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San Felipe in Austin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Spanish Town

Commerce and Mier y Terán Streets 1/2 Mile East

 
 
Spanish Town Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
1. Spanish Town Marker
Inscription.  
A neighborhood on the east edge of town was home to a number of Tejanos, or native born Texans. The cluster of families was referred to as Spanish Town.

Some families had been driven from their homes during Mexico's war for independence from Spain. Stephen F. Austin invited them to return to Texas and rebuild their lives in the new colony. The Tejanos brought to San Felipe their Catholic faith, Spanish language and livestock and ranching traditions.

Cultural Crossroad
Tejanos were some of the town's earliest settlers and providers of important services. Community leader and land owner Antonio Mancha - along with six others with Spanish surnames - voted in the December 1824 election for alcalde, or mayor. San Felipe Tejanos operated horse ranches, rented horses to travelers and were trusted couriers.

The Tejano community also helped American immigrants assimilate to their new nation. William Barret Travis visited Spanish Town for games and entertainment, while aspiring attorney Moseley Baker chose to live with a Tejano resident in order to learn Spanish - the
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official language of law and business in Mexican Texas.

"I became acquainted with... Alejandro Garcia Ximenes [Jimenez] at the town of San Felipe de Austin in the year 1832....
He was held in high respect as a man of strict truth and sterling integrity and was frequently employed by Col. Stephen F. Austin to carry written and verbal expresses to San Antonio, Monclova and Saltillo."
William P. Huff, on Spanish Town resident, Alejandro Garcia Ximenes [Jimenez]

Captions
Lower Middle Left: Marriage Bond - Tejano community members José Francisco Mancha and Maria Madelena Mascora signed this bond in August 1830. They promised to have the marriage celebrated by a priest at the first opportunity, "there being no Catholic priest in the Colony" at the time.
Lower Middle Right: Spanish-English Dictionary - San Felipe merchants Perry & Hunter sold copies of Neuman's bilingual dictionary to help Norteamericanos (American immigrants) learn Spanish.
Lower Right: Above Left: Tortilleras, by Theodore Gentilz

Images Courtesy: Austin County Clerk; Rugley-Moore Collection; Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library

 
Erected by San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.
 
Topics. This historical
Spanish Town Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
2. Spanish Town Marker
marker is listed in these topic lists: Hispanic AmericansIndustry & CommerceWar, Texas Independence. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1824.
 
Location. 29° 48.363′ N, 96° 5.715′ W. Marker is in San Felipe, Texas, in Austin County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 2nd Street and Farm to Market Road 1458. The marker is located in the northeastern section of the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site along the pathway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 220 2nd Street, San Felipe TX 77473, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bottomland Farms (a few steps from this marker); A Home on Commerce Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Building the Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Founding the Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Governing the Town (about 400 feet away); Rio Brazos (about 500 feet away); Burning of the Town (about 600 feet away); Clopper Store (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Felipe.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located on the grounds of the San Felipe de Austin Historic Site. There is a small fee
The view of the Spanish Town Marker along the walkway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
3. The view of the Spanish Town Marker along the walkway
to access the historic site and markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. San Felipe de Austin History. Texas Historical Commission
San Felipe de Austin was founded in 1824 by Stephen F. Austin as the unofficial capital of his colony. It became the first urban center in the Austin colony, which stretched northward from the Gulf of Mexico as far as the Old San Antonio Road and extended from the Lavaca River in the west to the San Jacinto River in the east. By October 1823, after briefly considering a location on the lower Colorado River, Austin decided to establish his capital on the Brazos River. The site chosen was on a high, easily defensible bluff overlooking broad, fertile bottomlands. The location offered a number of advantages, including a central location and sources of fresh water independent of the Brazos.
(Submitted on September 18, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. Tejano. Texas State Historical Association
The term Tejano, derived from the Spanish adjective tejano or (feminine) tejana (and written in Spanish with a lower-case t), denotes a Texan of Mexican descent, thus a Mexican Texan or a Texas Mexican. The term received greater currency at the end of the twentieth century than previously with subsequent changes in nuance and usage. It encompasses cultural manifestations in language, literature, art, music,
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and cuisine. As an adjective, Tex-Mex is a recently coined term related to, but not synonymous with, Tejano. Broader terms used at different times or for different segments of this ethnic group are Hispanic American, Latin American, Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano. As early as 1824, Miguel Ramos Arispe, author of the (Mexican) Constitution of 1824, referred to the citizens of Texas as Tejanos in correspondence with the town council of Bexar.
(Submitted on September 18, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2024. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 101 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 18, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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May. 18, 2024