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Timeline: Texas Settlement History

1718-1827 | 1828-1871  


General Manuel Mier y Teran, military commander of Mexico's northeastern provinces, conducts a tour of the Texas border and reports that Anglos are importing slaves illegally and violating Mexican laws regarding the courts and religion.

May: The Texas y Coahuila state constitution disguises slavery as "indentured servitude."


September 15: Mexican president Vicente Guerrero frees all slaves, but Texans obtain an exemption from the national slave emancipation decree. Santa Anna becomes a national hero when he defeats Spanish forces at Tampico. Rebel leader Anastacio Bustamante stages a coup against President Guerrero. The Plan of Jalapa removes Guerrero and institutes a Centralist administration. The change of power means leaders in Mexico City become more suspicious of the U.S., and of Anglo colonists in Texas.


Thirty thousand Anglos have arrived in Texas, overwhelming the Tejano population of 4000. United States president Andrew Jackson unsuccessfully offers $5 million to purchase Texas.

April 6: The Mexican Congress passes the Law of 1830. It prohibits settlement in Texas by immigrants from the U.S.; establishes military installations in Anglo colonies of Central and East Texas; forbids the importation of slaves; and cancels all colonization contracts still outstanding. The law will be repealed in 1833.

Navarro invests in 50,000 acres of ranch land and becomes Land Commissioner for the Green Dewitt Colony over the next two years.


Anglos outnumber Tejanos ten to one in Texas. Mexicans deploy customs agents to Texas to collect tariffs.


June: Protesting Mexican customs agents, William B. Travis is arrested for anti-government rhetoric. Anglo colonists pass the Turtle Bayou Resolutions, accusing the Mexican government of constitutional violations. The Resolutions also declare Texans' support of the uprising of Santa Anna against Bustamante.

October: The Convention of 55 at San Felipe de Austin draws up a list of grievances, but it is annulled by Ramon Musquiz, political chief of the Department of Texas.


A year-long cholera epidemic spreads through Béxar.

Santa Anna Antonio López de Santa Anna is elected president after endorsing liberalism and overthrowing President Bustamente. He declines to take office, and his vice president, Gómez Valentín Farias, becomes president.

Stephen Austin Stephen F. Austin presents another Texan convention's resolutions in Mexico.


As a result of Austin's influence, Mexico repeals the ban on Anglo immigration. Texas state law allows Anglos to buy land at a reasonable price, grants Texans three seats in the state legislature, and declares English an official language.

January 2: Austin is jailed in Mexico for one year because of a letter he wrote calling for Texas statehood. War and Peace Party factions emerge in the Texas colonies.

Santa Anna deposes Farias and assumes the presidency; he establishes a Centralist regime, and places hombres de bien (elites) in power. The new Congress dissolves state legislatures, limits state militias, and abrogates the federal Constitution of 1824. Rebellions erupt in Zacatecas and Texas.


Juan Nepmuceno Seguin January: Santa Anna deploys customs agents to Anahuac to collect tariffs.

May 10-11: Battle of Zacatecas. Santa Anna's Army of Operations defeats the rebels, executes all Anglos, and leaves the city destroyed.

Austin is released from prison.

The Battle of Gonzales takes place. Gonzales residents refuse to return a cannon to the Mexican army. Santa Anna sends troops under General Martin Perfecto de Cos to San Antonio. Cos fortifies the Alamo; Tejanos join the rebel camp under Juan N. Seguin, Salvador Flores, and Manuel Leal.

October-December: Texans besiege Béxar. One hundred and sixty Tejanos participate. By December 10, General Cos surrenders. The Anglos return home after the battle, but Seguin and other Tejanos keep a vigil along the Rio Grande.

Navarro is appointed a federal senator but declines the office, due to turmoil in Texas.


Francisco Ruiz February 1: Tejanos elect Navarro and Francisco Ruiz as delegates to Washington-on-the-Brazos to declare Texas independence.

February 8: Former Tennessee congressman David Crockett arrives with volunteers to defend the Alamo.

James Bowie February 12: Travis is elected commander of the enlisted army forces at the Alamo, while Jim Bowie leads the volunteers.

February 23: The Mexican Army of Operations under Santa Anna reaches San Antonio. Texan forces retreat inside the Alamo.

March 1: Twenty-two men from Gonzales join the Alamo.

March 2: Delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos approve the Texas Declaration of Independence. Navarro, with his uncle, Francisco Ruiz, signs the declaration. The two men stay to serve on a committee to draft the republic's new constitution.

March 6: A bloody Mexican attack on the Alamo begins before dawn, and the Mexican forces slaughter all inside except for the women, children, and Travis' slave, Joe. Mexican losses number around 600.

March 20: Mexicans capture a Texan force retreating from Goliad, led by James W. Fannin, near Coleto Creek.

March 27: Santa Anna orders the execution of Fannin and 350 men at Goliad.

April 21: The Texan army defeats and captures Santa Anna at San Jacinto, and secures independence for Texas.

May 14: Santa Anna signs the Treaty of Velasco. It ceases hostilities and withdraws Mexican troops south of the Rio Grande.

September: Texans approve their new Constitution of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston is elected president.

October: The First Congress of the Republic of Texas convenes.

November: Santa Anna is released by Texans and travels to Washington to meet with U.S. officials.


Colonel Juan Nepmuceno Seguín, military commander of San Antonio, presides over the burial of the Alamo defenders' ashes. San Antonio is incorporated and Béxar County is created.

Sam Houston Navarro writes to Sam Houston to protest army confiscations of Tejano property at Béxar. He gathers declarations from Tejanos that they did not participate with the Mexicans in fighting against the Republic of Texas during the Texas Revolution.


Navarro serves in the Texas Republic's House of Representatives. His brother Eugenio, accused of being a Mexican sympathizer, is killed in his presence by an Anglo settler.


The town of Austin is chosen as Texas' capital.


Texas president Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar asks Navarro to serve as commissioner of the Texas Santa Fé Expedition. The expedition aims to take control of the eastern part of New Mexico and make it part of the Texas Republic. The Mexican government captures the expedition near Santa Fé. Navarro, accused of treason, is imprisoned in Mexico until 1844.


Mexican troops invade Texas and briefly re-occupy San Antonio. Mexican and Texan forces fight the decisive Battle of Salado, and the Mexicans are turned back.


Jose Antonio Navarro Navarro is released from prison in Mexico and returns home to Texas a hero.


Navarro is the sole Hispanic delegate to the Convention of 1845, where Texas accepts U.S. president James K. Polk's proposal for annexation. Navarro helps to write the first state constitution, the Constitution of 1845. He is also elected to the first Texas state legislature and serves two terms as a state senator.

October 13: Texan citizens overwhelmingly approve the annexation of Texas. On December 29, the U.S. Congress will approve the annexation, and Texas will be named the 28th state in the union.


Alamo February 19: The government transfer of power takes place and Texas officially joins the United States. U.S. government troops occupy the Alamo.

The U.S. provokes the Mexican-American War in order to claim more North American territory under Mexican rule. Young U.S. soldiers include future president Ulysses S. Grant and future Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The war makes heroes out of Generals Winfield Scott and future president Zachary Taylor.

The Texas state legislature establishes Navarro County in recognition of José Antonio Navarro's contributions to the region. The county seat is designated Corsicana in honor of his father's place of birth.


map The U.S. and Mexico sign the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo to end the war. Mexico accepts the Rio Grande as the southern boundary of Texas and gives up California and the province of New Mexico. The U.S. agrees to pay Mexico $15 million and to assume claims of American citizens against the Mexican government.


Navarro is the first Tejano to write about the history of Texas. He publishes his Apuntes Históricos (Historical Notes) in installments in the San Antonio Ledger. When the anti-foreigner Know Nothing Party starts to gain power, Navarro sells his San Geronimo ranch and re-enters politics as a San Antonio alderman. He informs Tejanos of the party's threat to their interests, and the Know Nothings are defeated at the polls in 1855.


January 13: Navarro dies at his home in San Antonio and is buried with an enormous public funeral. He leaves 20,000 acres and multiple town properties to his five children.

1718-1827 | 1828-1871  

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