Thought you might be interested in this exhibit opening at the Alamo. Just as a footnote, Mexican Americans that have their roots in Duval County were technically never "Tejanos". They were first Nuevo Santanderinos and then Tamaulipecos. They did not become "Texans" until after the Mexican American War of 1845 when Mexico ceded the area to the United States.
largely to popular culture from a bygone era, the Battle of the Alamo is often
depicted as a racial conflict between Anglos and Hispanics. But, of course, the truth is more revealing.
spring the story of the Alamo siege and battle is cast in a new light. For the first time, visitors can examine the
role of Tejanos in defending the Alamo and helping to forge not only a nation
but a unique cultural identity.
Standing Their Ground: Tejanos at the
Alamo will bring the story of the Alamo’s Tejano defenders to life.
Visitors will stand in the Shrine of Texas Liberty and hear the words of
several Tejanos and Tejanas who were eyewitnesses to history. Inside the
sacristy, visitors will learn how the Tejano women and children huddled in the
protection of its thick walls to survive the siege.
whole idea here is to tell a vital part of the story that’s been lost over all
these years,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “This wasn’t a
battle between Texans and Mexicans – this was a battle for liberty. They were
fighting for liberty.”
Tejanos is the third in a series of
exhibits at the Shrine brought to you by the Alamo and the Texas General Land
Office. The exhibit is ambitious,
seeking to not only honor the Tejano Alamo defenders, but to portray them as
real people using details from their own writings, rare and historic documents
and personal mementos. Standing Their
Ground: Tejanos at the Alamo will
open February 21 and will run through Friday, June 6. The exhibit is free and
open to the public.
highlight of the exhibit will be an interactive display that allows visitors to
hear the words of many of the Tejanos that once echoed throughout the Alamo
church. Visitors will hear descriptions of the bloodshed and accounts of the
heroic activities of the Texans and Tejanos who were there, and the
heartbreaking realization of an army, and community, after a battle lost, all
while viewing historical portraits and other images. Grammy-award winning
Tejano superstar Ruben “El Gato Negro” Ramos is among the voice talent used for
the state’s steward of the Alamo, has long been an advocate for expanding the
study of Texas history to include Native Americans and Tejanos, or Texans of
Hispanic heritage. This exhibit is the second of two that highlight the Hispanic contribution to
Texas and the Alamo.
immigration on the forefront of public discussion, it’s important to remember
that Texas began as a part of the Spanish Empire ruled from Mexico,” Patterson
said. “This is the whole story of the Alamo. While John Wayne made a movie
about the Alamo, that largely focused on the Anglo defenders Crockett, Bowie
and Travis, it’s important to remember the Tejano defenders who sacrificed
their lives for Texas freedom, too.”
were eight Tejano defenders of the Alamo who also gave their lives in the
battle. They were Juan Abamillo, Juan Antonio Badillo, Carlos Espalier, Jose
Maria Esparza, Antonio Fuentes, Damacio Jimenez, Jose Toribio Losoya, and
Andres Nava. There were also Tejano combatants who survived, or were sent out
before the final attack on March 6. Those featured in this exhibit are Andres
Barcenas, Anselmo Bergara, Antonio Cruz y Arocha, Alexandro de la Garza,
Brigido Guerrero, and Juan Seguin.
were also many Tejanas, or Tejano women, many of whom sought refuge within the
sacristy of the Alamo church. Those women were Gertrudis Navarro, Juana Navarro
Perez Alsbury, Ana Salazar Castro de Esparza, Petra Gonzales, Mariá Franciscá
Curvier Losoya Juana Francisca Losoya Melton, Victoriana de Salinas, Trinidad
Saucedo, and Andrea Castanon Villanueva, better known as Madam Candelaria. With
the women were nine children: Enrique Esparza, Manuel Esparza, Francisco
Esparza, Maria de Jesus Castro Esparza, Juan Losoya, Alejo Perez, Jr., and
three daughters of Victoriana de Salinas.
Standing Their Ground: Tejanos at the Alamo will feature over 30 original documents, maps,
and cultural artifacts, telling the story of the Tejano defenders during the
Battle of the Alamo.
items that will be displayed inside the Shrine were pulled from the archival
collections of the General Land Office, the Alamo, the Alamo Research Center
and the Briscoe Center for American History and the Texas State Library and
Archives Commission. The fragile maps, documents and cultural artifacts provide
fascinating and personal insights on the Tejano men, women and children who
gave their lives, or witnessed the mythic birth of Texas.
Documents from the Land Office
Archives and Records will also put to rest a long-standing historical error of
fact in regard to one Tejana in particular. Mariá Franciscá Curvier Losoya,
long misidentified in various publications for more than a century, will at
long last come forth from the historical shadows to finally receive full and
accurate public recognition for her role as a survivor and widow of the Battle of
the Alamo. This was made possible by the discovery of primary source evidence; an
1861 affidavit filed as part of a land grant application in the Land Office
Archives and Records.
Dr. Bruce Winders, Chief
Historian at the Alamo, noted that such a discovery "shows that there is
so much out there waiting to be found and incorporated into the historical
narrative," of the Alamo, and that the scholarship upon which this exhibit
has been built "represents a maturing of the field of Alamo
The exhibit opens to the public
on Friday, February 21, and will run through the “high holy days” at the Alamo,
commemorating the 13-day siege that started on February 23, and ended with
every Alamo defender being killed by Mexican General Santa Anna’s army on March
6. The exhibit closes on June 6, commemorating Juan Seguin and his fellow
Tejano troops taking back possession of San Antonio from the Mexican army.
Standing Their Ground: Tejanos at the Alamo will be open to the public seven days a week
from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from February 21 to June 6. As always, the “Shrine of
Texas Liberty” is open to visitors free of charge. Visitors are asked to be
silent and respectful when viewing the documents and no photography will be
information on the Alamo, please visit the Official Alamo website at www.thealamo.org.