Juan N. Seguin, The Mexican Hero Who Fought for Texas Independence
Juan Seguin a history of Texas that's little known
As I complete this story about a great man and hero to the state of Texas, we will be celebrating the 129 anniversary of his death, August 27, 1890.
Juan Nepomuceno Seguin was born in San Antonio de Bexar on October 27, 1806, while it was still under Spanish rule. However, the history of the Seguin family and Texas began upon their arrival to Texas in 1722, nine years before the Canary Islanders. The settled in the area today known as Floresville Texas.
Juan Seguin's father was politically involved and a rancher. Juan Seguin would follow in his father's footstep becoming interested in politics as a teenage boy in Mexico. He served on many boards before becoming the mayor (Alcalde) of San Antonio in 1833.
Displease with Santa Anna and his rule, he joined the Texas Revolution. Captain Juan Seguin not only commanded troops, he recruited them. He sent out scouting parties to set up base camps for the coming battles. He called a meeting of Tejanos and asked them to bear arms and join the revolution and fight for Texas.
Earning a first victory at the Battle of Concepcion, he moved on to prepare for the Battle of the Alamo. He was chosen to take a message from the Alamo as it was preparing to battle to recruit more men and spread the word that "Texans shall never surrender or retreat." His journey took him through enemy lines and when he had accomplished his mission, he quickly returned with more men, but the Alamo had fallen.
The next battle to be fought would be in Gonzales. He formed new calvary companies. His company along with the company of Captain, Moseley Baker kept the Mexican Army at bay at the Brazos river.
Captain Seguin's calvary company took part in the Battle of San Jacinto as infantry soldiers alongside those of Sherman's Company.
In 1836, Seguin was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. On June 4th, he accepted the formal surrender of the Mexican forces that had been holding the Alamo. After which, he took the remains of the fallen from the Battle of the Alamo, who had been burned and placed them in a box that was buried at the Cathedral.
During the revolution, it was Seguin and his father who drew food and supplies from their ranches for the soldiers.
From hero to traitor
Juan Seguin wanted the growth and business to come to San Antonio. He helped bring in the European immigrants, anglo's into the region. In a short while they took over the Texas territory; taking land and wanting more. They pushed to have the Tejanos removed from Texas.
Seguin had a large ranch along with his father and he had political influence, they knew that he would fight them every step of the way and so they accused him of aiding Mexico to force him out of Texas. He was slandered to the point that they called him a traitor.
In March of 1837, Seguin was given an order by General Felix Huston to destroy San Antonio and to evacuate everyone to east of the Brazos. It was Huston and his associates that stole farms and ranches around San Antonio that had belonged to families for over 100 years. Sequin was finally able to get a hold of Sam Houston who rescinded that order. Sequin knew that he had too many enemies and had just made more. He decided to take his chances with his enemies in Mexico.
Santa Anna gave him the option to die in the Mexican prison or fight in his Army. He took the later choice. And once again he went to battle, only this time he fought on the side of Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. When the war ended, Sam Houston pardoned Seguin and made it possible for him to come home to Texas.
From traitor to hero
Upon Juan Seguin's return to Texas he was once again put into political office. He was elected Justice of the Peace, Mayor of San Antonio and as member of the Senate of the Republic of Texas. He became the first Chairman of the Democratic Party.
Juan Seguin wanted a united Texas. He urged for bilingual publications and that all children would learn both English and Spanish in school.
The people of the city of Walnut Springs voted to rename the town after a revolutionary hero that gave them Texas and their freedom. Seguin, Texas sits as a crow flies from San Antonio and the people of the town have erected a statue in the park square. Schools have been named after him as well.
Yet, he was quoted as having said "I began to feel like a foreigner in my native land". In 1867, he decided it was time to move closer to his children and he went back to Mexico, to be near his son and his family.
After this death, the town sought to have his remains moved to Seguin and could not get the support to do it. In 1959, the mayor of Seguin worked for several years to make it happen and today, the remains of Juan N. Seguin are in Seguin, Texas.
129 Years and Nothing Has Changed
One hundred twenty-nine years and Texans have forgotten how hard the Mexicans fought for Texas to have its freedom. Today, we are imprisoning them because they want to be free from the tyranny in Mexico.
Today we should honor this hero in Texas, but I have yet to see anything about him on the local news, social media. Shame on Texans for forgetting their past.