Between Black And White - Journal of San Antonio

Between Black And White:

Race and Status among the Tejano Elite in 19th Century San Antonio

Roque Planas

In Spanish America, people of pure European blood stood at the highest point of the racial hierarchy since the conquest. In colonial Texas, however, a class of pure-blooded European settlers never emerged. The Spaniards who settled in the region were overwhelmingly mestizo. Despite the fact that few Tejanos could claim “untainted” Spanish blood, this did not stop them from doing so. In a resource-scarce area, the Tejano political elite used their racial self-identification as a status symbol and a tool of social differentiation. As the Tejano community merged with the Anglo immigrant community, the Tejano elite presented themselves as “white” in the Anglo sense of the word. With the creation of a new political order, Tejano elites attempted to extend this definition of themselves to the entire Tejano community. The Tejano elite’s contradictory claim to “whiteness” left a unique legacy for their community and contributed to a curiously ambiguous sort of racism in Texas.


When the original settlers of Spanish Texas arrived in early in the eighteenth century, they consisted primarily of mestizos from northern Mexico. Although a small number of “pure-blooded” Spaniards may have accompanied the settlers or made their way to Texas through the ranks of the military, very few of the new Texans had no indigenous blood. Mexico had been conquered mostly by men, with the result that succeeding generations of Mexicans were generally the product of Spanish-Indian or exclusively Indian unions, along with a small but perceptible African influence. Furthermore, eighteenth-century Texas was sparsely populated and full of Indians hostile to Spanish encroachment, making it an unattractive place for Spaniards to settle with their families. Although the “white” population was reinforced in 1731 with the arrival of ten families from the Canary Islands, this group of Old World settlers, with time, would also mix the with local population.

The fact that the Spanish population of Texas mixed with the indigenous population has led some historians to assert that race did not play a defining role in the Tejano class system. This statement may seem compelling when comparing the Tejano community to contemporaneous Anglo American communities, where dark skin color automatically consigned people to a racial underclass. Despite widespread miscegenation, however, Texas Mexicans continued to use race as a means of social differentiation. Tejano elites made this contradiction possible by claiming a racial designation that they did not fully possess. No one challenged their pretension because their social station and phenotype allowed them to pass as European descendants. Although this ethnic status was fraudulent, the social divisions reflected by it were real.


Foreigners to Texas from within the Spanish empire noticed that Tejano elites continued to identify themselves as Spaniards or Europeans, even though by official standards they would have been classified as mestizos. One missionary to Texas in the eighteenth century, for example, noted the unique flexibility of the term “Spaniard” in Texas. “When I say Spaniard,” he wrote, “I mean a non-Indian; this is the usage here.” Another visitor, Fray Agustín Morfi, described the members of the town council as “a ragged band of men of all colors.”

Insiders were less cognizant of the difference, and as time passed few were probably even aware that their racial status had been manipulated. José María Rodríguez, in his memoirs of nineteenth-century San Antonio, described how the Canary Islanders and Bexareños of “pure Spanish descent” segregated themselves from “those who had intermarried with Indians, and who were not supposed to be the very best people.” He elaborated on the theme of intermarriage, stating that most of the Canary Islanders “took great pride in preventing any inter-marriage with mixed races and when one did mix he lost his caste with the rest.” It probably would have surprised Rodríguez to find that census records contradict his claim that Canary Islanders maintained their insularity. This confusion is understandable because, although the racial purity of this early elite group had been compromised, the feelings of cultural chauvinism passed through the generations intact. Spatial segregation between elite and non-elite based on this blurred distinction prevailed into Rodríguez’s lifetime, and probably would have been interpreted as obvious knowledge to his contemporaries.

Such manipulations of ethnic categories were facilitated by the Hispanic sistema de castas, which differed significantly from the racial categories employed held by Anglo Americans. Tejanos, referencing the sistema de castas, did not conceive of themselves exclusively in terms of skin color. The specialness of their racial class derived from their claim to pure European blood, family status, and feelings of cultural superiority they derived from their Catholic Faith and status as a civilized, European-descended people. The Canary Islanders held the additional honor of “Hidalgo,” granting them minor noble status. Thus, the self-referents they used, such as “Spanish ( español),” “Canary Islander ( canario or isleño),” or “Castilian ( castellano) emphasize national origin rather than skin-color. In the censuses of the colonial period, the people Anglos would have called white were categorized as españoles. The colonial censuses also recognized different categories of miscegenation, such as mestizo and mulatto, even if they under-reported them. This categorization provides a contrast to the Anglo dominated era of Texas history, when the censuses would be revised to distinguish only between “whites” and “coloreds” throughout the nineteenth century. Even when Tejano elites used phenotype to define racial pedigree, they did not necessarily emphasize white skin. In Narciso Leal’s description of José Antonio Navarro’s Spanish features in the preface to Navarro’s Historical Commentaries of San Antonio de Bexar by an Eyewitness, for example, Leal neglects to mention Navarro’s skin, preferring to dote on his “aquiline nose” and “wide forehead.”

In addition to curvy noses and wide foreheads, Tejano elites claimed cultural superiority over their racial inferiors. José Antonio Navarro’s historical writings are indicative of such attitudes. These writings, which have been collected and translated as Defending Mexican Valor, have been used to argue that Navarro was a true Tejano advocate who defended the noble qualities of the Tejano community in its entirety. But although Navarro makes frequent references to racially and socially neutral “Mexican” bravery and valor, he is more specific when assigning leadership roles and glorifying heroes. Instead of “Mexicans” he refers to the descendants of the Canary Islanders, who constituted a “true nobility” in Béxar. At times he goes further, restricting the group of Canary Islanders to four particularly praiseworthy families – the Delgados, Traviesos, Arochas and Leales. Clearly, Navarro did not have the modern habit of grouping the Texas Mexican population together on equal terms.


Anglo settlers were quick to notice the racial divisions Tejanos had created for themselves. Racism against the Tejano community became a problem once Anglos began to outnumber Mexicans in Texas in the 1820s, and it increased in intensity in the aftermath of the Texas of Revolution of 1836. But despite inter-ethnic tension, Anglos tended to address the San Antonio elite with more tolerance and respect than other Tejanos. While Anglos commonly referred to Mexican mestizos and Hispanicized Indians using disparaging terms such as “greaser” or “Aztec,” the paler members of the Béxar elite were more often characterized as “Castilian” or “Spanish.” Despite a long tradition of hostility towards Spaniards in the English-speaking European and North American world, it is clear that these terms were intended to carry connotations of cultivation and status when applied to the elite. Thus, Anglos might refer to common Mexicans contemptuously as “the mongrel and illicit descendants of an Indian, Mexican, and Spanish, pencilled with a growing feignt-line of the Anglo Saxon ancestry,” and yet praise a member of the Tejano elite as an “aristocrat” of the “proudest blood of old Spain.” Again, given the Anglo American hostility to aristocracy and the privilege of birth, it seems odd that they should use such terms to praise their new found friends. But, following the lead of the Tejanos, they learned to separate elite from commoner based on birth, lineage, and race. Indeed, the fact that the Anglo community could distinguish men of a “higher class of Mexicans” and women with “a trace of rich Castilian lineage” from unworthy “Aztec greasers” makes it clear that Anglos adopted distinctions created by the Tejano community.

Understanding race in this context not as a biological trait, but as a tool of social stratification, makes it easier to understand why Anglos might look fondly upon Tejano elites as fellow European descendants despite the fact that Spaniards were not a class of people Anglo-Americans are known to have admired. These groups had common interests. The commercial elite of San Antonio advocated Anglo immigration for their own reasons, while Anglos depended on Tejanos for their access to the Mexican government. As these groups came to rely on one another in pursuit of their common interests, they developed a common political agenda.

Tejano elites of San Antonio promoted the idea of Anglo immigration since Mexico won independence from Spain. They hoped that Anglo immigration would make Texas more prosperous as immigrants would increase the population and develop Texas’s natural resources. They also hoped Anglo immigrants would help to secure the Mexican settlements against Indian attacks. But most importantly, Tejano elites promoted Anglo immigration because of their own economic interests.

Several of these people, such as José Antonio Navarro, Francisco Ruiz, the Seguíns, and José Casiano, were merchants who participated in the increasingly lucrative trade between Texas and the north via Louisiana. Although the Texan market must have been quite small these traders brought internationally produced goods to the frontier such as cheese, wine, coffee, books, and clothing.” They were eager to extend their contacts with the Anglo American world in order to further their own business objectives.

The commercial orientation of the Tejano elite of San Antonio is significant because it was unusual. Mexico’s northern frontier in the early nineteenth-century consisted of small communities that subsisted on ranching and an extremely proscribed and over-regulated commerce with the interior. Because of the Tejano elite’s developmental and commercial outlook, they were more inclined than the average Texas Mexican to view mass Anglo immigration favorably.

The uniqueness the San Antonio commercial elite’s economic outlook is revealed in their attitudes toward land. Whereas common Mexicans and even wealthy ranchers generally viewed land as “a form of ancestral birthright” and ranching as an “inherited lifestyle,” Anglo entrepreneurs tended to view it as a commodity. Although this distinction would not play out until after the 1836 revolution, Tejano elites seem to have shared this supposedly “Anglo” view of land. Several were involved in speculation. In the 1830s, while working as land commissioner, José Antonio Navarro bought over 50,000 acres of land for pennies apiece. Fully aware that immigration was driving up the price, and participating in the process personally, he would sell parts of his holdings years later for prices as high as three dollars an acre. Navarro’s friend and colleague Juan Nepomuceno Seguín also speculated on the value of land to turn a profit, although his ventures ended with less success. Where their countrymen saw security, these men saw the potential for profit.

Joined by their common entrepreneurial spirit, San Antonio elites and Anglo immigrants found it easy to unite politically. In order to promote Anglo immigration which they viewed as key to Texas’s economic future, Tejanos promoted an Anglo agenda in the Coahuila y Tejas legislature. This agenda had nothing to do with the concerns of the citizenry of San Antonio and only makes sense when seen in the context of Anglo-Tejano collaboration. They promoted slavery, opposed restrictions on Anglo immigration, mediated religious conflicts, and defended the colonists from debt collectors. In addition, they acted as liaisons between the new communities and the Mexican government until Anglos established their own representation. Anglo and Tejano agreement in the economic realm fostered political collusion; they even formed friendships. The question of race did not hinder these relations either personally or professionally. The Anglo political class accepted the Tejano elites as their equals. They accepted their racial fiction, despite the fact that their notions of cultural superiority based on the privilege of birth and noble blood combined poorly with their own sensibilities, and despite the low esteem in which the Anglo world held Castilians.


Despite their support of Anglo immigration, it is unlikely that Tejanos foresaw how swiftly and strongly Anglo immigration would pull Texas into the northern orbit. It is doubtful that when Tejano elites began their relations with Anglo empresarios in the 1820s they desired to separate from Mexico, much less join a foreign government whose language few of them understood. But as events both at home and within Mexico pushed the territories apart, these Bexareños had no choice but to cast their lot with the Anglos. Their economic futures had severed them from their cultural past.

The advent of mass Anglo immigration forced a redefinition of Texas’s racial hierarchy. The Hispanic notion of an ethnic and cultural hierarchy had consisted of Spaniards capable of reason at the top, followed by mixed bloods, Hispanicized Indians, with blacks and autonomous Indians at the bottom. The racial hierarchy imported by the Anglo immigrants consisted of one simple distinction – white versus colored. As they adapted to their shifting cultural climate, the Tejano elite of San Antonio developed a context-dependent notion of race. Within their own community, they maintained the ethnic divisions that had traditionally buttressed their superior social and political power. To the Anglo community, they presented themselves as white, in the Anglo understanding of the word. At the same time, they took on the role of spokesmen for the Texas Mexican community, identifying them culturally, socially and geographically with Mexicans of all ethnicities. Because the Anglo concept of white supremacy did not incorporate the Hispanic concept of racial mixture, Tejanos would repeatedly confront the need to define their community’s race in absolute terms for legal purposes. With only these two options, Tejanos campaigned for white status. In the process they extended their own racial fiction to all Texas Mexicans in general.

This process began with the constitutional debates of 1845 held in connection with annexation, when race was legally defined for the new state. José Antonio Navarro, the lone Tejano representative at the Convention, argued against the inclusion of the term “white” in the clause defining qualified voters. Although it has been argued that Navarro’s position constitutes a defense of the principle of racial equality, this was not his true motivation. Although Navarro argued against inclusion of the term “white,” he did so on the premise that it was redundant. Since the language of the law specified non-whites as “non-tax paying Indians and Africans or those of African descent,” he reasoned, there was no need to disfranchise blacks twice. He argued that the superfluous word would only serve to allow manipulation of the law by “arbitrary judges” who might deny the vote to those whose complexions they did not personally consider to be pale enough. This concern indicates recognition of miscegenation. He dismissed the notion that Mexicans would not be included under the provision, whether the term “white” was retained or not, implying that he intended to legally define the entire Tejano population as “white.” The spokesman for the committee that drafted the clause supported his position, assuring the convention that the term “white” was intended to include Mexicans.

This dual racial stratification did not present a problem for San Antonio’s Tejano elites. Indeed, to interpret José Antonio Navarro’s rejection of the term “white” in the suffrage clause as a defense of African Americans would be inaccurate. During the debates he assured the Convention that he “was as opposed to giving the right of suffrage to Africans or the descendants of Africans as any gentleman,” a comment that clearly displays the conjunction of ethnic and class prejudices operating in his mind. Tejano elites had advocated slavery along with the Anglo community long after it had ceased to be popular in Mexico, or with the rest of the Texas Mexican population. Few Tejanos benefited directly from the institution because they were not involved in commercial agriculture, although some Tejanos kept house slaves. Even after the Civil War resolved the issue of slavery, the Navarros, Rafael Quintana, A. M. Ruiz, Manuel Yturri, and others continued to advocate white supremacy. Without a direct economic benefit in the city of San Antonio, and long after their scheme to encourage Anglo immigration had overwhelmed them, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that many of them were simply racists.

The classification of Mexicans as “white” within this racial dichotomy did not go unchallenged. At least one delegate, Francis Moore of Harris County, vociferously opposed the removal of the word white on the grounds that it would allow Mexicans the ability to reconquer Texas by the ballot box. Although he had no problem with the “Castilian race,” he felt hostility towards “those who, though they speak the Spanish language, are but the descendants of that degraded and despicable race which Cortez conquered.” He worried that if the Constitution omitted the word white, Mexican Indians and mestizos would “have a representation equal to that of the Anglo-Saxon and European races.” Although he based his argument on a definition of race that both Tejano elites and the Anglo communities recognized, his speech failed to persuade his peers at the convention.

Although Navarro’s arguments did not challenge racial discrimination, they did defend the right of Hispanicized Indians and mestizos to exercise their vote. But why should he defend the rights of races that he felt superior to in his own community, especially when other delegates understood the distinctions between European and Indian upon which his notion of ethno-cultural superiority was based?

There are three possible reasons why he and other Tejano politicians might have felt inclined to preserve the vote for non-white Mexicans. First, his role as a political leader of San Antonio obligated him to represent the interests of that community as a whole. There could be no denying as he spoke to the Convention through the assistance of an interpreter that he shared strong cultural ties with Tejanos of all ethnicities. Navarro’s versatility was made possible because he cultivated his feelings of superiority as a self-styled European of noble descent. While such a posture reeks of elitism, it did not necessarily imply the radical social and political segregation characteristic of Anglo-African relations.

In addition, two practical reasons compelled to Navarro to support Tejano suffrage. He was the leading Mexican politician of Texas, and he was on intimate terms with the political class of Béxar. His own son José Angel would go on to become a successful politician as well, serving three terms in the state House of Representatives. Without Tejano suffrage, the Navarros and their friends would lose their voter base and, consequently, the foundation of their political power within the new governmental framework. This may seem a trifling concern given the extremely disproportionate levels of Tejano representation at the state level throughout the nineteenth century, but Tejanos retained a measure of political representation at the local level throughout this period. To oppose Mexican suffrage at this point would have been to oppose their own incumbency.

Evidence shows that a second practical concern must have weighed heavily on Navarro’s mind during the years following the Texas Revolution and the Mexican American War. Anglos of the political and economic elite readily understood the ethnic distinctions that governed social interaction within the Tejano community. But ordinary Anglos and newcomers to the state could not be counted on to be so astute in their perceptions. This concern is particularly relevant when considering that the wars had created strong feelings of enmity in which many Anglos were already “disposed to hate Mexicans.” Tejano elites could not depend on future generations of Anglo immigrants to distinguish them from their racial underlings, so it made more sense to defend the rights of all Mexicans equally in this case.

Whatever Navarro’s reasons, the dual definition of race, with no place for Indians and mestizos, gained acceptance in the following years. This dual division of Texan ethnicity appears in unexpected places. Jacob de Córdova, the Texas land agent and immigrant recruiter, used census figures to describe the population as “154,034 white, and 58,161 colored; making a total of 212,592.” He also avoids the subject of racial heterogeneity in his “Lecture on Texas” to the New York Geographical Society in 1858, in which he discusses the Texan Indian tribes without any reference to Mexican Indians or mestizos. De Córdova had lived in the state since 1839 and surveyed much of its territory personally. There can be no doubt that he meant to mislead potential – and potentially racist – immigrants by withholding information about the Mexican Indian and mestizo populations. Another writer who advertised the greatness of Texas to potential immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century, Viktor Bracht, used census figures to describe the population without elaborating on the Mexican theme either. It must have come as a surprise to more than one Anglo or German immigrant that the Texan definition of the word “white” included a great many very dark-brown people.


Since the 1820s Tejano elites had assisted Anglo immigrants in the navigation of Mexican bureaucracy. When Anglo immigrants effectively took control of Texas in 1836, the role of the Tejano elites changed. They now, in certain circumstances, acted as the representatives of the wider Texas Mexican community. José Antonio Navarro’s defense of Tejano suffrage constitutes just one example. The cultural ties binding the Tejano community proved, in some cases, to be as durable as those features that divided them. Their common language, religion, history, and geographical location provided means for collective identification that both Tejanos and Anglos recognized.

One example of Tejano elites using their prominence to represent the wider Tejano cultural community is the case of their opposition to the Know Nothing Party. In the 1850s, Tejano politicians took political action against this anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic group by raising awareness within the Tejano community. They attacked the platforms of the Know Nothing Party and urged the Texas Mexicans to be “proud of the belief of their fathers.” In this case the ties of common religion proved stronger than the barriers of race.

Tejano politicians attempted to defend their language and property rights from Anglo incursion. Juan Seguín, as a representative to the Congress of the Republic of Texas, successfully proposed to have the new nation’s laws published in Spanish. Angel Navarro, as a representative to the state legislature, proposed similar resolutions requiring bilingual publication of public materials. He also submitted numerous land petitions and grievances to the Texas legislature on behalf of Tejanos who were involved in land disputes, or who had suffered loss or damage of property during the wars. Although he filed most of these on behalf of friends and relatives, some Tejanos from outside the narrow group of San Antonio commercial elites benefited from the representation his presence in the legislature provided.

Finally, José Antonio Navarro’s writings also provide an insight into the ways in which Tejano elites understood their connection to the masses of Indians and mestizos who shared their city. Navarro wrote a series of historical essays in order to defend the Tejano community against what he perceived as defamatory and inaccurate remarks published in the San Antonio Ledger and in Henderson Yoakum’s History of Texas. Although he assigns the common Mexican combatants a role subordinate to the more illustrious Canary Islanders in his relation of the struggle for independence from Spain, he nevertheless includes them in his narrative and identifies with them as Texas patriots. While these essays show how Tejanos used race and class to stratify themselves socially, they also demonstrates that racial divisions did not keep them from conceiving of a wider community in which they could share common aspirations.


While it is possible to recover hints of an incipient pan-Tejanoism from the nineteenth century, they should not obscure the chasm separating elite from commoner. These examples only serve to illustrate the point that in certain contexts the Tejano political elites of San Antonio identified themselves as part of the Tejano community, while in other contexts they elevated themselves above it. Such Tejano social and ethnic divisions persisted well into the twentieth century.

On the political front this meant that although Texas Mexicans acquired the vote in 1845, the social problems that the majority of them suffered continued to plague them. Educational segregation, language discrimination, economic discrimination, impediments to the exercise of suffrage, violent atrocities, and vigilante murder characterized the state’s tense race relations for another hundred years. Even Tejano political leaders failed defend the wider community. With the prominent exception of José Tomás Canales’s initiation of the investigation and reform of the Texas Rangers in 1919, the grievances of common Texas Mexicans would have to wait until after World War II to receive redress. While systematic exclusion of Tejanos from the political process by the ascendant Anglo majority partly explains this situation, the point remains that the Mexicans who did manage to make it into office did not conceive of themselves as having enough solidarity with under privileged Mexicans to defend them in the legislature or the courts. Lingering racial divisions help to explain why such a gulf persisted between common Texas Mexicans and their political representatives for so long.

Racial stratification within the Tejano community has been obscured by the much larger Anglo-Mexican cultural conflict. Although racial divisions have always existed within the Tejano community, Texan society tends to conceptualize Tejanos as a homogeneous group. This same confusion gave rise to the designation “Anglo” for non-Hispanic whites. Neither designation makes objective sense. Most of the so-called “Anglo” immigrants, particularly in the generations following statehood, could make no claim to exclusively British heritage. In fact, most of today’s Texan “Anglos” are Americanized Germans, Czechs, Poles, Scots, French, other Europeans or mixtures of such Europeans. Despite its inaccuracy, the term “Anglo” has proved less problematic as a racial category than “Mexican” because all of these peoples share the defining phenotypic characteristic in the American concept of race: pale skin. Tejanos, on the other hand, run the gamut from pale white to dark brown. When forced by circumstance to choose between black or white status, however, they chose white. Because Mexicans shared unifying cultural features, and because their leaders depended upon their community to retain their political positions and influence in the new Anglo American governments, they extended the same racial fiction they had invented for themselves to the entire community.

The extension of the San Antonio commercial elite’s racial fiction to the rest of the Tejano community resulted in a curious situation in which Texas Mexicans experienced the full force of Anglo-American racism while their community’s leaders insisted that they were white. For those who created the designation, it the paradox made political sense. Tejano commercial elites had no problem cooperating economically with Anglo empresarios or befriending them. Even as generations of Tejano leaders distanced themselves from the colonial past of Hispanic Texas and began to shed their ethnic exclusivity in the early twentieth century, out of self-defense they continued to cling to the idea that Mexicans were white. LULAC successfully opposed the federal government’s attempt to count Mexicans as a separate group in 1930 by arguing that Mexicans were, and always had been, white. In the years leading up to the civil rights movement, the Tejano elite developed the notion of a “cultural minority,” in order to explain the persistence of discrimination against Mexicans, while not accepting the legally inferior status of a “colored” people. Only after the civil rights movement would Tejano leaders reverse this position. Ironically by the 1970s, when the federal census began to enumerate Mexicans Americans separately, undercounting the newly classified ethnic minority became the problem.

Outside of a legal context, however, the designation of the Tejano community as “white” met with less success. Tejanos have always been perceived in Texas as racially different from Anglos at the popular level. In practice, since 1845 the great majority of Tejanos have been designated by the greater Texas community as a racially distinct and inferior people. Only those who could phenotypically pass as white were permitted the option of maintaining, abandoning, or hybridizing their inherited culture in a foreign context without experiencing the violence and injustice of racism. With time, the very word “Mexican” seemed to take on a new meaning, defining a racially and phenotypically unique group. Perhaps this explains why today so few Anglo Texans are aware that a Mexican can be white, or that anti-Mexican attitudes are indistinguishable from anti-Indian racism.

People of mixed European and Indian blood.

The term “Tejano” refers to members of the Hispanic community of Texas, regardless of race, and the paper uses the term interchangeably with “Texas Mexican,” although in cases where the geographic location is clear from context, the word “Mexican” may be used.

These observations are based on Jesús de la Teja, et al, Texas: Crossroads of North America (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004), p. 45, 73-75, 102 and Jesús de la Teja, San Antonio de Béxar: A Community on New Spain’s Northern Frontier (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1995), 17-30. The San Antonio community recognized the Canary Islanders as European. In fact, they were not. The majority were descended from the mixed race descendants of the European and the native populations of the islands.

Arnoldo de León, Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1999), 17; Gerald Poyo, “The Canary Islands Immigrants of San Antonio: from Ethnic Exclusivity to Community in Eighteenth-Century Béxar,” in: Tejano Origins in Eighteenth-Century San Antonio (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1991), p. 45-6.

Quoted in David Weber, Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment (New Haven: Yale UP, 2005), p. 16.

Quoted in de la Teja, Community, p. 24.

José María Rodríguez. Rodríguez Memoirs of Early Texas (San Antonio, TX: Standard Printing Co., 1961, 2nd ed), p. 34-38.

Ibid, 38.

De la Teja, San Antonio de Béxar, p. 17-30 and Gerald Poyo, “Canary Island Immigrants ,” p. 46-9.

Jesus de la Teja and John Wheat, “Béxar: Profile of a Tejano Community, 1820-1832,” in: Tejano Origins in Eighteenth-Century San Antonio (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1991), p. 4-5.

De la Teja, San Antonio de Béxar, p. 25-29.

David McDonald and Timothy Matovina, Defending Mexican Valor in Texas: José Antonio Navarro’s Historical Writings, 1853-1857 (Austin, TX: State House Press, 1995), p. 38. Navarro’s writings were originally published in Spanish as Apuntes históricos interesantes de San Antonio de Béxar.

Ibid, p. 36, 75-76.

Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821 – 1900 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1983), p. 16, 19, 69.

Ibid, p. 4-5.

Francis S. Latham, Travels in the Republic of Texas, 1842 (Austin, TX: Encino Press, 1971, reprinted), p. 37.

The first comment was made in reference to Erasmo Seguín; the second refers to the Canary Islanders.J. M. Woods, Don Erasmo Seguín: A Spanish Aristocrat, a Trusted Agent of Governor Martínez, a Counselor of Stephen F. Austin, an Able Deputy of the Mexican State of Texas to the National Congress, a Patriot of the Republic of Texas and a Loyal Citizen of the American Commonwealth (San Antonio, TX: n. d.)

“The higher class of Mexicans mingle freely with the white population.” San Antonio Herald, 24 September 1858, p. 2-3, cited in Arnoldo de León, Apuntes Tejanos: An Index (Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1978), p. 202.

Francis S. Latham, Travels, p. 37. Latham also refers to “better and wealthy classes” of Bexareños, p. 38.

These same men would be the most prominent Tejanos to take support the Texas Revolution in 1836.Andrés Reséndez, Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850 (NY: Cambridge UP, 2005), p. 99-100, 167-8.

David R. McDonald, José Antonio Navarro: A Bicentennial Tribute to a Tejano Hero (San Antonio, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 1995) , p. 10; Rodríguez, Memoirs, p. 34 also mentions that in San Antonio the “wealthier people wore fine silks, French goods, muslins, etc., brought from New Orleans.”

Reséndez, Changing Identities, p. 159.

David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1987), p. 66. Montejano’s broad definition that Anglos were speculators and Mexicans were not is helpful as a point cultural of contrast, but exceptions abound. Most of the original colonists viewed land as the key to economic security, precisely the way most Mexicans did, all the way into the twentieth century. But the tendency to speculate does seem more prevalent among the Anglo immigrants based on Montejano, and they undoubtedly arrived in Texas with far more experience in a commercial economy, particularly those who arrived following the wars.

McDonald, Bicentennial Tribute, p. 10.

Jesús de la Teja, ed., A Revolution Remembered: The Memoirs and Selected Correspondence of Juan N. Seguín (Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 2002. 2nd ed.), p. 35-38.

Ibid, p. 6-11; Joseph Martin Dawson, José Antonio Navarro, Co-Creator of Texas (Waco, TX: Baylor UP, 1969), p. 35, 45-47.

This argument has been advanced in several important works, including McDonald and Matovina, Defending Mexican Valor, p. 20; Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans, p. 39 and Arnoldo de León, The Tejano Community, 1836-1900 (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1982), p. 28.

“Non-tax paying Indians” refers to Indian nations not living in association with the Texas polity, and therefore would not have been a basis for exclusion of Tejanos. Journals of the Convention, Assembled at the City of Austin on the Fourth of July, 1845, for the Purpose of Framing a Constitution for the State of Texas (Austin, TX: Shoal Creek Publishers, 1974, facsimile of 1845 ed.) p. 57-58; William F. Weeks, reporter, Debates of the Texas Convention (Houston, TX: J. W. Cruger, 1846), p. 159.

Weeks, Debates, p. 159.

Weeks, Debates, 157.

Ibid, p. 159.

Erasmo Seguín, and the Rodríguez family, for example. See de la Teja, Revolution Remembered, p. 10, and Rodríguez, Early Memoirs, p. 20.

de León, Tejano Community, p. 29-30.

Weeks, Debates, 235-236.

Moore’s arguments are nonsensical from a legal point of view, since retaining the word “white” would not have disfranchised Mexicans as he hoped. They would still have been classified as white. He does not seem to have read the clause that he got so worked up about.  Ibid, 235.

The Navarro family went further than most families in this regard, claiming noble descent from Basque roots. See Joseph Dawson, José Antonio Navarro, Co-Creator of Texas (Waco, TX: Baylor UP, 1969), p. 1.

De León, Tejano Community, p. 23-49.

Paul Lack, The Texas Revolutionary Experience: A Political and Social History, 1835-1836 (College Station, TX: Texas A & M UP, 1992), p. 204.

Jacob de Córdova, Texas: Her Resources and Her Public Men (Waco, TX: Texian Press, 1969. Reprinted), p. 5 and “Lecture on Texas, delivered by Mr. J. de Cordova in the same edition, p. 23-25.

iktor Bracht, Texas in 1848 (San Antonio, TX: Naylor Printing Company, 1931. Reprinted. Translated by Charles Frank Schmidt), p. 63.

José Antonio Navarro, quoted in de León, Tejano Community, 28-29.

de la Teja, Revolution Remembered, p. 11.

State of Texas, Journal of the House of Representatives, Seventh Biennial Session (Austin, TX: John Marshall & Co., State Printers, 1857), p. 110

For examples see ibid, p. 67, 105, 128, 132, 155, 237, 297, 331, 350, 386; and State of Texas, Journal of the House of the Representatives, Eighth Legislature (Austin, TX: John Marshall & Co., State Printers, 1860), p. 75, 114, 138, 166, 168, 186.

Matovina and McDonald, Defending Mexican Valor,p. 24

Craig Kaplowitz, LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy (College Station, TX: Texas A & M UP, 2005), p. 92-93, 194.

Ibid, p. 30-34.

Ibid, p. 92-3, 194



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