Tejanos

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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:36 am

Great story on Luciano Pencheco. I never heard of him before, but i have heard of Menchaca and flores.

Luciano’s service was attested to by Seguin himself. In an affidavit after the war, Seguin described Luciano’s entry into the Alamo with himself and Col. James Bowie. He described how he and William Travis ordered the then-17-year-old Luciano to sneak past the Mexican patrols to the Seguin ranch to retrieve a trunk that had been forgotten when Santa Ana arrived and surprised the Alamo defenders. Unable to re-enter the fortress due to the increased Mexican patrols, Luciano hid in the city, hoping in vain to rejoin his comrades.

He died in 1898, one of only three defenders -- and the sole Tejano -- to survive the Battle of the Alamo


Then he really did´nt survive the battle since he was´nt in the Alamo at the time of the battle! ;)
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:09 am

From the Battle of Flowers 2016 program, an essay contest winner on Madam Candelaria.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:19 am

Not too bad for such a young girl.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby OleMissCub on Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:35 pm

Bravo, young lady!
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Re: Tejanos

Postby cc nolen on Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:04 pm

I'll say one thing - she has a way of making you feel you are in the room with Jim Bowie. :D
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:11 pm

Just noticed this historical marker by the steps of the Post Office/Federal building on
Alamo Plaza.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:09 am

Interesting marker! He could´nt speak English. I wonder if there is a language requirement today? Back then it seems like they were more concerned about race and ethnicity.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby stimbotdeguerra on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:40 am

Solved a small mystery of Texas history this past weekend. Eugenio Navarro, a merchant who was Jose Antonio Navarro's brother, was killed in a fight at his San Antonio store by an Anglo in May of 1838. He managed to kill the other guy, whose identity has always been a question; supposedly the guy was named Tinsley, but Dixon and Kemp's Heroes of San Jacinto says that Major James W. Tinsley was killed in a duel with Maj. Stiles Leroy in December 1837, so historians have assumed the Tinsley in the Navarro affray was someone else. Dixon and Kemp published that in the 1930s, but did not give a footnote for it. Below is part of a report from a Mexican spy who was in Bexar shortly after the killing and gave a deposition on his return to Presidio Rio-grande the last week of May:

Death of Don Eugenio Navarro
On the 8th of May, the so-called Colonel Tinsel [Tinsley], alias El Cabrito, posted a pasquinade [publicly posted anonymous satire or lampoon] on one of the corners in Bexar, in which appeared various insults against a woman called La Mexicana, on account of her having shorn the mane [or tail] of a horse of his of which he was especially fond. This La Mexicana was seeing Don Eugenio Navarro, and for this reason, he [Navarro] was not left out of the insults lavished by this libel.

Having heard of the pasquinade before it came to the attention of his brother, Don Antonio Navarro took it down from the place where it was posted. After he did so, El Cabrito believed that Don Eugenio Navarro had taken it, and went to his store to rebuke him, doing so with furious insults and threats, going [forearmed] with two loaded pistols and a dagger.

Don Eugenio replied to the contrary with contempt, and when he observed the movement to ready the pistol, he made a thrust with a cuchillo ancho [broad knife] he was carrying in his bag. [possibles bag?]

The American simultaneously discharged his firearm, and put the ball into the breast of Navarro, who fell dead immediately. The American survived ten minutes, at the end of which all Bexar was in a tumult.

The friends of El Cabrito, not knowing that Navarro was dead, gathered at once to find him; the Bexareños armed themselves to defend him, and a fight was ready to break out until it became known that both combatants were dead, and the relatives of Navarro and the General of the Americans began to quiet the uproar.

These deaths have sown the seeds of discord in Bexar between Tejanos and Americans, and will result in a breach between them. The General of the Americans has gone to Houston, and it is certain that it is with the object of petitioning the so-called government of Texas for a reinforcement of the garrison of the city of San Antonio.


General Albert Sidney Johnston's wife kept a diary when she first went to Texas in 1855-56 after their marriage, and her husband told her a version of the incident one day when they were passing "Navarro Corner" where it had happened. He told her Tinsley was one of his cavalry officers and that Eugenio had attacked first by pulling Tinsley's knife out of his belt. In 1891, Rafael Aldrete told a San Antonio newspaper he'd seen the whole thing when he was a 24-year-old store clerk across the street, and that Tinsley was a thug and gambler, not a soldier, who stumbled home to die.

The Johnston diary was published in the 1940s, and because Aldrete did not identify Tinsley as a soldier, the Dixon/Kemp view that Major Tinsley had died in a duel the previous year and that Eugenio was killed by some other Tinsley has been prevalent, including in the 2010 biography of Jose Antonio Navarro. But I decided to look up that Major Stiles Leroy and discovered there's no such person in the surviving records of the RoT army, including the RoT claims records; there's not even a Leroy Stiles in there. And usually when there was a fatality in a duel between important men in Texas, the newspapers would report the result and use the occasion to denounce the practice of duels. I couldn't even find a Stiles Leroy in a Google search, so I concluded that Dixon and Kemp got that wrong somehow; they did say that alleged duel was over a horse, which is too much of a coincidence to ignore.

I had already searched "Tinsley" in newspapers at the Portal to TX History to no avail, but finally tried it in one of the commercial newspaper databases that have some more antique papers, and found this item from the 16 May 1838 Houston Weekly Telegraph: "A rencontre lately occurred at Bexar between Maj. Tinsley and Mr. E. Navarro, both were killed, the former by a wound with a Bowie knife, and the latter by a pistol shot [sic]. Such are the consequences of wearing weapons." So I think we can definitely conclude that Dixon and Kemp were wrong and that it was Major James W. Tinsley who killed Eugenio Navarro and got killed in the process. The spy report may be the most reliable account, as the spy probably knew the difference between the Mexican style of cuchillo ancho and a buie naif as the Mexicans called the Bowie knife. It was politically considered a very lucky thing that both men in the affray died, as otherwise there would have been a serious riot in San Antonio. There was already a lot of tension between the Anglos and Tejanos there over various issues. The "General" who helps calm things down in the spy report is Albert Sidney Johnston.

As for Tinsley, as a nickname, Cabrito can be translated as "young goat," or "swine," or "dumbass," or a lot of words for which "jerk" would be an appropriate euphemism. He was at San Jacinto, but the RoT army was top-heavy with officers after most of the regulars were furloughed in 1837, so he may not have been considered a great loss. Johnston doesn't seem to miss him at all. On the other hand, the Mexican hierarchy was pleased to hear that things were deteriorating in Bexar, though at that point they were busy with both the Pastry War against France and the first phase of the northern Federalist revolts, and could do no more than encourage Indians to attack the Texians, as in the Kickapoo War/Cordova Rebellion later that year.

I don't have a photo of a cuchillo ancho, so maybe Chris can help out there, and Rich could show us where the "Navarro Corner" on Plaza de Armas was.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby SantaClaus on Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:32 pm

Just finished reading your above post about EL Cabrito, and the solving of a Texas history mystery. Thanks for doing the research and telling us the story. Now, hopefully Chris will respond to the knife question.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby stimbotdeguerra on Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:40 pm

SantaClaus wrote:Just finished reading your above post about EL Cabrito, and the solving of a Texas history mystery. Thanks for doing the research and telling us the story. Now, hopefully Chris will respond to the knife question.
Richard McC

You're welcome. The Mexican authorities were actually taking depositions from travelers out of Texas, so in addition to the spy reports and after-action reports, there's a fair amount of first-person reporting in the Mexican archives, and there's always at least one nugget of interest in any given report. Even if it's something that's not true, or is mistaken, you still get to see what they were working with in assessing situations and making decisions. It's the word on the street, preserved.

The Rafael Aldrete version of the Navarro-Tinsley affray may exist only as a fragile old typescript transcription of the 1891 newspaper story, much like the P. L. Buquor version of the 1841 fight near Laredo that made Jack Hays's name. I mention the Aldrete version because one suspects the original story has been "improved" by the passage of several decades, much like later renditions of the Alamo battle by aging witnesses. Aldrete and General Johnston both say that La Mexicana was very beautiful, and Aldrete says she didn't cut the horse's tail, but sent one of her peons to do it at night. Johnston says that once things got heated on the sidewalk in front of Navarro's store, Navarro plucked Tinsley's own Bowie from his belt and stabbed Tinsley with it, which the Houston newspaper seems to support indirectly. Aldrete says that Navarro was wearing a diamond stickpin that day, and Tinsley's ball hit the stickpin dead center and drove it into Eugenio's heart, hence the instantaneous demise. Eugenio dropped dead in his own doorway, while Tinsley staggered back to expire at his own place just across the street, probably wishing he had been wearing his Bowie in a sheath behind his neck, instead of on his belt where Eugenio could grab it so easily--unless it was actually Eugenio's own cuchillo ancho that did the deed, with the tale of Eugenio grabbing Tinsley's knife being a way for Anglos to pin the blame on Eugenio.

An important point about Eugenio is that he was an ex-presidial trooper who probably took refuge in Mexico whilst Santa Anna was laying waste to Texas; Eugenio seems to have been the Tory among the Navarro brothers, with Luciano appearing to be a Tory when it was convenient to his ends, like when he went to Mexico seeking the release of Jose Antonio, who was overtly and staunchly rebellious. At the time of the killing, the French blockade of Mexican ports was causing the overland smuggling business through Texas to take off like a rocket. This was good for Texas because the traders tended to pay with specie that Texas badly needed. Supposedly so many Anglos decided to get in on the boom by opening stores in San Antonio that the market was rapidly glutted. The Navarro brothers already had several stores and were probably greatly resented by their Anglo competitors. There is a version of the Tinsley killing where Tinsley doesn't know who's responsible for shearing off his horse's tail, and seizes on Eugenio as the culprit, no pasquinade involved.

I asked a Texana maven about the cuchillo ancho, and unfortunately he had just sold the prime example he had. I may be able to get a photo for illustrative purposes.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:54 am

For a look at the Tejano monument on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin, click this link: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1813&start=160#p172406
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:32 am

Another Alamo descendant gone.
San Antonio Express News
Sunday, August 13, 2017
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:17 pm

PEOPLE
MENCHACA A SOLDIER, STORYTELLER, MORE
Advocate for Tejanos part of family key in developing S.A.

By Scott Huddleston STAFF WRITER
San Antonio Express News
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
AntonioMenchaca.jpg
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William Luther / San Antonio Express-News
The official portrait of Antonio Menchaca hangs outside the City Council chambers in 2015. He died in 1879.


Antonio Menchaca, one of the early city leaders in San Antonio after Texas won independence, later told compelling stories of his
recollections of Jim Bowie, Sam Houston and other key figures in history during his long and colorful life as a military officer, politician
and advocate for the rights of Tejanos.

Menchaca came from one of at least 10 families with Spanish surnames whose involvement in the early development of San Antonio was
significant. The Menchacas were especially noted for their military service, political leadership and ranching, sometimes in conflict with
government authorities under Spanish and Mexican rule. The family’s roots here have been traced to the 1718 arrival of Francisco Menchaca,
a soldier with the 1718 Martín de Alarcón Expedition, which resulted in the founding of San Antonio de Valero and presidio of San Antonio de
Béjar.

Francisco, a presidio soldier, had six children, including Luis Antonio Menchaca, a captain of the presidio for 10 years starting in 1763 and
a major rancher in the area who led a dispute between ranchers and the missions over ownership of loose cattle. The 1779 census listed
Luis, with a sprawling ranch in today’s Karnes and Wilson counties and one of the oldest, largest land grants in the province, as the wealthiest
man in Texas.

But when he tried to have his son accepted as a cavalry cadet, Spanish Gov. Domingo Cabello y Robles wrote to the commandant general that
“the father plays cards just as much as do the sons, from which Your Lordship can infer the poor upbringing and lack of modesty and respect.”

Luis Menchaca had already miffed Spanish officials over the arrest of Rafael Martinez Pacheco, who had been ousted from another presidio in
East Texas. Author Jack Jackson, in “Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721-1821,” wrote that Menchaca, rather than keeping Pacheco
in a cell, attended a bullfight with him in San Antonio and even let him attend a masked ball “disguised in woman’s apparel.”

In his booklet “The Texas Connection with the American Revolution,” author Robert H. Thonhoff called the Menchacas a family “steeped in
revolutionary tradition” in Texas, having helped drive cattle to Louisiana to support the U.S. Revolutionary War against England.

“In a line of descent that is not clear, members of this family figured prominently in the American, Mexican and Texas revolutions,” Thonhoff
wrote, noting that a “later descendant,” José Antonio Menchaca, “distinguished himself” at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Antonio Menchaca may have been born in San Antonio in 1800. Some sources and his gravestone say 1797. He joined Juan Seguin’s company
in Gonzales in February 1836. After serving at San Jacinto, he was a San Antonio city alderman for several terms and mayor pro tem for a year,
starting in July 1838. He resumed work as a soldier, protecting San Antonio and travelers on the frontier. In the 1870s, he led efforts to secure
benefits for Tejanos who had served in the Texas Revolution, fighting discrimination by the state.

Antonio Menchaca died in 1879 and was buried in San Fernando Cemetery No. 1.

In a version of his memoirs published by the Yanaguana Society in 1937, he recalled San Antonio’s aftermath following the 1813 Battle of Medina.
Spanish royalists had toppled a rebellion in the deadliest battle ever fought in Texas, south of San Antonio, resulting in the deaths of some 800
to 1,000 men. The carnage left the town so vulnerable to raids by hostile indigenous bands that by 1814, a pound of coffee cost $2.50 — an
outrageous price for the time.

“The people being in such pressure, would at the risk of their lives go out in the country to kill deer, turkey, etc., and cook herbs for the support
of their families,” Menchaca recalled.

According to the memoir, Menchaca returned to San Antonio from the east in late December 1835, several days after the Battle of Béjar and a
Mexican surrender. His friend James Bowie embraced him and “commenced to cry” because Bowie had not been with his wife, Ursula Veramendi,
when she died of cholera in Monclova at age 21.

“Are you still my companion in arms?” Bowie asked.

“I shall be your companion, Jim Bowie until I die,” Menchaca replied.

Several weeks later, at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 11, 1836, during a fandango for David Crockett, a dispatch arrived warning that Mexican Gen. Santa
Anna and his army of thousands were marching to San Antonio to recapture the town. Menchaca read the letter, and Bowie reported it to the Alamo
commander, William Barret Travis. Menchaca recalled Travis saying that it would take Santa Anna’s army at least nine more days to get there.

“Let us dance tonight, and tomorrow, we will make provisions for our defense,” Travis said, and the ball went until 7 a.m.

Menchaca left for Gonzales, but in the run-up to San Jacinto was put off by orders from Houston that Seguin’s company of Tejanos was to remain
in camp, rather than fight. According to Menchaca’s memoirs, he and Seguin went to see Houston. Menchaca told the general that if he died, he
wanted to die facing the enemy and would rather attend to his family than stay in camp and tend the horses.

Houston let the company fight in battle. Menchaca then recalled stirring speeches by Houston and Thomas Jefferson Rusk, the secretary of war,
the next morning — two days before the battle.

Houston “dwelt along and pathetically upon the suffering of those who had fallen at the Alamo, and upon those who fell at Goliad,” Menchaca
recounted, adding that Rusk then addressed the men “with such force and effect as to make every man, without a single exception, shed tears.”

The Mexican camp was taken by surprise April 21 in a short, bloody battle. Santa Anna was later captured, securing withdrawal of his troops and an
independent Texas republic.

In 2013, historians Timothy Matovina and Jesús F. de la Teja produced “Recollection of a Tejano Life: Antonio Menchaca in Texas History,” adding
newly discovered material from Menchaca’s memoirs and providing a concise, factual version of events.

Though no proof has been found, the unincorporated area of Manchaca, just southwest of Austin, is said to be named for nearby Manchaca Springs,
where Antonio Menchaca is thought to have camped. According to a “Justice for Menchaca” Facebook page, his name was misspelled by the Texian
army, with the alternative spelling now pronounced “Man-shack” in the Austin area. People have debated for years over renaming the town and
Manchaca Road in Austin.

There is a Menchaca Elementary School, on Manchaca Road, in Manchaca.

shuddleston@express-news.net Twitter: @shuddlestonSA
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Re: Tejanos

Postby cc nolen on Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:38 pm

SantaClaus wrote:Just finished reading your above post about EL Cabrito, and the solving of a Texas history mystery. Thanks for doing the research and telling us the story. Now, hopefully Chris will respond to the knife question.
Richard McC

Better late than never :roll:
The early Mexican Bowie Knives - sometimes called scorpion tips had large broad recurve blades.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby warren on Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:36 pm

Nasty looking knife!
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Re: Tejanos

Postby RLC-GTT on Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:10 pm

NefariousNed wrote:PEOPLE
MENCHACA A SOLDIER, STORYTELLER, MORE
Advocate for Tejanos part of family key in developing S.A.

By Scott Huddleston STAFF WRITER
San Antonio Express News
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
AntonioMenchaca.jpg

William Luther / San Antonio Express-News
The official portrait of Antonio Menchaca hangs outside the City Council chambers in 2015. He died in 1879.


Antonio Menchaca, one of the early city leaders in San Antonio after Texas won independence, later told compelling stories of his
recollections of Jim Bowie, Sam Houston and other key figures in history during his long and colorful life as a military officer, politician
and advocate for the rights of Tejanos.

Menchaca came from one of at least 10 families with Spanish surnames whose involvement in the early development of San Antonio was
significant. The Menchacas were especially noted for their military service, political leadership and ranching, sometimes in conflict with
government authorities under Spanish and Mexican rule. The family’s roots here have been traced to the 1718 arrival of Francisco Menchaca,
a soldier with the 1718 Martín de Alarcón Expedition, which resulted in the founding of San Antonio de Valero and presidio of San Antonio de
Béjar.

Francisco, a presidio soldier, had six children, including Luis Antonio Menchaca, a captain of the presidio for 10 years starting in 1763 and
a major rancher in the area who led a dispute between ranchers and the missions over ownership of loose cattle. The 1779 census listed
Luis, with a sprawling ranch in today’s Karnes and Wilson counties and one of the oldest, largest land grants in the province, as the wealthiest
man in Texas.

But when he tried to have his son accepted as a cavalry cadet, Spanish Gov. Domingo Cabello y Robles wrote to the commandant general that
“the father plays cards just as much as do the sons, from which Your Lordship can infer the poor upbringing and lack of modesty and respect.”

Luis Menchaca had already miffed Spanish officials over the arrest of Rafael Martinez Pacheco, who had been ousted from another presidio in
East Texas. Author Jack Jackson, in “Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721-1821,” wrote that Menchaca, rather than keeping Pacheco
in a cell, attended a bullfight with him in San Antonio and even let him attend a masked ball “disguised in woman’s apparel.”

In his booklet “The Texas Connection with the American Revolution,” author Robert H. Thonhoff called the Menchacas a family “steeped in
revolutionary tradition” in Texas, having helped drive cattle to Louisiana to support the U.S. Revolutionary War against England.

“In a line of descent that is not clear, members of this family figured prominently in the American, Mexican and Texas revolutions,” Thonhoff
wrote, noting that a “later descendant,” José Antonio Menchaca, “distinguished himself” at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Antonio Menchaca may have been born in San Antonio in 1800. Some sources and his gravestone say 1797. He joined Juan Seguin’s company
in Gonzales in February 1836. After serving at San Jacinto, he was a San Antonio city alderman for several terms and mayor pro tem for a year,
starting in July 1838. He resumed work as a soldier, protecting San Antonio and travelers on the frontier. In the 1870s, he led efforts to secure
benefits for Tejanos who had served in the Texas Revolution, fighting discrimination by the state.

Antonio Menchaca died in 1879 and was buried in San Fernando Cemetery No. 1.

In a version of his memoirs published by the Yanaguana Society in 1937, he recalled San Antonio’s aftermath following the 1813 Battle of Medina.
Spanish royalists had toppled a rebellion in the deadliest battle ever fought in Texas, south of San Antonio, resulting in the deaths of some 800
to 1,000 men. The carnage left the town so vulnerable to raids by hostile indigenous bands that by 1814, a pound of coffee cost $2.50 — an
outrageous price for the time.

“The people being in such pressure, would at the risk of their lives go out in the country to kill deer, turkey, etc., and cook herbs for the support
of their families,” Menchaca recalled.

According to the memoir, Menchaca returned to San Antonio from the east in late December 1835, several days after the Battle of Béjar and a
Mexican surrender. His friend James Bowie embraced him and “commenced to cry” because Bowie had not been with his wife, Ursula Veramendi,
when she died of cholera in Monclova at age 21.

“Are you still my companion in arms?” Bowie asked.

“I shall be your companion, Jim Bowie until I die,” Menchaca replied.

Several weeks later, at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 11, 1836, during a fandango for David Crockett, a dispatch arrived warning that Mexican Gen. Santa
Anna and his army of thousands were marching to San Antonio to recapture the town. Menchaca read the letter, and Bowie reported it to the Alamo
commander, William Barret Travis. Menchaca recalled Travis saying that it would take Santa Anna’s army at least nine more days to get there.

“Let us dance tonight, and tomorrow, we will make provisions for our defense,” Travis said, and the ball went until 7 a.m.

Menchaca left for Gonzales, but in the run-up to San Jacinto was put off by orders from Houston that Seguin’s company of Tejanos was to remain
in camp, rather than fight. According to Menchaca’s memoirs, he and Seguin went to see Houston. Menchaca told the general that if he died, he
wanted to die facing the enemy and would rather attend to his family than stay in camp and tend the horses.

Houston let the company fight in battle. Menchaca then recalled stirring speeches by Houston and Thomas Jefferson Rusk, the secretary of war,
the next morning — two days before the battle.

Houston “dwelt along and pathetically upon the suffering of those who had fallen at the Alamo, and upon those who fell at Goliad,” Menchaca
recounted, adding that Rusk then addressed the men “with such force and effect as to make every man, without a single exception, shed tears.”

The Mexican camp was taken by surprise April 21 in a short, bloody battle. Santa Anna was later captured, securing withdrawal of his troops and an
independent Texas republic.

In 2013, historians Timothy Matovina and Jesús F. de la Teja produced “Recollection of a Tejano Life: Antonio Menchaca in Texas History,” adding
newly discovered material from Menchaca’s memoirs and providing a concise, factual version of events.

Though no proof has been found, the unincorporated area of Manchaca, just southwest of Austin, is said to be named for nearby Manchaca Springs,
where Antonio Menchaca is thought to have camped. According to a “Justice for Menchaca” Facebook page, his name was misspelled by the Texian
army, with the alternative spelling now pronounced “Man-shack” in the Austin area. People have debated for years over renaming the town and
Manchaca Road in Austin.

There is a Menchaca Elementary School, on Manchaca Road, in Manchaca.

shuddleston@express-news.net Twitter: @shuddlestonSA

Great story about a fellow who provided soooooo much on-the-street information about colonial San Antonio de Bexar as well as the lead-up to the Alamo battle. Scott's done it again! Menchaca's account is also the source for Davy Crockett's arrival at the camposanto (cemetery) northwest of Bexar, as presented correctly for the first time in John Lee Hancock's THE ALAMO.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:53 pm

PEOPLE
MENCHACA A SOLDIER, STORYTELLER, MORE
Advocate for Tejanos part of family key in developing S.A.


Yes, Great article on Menchaca! I remember him mentioned in Jackson´s "Los Tejanos".

The early Mexican Bowie Knives - sometimes called scorpion tips had large broad recurve blades.


I like it. Interesting shape of the blade.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:10 am

From an obituary in today's Express New. Wish they'd listed the name of this alleged Alamo survivor. Anyone here venture to guess?

"...As a child, Steven Ryan Tschappatt would often join his sister and cousins to listen to their great-grandmother as she shared stories
of their history. Tschappatt’s great-grandmother would tell them about her grandfather, one of the few young survivors of the Battle
of the Alamo.

Their great-grandmother told them about how frontiersman James “Jim” Bowie came to the rescue, ensuring that their ancestor, just
a child at the time, survived to grow up in San Antonio, said Stephanie Tosca-no, his cousin.

It’s a story that Toscano eventually verified when her husband conducted an ancestry report on their great-grandmother. They also
found links to the families that came to San Antonio from the Canary Islands.

“Steven really took an interest in that — that we were descended from these original families. He was really into that history and
wanted to know as much as we could find. He was always really, really proud to be a Texan,” Toscano said..."
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Re: Tejanos

Postby K Hale on Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:46 am

Isn't that the Esparza kid? Except it's a myth?
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Re: Tejanos

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:17 am

"One day while I was carrying a jar along the big log that made a foot-bridge over the San Antonio River, I slipped and fell into the water. Senor Bowie jumped in and brought me out. I could swim from the time I was four years old, but this day I think I struck the log in falling for my head was bloody. I was very fond of Senor Bowie after this."

The anecdote comes from a short story called "Esparza, the Boy of the Alamo, Remembers" published in 1936 (Centennial Year) by Howard R. Driggs and Sarah S. King. It is supposed to be a hand-me-down story of Enrique (called Gregorio in the story) visiting the Bowie School and telling the children his story of the Alamo. King was a longtime principal of the Bowie School, and her mother was quoted in 1917 as having heard the story directly from Esparza. ["Some Indian told some vaqueros..."]. It amazes me that this fiction is still being regarded as dependable information by many. In one of Enrique's genuine interviews, he says he didn't even know Jim Bowie, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:21 am

["Some Indian told some vaqueros..."


"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact...print the legend." :D
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Re: Tejanos

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:38 am

Everybody wants to perpetuate the story they heard from their grandparents -- it must be true, they wouldn't lie. But they might repeat what they read in a book and genuinely remember it as being told. There are lots of ways "folklore" develops. Unfortunately, when the historian challenges the story, he is threatening family honesty.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:56 am

RLC-GTT wrote:Everybody wants to perpetuate the story they heard from their grandparents -- it must be true, they wouldn't lie. But they might repeat what they read in a book and genuinely remember it as being told. There are lots of ways "folklore" develops. Unfortunately, when the historian challenges the story, he is threatening family honesty.

Just like the Travis family oral tradition that suggests how runaway slave Joe actually walked all the way from Texas to Alabama without even knowing the way because he apparently wanted to be a slave again.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby K Hale on Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:17 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:Everybody wants to perpetuate the story they heard from their grandparents -- it must be true, they wouldn't lie. But they might repeat what they read in a book and genuinely remember it as being told. There are lots of ways "folklore" develops. Unfortunately, when the historian challenges the story, he is threatening family honesty.

I wish people would understand that it's nothing to do with honesty, just a case of someone being mistaken. It's only a lie if they don't believe what they're saying.

For many of them, it's not about honesty, but about having to be right in the face of evidence to the contrary. Then it gets into ego and pride.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:46 pm

COMMUNITIES
TEJANOS’ FORTUNES FELL IN 19TH CENTURY
S.A. TRICENTENNIAL 1718-2018 Anglo settlers’ exploitation created a new social order

By John MacCormack STAFF WRITER
San Antonio Express News, Friday November 17 2017

Born in 1806 in San Antonio de Béxar, an isolated outpost of soldiers, missionaries and Indians on the northern edge of New Spain,
Juan N. Seguin took up arms with other Tejanos against Mexico decades later in the Texas Revolution.

Sent from the besieged Alamo for reinforcements in March 1836, Seguin lived to fight another day, as Gen. Antonio López de Santa
Anna’s army overran the old mission and executed the survivors before help could arrive.

Six weeks later and 200 miles to the east, Seguin led a unit of Tejano soldiers in Sam Houston’s army at the Battle at San Jacinto,
which ended in a bloody rout of the Mexican army.

“I am pleased to say that Capt. now Col. (Juan) Nepomuceno Seguin, a native of Bexar, and whom I have known from a boy,
commanded 25 men, all natives of the same place, and performed wonders,” read an account attributed to Stephen F. Austin,
leader of the Anglo colonization of Texas.

“Every man signalized himself in the most distinguished manner. One of them, with a Bowie knife, killed 25 of his countrymen,” the
writer added.

But winning independence from Mexico and then becoming part of the Republic of Texas proved a fleeting cause for celebration for
Seguin and many other Tejanos, especially those native to San Antonio.

Before the arrival of the Anglo-Americans, these descendants of Indian, Canary Islander, Spanish and other European bloodlines had
enjoyed an isolated and insulated existence.

“San Antonio had developed as a Mexican town on the northern frontier of New Spain, and because it was so far from everything, it
developed in its own way, with its own sense of authority,” said Gerald Poyo, chairman of the history department at St. Mary’s
University.

And although Seguin’s personal stature continued to rise as he became San Antonio’s military commander and mayor, and was elected
to the Texas Senate, the long-range outlook for his countrymen was ominous.

Seguin soon became bitterly disillusioned with the new political and social order in which the native Tejanos were marginalized and
xploited by the aggressive, often racist Anglo-American newcomers.

“In those evil days, San Antonio was swarming with adventurers from every quarter of the globe. … There were many bad men,
fugitives from their country, who found in this land an open field for their criminal designs,” he later wrote in his memoir, “A
Foreigner in My Own Land.”

The treacherous newcomers, he wrote, were “beginning to work their dark intrigues against the native families, whose only
crime was that they owned large tracts of land and desireable property.”

As a Tejano war hero and mayor of San Antonio, Seguin tried to stand up for his people.

“At every hour of the day or night, my countrymen ran to me for protection against the assaults or exactions of those
adventurers. … Were not the victims my own countrymen, friends and associates? Could I leave them defenceless, exposed to
the assaults of foreigners, who, on the pretext they were Mexicans, treated them worse than brutes?” he wrote.

Threatened with violence himself, Seguin soon resigned as mayor in 1842 and fled to Mexico, where he spent six years in exile,
serving in the Mexican military against Texas.

He died in 1890 in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. In 1974, his remains were returned for a ceremonial burial in Seguin, a town named
for him.

Not until 1981, a mere 139 years after Seguin’s term, was another Hispanic, Henry Cisneros, elected mayor of San Antonio.

Century of conflict, loss

The title of a recent presentation about 19th-century Tejanos, given by Poyo at St. Mary’s, aptly summarizes their fate in an
epoch of wrenching change.

“From Autonomy to Subjugation” studies the rapid decline of fortunes of the Tejanos who had once claimed the vast emptiness
of Tejas as their own. For them, the 19th century was one of upset, conflict and loss.

In the first half of the century, Tejanos went from being subjects of Spain to Mexico to the Republic of Texas to the U.S.

Over roughly that same period, they were buffeted by repeated conflicts, including the Mexican War of Independence from
Spain, the Texas Revolution and the war between the U.S. and Mexico that cost the latter half its territory. Soon to follow was
the Civil War, which brought more tumult to Texas, which sided with the Confederacy.

Most critically, beginning about 1820 when immigrants from the U.S. attracted by offers of land began arriving in Texas, the
Tejanos were confronted with waves of opportunistic newcomers.

Many of the Anglo-Americans, it was soon clear, came not to assimilate but to dominate and had little regard for either Tejanos
or Mexicans, sometimes overlooking the distinction.

Led by Austin and encouraged by the Mexican government, the Americans began with settlements in East Texas, with the hope
of growing cotton. But as Austin confided, there was a bigger plan in play.

“My object, the sole and only desire of my ambitions since I first saw Texas, was to redeem it from the wilderness, to settle it
with an intelligent, honorable and enterprising people,” he wrote, and by that, he meant Protestant white people.

“I wish a great immigration from Kentucky, Tennessee, everywhere, passports or no passports, any how,” he said, adding,
“Nothing shall daunt my courage or abate my exertions to complete the main object of my labors — to Americanize Texas.”

And at first, some of those in power in San Antonio who resented Mexican rule welcomed the energetic, resourceful newcomers.

“The elites in San Antonio supported this immigration. They even supported the arrival of slavery and sought an exemption from the
(Mexican) federal government for slaves. But by 1836, there were about 30,000 Anglo-Americans in Texas, and only 4,000 Tejanos,”
said Poyo in his recent presentation at St. Mary’s.

When the Anglos began arriving in Texas en masse, despite a federal law imposed in 1830 to halt more immigration, a profound
cultural and political clash followed.

In his book “They Called Them Greasers,” historian Arnoldo De León presents an exhaustive record of the racist attitudes and actions
of many Anglos toward Tejanos during the 19th century, especially in San Antonio.

Spanish was eventually replaced by English as the lingua franca (common language) of Texas, a cash economy replaced a barter
economy, and the Anglo-Americans eventually imposed a judicial system that was foreign to the Tejanos and often did not recognize
traditional claims of land ownership. Eventually, a property tax system was begun that also led to loss of land.

Poyo echoed De León’s views. “There was hatred toward Mexicans because of the Alamo. Mexicans were the bad guys in the story,” said
Poyo, adding, “The economic benefits of racism were that if you could denigrate a people, you could take their land without justification.”

“What was really a Mexican town became a non-Mexican town, as almost all Latinos were relegated to second-class citizens. There was a
loss of land and wealth,” he said of many of the Tejanos.

As evidence, Poyo cited 19th-century statistics that showed the wholesale transfer of downtown property in San Antonio from Hispanics to
Anglos, the rapid increase in the percentage of foreign-born citizens in the city and a steep decline in the number of Hispanic aldermen on
the City Council.

A broader attempt to disenfranchise Tejanos surfaced in 1845 in Austin during the critical writing of a state constitution required for Texas
to join the U.S.

Representing Bexar was José Antonio Navarro, one of the great Tejano statesmen of the era, who had recently served time in a Mexican
prison for his role in a misguided mission to try to seize Santa Fe.

Navarro, one of three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, had been elected to the Texas Congress to represent Bexar.

At the Constitutional Convention, the future voting rights of Tejanos were put at risk in an early proposal to limit suffrage to “white males.”

As described by author David McDonald in his biography of Navarro, one Anglo delegate warned of the dire consequences of letting Texans of
color have the vote.

“Hordes of Mexican Indians may come here from the West, and may be more formidable than the enemy you have vanquished,” began Francis
Moore, a newspaperman from Houston.

“Silently they will come moving in; they may come back in thousands to Bexar, in thousands to Goliad, and perhaps to Nacogdoches and what
will be the consequences? Ten, twenty, thirty; forty, fifty thousand may come in here and vanquish you at the ballot box, though you are invincible
at arms. This is no idle dream: no bugbear; it is the truth,” he warned.

Moore went on to rage against “the descendents of the degraded and despicable race which Cortez conquered” and warned against allowing the
“mean, groveling yellow race of Mexico” to live in equality with the “free born races of Europe,” but to no avail. Navarro and his allies,
including Anglos, preserved the Tejano right to vote.

According to Poyo, it was another great historical conflict of the early 20th century that led to the eventual cultural and political resurgence of
the Mexican-Americans of San Antonio and South Texas.

“During the Mexican Revolution, thousands of Mexicans came to Texas, and this was the moment when San Antonio reclaimed its Mexican
identity, among both working-class and upper-class citizens,” he said.

“If the 19th century was a time of decline, the 20th century was one of great growth in reclaiming the Mexican culture. The Mexicans again
became a majority in San Antonio and were able to reclaim their place,” he said.
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Re: Tejanos

Postby Seguin on Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:27 am

That´s a great write up on Seguin and the Tejanos in Texas after independence. Thanks for posting it.
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