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San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

In Re Ricardo Rodriguez

 
 
In Re Ricardo Rodriguez Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, February 16, 2019
1. In Re Ricardo Rodriguez Marker
Inscription.  In 1896, a court case involving Ricardo Rodríguez brought attention to questions of citizenship and voting rights for Mexican Texans. Although several actions had granted citizenship to large numbers of Tejanos during the 1800s, some sought to disenfranchise the group. In 1896, Rodríguez came before Federal District Judge Thomas S. Maxey to gain approval for his American citizenship request. Little is known of Rodríguez, who indicated at the Bexar County Courthouse that he was born in Hijuelas, San Luis Potosí, Mexico c. 1857. However, the case in which he was involved, styled In Re or Ex Parte Ricardo Rodríguez, activated a major influence on the incipient Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement.

In addition to his declaration of intention, Rodríguez submitted affidavits attesting to his length of residency and good character. San Antonio lawyers A. J. Evans and T.J. McMinn submitted two Amicus Curiae briefs suggesting that he was ineligible for naturalization based on his ancestry. Maxey considered the evidence and delayed a ruling, instead appointing a committee to examine the issues and report back. After receiving
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the committee briefs, Judge Maxey rendered his ruling, on May 8, 1897. While noting that Rodríguez was uneducated, could not speak English, and did not know the principles of the U. S. Constitution, Maxey affirmed he met residency and character requirements. The judge also believed that citizens of Mexico were eligible for naturalization regardless of questions of race, and resolved to grant Rodríguez’s application.

The political and social consequences of the ruling were significant. It established the right of Mexican immigrants to attain citizenship if requirements other than ethnicity were met and affirmed that immigrants could not be denied naturalization due to lack of education.
 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17054.)
 
Location. 29° 25.6′ N, 98° 29.176′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker is at the intersection of East Houston Street and Avenue E, on the left when traveling east on East Houston Street. Marker is located at the southeast corner of the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 615 East Houston Street, San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gonzales Men at the Alamo (within shouting distance of this marker); Tennessee Volunteers at the Alamo
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(within shouting distance of this marker); The Alamo in 1836 (within shouting distance of this marker); Samuel Augustus Maverick (within shouting distance of this marker); Mission Mill (and Millstone) (within shouting distance of this marker); Japanese Monument to The Heroes of the Alamo (within shouting distance of this marker); The Alamo (within shouting distance of this marker); Spanish Mission and Military Post (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .  In Re Ricardo Rodríguez - The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) (Submitted on February 19, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.) 
 
Categories. Civil RightsHispanic Americans
 

More. Search the internet for In Re Ricardo Rodriguez.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 78 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on February 21, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.
 
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