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

By Jerry Thompson | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

Not long after Santos’s death in 1891, the local camp of Confederate veterans was named in his honor. Decades later, in 1937, a street at Fort McIntosh was also named for him. Over time, however, his legacy was largely forgotten, like those of so many other nineteenth-century borderlanders, until a state historical marker was dedicated in San Agustín Plaza honoring Santos and his remarkable brothers as part of the American bicentennial in 1976. Twenty years later, Federico Peña—a descendant, former mayor of Denver, Colorado, and the secretary of energy—came to Laredo to dedicate an elementary school in Santos’s honor.1 A few years later, a historical marker was erected by the Webb County Historical Commission at his gravesite in the Catholic cemetery, and a small plaza was dedicated at the entrance to Laredo’s busy Juárez-Lincoln International Bridge.

In January 1871, Santos and Agustina made out a will giving their property upon their deaths to Agustina Benavides Ayala, Juan V. Benavides, Santos Eraclio, and Santos Jr., whom they acknowledged as their legally adopted children. With the help of Ángel Navarro in May 1876, Santos revoked the previous will and drafted a second document giving all his property to his wife. In yet another legal document created in July 1881, while Santos was in the legislature, he and Agustina, with Edmund J. Davis, Eulalio Benavides, and Sixto E. Navarro as witnesses, cancelled all their previous wills and “revoked, cancelled, and declared void” the adoptions of Agustina, Juan, and Eraclio. Each bequeathed the other their real and personal property, valued at $40,000.2 Yet in another will written in July 1887, Santos and Agustina gave their property to their son Juan and to Francisco Gar-

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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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