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Laredo in Webb County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Laredo Election Riot, 1886

 
 
Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 29, 2022
1. Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker
Inscription.  Annual elections for city officials, held here since 1767, were followed by rioting in 1886. Citizens were divided among two rival parties. The Guaraches, named for the Mexican Indian sandals, were led by Dario Gonzales. Raymond Martin, a French immigrant, led the Botas (Boots). Shortly before the April election, a Bota city councilman was killed. Sheriff Dario Sanchez, a Bota, appointed several special deputies, and Guarache resentment flared.

The April 6 election was peaceful. Bota candidates won all places except two. Against the advice of party leaders, the Botas planned a mock funeral for their defeated opponents on the evening of April 7. The humiliated Guaraches determined to stop the procession. They fired their ceremonial cannon, filled with nails and scrap iron, into the Bota parade. Both sides began shooting, and a battle ensued.

U.S. Soldiers, dispatched by Col. R.F Bernard, commander at Fort McIntosh, ended the fighting. Martial law was imposed. Casualties were estimated higher than the 11 known dead. Col. Bernard blamed the violence on factions in both parties, and on lawless outsiders and renegades gathered
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on both sides of the border in the days preceding the election.
 
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 3036.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Events. A significant historical date for this entry is April 7, 1886.
 
Location. 27° 30.155′ N, 99° 30.357′ W. Marker is in Laredo, Texas, in Webb County. Marker is at the intersection of San Agustin Avenue and Grant Street, on the right when traveling south on San Agustin Avenue. The marker is located on the northeastern section of the San Agustin Plaza. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Laredo TX 78040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Original Site of Villa De Laredo (a few steps from this marker); Benavides Brothers (a few steps from this marker); St. Augustine Parochial School (within shouting distance of this marker); Capitol, Republic of the Rio Grande (within shouting distance of this marker); The Republic of the Rio Grande (within shouting distance of this marker); Leyendecker House (within shouting distance of this marker); Laredo Telephone Exchange (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Ramón Family (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Laredo.
 
Also see . . .  Laredo Election Riot (1886).
The Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker is on the left of the two markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 29, 2022
2. The Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker is on the left of the two markers
Texas State Historical Association
In the aftermath of the election, tensions ran extremely high in Laredo, as the Guaraches fired off their cannon at quick intervals for most of the morning, and the Botas attempted to revive a practice from the previous election cycle in which they held a symbolic funeral and buried—in effigy—a guarache-style sandal. This led to a standoff when a large group of Guaraches attempted to prevent the “funeral march” from occurring. Attempts by the sheriff and local leaders of both parties to defuse the situation failed, as the Botas were not convinced to call off the march and the Guaraches refused to disband. After he recognized that the Bota march was inevitable, Sheriff Sanchez agreed to provide protection. Late in the afternoon on April 7, 1886, the Bota procession began.
(Submitted on August 2, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker in the San Agustín Plaza image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 29, 2022
3. The view of the Laredo Election Riot, 1886 Marker in the San Agustín Plaza
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 135 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 2, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 25, 2024