A Brief and Partial Chronology of Texas

1859- 1901

Researched, compiled & edited by Mario Longoria, Ph.D.

1859; the Cortina War in South Texas. Juan Cortina’s crusade began as a personal vendetta in Brownsville, Texas against an Anglo sheriff who used unnecessary force that resulted in the death of one of his former ranch hands. Not receiving any justice, Cortina and his men protected and raided Texas towns exacting justice for Mexicans late into the 1870’s.

-1861-1865: The Civil War. It is estimated that 9,900 Mexican Americans served in the Civil War. A large number of which from Texas served in both the Confederate and Union ranks. Author Jerry D. Thompson researched and wrote the only historical account of the Mexican American soldiers and officers who fought and died in various battles and conflicts along the Rio Grande River and frontier. The book contains appendices of both Confederate and Union soldiers.

VAQUEROS in Boss Ony

-1863. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Emancipation Proclamation.

–On Friday, November 13, 1863 in San Patricio, Texas, ninety-year old Chipita Rodriguez is hanged for murder. Her case is a classic example of Anglo racism. Chipita is convicted based on race and circumstantial evidence. Even though the town’s citizens recanted the decision, the town’s sheriff moved quickly to carry out the hanging

-1878. El Paso Salt War. Mexicans in the El Paso area revolt and take up arms against the Anglo Texans who want to control the rich salt deposits used by the area population. However, the Anglos gained legal and political control of the salt deposits through legalized violence and bribery.

1901. The Legend of Gregorio Cortez is founded. Cortez is mistakenly accused of horse stealing by a Karnes County Sheriff and pressured into a fight. In the process Cortez kills the sheriff in self-defense. He eludes capture for ten days and fights off posse’s totaling hundreds of men. He is finally captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. After twelve years, Governor O.B. Colquitt reviewed the charges and issued a pardon to set him free.