Tejanos And Anglos In Nacogdoches: Coexistence On Texas’ Eastern Frontier Under The Mexican And Texan Republics, 1821-1846
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In 1821, Texas and its citizens were part of Mexico. By 1846, Anglo-American immigrants had transformed the demographics, culture, and governance of Texas. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in Nacogdoches, Texas’ oldest city. The influx of Anglo-Americans into Texas and the accompanying regime changes transformed the Tejano border town into an Anglo-dominated city, prompting struggles over civil rights, economic power, and political authority between Mexican- and Anglo-Texans both as individuals and as ethnic communities. Several violent insurrections pitted Nacogdochians against Anglo and Mexican outsiders as well as each other, culminating in the largest organized revolt against the Republic of Texas by its own citizens: the ultimately doomed Córdova Rebellion of 1838 and 1839. Yet this was the last gasp of Tejano resistance to the Anglicization of East Texas. By 1846, Anglo numerical superiority and American annexation forced Nacogdoches’ Tejanos to accept an Anglodominated social hierarchy in order to preserve their rights, property, and community. Despite its contentious and complicated history, Nacogdoches – particularly its Tejano population – remains understudied by modern historians. To advance our understanding of race in Texas, we must examine Nacogdoches’ Tejano and Anglo populations and their dynamic relationship to one another. Such an examination reveals two ethnic communities (and individuals claiming to act on their behalf) competing over Nacogdoches and cooperating in order to benefit and defend the town.