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Journal Of The Life And Culture Of San Antonio

The Spanish Entrada

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The Role of Francisco A. Chapa and El Imparcial de Texas in Supporting the American War Effort, 1917-1918

by

Ana Luisa Martinez-Catsam, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

On the morning of Wednesday May 16, 1917, members of the Texas Pharmaceutical Association applauded Francisco A. Chapa, owner of San Antonio’s La Botica del Leon pharmacy and proprietor of the Spanish-language newspaper El Imparcial de Texas, for introducing a resolution pledging the organization’s loyalty and support to the war effort. Chapa called on “every American to let his patriotism shine forth” during a time of crisis brought about by “the destructive and ruthless submarine warfare of Germany.” [1] The patriotic resolution was one of many ways the San Antonio entrepreneur demonstrated his support for his adopted nation. For instance, Chapa helped organize war bond drives and utilized El Imparcial de Texas to mobilize the Tejano and Mexicano communities. [2] State and local officials also sought his assistance in dealing with the increasing Mexicano labor exodus that threatened industries already suffering from war-time labor shortages. His work to curtail Mexicano labor emigration was the cornerstone of his support for the war. [3]

Despite the pro-war activities of Francisco A. Chapa and other Tejano leaders, very little has been written about them or the Tejano and Mexicano communities during World War I. In 1989, Carole E. Christian published the first work that focused exclusively on the Tejano experience during the Great War. In “Joining the American Mainstream: Texas’s Mexican Americans during World War I” Christian examines the role Tejano leaders, particularly Spanish-language newspaper proprietors like Chapa, played in promoting the war effort and addressing issues such as the draft and the Mexicano labor exodus. While Christian mentions Chapa, neither he nor El Imparcial de Texas plays a significant role in the discussion of the Selective Service registration drives or the Mexicano exodus dilemma. The more recent To the Line of Fire: Mexican Texans and World War I (2009) by Jose A. Ramirez, provides an exceptional examination of the Tejano experience. Ramirez depicts the instability along the Mexico-Texas border then shows how that contributed to antagonistic relations between Anglos and people of Mexican heritage. This tension led to Anglo suspicion of Tejano loyalty during the war. Despite the discrimination and violence Tejanos and Mexicanos suffered, the community mobilized once the United States entered the war. Ramirez describes Tejano home front mobilization as well as the military experiences of Tejano enlisted men. Like Christian, Ramirez also makes reference to Chapa’s importance in the community and his support for the war but the discussion of Chapa is once again minimal. [4]

Chapa is also mentioned by F. Arturo Rosales in !Pobre Raza!: Violence, Justice, and Mobilization among Mexico Lindo Immigrants, 1900-1936 (1999). Although the war is not the focus of the Rosales work, he does explore the border violence of the period. Even though Chapa is not a prominent figure in !Pobre Raza! Rosales refers to him as “one of the most effective defenders of civil rights because he successfully cultivated Anglo connections.” [5] While Christian, Ramirez, and Rosales discuss either Chapa’s leadership during the war or his civil rights activism, Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler focus on Chapa’s involvement in Texas-Mexican border issues. In The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920 (2004), Harris and Sadler examine the complex political landscape along the border. Using the political instability and revolutionary movements of Mexico, the authors analyze the politics of revolution and neutrality violations as they affected Texas. Harris and Sadler stress Chapa’s involvement in Mexican politics and his role as mediator between Texas and Mexican officials. Because of the book’s topic, Harris and Sadler do not explore the extent of Chapa’s activities in support of the war or his leadership in the San Antonio community. Even though Chapa is referenced in a handful of works, the limited scholarship on Tejano leaders during World War I demonstrates the need for additional studies, thus this article explores Chapa’s support for the American war effort. [6]

Francisco A. Chapa, born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, in 1870, immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen. He moved to San Antonio in 1890 after studying pharmacology at Tulane University and began his career as a prescription clerk at R. Cohen & Company. By the 1890s, Chapa, a naturalized citizen, had become a respected druggist and entrepreneur establishing a pharmacy with B. West Bristow that lasted until 1900 when Chapa then entered into partnership with Louis E. Dreiss establishing Chapa and Dreiss. Within a short time Chapa became the sole proprietor of the drug store renaming it F.A. Chapa Drug Store, most commonly known as La Botica del Leon. Chapa’s pharmaceutical enterprises not only served the needs of the Tejano and Mexicano communities but also those of greater San Antonio. In 1901, for example, Chapa received a contract from the city council to provide medical supplies to the health department, which was attempting to prevent a small pox outbreak. He then obtained a Bexar County contract for medical supplies. La Botica del Leon, with a painting of a lion on the outside wall, became a success and remained in operation until 1970 when it was demolished under the city’s urban renewal plan. [7]

In addition to his pharmaceutical enterprises, Chapa purchased El Imparcial de Texas from Antonio R. Flores and Enrique J. Amosurrutia in 1910. Chapa moved El Imparcial de Texas from Floresville twenty-eight miles to San Antonio where it flourished. Chapa used his status and newspaper to defend the rights of Tejanos and Mexicanos. For instance, Chapa and Pablo Cruz, proprietor of San Antonio’s Spanish-language weekly El Regidor, led a pardon campaign for Gregorio Cortez, who had been convicted of horse theft and murder. Using El Regidor, Cruz asserted Cortez acted in self-defense in the summer of 1901 but was denied a fair trial because of prejudice and false testimony. Cruz died in 1910, and Chapa continued to advocate for Cortez’s release. In 1913, Governor Oscar B. Colquitt pardoned Cortez, who had become a folk hero in the Spanish-speaking community. Many believed that Chapa’s political and personal relationship with Colquitt greatly influenced the governor’s actions on the Cortez matter. [8]

As a successful entrepreneur, Chapa served as board member of the International Club and president of the San Antonio Druggists’ Association. He also held membership in the Texas Pharmaceutical Association, the San Antonio Press Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and several other organizations. Chapa’s business achievements translated into civic activism and prominence. In 1899 voters elected him to the newly created San Antonio Independent School Board on which he served for several years. Then in 1907 Chapa ran an unsuccessful cam paign for alderman of the Third Ward, a section of the city populated primarily by Tejanos. Despite his defeat in 1907 he ran again in 1913 and was successful in his bid for alderman. While on the city council, Chapa dedicated himself to improving the business district in the West Side. As a supporter of the Democratic state party, he spoke on behalf of gubernatorial candidates and used El Imparcial de Texas to mobilize the Tejano vote on their behalf. In 1911, Governor Colquitt rewarded Chapa for his support with a lieutenant colonel commission in the Texas National Guard and an appointment on his personal staff. Chapa henceforth was referred to as Colonel Chapa. Governors James E. Ferguson (1915-1917) and William P. Hobby (1915-1921) recognized Chapa’s influence and reappointed him to their staff. In 1920, Chapa traveled to Mexico with Governor Hobby to attend the presidential inauguration of Alvaro Obregon, thus demonstrating his political clout. Chapa retained his title until his death in 1924 because Governor Pat M. Neff, who succeeded Hobby, did not appoint a personal staff. Chapa’s prominence as a businessman and political figure made him one of the few prominent Tejanos of the first half of the 20th century—a time riddled with racial tension, especially along the border. [9]

Banditry, exploits against Mexican President Porfilio Diaz between the 1880s and 1910, and Mexico’s political turmoil in the aftermath of the 1910 revolution increased the instability of the border and intensified Anglo animosity toward Tejanos and Mexicanos. Consequently, periods of American involvement in war often made some doubt Tejano loyalty and patriotism. During the Spanish-American War, displays of Tejano sympathy toward Spain and rumors of Mexican intrigue against the United States fueled Anglo anxiety and suspicion toward Tejanos and Mexicanos. In De Witt, Texas Anglo residents sought permission to form a cavalry to preserve order in the face of possible acts of depravity from Spanish sympathizing Tejanos and Mexicanos. [10] According to Fred House, leader of the “concerned” citizens of De Witt, “As soon as the Mexicans of that section learned that war existed between the United States and Spain, they became insulting and arrogant toward Americans. They assert openly that Texas rightfully belongs to Mexico and that they are going to take advantage of the present opportunity to get it again.” [11]

Similar anti-Mexican sentiment appeared in Wilson County and San Antonio. A group of Wilson County Anglos took it upon themselves to rid the area of all Spanish-surnamed residents. In San Antonio the press reported an increase in “Spanish sympathy and American hatred …especially among the Mexicans.” [12] In response to Anglo suspicions San Antonio Tejano leaders held meetings to demonstrate their loyalty and denounce anyone who uttered support for Spain. On Sunday May 22, hundreds gathered at the meeting hall of the Sociedad Benevolencia Mexicana, a local mutual aid society, where the American flag featured prominently as the orchestra played patriotic American tunes. Those assembled supported the idea of forming volunteer military companies to assist in the present war if needed. [13] They also pledged their loyalty by adopting the following resolution:

Whereas, it has come to our knowledge as American citizens of San Antonio that there are among us Spanish sympathizers, who speak and write in condemnation of the American cause in the present conflict with Spain, we, as citizens of the United States of America, desire to condemn such utterances in the most emphatic language:

Therefore, be it resolved, that we, American citizens of the United States, in convention assembled, hereby denounce as our enemy any man who, by his utterances or publications, attempts to disturb the peace and friendliness among the citizens of the United States.

Be it furthered resolved that we are in favor of any measure tending to suppress publications and utterances in this country condemning the cause of the United States of America. [14]

In addition to loyalty pledges Tejanos showed their support by enlisting. Laredo’s La Cronica referred to enlistment as “The duty of…able-body Mexican citizens of the United States whether native born or by adoption, is to go to the front, bear arms and shed his blood…in defense of the flag which protects him.” [15]

In 1907, nine years after the Spanish-American War, accusations of disloyalty against Chapa surfaced. In April, Thomas K. Rives, a brakeman for the Southern Pacific, alleged that a few days after the destruction of the USS Main in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898 he heard Chapa say “in a loud tone of voice, that he wished the Spanish navy would sink every damned battleship that the American government had.” [16] The incident, according to Rives, took place outside a drug store in Del Rio, Texas. Chapa and his supporters believed the allegation of disloyalty was a political attack on his candidacy for alderman-at-large. Chapa, who maintained he was in San Antonio in February 1898, responded to the “attack upon his honor and his standing as an American patriot” by reaffirming his loyalty to his adopted nation: “My record as a loyal American needs no verification for the people of San Antonio and I hope all citizens will rebuke this underhand, cowardly and lying political act.” [17] Chapa’s supporters defended him by emphasizing his dedication to education through his work on the San Antonio Independent School Board. They told reporters that Chapa used his school board salary to provide books for underprivileged schoolchildren. Chapa’s defenders then asked the public to consider “in the light of this showing, where he stood up for that good, old American institution, the public school, and placed his hand in his pocket to back what he thought concerning it, if he would even think a thought so unpatriotic.” [18] Weeks after accusing Chapa of treason Rives retracted his allegation announcing that he mistakenly laid blame on the wrong man. Rives’ new affidavit, titled “Mr. F. A. Chapa Is An American,” circulated throughout San Antonio. [19]

Since the Spanish-American War, tensions between Anglos and the Spanish-surnamed community had increased particularly along the border. By 1917, on the eve of American entrance into the war, border lawlessness and political conflict in Mexico had intensified. In 1910, rebellion erupted in Mexico, sending thousands of refugees to Texas. The turmoil and violence of the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920 generated havoc along the Texas-Mexican border which exacerbated racial tensions. Some Anglos, including Governor Colquitt in 1914, demanded federal intervention in Mexican affairs for the protection of American property in Mexico and Texas from rebels and bandits. In the summer of 1915 race relations along the border took a deadly turn. In mid-August Texas authorities discovered a plot for rebellion in San Diego. The Plan de San Diego, the rebellion’s manifesto, proclaimed “independence of Yankee tyranny, which has held us in iniquitous slavery.” [20] The rebellion, under the banner of “Equality and Independence,” intended to liberate the Southwest from American control. Anglo suspicion grew as border violence intensified. Texas authorities and posses used extralegal methods against suspected insurrectionists and collaborators creating an atmosphere of terror in border communities. Many Tejanos and Mexicanos fled to Mexico to avoid Anglo retaliation and violence. [21]

Suspicion of Tejanos and Mexicanos worsened when the press reported on the Zimmermann telegraph, a secret correspondence that revealed a ploy by Germany to establish an alliance with Mexico. In the proposed arrangement Mexico, by helping Germany fend off the United States, would have the ability to regain the Southwest. The Texas English-language press speculated about an alliance between Germany and Mexico and threatened Texas. When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 a strained relationship influenced by years of suspicion and violence existed between Anglos and people of Mexican lineage. [22]

Despite the violence, Tejanos and Mexicanos mobilized to support of the war effort. When President Wilson asked the nation to buy liberty bonds and war savings stamps, Chapa, like other newspaper proprietors, provided space for government advertisement of these programs. The ads for war bonds and savings stamps described support for both as vital to winning the war. Like most liberty bond ads, the “Prove That You Are a 100% American” ad that appeared in El Imparcial de Texas manipulated emotion by stressing patriotic rhetoric. [23] It also created and promoted a wartime American persona that all individuals should aspire to:

IF you are doing YOUR SHARE;

IF you are obeying cheerfully the laws and regulations made necessary by the war;

IF you are learning to speak the language of America, or helping others to learn it;

IF you are a citizen preparing to become a citizen of America;

IF you are backing the LIBERTY LOAN with every dollar you can possibly invest;

THEN you have the right to say with pride “I AM AN AMERICAN” [24]

El Imparcial de Texas likewise ran bond ads that described support as essential to victory and, as such, the purchase of bonds was not only an investment in the nation but a patriotic duty. Those same ads also tried to shame individuals into purchasing bonds by convincing them that “hiding their money is dangerous, unpatriotic, and does not produce any benefits.” [25]

Chapa did not limit his support for the war to donating ad space for saving stamps and liberty bond campaigns. He conducted presentations on the importance of purchasing war savings stamps and visited San Antonio’s Spanish-speaking residents to encourage them to buy war bonds. When President Wilson declared June 28, 1918 National War Savings Stamp day, San Antonio and Bexar County officials appointed a local committee to prepare a campaign to meet the county’s quota of over $3million in stamp sales. Chapa served on the Bexar County executive committee which assisted in coordinating the War Savings Stamps campaign. Committee members initiated a county census of all persons older than sixteen for the purpose of obtaining purchase pledges and visited school districts urging residents to buy stamps. For his part Chapa addressed an assembly of Tejanos and Mexicanos on Monday, June 24, explaining the War Savings Stamp campaign. Former President Taft recognized the efforts of Chapa and El Imparcial de Texas during his tour of San Antonio’s military facilities. [26]

As men enlisted and headed off to training camps, industries throughout the nation reported labor shortages. Texas farmers had relied on both Tejano and Mexicano labor for years, but many Mexicanos feared conscription and fled back to Mexico. The Selective Service Act of 1917 required citizens and aliens to register for service; however, only those alien residents from friendly nations who had applied for citizenship could be drafted. By 1918, the government excused declarants from neutral nations, such as Mexico, from the draft. Many believed that misunderstanding of the law caused the exodus. The increasing departure of Mexicanos threatened Texas agriculture in 1917 and 1918. Chapa described the vacant farm lands and the crops in need of harvest saying that German propaganda created the misperception that Mexicanos had regarding the draft and caused the flight. The harmful propaganda campaign, according to Chapa, tried to hamper the American war effort by disrupting industry. [27]

The fields lay abandoned with the harvest at hand. The factories lack workers and in all industries the absence of our people became noticeable…the cause was investigated revealing German propaganda as the source. Agents in this country working on behalf of the Kaiser circulated among our people absurd rumors to alarm Mexicans. [28]

In an attempt to stop the flight, both industry leaders and Texas officials launched a campaign to ease anxiety over the conscription law. For his part, Chapa used El Imparcial de Texas to clarify the law and urge Mexicanos to carry on with no fear. The English-language press reprinted sections of Chapa’s editorials in which he asks Mexicanos to “pay no attention to the rumors of their being dragged off to the trenches of Europe.” [29] The extent to which the exodus was the result of German manipulation is undetermined; but blaming the labor woes on the enemy provided leaders and communities with a rallying point which Chapa and other political leaders readily utilized. Laying the blame on a foreign entity provided communities and the state with an acceptable explanation for the situation. They thus ignored the actual racial problems facing South Texas communities.

While some Mexicanos returned to their homeland out of fear of American conscription, many more fled to escape the anti-Mexican sentiment and violence that continued to plague the Texas border region. Texas newspapers, including El Imparcial de Texas, carried reports of bandit activity and law enforcement and posse retaliation. The war effort did not reduce the instability of the border instead the brutal Porvenir massacre of 1917 exemplifies the violence and tension. On Christmas 1917, U.S. troops engaged a gang of Mexican bandits after a raid on Brite Ranch, located along the border in the Big Bend region. What followed shocked Tejanos and Mexicanos. Company B of the Texas Rangers, Troop G of the Eighth Cavalry, and a few Anglo ranchers rode to the border. In Porvenir, Texas, the Rangers, to the dismay of many in Troop G, “selected fifteen men between the ages of sixteen and seventy-two and marched them off into the darkness…where they unceremoniously shot the Mexicans to death.” [30] The men the Rangers executed had lived in Porvenir for years as tenant farmers and no actual evidence linked them to the Brite raid. [31]

The manipulation of the conscription law further agitated the tense situation in South Texas. Some law officers, including Texas Rangers, falsely arrested Mexicanos to collect the fee for draft dodgers. After the second Selective Service registration on June 5, 1918 El Imparcial de Texas reported that several Mexicanos had been drafted. Their draft, according to the weekly, resulted from the men’s failure to provide the proper documentation demonstrating their Mexican citizenship, hence verifying their exemption. El Imparcial de Texas explained that a commission, whose members included Guillermo M. Seguin, the Mexican consul in San Antonio, had visited Governor Hobby to ensure the review and resolution of cases. El Imparcial de Texas noted that past incidents such as this one had been successfully settled, resulting in the release of Mexicanos. However, these events further convinced Mexicanos that they could be manipulated and forced into military service. Border violence and conscription influenced the flight of over 100,000 Mexicanos between 1917 and 1918. [32]

For South Texas communities such as Brownsville, the exodus threatened the local agricultural economy. Because of the continued labor shortages, Texas leaders asked the federal government for exemptions to the immigration restrictions. In 1917, Mayor Albert Brown of Brownsville, Texas, Congressman John Nance Garner, and other officials met with the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Carl Vrooman and Commissioner General of Immigration Anthony Caminetti to discuss exemptions to the immigration law to facilitate and encourage Mexican immigration to Texas to ease labor woes. Following the meeting, the American government suspended the head tax, literacy test, and contract labor provision for Mexicano laborers crossing the border. However, the government restricted them to agricultural, railroad maintenance, and coal mining jobs. The government also authorized employers to deduct 25 cents a day from their wages to ensure that they would not leave their employment. Mexicanos would receive the withheld wages once they returned to Mexico. Despite these concessions the exodus continued and labor shortages remained. By 1918 the federal government once again eased immigration restrictions. Mexicanos could seek employment in all mining and construction plus the government suspended the provision requiring the wage deduction. [33]

Some industries suffering from labor shortages used El Imparcial de Texas to appeal to Mexicanos. For instance, merchants and farmers from Karnes City fifty-four miles southeast of San Antonio advertised good wages and guaranteed work for one year. They also encouraged Mexicanos to bring their families to Karnes City. Far from benevolent, these merchants did not invite Mexicano families to establish stability to prevent flight but instead viewed all members of the family from adult males to young children as labor. Like the merchants of Karnes City, C.M. Posey, a farmer in Stockdale, advertised for 500 Mexicanos to work 1500 acres of land. Like much of South Texas, Stockdale, forty miles southeast of San Antonio, relied heavily on farm hands. Articles in El Imparcial de Texas encouraged Mexicanos to partake of the nation’s economic prosperity by finding employment in Texas. The war made Mexicano labor indispensable not just to Texas but to industries throughout the nation. [34]

Many businesses outside of Texas, such as the Continental Sugar Company of Ohio, also found themselves facing a labor shortage. Companies sent representatives to Texas and Mexico to contract workers. In El Paso, California labor agents publicized the possibility of a $4 daily wage to prospective agricultural workers. Military construction contractor Mason & Hanger out of Nashville, Tennessee established an office in San Antonio through which it recruited Mexicano labor for construction projects including military facilities. Utilizing El Imparcial de Texas, Mason & Hanger attempted to entice workers by describing company benefits like their hourly wages, weekend work, and time and half pay saying their employees could “earn more (in a week) than what a laborer in San Antonio earns in an entire month.” [35]

Despite the exceptions, labor needs exceeded supply as migration out of the southwest continued. With the third Selective Service registration scheduled for September 12, 1918, Texas officials feared an increase in the number of Mexicanos leaving the state. Local officials held mass meetings days prior to the registration to explain the newly amended Selective Service Act. In San Antonio, Mayor Samuel Bell called a meeting to explain the draft law and assure Mexicano residents that they would not be drafted and sent to the European war front. Like San Antonio, other communities also held informational assemblies in an attempt to halt the emigration. In Brownsville, the Board of City Development, responding to the fears of farm owners, requested Chapa’s aid in encouraging Mexicanos to remain in the area and toil in the fields. Chapa, acting as the governor’s emissary, headed to South Texas to meet with local leaders and the Tejano and Mexicano communities. [36]

In Brownsville, Chapa met with merchants to discuss labor issues and then addressed approximately 2,000 residents, primarily Mexicanos, at a mass meeting on the court house lawn. Chapa urged attendees to ignore rumors of pending war between the United States and Mexico. He also explained the draft law and condemned the gossip of conscription of Mexicanos as harmful to the war effort. Chapa clarified that despite the law’s requirement that mandated that all men between the ages of 18 to 45 residing in the United States must register, the law did not intend to draft Mexicanos into the war. Instead, he explained that the upcoming “registration was nothing more than a census” and that Mexicanos were exempt from service. [37] He told those present that the “honor of the Mexican people was at stake and that it was foreign to the character to display either cowardice or disloyalty.” [38] Following the court house gathering, Chapa and other officials conducted community meetings in the surrounding areas. Chapa spent a week touring Hidalgo County, Starr County, Rio Grande City, and Kingsville, urging Mexicanos to remain in their present locations and occupations. [39]

When September 12 arrived, El Imparcial de Texas reiterated that Mexicanos had nothing to dread from the Selective Service registration. To alleviate concerns, the weekly informed readers that interpreters would be available at registration sites. It also printed a proclamation issued by Major General Williard Ames Holbrook, commander of the Army’s Southern Department, in which he assured Mexicanos that they had nothing to fear from the registration and that they would not be forced into military service. To facilitate the process, El Imparcial de Texas published the complete instructions to the questionnaire that all men from 18 to 45 were required to submit. The weekly printed the questions as well as how Mexicanos should address them. On the question pertaining to place of birth El Imparcial de Texas directed Mexicanos to answer “Mexico” then provide the name of the state or territory of birth reminding them that filing a Declaration of Intention did not make them an American citizen. Under the draft law those individuals still qualified for exemption. Readers also received information on how to obtain letters of citizenship from the Mexican Consulate. Finally, the newspaper touted the country’s prosperity and encouraged Mexicanos to seek employment in the United States. El Imparcial de Texas pleaded with Mexicano laborers to recognize the deceptiveness of the rumors circulated by the German foe arguing that these harmful rumors served to rob them of “food for their children.” [40] While many residents of South Texas believed the informative campaigns helped dissuade Mexicanos from leaving the United States, the need for common Mexicano labor persisted. [41]

In the fall of 1918, labor recruitment efforts continued but when Texas officials learned of the Armistice on November 11, they no longer deemed the Mexicano exodus a war-time emergency, and prepared for the veterans to return to the labor force. The country celebrated their efforts and contributions to victory, but questions arose about how the work of Tejanos such as Chapa would receive recognition. Prior to the war’s conclusion a reporter from The Galveston Daily News called for the state to acknowledge the contributions of Tejanos and Mexicanos:

Texas has many thousands of loyal citizens who were born in Mexico or whose parents came from Mexico. The thoroughgoing loyalty of these people is a credit to them…His handiwork is upon every great improvement in this state public and private. He has been a producer and he is a good citizen. Whether he brings with him the best traditions of Mexico or whether he cherishes our own traditions alone, this is his war. It is for all of us to remember in the days to come that he did his share in the winning of it. [42]

Within a short time the war time contributions of Tejanos and Mexicanos were marginalized or forgotten as violence and racism affected even veterans. Nonetheless, Chapa, other Tejanos, and Mexicanos proclaimed their loyalty to the United States and did their part to support the war effort.

Until his death from pneumonia on Monday, February 18, 1924, Colonel Francisco A. Chapa was one of the most influential Tejanos in the state and stayed devoted to his adopted nation. On February 20, hundreds of people including former governors Colquitt, Ferguson, and Hobby, all of whom served as honorary pallbearers, gathered at San Fernando Cathedral to mourn their friend and colleague. [43] Chapa was remembered as a man loyal to the United States who “gave of his own flesh and blood to fight her battles.”[44]

 

1. The San Antonio Light, 16 May 1917.

2. The term “Tejano” refers to individuals of Mexican heritage either naturalized or born in the United States while “Mexicano” refers to Mexican nationals residing in Texas.

3. El Imparcial de Texas, 31 January 1918.

4. Carole Christian, “Joining the American Mainstream: Texas’s Mexican Americans during World War I” The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 92 (April 1989), 559-595; Jose A. Ramirez, To the Line of Fire: Mexican Texans and World War I (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2009).

5. F. Arturo Rosales, !Pobre Raza!: Violence, Justice, and Mobilization among Mexico Lindo Immigrants, 1900-1936 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999), 30.

6. F. Arturo Rosales, !Pobre Raza!: Violence, Justice, and Mobilization among Mexico Lindo Immigrants, 1900-1936 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999); Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler, The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004).

7. The San Antonio Express, 19 February 1924; The San Antonio Sunday Light, 5 December 1897;16 December 1900; U.S. Bureau of the Census, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 (Washington, D.C.), ED 85, Sheet 2; Jules A. Appler’s General Directory of the City of San Antonio, 1892-1893 (San Antonio: Jules A. Appler, 1893), 225; Jules A. Appler’s General Directory of the City of San Antonio, 1901-1902 (San Antonio: Jules A. Appler, 1902), 179; Jules A. Appler’s General Directory of the City of San Antonio, 1910-1911 (San Antonio: Jules A. Appler, 1911), 411; Chas. G. Norton, ed., Men of Affairs of San Antonio(San Antonio: San Antonio Newspaper Artists’ Association, 1912), 145; Annual Message of Marshall Hicks, Mayor of the City of San Antonio & Review of Reports of City Officers for Fiscal Year Ending June 1901(San Antonio: Guessaz& Ferlet, Expert Printers, 1901), 196; Minutes Commissioners Court, Bexar County, Texas, Vol. P, Special Term, A.D. 1906, 621-629; “History of the Chapa Drug Store” an overview with photos provided to the author by Kathleen Betty (F.A. Chapa’s great-granddaughter).

8. El Imparcial de Texas, 13 June 1918; 20 June 1918; Jules A. Appler’s General Directory and Blue Book of Greater San Antonio, 1912 (San Antonio: Jules A. Appler, 1912), 488, 1147; El Imparcial de Texas Deed of Purchase, courtesy of Kathleen Betty; Ana Luisa Martinez, “A Mexican Run Amuck: The Portrayal of Gregorio Cortez in the Texas English Language Press,” Journal of South Texas 20 (Spring 2007), 50-51; Christian, “Joining the American Mainstream, 564; Rosales, !Pobre Raza!, 23, 30, 145, 153-154.

9. The San Antonio Express, 19 February 1924; The Galveston Daily News, 19 February 1924; Chas. G. Norton, ed., Men of Affairs of San Antonio(San Antonio: San Antonio Newspaper Artists’ Association, 1912), 145; Minutes Commissioners Court, Bexar County, Texas, Vol. P, Special Term, A.D. 1902, 15; Western Union Telegram to Chapa from Ralph Soape, private secretary to Governor Hobby,19 November 1920, courtesy of Kathleen Betty; Western Union Telegram to Chapa from Elias L. Torres, 24 November 1920, courtesy of Kathleen Betty; Harris and Sadler, The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution, 78.

10. The Weimar Mercury, 30 April 1898; The San Antonio Daily Express, 27 April 1898; Arnoldo de Leon, The Tejano Community, 1836-1900 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1997), 21-22.

11. The San Antonio Daily Express, 27 April 1898.

12. San Antonio Daily Light, 14 July 1898.

13. San Antonio Daily Light, 28 April 1898; 19 June 1898;14 July 1898; 23 May 1898; The San Antonio Daily Express, 5 May 1898; The Galveston Daily News, 20 May 1898; El Regidor, 19 May 1898; 26 May 1898. See also Cynthia E. Orozco, "Porvenir Massacre," Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association.

14. San Antonio Daily Light, 23 May 1898.

15. San Antonio Daily Light, 9 May 1898.

16. “Chapa As An American, His True Allegiance,” notarized statement by Thomas K. Rives (April 23, 1907), courtesy of Kathleen Betty.

17. The San Antonio Light, 11 May 1907.

18. The San Antonio Light, 11 May 1907.

19. The San Antonio Light, 11 May 1907; San Antonio Gazette, 11 May 1907; “Mr. F. A. Chapa Is An American,” courtesy of Kathleen Betty.

20. The Galveston Daily News, 12 October 1915.

21. The Galveston Daily News, 12 October 1915; Patrick L. Cox, “An Enemy Closer to Us than Any European Power”: The Impact of Mexico on Texan Public Opinion before World War I,” The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 105, no. 1(July 2001), 57-67; James A. Sandos, “The Plan of San Diego: War & Diplomacy on the Texas Border 1915-1916,” Arizona and the West, vol. 14, no. 1 (Spring 1972), 7-23; Harris and Sadler, The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution, 210-277; Rosales, !Pobre Raza!,13-20; Trinidad Gonzales, “The Mexican Revolution, Revolucion de Texas, and Matanza de 1915” in War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities, ed. Arnoldo De Leon (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2012), 111-126; Richard Ribb, “La Richada Revolution, Revenge, and the Rangers, 1910-1920” in War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities, ed. Arnoldo De Leon (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2012), 65-79 .

22. Brownsville Herald, 3 March 1917; Cox, “An Enemy Closer to Us than Any European Power,” 76-79; Christian, “Joining the American Mainstream,” 566-567.

23. El Imparcial de Texas, 3 January 1918; 27 June 1918; 3 October 1918.

24. El Imparcial de Texas, 3 October 1918.

25. El Imparcial de Texas, 18 April 1918.

26. The San Antonio Light, 8 June 1918; 9 June 1918; 25 June 1918; El Imparcial de Texas, 31 January 1918; 7 February 1918; 7 March 1918; 11 April 1918; 20 June 1918; 3 October 1918; 17 October 1918.

27. El Imparcial de Texas, 26 September 1918; The San Antonio Light, 16 May 1917; 24 May 1917; 8 September 1918; Ramirez, To the Line of Fire, 21-22, 34-38; Christian, “Joining the American Mainstream,” 571-574.

28. El Imparcial de Texas, 26 September 1918.

29. The San Antonio Light, 16 May 1917.

30. Glenn Justice, Revolution on the Rio Grande: Mexican Raids and Army Pursuits 1916-1919 (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1992), 39.

31. El Imparcial de Texas, 3 January 1918; San Antonio Light, 26 December 1917; 27 December 1917; Galveston Daily News, 27 December 1917; William D. Carrigan, The Making of a Lynching Culture: Violence and Vigilantism in Central Texas 1836-1916 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 175-176; Justice, Revolution on the Rio Grande, 21-47.

32. El Imparcial de Texas, 6 June 1918; Ramirez, To the Line of Fire, 30-36; Christian, “Joining the American Mainstream,” 576-577.

33. El Imparcial de Texas, 28 February 1918; 13 June 1918; The San Antonio Light, 16 May 1917; Brownsville Daily Herald, 7 August 1918;Galveston Daily News, 25 May 1917; Otey M. Scruggs, “The First Mexican Farm Labor Program,” Arizona and the West, vol. 2 no. 4 (Winter, 1960), 320-322.

34. El Imparcial de Texas, 16 May 1918; 6 June 1918; 25 July 1918.

35. El Imparcial de Texas, 14 March 1918; 2 May 1918; 23 May 1918; 20 June 1918; 27 June 1918; 26 September 1918.

36. El Imparcial de Texas, 5 September 1918; 19 September 1918; The San Antonio Light, 8 September 1918; Brownsville Herald, 3 September 1918; 4 September 1918; 9 September 1918.

37. El Imparcial de Texas, 5 September 1918.

38. Brownsville Herald, 4 September 1918.

39. El Imparcial de Texas, 5 September 1918; 12 September 1918; 19 September 1918; Brownsville Herald, 3 September 1918; 4 September 1918; 9 September 1918; Brownsville Daily Herald, 6 September 1918.

40. El Imparcial de Texas, 12 September 1918.

41. El Imparcial de Texas, 5 September 1918; 19 September 1918; Brownsville Herald, 3 September 1918; 4 September 1918; 9 September 1918; Brownsville Daily Herald, 6 September 1918.

42. The Galveston Daily News, 12 October 1918.

43. San Antonio Express, 19 February 1924; 20 February 1924; The Galveston Daily News, 26 October 1918; 19 February 1924; Laredo Times, 18 February 1924.

44. San Antonio Express, 20 February 1924.