San Antonio History Matrix

A searchable bibliography of sources on the history of San Antonio from the early eighteenth century to the late twentieth century.

1835 - 1846 Texas Republic

 

Broussard, Ray F. “San Antonio During the Texas Republic: A City in Transition.” Southwestern Studies 5 No. 2 (1967):1 – 40.
San Antonio was devastated and largely deserted in the aftermath of the battle of the Alamo. The Tejano population slowly returned and revived the town’s Mexican character, but their status was increasingly challenged by immigrants from the United States, Germany and France. Ethnic tensions rose when Mexican forces twice occupied the town in 1842 and Anglos charged Tejanos with cooperating with Mexican authorities. Many longstanding Tejano families had to flee south. The Comanche Indians remained a threat until the battle of Plum Creek in 1840. Economic activity picked up in the last years of the Republic as peace was restored and immigrants flooded in.

 

De la Teja, Jesus. “Discovering the Early Tejano Community in 'Early' Texas.” Journal of the Early Republic 18 (Spring 1998): 73 – 98.
The essay presents a rich social history of San Antonio’s Hispanic community during the era of Mexican rule and the Republic. Corn was a staple, and bathing and siestas daily rituals. Economic activity revolved around ranching rather than agriculture. Tejanos closely followed the fashions of Louisiana rather than Mexico. Although the “bullying” and often violent Anglo community looked down on the local “Mexicans,” they shared many customs and traits.

 

Lanier, Sidney, “San Antonio de Béxar,” in Sidney Lanier: Florida and Miscellaneous Prose. Baltimore: 1945.
The writer arrived in San Antonio in 1872, one of many transplants drawn by its reputation for combating tuberculosis. He immersed himself in the Spanish Archives and produced this short, entertaining and illustrated narrative. The history devotes much of its attention to the city’s many violent episodes and ends abruptly around 1850. Lanier concludes with a walking tour of San Antonio’s more arresting tourist sites and with portraits of its diverse inhabitants.

 

Rice, Bernardine. “San Antonio, Its Early Beginnings and Its Development Under the Republic.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas, 1941.
Rice explores the evolution of the political administration in city, Indian conflicts, and social life during the Republic.

 

Bybee, Larry Lane. “Germans in San Antonio, 1844 – 1920: A Study in Cultural Persistence.” M. A. Thesis: University of Texas at San Antonio, 1980.
German immigrants enjoyed prominent status in mid nineteenth century San Antonio because of their large numbers and comfortable economic status. The arrival of the railroad in 1877 brought more Americans to the community that diluted the German presence and accelerated the process of assimilation. Although Germans increasingly mingled and identified with non-Germans in the workplace and elsewhere, they retained much of their culture into the twentieth century. (106 pp.)

 

Copeland, Cristen Paige. “What Went Wrong? How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840.” M. A. Thesis, U. of North Texas, 2008.
The deadly Council House Fight of March 19, 1840 resulted in the deaths of 7 whites and 35 Indians. Penateka Comanche came to town to exchange captives, trade and agree on a peace treaty with representatives from the Republic of Texas. Shooting broke out when Texians sought to imprison the Indian chiefs until they furnished more captives. Both sides bear some responsibility for the tragedy. The Comanche raided white settlements and took mostly women and children whom they later traded for goods. The Texians retaliated on Indian settlements and encroached on Indian land. Draws mostly from published sources. [116 pp.]

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Extensive analysis by a geographer of the San Antonio – Austin corridor along with numerous other cities. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as urban areas evolve from frontier havens to modern metropolises, coupling monopoly capital to “frontier insouciance.” Current day San Antonio/Austin are characterized as “predator cities” drawing populations and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

De la Teja, Jesús F. “’Buena gana tenía de ir a jugar’: The Recreational World of Early San Antonio, Texas, 1718 – 1845.” International Journal of the History of Sport 26 (June 2009): 889 – 905.
Bexarños participated in many of the popular forms of entertainment of other Spanish communities in the new world. Bull fights were scheduled generally during the Christmas season. Many competitions involved equestrian skill, such as the watermelon race, and the town’s streets frequently served as dangerous race courses. The Tejano population was also responsible for introducing the rodeo. Dancing at fandangos was also popular, and government efforts to curb gambling at cards proved entirely unsuccessful.

 

De la Teja, Jesus. “Discovering the Early Tejano Community in 'Early' Texas.” Journal of the Early Republic 18 (Spring 1998): 73 – 98.
The essay presents a rich social history of San Antonio’s Hispanic community during the era of Mexican rule and the Republic. Corn was a staple, and bathing and siestas daily rituals. Economic activity revolved around ranching rather than agriculture. Tejanos closely followed the fashions of Louisiana rather than Mexico. Although the “bullying” and often violent Anglo community looked down on the local “Mexicans,” they shared many customs and traits.

 

Dysart, Jane. “Mexican Women in San Antonio, 1830 – 1860: The Assimilation Process.” The Western Historical Quarterly 7 (Oct. 1976): 365 – 75.
Owing to the uneven sex ratios, Anglo men in early nineteenth century San Antonio sometimes married Tejano women. These often affluent women inherited property on an equal basis with their brothers. They faced the challenge of assimilating to Anglo culture, or at least watching their children do so. Concubinage – barragania – was also commonplace since Mexican women, especially the dark skinned ones, were viewed by Anglos as promiscuous.

 

Green, Rena Maverick. (ed.) Samuel Maverick: Texan: 1803 – 1870. San Antonio: 1952.
This book reprints the correspondence of the San Antonio lawyer, landowner, slaveholder and politician, Most of the letters are to and from members of his family. Maverick arrived in San Antonio from South Carolina in 1835. He participated in the siege of the city that year and other notable events. He served in the Texas legislatures for several years during the 1850's, and was mayor of San Antonio twice. By the time of his death Maverick owned 300,000 acres in West Texas.

 

Janert, Edwinna Kirkpatrick. “San Pedro Springs.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
Irrigation ditches attached to the springs serviced the fields of Mission San Antonio de Valero. Janert relates the many public purposes of the surrounding park area from prehistoric times to the present. Spanish authorities designated the site a public space in 1729. The park catered to various forms of popular entertainment, which in the nineteenth century included cockfights, bullfights, picnics, rodeos and zoo. After restoration in the early twentieth century it sported a library and various sports facilities for swimming, tennis and even ice skating. (111 pages.)

 

Kallison, Frances B. “100 years of Jewry in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1977.
This survey of religious and civic leaders and institutions begins with the arrival of the first adventurers during the Spanish era to the early part of the twentieth century. After 1880 many Jews originated in Eastern Europe and were more “tradition oriented.” Jews were well integrated into the San Antonio community and enjoyed a prosperous existence while they carried on their traditions. Based on oral interviews, city directories, and organization records. (136 pp.)

 

Maverick,Mary A. The Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick, A Journal of Early Texas. San Antonio: 2005.
Mary Maverick arrived in San Antonio in 1838 and later moved to a house on Alamo Plaza. She gave birth to 10 children but saw only 5 of them reach adulthood. She recorded her recollections in the 1880's. They mostly dwell on events of the 1840's and 1850's. She furnishes an eyewitness account of the Council House Fight of 1840, the severe cholera epidemic of 1849, and her husband’s varied military, political and economic ventures. Maverick also documents the customs and lifestyles of the Anglos, Germans and Tejanos who inhabited the city.

 

Menchaca, Antonio. Memoirs. San Antonio: 1937.
The author was born in San Antonio in 1800 and later dictated these reminisces, mostly covering the era just prior to and during the era of the Republic. He discusses the battle of Medina in 1813, the battles of the Texas Revolution, and recurring Indian incursions. Menchaca also recalls local customs and businesses.

 

Muir, Andrew Forest. (ed.) Texas in 1837: An Anonymous Contemporary Narrative. Austin, Texas: 1958.
An unknown author relates his 6 months of travel through Texas. He arrived in 1837 – and briefly visited San Antonio.

 

Nixon, Pat Ireland. A Century of Medicine in San Antonio. San Antonio 1936.
The time frame covered by the book really exceeds a century since it reviews the history of medicine and more particularly the medical profession and its practitioners from Spanish times to the New Deal. Prior to late nineteenth century San Antonio suffered a dearth of doctors but there was no shortage of medical quacks. The book covers epidemics, medicines and forms of treatment, medical facilities and the Board of Health. Nixon documents the appalling living conditions of the Hispanic population after 1910 and their consequently high mortality rate.

 

Porter, Amy M. Their Lives, Women in the Borderlands, 1750 – 1846. Lubbock: TX: 2015.
The author focuses on the wills the women of property left behind in San Antonio as well as El Paso and Santa Fe, and includes Saltillo and San Esteban in Mexico. Her subjects are widows, a status most women would age into eventually. She uses these documents to explore women’s material possessions, religious attitudes, and role in the household and the overall economy.  Women in San Antonio and on the frontier enjoyed somewhat more freedom in their patriarchal societies. They donated to various charities, loaned money and supervised ranches.

 

Ramos, Raúl. Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821 – 61. Chapel Hill, NC: 2008.
San Antonio’s early Hispanic settlers were on the margins of Mexican society and never developed a strong national identity as “Mexicans” or “Americans.” Social status among the Bexareños was mostly determined by land ownership and family connections. Over time, the landed Hispanic elite saw their socio-economic and political status erode as San Antonio’s economy become more commercial and industrial. The Bexareños struggled to maintain their social status and identify in the face of discrimination and violence perpetrated by the Anglo community. [See also his Ph. D. dissertation, “From Norteno to Tejano: The Roots of Borderlands Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Political Identity in Bexar, 1811 – 1861.” Yale U., 1999.]

 

Shoen, Harold. “The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 40 (July 1936): 26 – 34.
Shoen finds evidence of racial tolerance in San Antonio under Mexican rule. Hedrick Arnold, a free Negro, acted as a guide for Texan forces in their assault on San Antonio in December of 1835.

 

Weaver, Bobby Dearl. “Castro’s Colony: Empresario Colonization in Texas, 1842 – 1865.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas Tech U., 1983.
In 1842 the Republic of Texas granted French-born, naturalized U. S. citizen Henri Castro empresario contracts to resettle European colonists in the Lone Star Republic. Despite opposition from the French government, Castro promoted his land grants across Europe and efficiently transferred over 2,000 colonists to his settlements in Medina County, establishing the towns of Castroville, Quihi, Vandenburg and D’hanis. Castro invested heavily in his colony, and was the only empresario who saw his enterprise through to successful completion.

 

Walraven, Edward Lee. “Ambivalent Americans: Selected Spanish-language Newspapers’ Response to Anglo Domination in Texas, 1830 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 1999.
Spanish language newspapers reflected the ambivalence of the Tejano/Mexicano population with their status as American citizens. While many newspapers were established for purely political reasons, those that survived were run by business minded editors who relied on advertising and printing jobs to stay in business. The papers pressed an accommodationist approach to defend the civil rights of la raza, but they also exhibited the same racist, stereotypical thinking about Afro-Americans as the Anglo press. Among the San Antonio editors and newspapers discussed are Francisco A. Chapa of El Imparcial de Texas and Pablo Cruz of El Regidor.

 

Wheeler, Kenneth W. To Wear a City’s Crown, The Beginnings of Urban Growth in Texas, 1836 – 1865. Cambridge, Mass.: 1968.
Focuses on the early urban development of Houston, Galveston, Austin and San Antonio. The latter was the oldest, largest, most cosmopolitan and poorest urban setting owing to its large Mexican American population. San Antonio’s economy built on its Mexican heritage with its emphasis on trade with Mexico, livestock and the military. Wheeler describes the development of distinct urban cultures around the state that emphasized education, commercial infrastructure and the arts. These characteristics set these cities apart from their surrounding hinterlands.

 

Callahan, M. Gererosa. “Henri Castro and James Hamilton.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (Oct. 1965): 174 – 85.
Hamilton signed up Castro in France as a land agent for the Republic of Texas in 1841. A short time later Castro made a brief visit to Texas and negotiated a contract with President Sam Houston for a large land grant. The terms specified that Castro recruit 200 families to relocate to Texas in the space of a year. Castro’s enemies inside the French government frustrated his plans, but he did publicize Texas as a land of opportunity across Europe. Castro focused his attention on the farmers of Alsace, who had resources and a pioneering spirit.

 

Campbell, Suzanne. “John W. Twohig, Irishman, Banker, and Texas Patriot.” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 81 (2005):131-43.
Twohig emigrated to San Antonio in 1830 and was active in many of the major episodes leading to Texas Independence, including the siege of Bexar. He started off as a merchant and later moved into banking, eventually becoming one of the wealthiest men in the state. He also funded a bread line for the city’s malnourished population that continued after his death in 1891.

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Extensive analysis by a geographer of the San Antonio – Austin corridor along with numerous other cities. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as urban areas evolve from frontier havens to modern metropolises, coupling monopoly capital to “frontier insouciance.” Current day San Antonio/Austin are characterized as “predator cities” drawing populations and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

De la Teja, Jesús F.”The Saltillo Fair and Its San Antonio Connections.” In Tejano Epic: Essays in Honor of Félix D. Almaréz, Jr. Ed. Arnaldo de Leon. Austin: 2005.
The annual commercial exchange in the northern Mexico City took place at end of September during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. San Antonio merchants and ranchers started on their journey in August, bringing cattle, cattle byproducts and hides and returning with flour, fashions, salt, utensils and other items. The fair served as the major economic and social destination for Bexarños; it reflected the close ties between the local economy and northern Mexico in the absence of a Texas port on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. River Walk: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River. San Antonio: 2006.
The San Antonio River has played a vital role in the community’s past – both good and bad. It has been the source of irrigation, floods and tourist dollars. Fisher especially looks at various technological innovations to control or exploit the river with dams, channels, businesses and beautified walkways.

 

Holmes, William Henry. “The Acequias of San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1962.
A historical study of how irrigating canals functioned during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Describes the construction of the acequias to service the missions. The water network was expanded to meet the needs of the Canary Islanders. The turmoil of the Texas Revolution allowed the system to fall into decay. Holmes reviews the city’s efforts to police the ditches during the nineteenth century when they were a source of drinking water. The need for the acequias diminished as residents drilled artesian wells and the San Antonio Water company was formed in 1877. They dried up and faded away rapidly after 1900 except on old mission properties south of the city. Numerous maps and poorly reproduced illustrations. (135 pp.)



Pitts, John Bost, III. “Speculation in Headright Land Grants in San Antonio from 1837 to 1842.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
John W. Smith, clerk of the Bexar County Court, assisted a small number of Anglos in acquiring 1.3 million acres of headright land grants from during the era of Texas Independence. The Anglos paid ten to twenty cents per acre to Hispanic families who qualified for the headrights under a law granting 4,605 acres to all those who resided in Texas during the revolution. The land was purchased primarily for speculation. Appendix lists all land sales with the name of the buyer, seller, date, acreage and price. (73 pp.)

 

Porter, Amy M. Their Lives, Women in the Borderlands, 1750 – 1846. Lubbock: TX: 2015.
The author focuses on the wills the women of property left behind in San Antonio as well as El Paso and Santa Fe, and includes Saltillo and San Esteban in Mexico. Her subjects are widows, a status most women would age into eventually. She uses these documents to explore women’s material possessions, religious attitudes, and role in the household and the overall economy.  Women in San Antonio and on the frontier enjoyed somewhat more freedom in their patriarchal societies. They donated to various charities, loaned money and supervised ranches.

 

Stuntz, Jean. “Spanish Laws for Texas Women: The Development of Marital Property Law to 1850.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 104 (Apr. 2001): 542 – 559.
Stuntz examines the roots of the Texas legal system’s concept of “community property” through the evolution of Spanish laws regarding married women. Spanish law assigned women “a distinct legal status with defined rights and responsibilities” out of concern for “feminine weaknesses.” The essay draws on deeds and wills in San Antonio to document the full range of women’s rights. Spanish law proved more appropriate for frontier conditions, and for this reason much of it was retained after Texas achieved independence and was joined to the United States.

 

Swaney, Eugene L. “The Cattle Industry in San Antonio, Texas, 1718 – 1961.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1961.
This extensive survey covers the introduction of cattle under the Spanish, local ranches and dairies, the nineteenth century trail drives, the impact of the railroad, the opening of the Union stockyards in 1889, and, in the twentieth century, the establishment of the Stock Show and rodeo and the consolidation of the cattle industry. Numerous profiles of prominent cattlemen and cowboys. Sources mostly published records and accounts. (287 pp.)

 

Weaver, Bobby Dearl. “Castro’s Colony: Empresario Colonization in Texas, 1842 – 1865.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas Tech U., 1983.
In 1842 the Republic of Texas granted French-born, naturalized U. S. citizen Henri Castro empresario contracts to resettle European colonists in the Lone Star Republic. Despite opposition from the French government, Castro promoted his land grants across Europe and efficiently transferred over 2,000 colonists to his settlements in Medina County, establishing the towns of Castroville, Quihi, Vandenburg and D’hanis. Castro invested heavily in his colony, and was the only empresario who saw his enterprise through to successful completion.

 

Wheeler, Kenneth W. To Wear a City’s Crown, The Beginnings of Urban Growth in Texas, 1836 – 1865. Cambridge, Mass.: 1968.
Focuses on the early urban development of Houston, Galveston, Austin and San Antonio. The latter was the oldest, largest, most cosmopolitan and poorest urban setting owing to its large Mexican American population. San Antonio’s economy built on its Mexican heritage with its emphasis on trade with Mexico, livestock and the military. Wheeler describes the development of distinct urban cultures around the state that emphasized education, commercial infrastructure and the arts. These characteristics set these cities apart from their surrounding hinterlands.

 

Wills, Frederick H. “San Antonio’s Acequias: A Brief Review.” Journal of South Texas History 17 (Fall 2004): 39-50.
A system of seven irrigation ditches (acequia) were built by Native Americans under supervision of the Spanish between 1718 and 1778. Two are functioning still. The irrigation made farming possible in a drought prone environment. Their utility declined in the late nineteenth century as residents drilled artesian and irrigation wells and the city dug channels in the river. The ditches became a health hazard as the populace dumped garbage into them. A table records when each acequia was started, finished and abandoned – as well as its length and the number of acres it irrigated.

 

Bueno, Anastacio, Jr. “In Storms of Fortune: José Antonio Navarro of Texas, 1821 – 1846.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1978.
Navarro (1795-1871) played a prominent role in the movement for Texas independence. He served as Bexar’s representative in congresses under both Mexican and Texan rule, signed the Declaration of Independence in 1836, attended the state Constitutional Convention of 1845 and sat in the first state legislature. He supported the cause for independence from Mexico in defense of liberty. A champion of the rights of Spanish speaking citizens, he successfully fought for the exclusion of the word “white” in the state’s first constitution. (150 pp.)

 

Booth, John A. and David R. Johnson. "Power and Progress in San Antonio Politics, 1836-1970," in The Politics of San Antonio. Eds. David R. Johnson, John A. Booth and Richard J. Harris. 3 – 27. Lincoln, Neb: 1983.
The essay concentrates on the role of the city’s political and economic elites in shaping the city's growth. San Antonio's leaders evidenced less cohesion, vision and initiative than city leaders elsewhere, such as Dallas and Houston. The authors broad survey covers "Boss" Bryan Callaghan II's political machine of the late nineteenth century, the implementation of commission government in the progressive era, and the later shift to the city manager form of government with the appearance of the Good Government League.

 

Crimmins, M. L. “John W. Smith, The Last Messenger from the Alamo and the First Mayor of San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 54 (Jan. 1951): 344-46.
The article reprints the page and a half obituary for Smith that appeared in the Texas National Register in 1845.

 

Kearney, La Nelle D. “John William Smith: Messenger of the Alamo.” Texana 2 (3) (1964): 178 – 88.
Smith traveled from Missouri to San Antonio in 1826 and married into a local Hispanic family. This essay recounts his many military exploits mostly as a scout in the campaign to capture San Antonio, the siege of the Alamo, and the battle of Salado Creek. During the era of the Republic he served three terms as San Antonio’s mayor and senator. His family connections made him the city’s third largest property holder. Smith later moved his family to La Grange, Texas, where he died in 1845.

 

Miller, Margaret. “A Survey of the Civil Government of San Antonio, Texas, 1731 – 1948.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s University, 1948.
There is no historical analysis here, only outlines of the structure of the government under different regimes based on government documents. It begins with a description of the local political establishment under Spanish rule. Little changed locally when Mexico achieved its independence. The governor appointed a “political chief” to run the city. Miller devotes a mere 8 pages to the aldermanic form of government in place between 1837 and 1915, mostly listing the city’s major offices and their duties. Most of the analysis is given over to an outline of the commission form of government established in 1915. Includes several diagrams outlining the structure of government under the commission format. (91 pp.)

 

Stuntz, Jean. “Spanish Laws for Texas Women: The Development of Marital Property Law to 1850.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 104 (Apr. 2001): 542 – 559.
Stuntz examines the roots of the Texas legal system’s concept of “community property” through the evolution of Spanish laws regarding married women. Spanish law assigned women “a distinct legal status with defined rights and responsibilities” out of concern for “feminine weaknesses.” The essay draws on deeds and wills in San Antonio to document the full range of women’s rights. Spanish law proved more appropriate for frontier conditions, and for this reason much of it was retained after Texas achieved independence and was joined to the United States.

 

Walraven, Edward Lee. “Ambivalent Americans: Selected Spanish-language Newspapers’ Response to Anglo Domination in Texas, 1830 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 1999.
Spanish language newspapers reflected the ambivalence of the Tejano/Mexicano population with their status as American citizens. While many newspapers were established for purely political reasons, those that survived were run by business minded editors who relied on advertising and printing jobs to stay in business. The papers pressed an accommodationist approach to defend the civil rights of la raza, but they also exhibited the same racist, stereotypical thinking about Afro-Americans as the Anglo press. Among the San Antonio editors and newspapers discussed are Francisco A. Chapa of El Imparcial de Texas and Pablo Cruz of El Regidor.

 

Wright, Robert E. “Father Refugio de la Garza: Controverted Religious Leader,” in Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas. Ed. Jesús F. de la Teja. 77 – 95. College Station, TX: 2010.
As the pastor of San Fernando church between 1820 and 1840, Refugio de la Garza played a key role in the community’s transition from Spanish to Mexican to Anglo rule. He was the first representative from Texas to the Mexican national constitutional congress in 1822, where he helped form the colonization law that resulted in Austin’s colony. His continued ties with Mexico resulted in his being dismissed from his clerical post when American clergy arrived, and he departed for Mexico soon thereafter. The author challenges the conventional portrait of the priest as corrupt and indifferent to the spiritual needs of his people.

 

Dinkins, Alfred George. “John Mary Odin, First Bishop of Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1970.
Following Texas Independence the Catholic Church was under pressure to remove itself from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Monterrey. Odin, a French priest, arrived in San Antonio in 1840. He worked to rebuild the Church’s physical and social infrastructure while contending with the Mexican war, local complaints of corrupt priests, Indian raids, and chronic financial shortages. Odin was elevated to bishop in 1847, and left Texas to become Archbishop of New Orleans in 1861. Draws from Odin’s diary and letters. (pp. 100)

 

Flores, Richard R. Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity and the Master Symbol. Austin, Texas: 2002.
The story of the Alamo is a product of memory and modernity. Flores argues that the master narrative defines and rationalizes the unequal socio-economic status of Anglos and Mexicans in the battle’s aftermath.

 

Harding, Jacobina Burch. “A History of Early Newspapers of San Antonio, 1823 – 74.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas, 1951.
A list of the numerous newspapers published in San Antonio in Spanish, German and English.

 

Jackson, Jack and James E. Ivey. “Mystery Artist of the Alamo: Jose Juan Sanchez.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 105 (Oct. 2001): 206-253.
Mexican officer José Juan Sánchez Navarro y Estrada arrived in San Antonio with Mexican forces in 1835. His illustrations and map of the Alamo are reproduced here. Sanchez sometimes took artistic license in drawing images that he hoped would assert Mexico’s military prowess.

 

Matovina, Timothy M. Tejano Religion and Ethnicity: San Antonio, 1821-1860. Austin, Texas: 1995.
The Catholic religion was a vital force in the in the development of a Tejano identity in nineteenth century San Antonio. Various aspects of Tejano culture and community are examined through the records of the Catholic Church, newspapers and reminiscences. Tejanos and their church defended their culture as it came under attack from an increasingly Anglo dominated state and local government. [See also Matovina, Timothy Matthew. “San Antonio Tejanos, 1821 – 1860, A Study of Religion and Ethnicity.” Ph. D. diss.: The Catholic University of America, 1993.

 

Matovina, Timothy M. “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas,” U. S. Catholic Historian 13 (Winter 1997): 33 – 50.
Based on interviews with laity at the Church, the study seeks to understand this sacred site’s role in fostering a collective memory binding a religious community. It covers the eighteenth century to the present. As the size and influence of the Tejano population shrank, the church became the repository for Mexican culture. It lost some of its Mexican character when the church was elevated to a cathedral in 1874, but parishioners carry on many public rituals to preserve its Mexican heritage. The congregation’s biggest religious festival is still Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it was in colonial times.

 

McCullough, William Wallace, Jr. John McCullough: Pioneer Presbyterian Missionary and Teacher in the Republic of Texas. Austin, Texas: 1966.
McCullough (1805 – 1870) organized the first protestant church service in San Antonio when he arrived in 1844. He established a school, where he taught, and served the growing Anglo population. He also reached out to the local Mexican-American and slave populations. His religious activities met with resistance from the Catholic Church as well as the city’s rowdy gangs of gamblers, drunks and criminals. He departed for Galveston after the death of his first wife in 1849.

 

Porter, Amy M. Their Lives, Women in the Borderlands, 1750 – 1846. Lubbock: TX: 2015.
The author focuses on the wills the women of property left behind in San Antonio as well as El Paso and Santa Fe, and includes Saltillo and San Esteban in Mexico. Her subjects are widows, a status most women would age into eventually. She uses these documents to explore women’s material possessions, religious attitudes, and role in the household and the overall economy.  Women in San Antonio and on the frontier enjoyed somewhat more freedom in their patriarchal societies. They donated to various charities, loaned money and supervised ranches.

 

Roberts, Randy and James N. Olsen. A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory. New York: 2001.
Half of the book is devoted to examining the battle and the other to how it has been popularly interpreted. The Alamo defenders are described as uncertain and uninformed. The preservation efforts and many films that followed are analyzed in turn.

 

Smith, Blanche Baker. “Legends and Old Tales of San Antonio and Vicinity.” M. A. Thesis, Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, 1943.
Smith recites the various legends associated with the local flora and wildlife. She also considers stories passed down by various ethnic groups.

 

Speiser, Adel. “The Story of the Theater in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1948.
An overview of a wide range of theatrical entertainment beginning with Los Pastores in Spanish times. Speiser describes fandangos, medicine shows in Military Plaza, the dance hall in the Harris Theater, minstrel shows and grand opera. The Germans played a major role in promoting musical and theatrical productions at their Casino Hall and through the Turn Verein. Many of the most successful theaters in the city, like the Grand Opera House that opened in 1886, were managed by Ernest Rische. The decline of the national theater industry with the introduction of movies opened the way for the “little theater movement” in the twentieth century. The city built San Pedro playhouse in 1930 to house locally produced plays with local talent. The local government also built the Sunken Garden in 1937 as a setting for civic opera. Draws mostly on published sources and the newspapers. (112 pp.)

 

Wheeler, Kenneth W. To Wear a City’s Crown, The Beginnings of Urban Growth in Texas, 1836 – 1865. Cambridge, Mass.: 1968.
Focuses on the early urban development of Houston, Galveston, Austin and San Antonio. The latter was the oldest, largest, most cosmopolitan and poorest urban setting owing to its large Mexican American population. San Antonio’s economy built on its Mexican heritage with its emphasis on trade with Mexico, livestock and the military. Wheeler describes the development of distinct urban cultures around the state that emphasized education, commercial infrastructure and the arts. These characteristics set these cities apart from their surrounding hinterlands.

 

Wright, Robert E. “Father Refugio de la Garza: Controverted Religious Leader,” in Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas. Ed. Jesús F. de la Teja. 77 – 95. College Station, TX: 2010.
As the pastor of San Fernando church between 1820 and 1840, Refugio de la Garza played a key role in the community’s transition from Spanish to Mexican to Anglo rule. He was the first representative from Texas to the Mexican national constitutional congress in 1822, where he helped form the colonization law that resulted in Austin’s colony. His continued ties with Mexico resulted in his being dismissed from his clerical post when American clergy arrived, and he departed for Mexico soon thereafter. The author challenges the conventional portrait of the priest as corrupt and indifferent to the spiritual needs of his people.

 

Austin, William T. “Account of the Campaign of 1835 by William T. Austin, Aide to Gen. Stephen F. Austin and Gen. Edward Burleson.” Texana 4 (4) (1966): 287 – 322.
The military aid to Generals Stephen F. Austin and Edward Burleson describes military operations in the fall of 1835 that would climax with the capture of San Antonio on December 9th. The entries detail the challenges of supplying the military units as the Texan forces mobilized and elected their leaders. The report charges that General Austin’s authority was undermined by Sam Houston, who wanted the command for himself. When Austin resigned his position Burleson assumed command and began an assault on San Antonio on December 5th. House-to-house fighting over the next few days resulted in Mexican casualties of 300 killed and wounded and Texan losses of 12 killed and 18 wounded.

 

Barnes, Charles Merrit. “Alamo’s Only Survivor.” Texana 11 (2) (1973): 175 – 88.
This interview with San Antonio resident Enrique Esparza first appeared in the San Antonio Express in 1907. Esparza claimed to be the son of Gregoria Esparza, who brought his family with him into the Alamo during the siege. Enrique was 12 at the time and he describes in some detail (including the disputed “line in the sand” episode and Crockett going down fighting). He also describes his mother’s interrogation by Santa Ana after the battle.

 

Barr, Alwyn. Texans in Revolt, The Battle for San Antonio, 1835. Austin, Texas: 1990.
Recounts the assault by Texan forces on Mexican soldiers in San Antonio under General Martín Perfecto Cós in December of 1835. The Texans engaged in house to house fighting to enter the center of the city over a period of days. General Cós’s surrender and departure set the stage for the battle at the Alamo three months later. Barr mostly follows the personalities and events on the Texan side, which included many Tejanos.

 

Carroll, H. Bailey. “Texas Collections.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (July, 1943): 63.
A letter written by Charles A. Sellon in 1846 describes San Antonio, where he was posted during the Mexican War.

 

Copeland, Cristen Paige. “What Went Wrong? How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840.” M. A. Thesis, U. of North Texas, 2008.
The deadly Council House Fight of March 19, 1840 resulted in the deaths of 7 whites and 35 Indians. Penateka Comanche came to town to exchange captives, trade and agree on a peace treaty with representatives from the Republic of Texas. Shooting broke out when Texians sought to imprison the Indian chiefs until they furnished more captives. Both sides bear some responsibility for the tragedy. The Comanche raided white settlements and took mostly women and children whom they later traded for goods. The Texians retaliated on Indian settlements and encroached on Indian land. Draws mostly from published sources. [116 pp.]

 

Costeloe, Michael P. “The Mexican Press of 1836 and the Battle of the Alamo.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (Apr. 1988): 533 – 543.
Mexican newspapers lauded the clash as a victory based on reports from Santa Anna. Jubilation was tempered by some skepticism by the federalists who opposed Santa Anna. They questioned the casualties and the military significance of the operation. Most of the press, however, treated it as a major victory, making the outcome of the battle of San Jacinto come as a severe shock.

 

Cude, Elton. “Fitzgerald: A Perote Prisoner.” Texana 8 (3) (1970): 256 – 68.
This confusing essay contains a jumble of undigested and redundant facts and dates and lengthy quotes bearing on San Antonio during General Adrián Woll’s invasion of the city in September of 1842. It includes a profile of San Antonio storekeeper Augustine Fitzgerald, who died in captivity after being marched off to Mexico with Woll’s retreating force.

 

De la Teja, Jesús F. (ed.) A Revolution Remembered, The Memoirs and Selected Correspondence of Juan N. Seguín. Austin: 1991.
The editor has a seventy page introduction that offers a biography of the Tejano rancher and soldier, as well as a profile of his locally prominent father, Erasmo (1782 – 1857). Juan N. Seguín (1806 – 1890) prepared his memoirs around 1858 to counter charges of treason. They cover his involvement with the Texas Revolution starting in 1834 and running to General Woll’s invasion in 1842. Seguín served with the Texian forces at the battle of San Jacinto, and led the first military unit to recapture San Antonio after the battle of the Alamo.

 

Flores, Richard R. “The Alamo: Myth, Public History, and the Politics of Inclusion.” Radical History Review 77 (Spring 2000): 91 – 103.
The Alamo has emerged as a Master Symbol for Anglo domination that took hold at the end of the nineteenth century. The short film on the battle presented for visitors at the Alamo perpetuates the mythic version of the struggle as “a racialized binary of brave and freedom loving Texans and tyrannous Mexicans.” The military units on neither side functioned with a strict racial boundary. Recent accounts of the battle have sought to replace the “race war” theme with a more inclusive one emphasizing Tejano support for the uprising and noting the site’s other historical role as an early mission.

 

Fox, Anne A. The Archeology and History of Alamo Plaza. San Antonio: 1976.
This report details excavations of the Plaza undertaken by UTSA’s Center for Archeological Research during the summer of 1975. Includes several maps and numerous illustrations of artifacts and the trenches dug to unearth them. A chapter is devoted to a history of the Plaza as it evolved from a mission, to a military post, and thence to a commercial center.

 

Graham, Don. “Remembering the Alamo: The Story of the Texas Revolution in Popular Culture.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 35 – 66.
Numerous novels and films have interpreted the battle with widely varying levels of accuracy. The earliest productions exhibited racist and anti-Catholic sentiments that have been toned down over time.

 

Harrigan, Stephen. “Davy Crockett and the Alamo: Thoughts on Truth, Fiction, and Smelling a Rat.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 50 (Autumn 2000): 58 – 65.
The author of The Gates of the Alamo casts doubt on the authenticity of José Enrique de la Peña's diary detailing the siege of the Alamo. Peña claimed Crockett and other survivors of the battle were executed on Santa Ana’s orders immediately after the fighting.

 

Kearney, La Nelle D. “John William Smith: Messenger of the Alamo.” Texana 2 (3) (1964): 178 – 88.
Smith traveled from Missouri to San Antonio in 1826 and married into a local Hispanic family. This essay recounts his many military exploits mostly as a scout in the campaign to capture San Antonio, the siege of the Alamo, and the battle of Salado Creek. During the era of the Republic he served three terms as San Antonio’s mayor and senator. His family connections made him the city’s third largest property holder. Smith later moved his family to La Grange, Texas, where he died in 1845.

 

Lack, Paul D. “Occupied Texas: Béxar and Goliad, 1835-36,” in Mexican Americans in Texas History. Eds. Emilio Zamora, Cynthia Orozco and Rodolfo Rocha. 35-49. Austin: 2000.
Lack describes the siege of San Antonio by “Texan” forces (a mostly Anglo army with about 160 Tejanos) in the winter of 1835-36. The city’s Hispanic citizens suffered numerous deprivations during its occupation by Mexican general Martin Perfecto de Cos, who imposed a curfew and confiscated their goods. The Texans fighting their way into the city also distrusted the “Bejarenos,” whom they often fired at and arrested.

 

Lanier, Sidney, “San Antonio de Béxar,” in Sidney Lanier: Florida and Miscellaneous Prose. Baltimore: 1945.
The writer arrived in San Antonio in 1872, one of many transplants drawn by its reputation for combating tuberculosis. He immersed himself in the Spanish Archives and produced this short, entertaining and illustrated narrative. The history devotes much of its attention to the city’s many violent episodes and ends abruptly around 1850. Lanier concludes with a walking tour of San Antonio’s more arresting tourist sites and with portraits of its diverse inhabitants.

 

Menchaca, Antonio. Memoirs. San Antonio: 1937.
The author was born in San Antonio in 1800 and later dictated these reminisces, mostly covering the era just prior to and during the era of the Republic. He discusses the battle of Medina in 1813, the battles of the Texas Revolution, and recurring Indian incursions. Menchaca also recalls local customs and businesses.

 

Nance, Joseph Milton. (ed). “Brigadier General Adrian Woll’s Report of His Expedition into Texas in 1842.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 58 (April 1955): 523 – 52.
Woll captured San Antonio with a small Mexican force of 1,400 men on Sept. 11, 1842 after a brief exchange of fire at Military Plaza. His incursion into Texas was to ascertain if the Texans were preparing a force to invade Mexico, and he was instructed to remain but a short time. Woll captured about 65 men and marched them off to prison in Mexico. On Sept. 18th his unit engaged a body of “haughty” Texan troops at the battle of Salado Creek, which he describes as a Mexican victory. Two days later his army evacuated San Antonio and returned to Mexico. A large body of San Antonio residents departed with Woll because they feared retaliation from the Anglo Texans.

 

Presley, James. “Santa Anna’s Invasion of Texas: A Lesson in Command.” Arizona and the West 10 (3) (1968): 241 – 52.
The Mexican Army (6,000 strong with large body of camp followers in its wake) entered Texas early in 1836 to put down another insurrection. They met with numerous obstacles on their journey to San Antonio including inadequate supplies and forage, a “blinding snowstorm,” dysentery, mud, hostile Indians, and meager medical assistance. Morale was low among the poorly trained and equipped soldiers, many of whom deserted. Santa Anna’s invasion collapsed because he failed to understand that invading Texas was a far more daunting logistical challenge than putting down insurrections below the Rio Grande.

 

Reeve, Frank D. “The Apache Indians in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 187 – 219.
Reeve covers the period spanning from early Spanish colonization up to the late nineteenth century. The Lipan and Hispanic populations frequently met in or near San Antonio, on friendly or unfriendly terms.

 

Roberts, Randy and James N. Olsen. A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory. New York: 2001.
Half of the book is devoted to examining the battle and the other to how it has been popularly interpreted. The Alamo defenders are described as uncertain and uninformed. The preservation efforts and many films that followed are analyzed in turn.

 

Rogers, Will Chapel, III. “A History of the Military Plaza to 1937.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
The plaza was first laid out to protect the early settlement. By the mid nineteenth century its military role was overtaken by its commercial one as it became the locale of the city market, the chili queens and various forms of popular entertainment, gambling, and public events – including hangings. The study ends when city health inspectors closed down many of the market’s commercial establishments in the name of sanitation. Mainly drawn from newspaper accounts. (105 pages.)

 

Sibley, Marilyn McAdams. “Burial Place of the Alamo Heroes.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (Oct. 1966): 272 – 80.
A controversy surrounds the burial place of the defenders of the Alamo. It was spawned in part by the conflicting testimony of Juan N. Seguin and by the discovery of bones near San Fernando Cathedral. The author concludes the burial probably took place near the Alamo rather than at the Cathedral.

 

Smith, Horace R “History of Alamo Plaza from its Beginning to the Present.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
Smith documents the changing appearance and function of the public space in front of the Alamo Mission. It first served as the courtyard of the original mission. After the mission was secularized the grounds were used by Spanish troops. It suffered many years of neglect after the battle. The area’s revival as a commercial center began with the opening of the Menger Hotel in 1859 and later appearance of the streetcar. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas eventually laid claim to much of the space to better preserve the Alamo shrine. The study utilizes newspapers, directories and city records. (90 pages)

 

Strong, Bernice Rhoades. “Alamo Plaza: Cultural Crossroads of a City, 1724 – 1900.” M. A. Thesis, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1987.
The urban space in front of the Alamo Chapel has served many purposes. It began as an enclosed mission and, following secularization, became a military post for Spanish, Mexican and American troops. Once the army had decamped for Fort Sam Houston in the 1870's the spot developed into a commercial center before becoming the city’s premier historic site. Strong presents profiles of various individuals and institutions associated with the site. Illustrations. (123 pp.)

 

Utley, Robert M. “The Texas Ranger Tradition Established: Jack Hays and Walker Creek.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 52 (Spring 2002): 2 -11.
Hays moved to San Antonio in 1838 and became Captain of a company of Texas Rangers. On June 8, 1844 his force defeated a larger body of Comanche Indians at Walker Creek. Superior training and weapons (the new Paterson Colt revolving pistol) proved to be decisive to the outcome.

 

Williams, Lawrence D. “Deaf Smith: Scout of the Texas Revolution.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1964.
Erastus Smith arrived in San Antonio and took up buffalo hunting in years just prior to the independence movement. Williams mostly covers Smith’s military adventures during the Texas War for Independence. He participated in the capture of San Antonio and most famously served as a scout for the Texas Army as it retreated before Santa Anna. (141 pp.)

 

Winkler, E. W. “The Bexar and Dawson Prisoners.” And “Jones’s Narrative.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 13 (April, 1910): 292-296; 320-21.
An annotated transcript of a diary by Anderson Hutchinson and a deposition by Wm. E. Jones describe the raid on San Antonio by Mexican General Adrian Woll in 1842. Hutchinson was captured and sent into captivity in Mexico for seven months. The excerpt is preceded by a short introduction by the editor.

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