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
Obituaries
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