“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Patricio in San Patricio County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Josepha Rodriguez

Josepha Rodriguez Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, August 11, 2018
1. Josepha Rodriguez Marker
Inscription.  Josepha Rodríguez, known as "Chipita," was hanged in 1863 for the murder of John Savage. She remained the last woman legally executed in the state of Texas until 1998. Little is known of Rodríguez' life, though it is believed that she was the daughter of Pedro Rodríguez; they moved to San Patricio de Hibernia when Chipita was young. Chipita earned money by hosting travelers on the Cotton Road, a section of the Camino Real which ran through Texas and passed over the Aransas River near her house.

In August 1863, John Savage, a horse trader, roomed at the Rodríguez homestead. Soon afterwards, he was found dead in the Aransas River. Sheriff William B. Means arrested Rodríguez, believing she murdered savage for $600 in gold which he was carrying; Means also arrested Juan Silvera as an accomplice. A grand jury indicted the two, and although the missing gold was recovered prior to the trial, Rodríguez was found guilty of Murder. The jury recommended leniency, because of the circumstantial evidence, but Judge Benjamin Neal sentenced Rodríguez to hang. She was executed on November 13, 1863. Her age at the time was unknown, though she was
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likely at least sixty years old.

The trial's fairness was questioned because of the jurists' problematic personal histories, Rodríguez' weak defense counsel and the lack of a motion for retrial, among other issues. Most of the court records have been lost, and discrepancies exist in trial accounts. Rodríguez' hanging has contributed to local lore and has been the subject of numerous writings and other works. In 1985, the Texas Legislature absolved Josepha "Chipita" Rodríguez of murder in a resolution signed by the Governor.
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14201.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Hispanic AmericansLaw Enforcement. A significant historical date for this entry is November 13, 1863.
Location. 27° 57.112′ N, 97° 46.377′ W. Marker is in San Patricio, Texas, in San Patricio County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Farm to Market Road 666) and McGloin Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4615 Main St, Mathis TX 78368, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of San Patricio (here, next to this marker); San Patricio de Hibernia (a few steps from this marker); San Patricio County (a few steps from this
Josepha Rodriguez Marker Area image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, August 11, 2018
2. Josepha Rodriguez Marker Area
marker); Saint Patrick's Catholic Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Education in San Patricio (approx. ¼ mile away); Old Dougherty House (approx. ¼ mile away); Old Cemetery on the Hill (approx. 0.8 miles away); Santa Margarita Crossing (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Patricio.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2018, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 773 times since then and 128 times this year. Last updated on September 4, 2018, by T. Patton of Jefferson, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2018, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 23, 2023