaten by dogs, the Mexicans purposefully caused unnecessary suffering. Clearly, during the incident at Goliad, as well as at the Alamo, the Mexican Army flagrantly violated the principles of proportionality and economy of force. In fact, by shooting up the church bells, the Mexicans went beyond in causing unnecessary suffering and inefficiently using their resources. The Goliad Massacre was just that, a ruthless and criminal massacre.

The nature of the incident at Goliad, however, is perhaps better discerened when one applies the principle of “discrimination” in Jus in bello to it. The principle of discrimination in Jus in bello concerns the restraint combatant soldiers must exercise in their behavior towards non-combatants in time of war. “Just-war theory places greater emphasis on protecting the innocent, or ‘discriminating’ between warriors and noncombatants. Many just-war theorists tend to view noncombatant immunity as an ‘absolute’ principle…” (Davidson, p. D-9). Just-war theory goes on to identify who is a noncombatant so that soldiers engaged in war know how to do what is just and avoid what is not. “The elderly, infirm, and infants are normally considered noncombatants… medical personnel and chaplains (in uniform)… prisoners of war and soldiers with incapacitating wounds are incapable of hostile action, and, thus, are noncombatants” (Davidson, p. D-9). On March 27, 1836, Mexican soldiers brutally slaughtered over 300 Texan prisoners of war. Those prisoners of war who were healthy had been led to believe that they were being paroled and so, confidently and in peace, marched between the two columns of Mexican soldiers who then turned and shot them. The Texan prisoners of war had not in any way violated their noncombatant status. The wounded Texan prisoners of war who were in the chapel were incapable of hostile acts, yet the Mexican soldiers dragged them out to the church porch and put them to death. Clearly, the Mexican soldiers violated the principle of discrimination in Jus in bello making the incident of Goliad the Goliad Massacre and not the Goliad Executions.

With the tools of discernment provided by the just-war theory, judge for yourself which country and which army was brutal and unethical in its conduct of war and whether the Goliad Massacre was indeed a massacre or a legitimate execution. Although in all wars soldiers commit atrocities, the Goliad Massacre was perpetrated under Mexican governmental authority, serving to underscore the unjust nature of Santa Anna’s monarchy and the legitimacy and justice of the Texas cause.

To say that American troops started the Mexican War under false pretense, to say that after knowing what the original Tejanos felt and thought, is to besmirch and taint the reputation of those selfless Spaniard Texans who sacrificed so much and who so deeply believed and felt it was their destiny and their descendants’ destiny, our destiny, to be Americans. It is to say their deep conviction, which was birthed from their participation in the American Revolution, was a “false pretense”… You might as well go spit on our ancestors’ graves! And you might as well flush our American Passports down the toilet since to say that is to say that all the descendants of original Spaniard Texans, original Tejanos, and also of original Anglo-American settlers, are not legitimately American … now, that is reprehensible prejudice no longer founded on ignorance! No sir, Texas and the Southwest legitimately belong to and are part of the United States of America.


Chapter 31

WE ARE AMERICANS!

As I went through the process of writing this book, there were so many wonderful things that I came to realize! One of the most precious things I came to realize is something that every descendant of original Texans, those of us whose ancestors were there since the Spanish Colonial Period of Texas, really needs to know. You will recall how in chapters 7 and 8 of this book I shared a little bit of history that, although critically important to the history of the United States, is not widely known, that Texas and Texans played a major role in the American Revolution. Briefly, as a reminder, Texas, as well as Louisiana, belonged to Spain at the time of the American Revolution, our ancestors were subjects of the King of Spain. In 1779 the King of Spain declared war on England and ordered his subjects to fight the British wherever they could find them. Consequently, Governor Bernardo de Galvez of Louisiana, who had previously been a Lieutenant of the Spanish forces in Chihuahua and had led in numerous incursions against the Apaches, effectively linking our area with Louisiana, since West Texas was part of Nueva Viscaya also known as Chihuahua, mustered up an Army and Navy to fight the British. In what is known as the Galvez Expedition for American Independence, Governor Galvez, who corresponded with Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson etc., defeated the British in battles all over the South, from Baton Rouge and Manchac in Louisiana, Natchez in Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama, to Pensacola, Florida. Spanish forces under his command also defeated the British in battles as far North as St. Louis, Missouri and St. Joseph, Michigan along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

There were Texans in this army, plus Texas also aided with money, prayers and thousands of heads of cattle to feed Galvez' army and hundreds of horses for his cavalry and artillery. It was then that the Texans naturally became emotionally, practically and even spiritually invested in the birth of the United States before the Republic of Mexico was ever conceived. It was then that the sense of destiny many original Texans had of being part of the United States and enjoying the freedoms they had fought for was naturally engendered. Governor Galvez effectively opened a third front in the American Revolution setting George Washington's Continental Army free to fight in the East without fearing an attack from the South. Louisiana and Texas and the other provinces of Northern New Spain played such a huge role in the war, that were it not for us, it is entirely possible the 13 British Colonies would not have been successful and the United States of America would never have been born. DeGrasse himself said he could not sail to the aid of Washington at Yorktown without the aid of the Spaniards. All men between the ages of 14 and 60 had to join the militia in the Spanish provinces, so that all male ancestors would have been, if not soldiers, militiamen.

As I thought about this, what I’d been realizing became crystal clear! It is such a terrible mistake when original Texans think of themselves as a separate people from the United States, who were forced to join the U.S. through shame and defeat just because our land was part of New Spain in colonial days and became a part of Mexico for only 14 years! Remember, it was in the same ceremony on Nov. 30, 1803 in which Spain formally transferred the Louisiana Territory to France that the announcement was made that France had sold the territory to the U.S., so that in their hearts, as in the eyes of Texas and the world, the 90,000 inhabitants of Louisiana went from being citizens of Spain to being American in one day. One day! Yet the many Spaniards in Louisiana do not have a problem calling America home.

And Spaniards our ancestors were, or Italian Spaniards and hispanicized Italic Frenchmen for some of us. Think about it, Texas belonged to Mexico for only 14 years. Only 14 years! Truthfully, those 14 years were only a step in the process of the formation of this country at a time when all countries in the Americas were being formed. Think about what this means. As I mentioned before, my great great grandfather Arcadio Loya was born in Texas in 1817, four years before Mexico, which had begun its struggle for independence in 1810, actually gained its independence from Spain in 1821 after 11 years of not a continuous struggle but a series of confrontations. He and certainly his father before him were born subjects of the King of Spain. Arcadio Loya's son, Gabino Loya, my great grandfather, was born in 1847, within the border officially claimed by the United States, which had been claimed by the Republic of Texas.

It is no surprise that Gabino Loya's family considered themselves Spaniards, as the obituary of Pilar Escontrias Loya, my grandfather’s half sister, indicates, and as the oral inheritance my own father passed down to me agrees. Non in that line were born under fully Mexican jurisdiction, they went from being born citizens of Spain and subjects of her king born in Northern New Spain during troubled times, to being born American. Being called Mexican Texans to them was not the truth as the truth was what they considered themselves to be; Spaniard Texians. This was especially true since the degree of intermarriage with Indian tribes in Northern New Spain, for the various historical reasons I mentioned, was nowhere near the degree that it occurred to the south. The so called "mestizaje", the intermarriage of Spaniards, or any other Europeans, with Indians, just did not happen in Northern New Spain to anywhere near the degree that it occurred in the south. It just did not happen. They were Spaniard Americans just like the ones in South Louisiana... and so it was with many if not most of you, as, indeed, the faces of the El Paso County Commissioners and the Spaniard Founding Fathers of Texas clearly show!

We are Americans! We have been part of it all along! From the very start! We have been here from the very beginning of the United States! We are descendants of the very first Europeans to settle on American soil, who fought the Indians and were pioneers in the land! We fully participated in the formation of this country from the very start! We celebrated the very first Thanksgiving on what would be the United States of America before the Pilgrims did on Plymouth Rock, yet together with the Pilgrims and their Thanksgiving, we effectively established this country as a Christian land at its foundation, from end to end! We fought and prayed and gave money and cattle for the American Revolution against England, we fought together in 1812. We stood like brothers alongside Bowie and Travis at the Alamo and with Sam Houston we defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, because they like brothers had selflessly joined us in our cause. We fought during the Civil War, some Union, some Confederate, and in San Elizario the town voted unanimously to join the Confederacy. Captain Garcia, and Telesforo Montes and Arcadio Loya and Antonio Loya and all of them, every single one of them, voted to join the Confederacy so that of all people we know the Confederate Flag is truly about heritage and not hatred.

A year into the Civil War, however, San Elizario was occupied by the Union Army, bringing the war effectively to an end in West Texas, and, evidently conscripting some of the young men to serve in the Union Army, whose cause to set a whole race of people free and preserve the Union, was a better cause. We fought the Indians in the Indian Wars, we suffered in the trenches of WWI, we shed our blood in WWII. We fought in the bitter cold of the Korean War, we poured blood, sweat and tears in the jungles of Vietnam, we liberated Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, we fought to set 50 million people free from the yoke of cruel and vicious tyrants in Afghanistan and Iraq, through the years wearing the boots of an American fighting man!…And even as I write this we are doing so! We are Americans! If anybody is an American, we are Americans! And we have fully participated from the very start! Do not think of yourselves, as some original Texans do, as a dispossessed people, we are not! We are an American people, who actually achieved the victory of our cause when Texas became part of the United States! And we were there with those who came after, side by side, shoulder to shoulder, weapon with weapon, together as a single people, as brothers, fighting a common enemy, with celebrations of Thanksgiving making this a Christian land, and we have been so ever since. Our history is not a separate history, together we fought, together we shed our blood, together. Our American and Texian history is the history of “us” Texian Americans, Anglo and Irish and German, Spaniard, and Frenchmen and Italian and mestizo minority, one history, one people, one Texas, one America. So fully embrace this American nation and its culture you were a foundational part of! Wear your cowboy hats and sing your country music, eat your Thanksgiving Turkey and, indeed, celebrate the Fourth of July, after all, it is possible that there would not be any such celebration without us! But, indeed, “us” is all of us Americans! We are Americans!


"What is a Colonial Tejano?

Much confusion exists regarding the identity of those who are called "Tejanos". A Tejano today is classified as a "Mexican Texan" or a "Texan of Mexican heritage". While this classification would correctly identify the "new Tejanos"; those people from Texas whose ancestors came from Mexico beginning in the period of time just before, during and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 through today, it is a misnomer when applied to the people who were in Texas beginning in the Spanish Colonial Period before the first Anglo-Americans came to Texas and through the Texas Revolution.

To this effect, it is incorrect to assert that Texas during the Spanish Colonial Period was a part of Mexico which was under Spanish rule. Mexico as a modern nation did not exist but until 1821, before this time Texas was a part of Spain, a province of New Spain, and the people born in Texas were citizens of the Kingdom of Spain, not of Mexico, since the country of Mexico did not yet exist. The period of Mexican jurisdiction over the people of Texas, from 1821-1835, was a period of an imposed Mexican rule which the colonial Texans never wanted, imposed by the historical circumstance of having been dropped in the lap of Mexico by Spain when Mexico earned its independence from Spain. The colonial Tejanos had never wanted Mexican rule, having had established an independent republic in 1813 which looked forward to becoming part of the United States. Because Mexican rule was imposed upon the colonial Tejanos and they never wanted it, the period of Mexican jurisdiction would be correctly identified as the period of Mexican occupation.

It is necessary, therefore, to define the colonial people of Texas in a more historically accurate way that would reflect their family histories and traditions and their self identification and the history and historical data that supports them.

"A colonial Tejano, who can also be correctly identified as a Tejano Texian, is a descendant of those colonists who pioneered Texas as citizens of the Kingdom of Spain through the Spanish Colonial Period starting in the 1500's through the 1800's up to the Texas Revolution. A colonial Tejano was generally of pure Spaniard blood, or hispanicized European heritage, including Frenchmen like Juan Seguin, Italian like Jose Cassiano, or Corsican like Antonio Navarro, generally of white Mediterranean race, although there was also a smaller number of people of mixed blood among them ranging from mulattos to mestizos who were excluded by the Spanish law of "limpieza de sangre", purity of blood, from participating in the colonization of Northern New Spain including Texas and the American Southwest.  For these reasons a colonial Tejano is more accurately classified as a "Spaniard Texan" or "Spaniard Texian" or "Spaniard American" or as a "Texan of Spaniard heritage", as opposed to a "new Tejano" who is of Mexican heritage."---Alex Loya

 


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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