“became the nation’s leading cotton-producing state by 1890” (Foley)

Whatever image of the South one summons, it largely excludes Texas cotton farmers, even though Texas, as a slave state of the Confederacy, experienced defeat and Reconstruction and became the nation’s leading cotton-producing state by 1890.

Neil Foley, The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 1.


“organizations for the protection of the frontier against Indian raids or Mexican marauders” (Gammel, Laws of Texas 1927)


H. J. R. No. 15.]



Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Texas:

Section 1. That Section 51, Article 3, of the Constitution of the State of Texas by amended so as to read as follows:

[465] “The Legislature shall have no power to make any grant or authorize the making of any grant of public moneys to any individual, association of individuals, municipal or other corporations whatsoever; provided, however, the Legislature may grant aid to indigent and disabled Confederate soldiers and sailors under such regulations and limitations as may be deemed by the Legislature as expedient, and to their widows in indigent circumstances under such regulations and limitations as may be deemed by the Legislature as expedient; to indigent and disabled soldiers, who, under special laws of the State of Texas during the war between the States, served in organizations for the protection of the frontier against Indian raids or Mexican marauders, and to indigent and disabled soldiers of the militia who were in active service during the war between the States, and to the widows of such soldiers who are indigent circumstances, and who are or may be eligible to receive aid under such regulations and limitations as may be deemed by the legislature as expedient; and also grant for the establishment and maintenance of a home for said soldiers and sailors, their wives and widows and women who aided in the Confederacy, under such regulations and limitations as may be provided for by law; provided the Legislature may provide for husband and wife to remain together in the home…”

[466] […] [Note.— H. J. R. No. 15 was amended and passed the House February 16, 1927, 103 yeas, 5 nays; finally passed in the Senate March 10, 1927, 25 yeas, 0 nays.]

Approved by the Governor, March 30, 1927.

H. P. N. Gammel, The Laws of Texas, 1927: Supplement Volume to the Original Ten Volumes, 1822-1897 (Austin, Texas: Gammel's Book Store, 1927), 465 (link).

“Shall We Have Mexico!” (New York Times, December 26, 1860)

416. Shall We Have Mexico!

(New-York Times [Lincoln], December 26, 1860)

In view of the threatened dissolution of the Union, and the consequent derangement of commercial and business enterprises, we are gratified to learn from Washington that leading members of the Republican Party are already beginning to look forward to the acquisition or annexation of Mexico, as a ready means of at once indemnifying the North for the partial loss of Southern trade, and of marring the schemes of Slavery propagandism, which is one great incentive to disunion. This policy has been heretofore hinted at by the Press, but was formally foreshadowed in the recent speech of Mr. Wade in the Senate. We happen to know that this idea of acquiring Mexico, first under the forms of a protectorate, but eventually as a component part of the Confederacy, is no merely casual suggestion of an individual senator; but that it has been seriously and favorably considered by leading minds, which will exercise an important influence upon the incoming Administration.

There are many obstacles to the adoption of the policy of a protectorate over Mexico, which the dissolution of the Union would remove. Deeply as we should deplore the disruption of the Confederacy, as it now exists, it is a consolation to know that that sad event would remove the last obstruction to the consummation of the obvious policy of the American Republic. The whole question of Slavery will then be out of the way, and the Mexican people can receive a guaranty of a stable government at our hands, without incurring the risk of being overrun by Slavery. Ignorant and degraded as they are, the Mexicans cherish a wholesome prejudice against an institution which would reduce them to the level of slaves. It is on this account that a strong repugnance exists among the masses to the Southern portion of this Union. But they would regard the people of the free North as benefactors and deliverers from anarchy and revolution, as well as from invasion by a Slaveholding Confederacy. All classes and parties in that distracted country–or at any rate, the Liberal Party, which constitutes the great majority, would [958] fly to the free Northern Confederacy, for deliverance from the intolerable ills of the present, and the hateful subjugation of the Southern fillibusters [sic].

A protectorate would be the initiatory measure, accompanied with free trade, and a right of Colonization. But it is evident that the effect of this intimate intercourse with the free people of the North, accompanied by an infusion of a large element of Northern freemen, would be to Americanize Mexico in its ideas of Government and civil freedom; so that after a few years of pupilage the Mexican States would be incorporated into the Union on equal terms with the original States. The South would thus be surrounded by States and Territories in which the idea of civil liberty in its widest application will become the great bond of Union.

Mexico is about the size of the Slave States of this Union, and not a great way behind them in population. The trade of that most misgoverned country is even now valuable to the commercial nations of the world, and especially to England. We last year gave some interesting statistics on this subject, which demonstrate that the American Government has been singularly blind to the importance of cultivating more intimate relations with Mexico. But this trade, under the reign of anarchy which has lasted for forty years past, is as nothing when compared with what it may become when Anglo-Saxon energy, intelligence and freedom, shall have brought order out of chaos, and have converted the Guerilla bands–which now make war upon society because they have no protection in their homes–into industrious laborers.

When Mexico belonged to Spain, it was for three centuries an invaluable dependency, from which she derived fabulous wealth. The Mexican silver and gold mines for ages yielded millions to the hand of industry, while the manufactures and commerce of Spain reaped a perennial harvest in the markets of her transatlantic possession. It is useless to say that the resources of Mexico remain unexhausted. Her mines have ceased to turn out untold millions, because the hand of industry has been paralyzed by anarchy; and her soil has refused to yield rich harvests from the same cause. Under American auspices there can be no doubt that new life can be infused into Mexican industry–that treasures will again stream forth from her mines in greater profusion than ever; and that a commercial intercourse will spring up not inferior to that which we may lose by the secession of the Southern States. To doubt it, would be to doubt that the energies of American freedom are superior to those of Spanish despotism.

The secession of the Southern States would still leave the Federal [959] Government intact. It would retain every feature of its organization, and every resource for its preservation. The Army and Navy would remain in possession of the Government, and might be increased to any needful extent. There can, therefore, be no impediment to the consummation of this policy. No force which the seceding States could raise would interpose a serious obstacle. Without organization, without government, without money, without arms, without ships, without sailors, and at best, immeasurably the weaker party, the Slave States could do nothing to resist the Northern protectorate over Mexico. England and France, and all commercial nations owuld thank us for the service we should do the cause of civilization and commerce, and the Mexicans themselves will open their arms to receive us.

Here, then, is a policy which must enlist the ardent support of every Northern man, and especially those engaged in manufactures and commerce. It opens up a limitless field of enterprise, and cannot fail to restore any temporary loss we may sustain by the disruption of the Union. Should that dreaded event happen, it would undoubtedly damage and injure the commerce and trade of the North; but we have already shown that, whether in the Union or out of it, the South cannot dispense with Northern manufactures, Northern ships, Northern sailors and ship-builders, and Northern capital; and when we consider the facilities and inducements which Southern secession will give to the acquisition of Mexico by the North, we may console ourselves with the reflection that, much as disunion is to be deprecated on grounds of patriotism and national honor, it would not essentially and permanently injure the commercial and industrial prosperity of the North.

Howard Cecil Perkins, ed. Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1964), 957-959.

“National citizenship gained significance only in the wake of the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment” (Haney López)

significance of the nationalization of citizenship vs. old state citizenship system / WBL p. 50

The lag between the enactment of a racial prerequisite for naturalization and its first legal test may partly reflect the relative insignificance of federal as opposed to state citizenship during this country’s first century. Prior to the Civil War, state citizenship was more important than federal citizenship for securing basic rights and privileges. National citizenship gained significance only in the wake of the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment. After 1870, “[a]ll persons born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States were citizens and constituents of the sovereign community. Their status with respect to the states depended upon this national status and upon their own choice of residence, and it could not be impeached or violated by state action.”[3] Thus, the spate of naturalization cases that began in 1878 may reflect the increased importance of national versus state citizenship after the civil war.

Ian F. Haney López, White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race (New York: New York University Press, 1996), 50.


  1. [3]Ichioka, supra, at 12.

“The contention grew to the point where the americanos took up arms and said they would put an end to all the ‘greasers’ in their midst.” (Tafolla)

On the Texas side of the river, there was a captain named Brunington who belonged to our regiment and who had lived on the Rio Grande border for many years. He’d been captain of the Texas Rangers and knew the Mexicans well. He was in charge of a small patrol guarding the border on the Texas side. One day he came to our camp with ten men and delivered a Mexican prisoner to the guards, warning them to take twice as much caution with him or he would escape.

[…] [65] The corporal, getting impatient, just grabbed him by the arm and lifted him up. As he stood up, we discovered that he’d taken the chain off his feet and was just waiting for nighttime in order to escape. Upon standing, he looked down at his feet and said, “Look, it came loose.” This made everybody in the room die laughing, and shout and throw their hats up in the air. Captain Brunington came running at the sounds of the shouts and asked the prisoner, “What’s going on, man?” And the prisoner, with a feigned innocence, replied, “The chain came undone.”

Then the captain said to the soldiers, “This Mexican is going to get away from you, and the one who lets him get away is going to be punished severely.” And some answered, “I’d like to see him get away from me!”

Santiago Tafolla, A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate. Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press. Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla. Translated by Fidel L. Tafolla. 64-65.

When Menchaca got back with the two prisoners, he said to the captain, “What do you think about Menchaquita? Will he at least be made a corporal?” Another one of us, a German who had also cut off from the group, came back with two more prisoners. Since the rest of us were already on Texas soil, and they saw the German alone on the Mexican side, a mob of men and women came up on him shouting “Kill him! Kill him!” and someone shot him in the back with a rifle. The bullet went through him and they would have killed him had our soldiers not lined up along the river’s edge and protected him. Our men fired a volley, and knocked down their leader, who was one horseback in front, and they succeeded in  dismounting him. And the rest of them fled when they saw us finish crossing over.

I came inside, cursing heavily against those who’d shot the German. […]

[69] But the Mexican we had chained earlier escaped in a tragically sad manner. [prisoner escapes across Rio Grande, unharmed despite attempts to shoot him while swimming the river] There were many Americans from up North on board and they began making fun of us, shouting harassments, and calling us cowards. […]

Santiago Tafolla, A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate. Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press. Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla. Translated by Fidel L. Tafolla. 68-69.

[Tafolla goes on leave to visit family, Confederate Army begins retreat from Rio Grande to Corpus.] The day we arrived back to the regiment, I was surrounded by my mexicano friends who were still left in the regiment (as many had already deserted). They begged me to word a petition to Col. Duff asking that we be transferred to the regiment of Col. Santos Benavides, who was in charge of a regiment of mexicanos in the service of the Confederate States. Because of my absence, Corporal Juan Mercado had disappeared from one day to the next, and it was believed that he had been hanged.

We had in our regiment a group of about ten men who had the bad reputation of hanging folks. And it was said that they had hanged several men who didn’t go along with their ideas. Among these hangmen, there was a captain named Taylor who they said had a grudge against Corporal Mercado and had threatened to hang him. He made this threat in the presence of one of Corporal Mercado’s friends, a man named Juan Santa Ana. Santa Ana told Corporal Mercado about the threat. Since [71] Mercado had disappeared so suddenly, the boys believed he had been hanged. It was for this reason that the mexicanos wanted to be transferred to Benavides’ regiment. They feared for their lives in our own regiment, for at every step there were constant and ugly disagreements between the mexicanos and americanos. The colonel, however, denied our petition, telling us that we were mistaken. He assured us that Corporal Mercado had not been hanged.

About this time, Col. Duff received orders to take his regiment to the state of Louisiana. After marching about ten days, while camped on the Lavaca River, a dispute arose between a mexicano and an americano. The contention grew to the point where the americanos took up arms and said they would put an end to all the “greasers” [griseros] in their midst. Then I and a German friend of mine, Fred Metzger, who had previously served five years in the U.S. Cavalry with me, put ourselves in between the contending parties and succeeded in calming them. This friend’s name is Fred Metzger, and he lives today in Hondo, in Medina County. I believe that if it were not for him, many would have died that day.

That day, all my mexicano friends decided to desert that very night. They insisted that I go along with them, saying that we could take the best horses in the regiment and leave that night.

Santiago Tafolla, A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate. Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press. Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla. Translated by Fidel L. Tafolla. 70-71.

Deserts: 71-80.

“In the fall of that year I went to San Antonio and joined the Confederate Army” (Tafolla)

In 1862 I got a job at Camp Verde taking care of the camels the government had there, and I worked at it for about eight months. In the fall of that year I went to San Antonio and joined the Confederate Army, under the battalion of Col. Duff. During that winter, the battalion guarded the border from Laredo to San Antonio, and nearby points. From the very beginning, they assigned me to duty as a bugler, as they knew I had served in this role in the U.S. Army.

In Spring of 1863 we marched to Brownsville, and upon our arrival there, the battalion was merged into a regiment commanded by Col. Duff and Lt. Col. James Sweet. That year we guarded the border from the mouth of the Rio Grande in the Gulf of Mexico to Eagle Pass. Several times my company was assigned to the duty of guarding the place where the Rio Grande enters the Gulf.


[67] One of our men by the name of Manuel Menchaca, a native of San Antonio, mounted a horse he’d found staked out and pursued two of the men who were asleep in their hide-out in the sand dunes, where he captured them. He had a single-shot pistol, and each of them had a six-shooter.

Santiago Tafolla, A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate. Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press. Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla. Translated by Fidel L. Tafolla. 64, 67.

Notes with capsule bios of Juan N. Cortina and Col. Santos Benavides, LCB 121 n. 75 (Cortina), 76 (Benavides)

Joins U.S. 2nd Cavalry, spends 5 years fighting mainly in Comanche Wars, 1855-1860. 31-61.

Confederate military career as a whole, through desertion to Mexico: 64-80.

“That year I got 160 acres of land” (Tafolla)

In the same year, the war broke out between the United States and the Confederate States, and when the army was set to march out of the state of Texas, Sergeant McDonald deserted, came to where I was, and sold the cows. […] That year I got 160 acres of land, which was the amount the state of Texas was granting to every citizen who was a head of household. I built a ranch on a particular branch of Privilege Creek which is called Bear Creek. I lived there for some time with my brothers-in-law, who’d come to live with us there in Bandera County. J.P. Rodríguez had established a ranch on the main branch of Privilege Creek approximately two miles from mine.

Santiago Tafolla, A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate. Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press. Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla. Translated by Fidel L. Tafolla. 63.

Land: Tafolla qualifies for headright land 1861.

A Struggle for Sovereignty: National Consolidation, Emancipation, and Free Labor in Texas, 1865

A Struggle for Sovereignty: National Consolidation, Emancipation, and Free Labor in Texas, 1865, Nancy Cohen-Lack

The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 57-98.

Development of new contract labor system in Texas agriculture post-emancipation.


Damacio Jimenez, defender of the Alamo, and Tejano headright claim

Tejano defender of the Alamo, heirs attempted to file for war bounty land claim in 1861 [supported by Seguin; petition was denied for non-payment of fees]: Damacio Jimenez.[3]

In its Constitution of 1861, Texas once again opened its court systems for worthy citizens and/or Texas revolutionary war veterans to petition for land, and, as in the Constitution of 1845, a two-year limitations period was imposed.[10]

The 1861 term of court saw such a claim: the descendants of Damacio Jimenez, defender of the Alamo, came forward and petitioned in open court for a headright claim of land as promised by the Constitution of Texas.[11]




  1. [3]Raul Casso IV, “Damacio Jimenez: The Lost and Found Alamo Defender,” in Southwestern Historical Quarterly 96 (July 1992 – April 1993): 87-92.
  2. [10]Texas Constitution of 1861, article XI, sec. 2, in Vernon’s Annotated Constitution, 594.
  3. [11]Headright Book 2, pp. 370-373.