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Category Archives: hispanic heritage

Freddy Fender

freddyfender

(Image credit: FreddyFender.com)

Freddy Fender was born Baldemar Garcia Huerta in San Benito, Cameron County, Texas on June 4, 1937.  His parents were Serapio and Margarita Garcia Huerta, who were migrant farm workers.  Huerta was the oldest of four children and was raised around music, including lively “conjunto,” a traditional style of music that includes a blend of Tejano and references to German polka, including the use of an accordion.  He performed as early as the age of ten on a Harlingen, Texas radio station.  He dropped out of high school and lied about his age to join the United States Marine Corps.  He served from 1954 to 1956.  Huerta married in 1957 as he began to perform as “El Be-Bop Kid” and other stage names, doing covers of popular American hits of artists like Elvis Presley but singing them in Spanish.  He and his wife Evangelina had five children.  They divorced and remarried at one point, but otherwise were married for about forty-five years.

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Posted by on July 11, 2019 in biography, entertainers, hispanic heritage

 

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Juan Seguin

Juan Nepomucema Seguin was born in Spanish San Antonio on October 27, 1808 to Juan José Erasmo and María Josefa Becerra Seguin.  Erasmo was descended from one of sixteen families who came to the San Antonio area from the Canary Islands in the early 1700s.  The Seguin cattle ranch covered portions of three current Texas counties: Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson.  Erasmo served as postmaster of San Antonio from 1807 to 1835, mayor (alcalde) of San Antonio from 1820-1821 and quartermaster of Presidio de San Antonio de Béxar from 1825 to 1835.  Erasmo was acquainted with Moses Austin who was succeeded by his son, Stephen F. Austin.  Along with Don Martin de Veramendi, Erasmo assisted them in obtaining their Austin Colony grant.

juanseguin

(Image credit: pbs.org)

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Juan Cortina, patriot or bandit?

The Cortina Wars is a name given to armed conflicts precipitated by a Mexican rancher named Juan Cortina.  Juan Nepomuceno Cortina was born in 1824 in Tamaulipas, Mexico into a cattle ranching family.  His mother, Trinidad Cortina inherited some property in the late 1820s that was in the general area of what we know as Brownsville and Matamoros, located on both sides of the Rio Grande.  At this time, the Rio Grande geographically divided the two areas, but it was all part of Mexico until after the Mexican-American War, which essentially moved the Mexican border from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande.

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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in biography, hispanic heritage

 

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Yturria Ranch

During its ownership and control of Texas, Spain had attempted to colonize the areas along the Rio Grande to take advantage of its fresh water system.  The King of Spain granted ownership of blocks of land to certain private individuals who had shown an interest in colonization and had resided in the area for a number of years.  After Mexico declared its independence from Spain, most of the Spanish grants were upheld.  Similarly, most were also recognized under the Texas Republic, following its establishment.

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Mexia, Texas

Mexia is located in Limestone County in east central Texas.  It was founded in the 1800s and lies just north of Fort Parker with Groesbeck being the nearest town to the south of the fort.  Before the Anglo settlement began in the area, it was home to Native American tribes including the Comanche.

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Francita Alavéz, the Angel of Goliad

On March 27, some 21 days after the fall of the Alamo, James Fannin and roughly 345 captured soldiers were executed by Mexican General Urrea at the order of Santa Anna after the fall of the Presidio la Bahia.  The bodies of the soldiers were burned.

Out of this story came another one of a Mexican woman who had shown mercy to those who had been captured at other times or feigned death in the massacre.  In various accounts, the woman was referred to by several variations of the name, including Alvarez, but for this account, we will use Francita Alavéz or just Señora Alavéz.

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Posted by on June 9, 2016 in biography, hispanic heritage, texas women

 

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José Antonio Navarro

José Antonio Navarro was the son of Angel Navarro of Corsica, the Mediterranean island south of Spain, and Josefa Maria Ruiz y Peña. He was born in 1795 in San Antonio de Béxar. He, like many other Tejano residents of the area, opposed the rule of Santa Anna. He married Margarita de la Garza in 1825 and together they would have seven children.

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