Santa Anna (Antonio López de Santa Anna) was born in Vera Cruz in 1794 and began serving in the Army in Spanish Mexico when he was a teenager. He was said to have first fought in support for the Spanish against Mexican independence before joining the movement in 1821 in support of an independent Mexico. He continued to be near the forefront of leadership in the young country of Mexico and helped defeat the Spanish effort to reclaim Mexico in the late 1820s. Santa Anna was himself elected President in 1833. The previous two decades had seen chaotic changes in the country of Mexico with the form of government varying from a constitutional republic to a centralist form with Santa Anna at the head, supported by the military. The country was vast with the Central American part being largely populated and the North American portion being sparsely populated by Native American tribes and an increasing number of American settlers. Under Santa Anna, its policy changed from encouraging settlements to being more restrictive toward them.
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(Image credit: TexasCherokeeNation.org)
On July 16, 1839, the last major battle between Texas forces and the Cherokee tribe along with other tribal bands took place. The Cherokee had first come to Texas shortly after the turn of the century, long before the Texas Revolution, and had settled near the Red River. Much of the time thereafter, their leader was Chief John Bowles, pictured in the image above, also known as Diwal’li. There are other variations of his name, but we will refer to him as Chief Bowles. The Chief was thought to have been born around 1756 to a Cherokee mother and a Scotch-Irish father. He is said to have had the features of both parents including reddish hair, Cherokee features and freckled skin.
Burleson County is located in East Central Texas and its county seat is Caldwell. The county is named for General Edward Murray Burleson, who served as Colonel of the First Regiment of Volunteers at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was born in North Carolina on December 15, 1798 and was still a relatively young man when his father James B. Burleson brought him on to act as Secretary as his father fought in the Creek War under Andrew Jackson. They both were descended from Ed Burleson’s grandfather Aaron Burleson, who had fought as a Minuteman in the American Revolution. The family first moved to Virginia, and Ed was elected Lieutenant and later Colonel of the militia. They later relocated to Tennessee where he served as Colonel of the militia from 1823 to 1830 in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
Henry W. Raguet was born in 1796 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He, along with thousands of other early Texas settlers, would not be considered famous. Individuals like him aren’t written up in textbooks and have no streets, towns, counties or buildings named for them. They simply lived their lives and raised their families, despite whatever hardships and tragedies that they endured.
Irion County is situated west of San Angelo (Tom Green County) in West Texas. Its county seat is Mertzon. It is sparsely populated but the origin of its name extends back to the early days of the Republic of Texas. It was founded in 1889 and was named for Robert Anderson Irion, a medical doctor. Dr. Irion was a friend and personal physician of Sam Houston.