Tejano Tiger: José de Los Santos Benavides and the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1823-1891

By Jerry Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
REVOLUTIONS WITHOUT END

He was with his Uncle Bracilois [sic] in much of the Revolution; was generally
employed in harassing the enemy on their march, by waylaying them
in the defiles, and firing on them at night
.

—MIRABEAU B. LAMAR INTERVIEW WITH SANTOS BENAVIDES,
SUMMER 1847.

After a tedious and exhausting trek across the desert from Monterrey, the French botanist Jean Louis Berlandier and a party of the Mexican Boundary Commission reached the Rio Grande at the small and forlornlooking village of Laredo on a frigid day in February 1828. The inhabitants of the forsaken rock and adobe settlement were in large part, Berlandier said, shiftless, lazy, fun loving, and prone to frivolity. The bleak and dreary treeless village included several thatched, one-story huts perched perilously on both sides of the river. Besides a lively song and dance by a band of fierce-looking Lipan Apache warriors, menacingly camped on the outskirts of the hamlet, there was little of interest for the travelers. It was unlikely that anyone from Laredo would ever amount to much or go anywhere. But a five-year-old boy named José de los Santos Benavides lived there at the time, and he probably gave more than just a curious glance at Berlandier and his companions, who were soon back in the saddle and headed north for San Antonio de Béxar.

José de los Santos Benavides’s Creole great-great-grandfather, Tomás

-5-

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Tejano Tiger: José de Los Santos Benavides and the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1823-1891
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Editor’s Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I - Revolutions without End 5
  • Chapter II - "Mexico Has Lost Laredo Forever." 35
  • Chapter III - Secession and Civil War 80
  • Chapter IV - Cotton and Blood 135
  • Chapter V - Forsaken Corner of the Confederacy 159
  • Chapter VI - Peacemaking on the Border 208
  • Chapter VII - Beyond the Memory of Living Men 230
  • Chapter VIII - Ballots and Bullets 279
  • Chapter IX - International Diplomat 311
  • Epilogue 325
  • Notes 333
  • Bibliography 379
  • Index 393
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