Historians tout Spanish in Revolution

Historians in the News

Flip to the index of an American history book and chances are you'll find myriad references to the American Revolution.
There's also a chance you won't find much about the contributions of Texans, the Spanish or Bernardo de Gálvez to the success of the colonial American troops.

Fresh from Laredo's celebration of George Washington's birthday, two groups of historians gathered Sunday to talk about advances they are making in raising the awareness of the Hispanic contribution to all aspects of this country's history.

"Latinos have no presence in history books — they don't know that we exist," said Mimi Lozano, author and editor of Somos Primos, an online newsletter dedicated to Hispanic heritage. "So 20 years ago, I started looking into promoting our history in a positive way."

Lozano, a Canary Island descendant who lives in California, is a board member of the Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association, a local group dedicated to honoring the heritage of people who contributed to the formation of America, particularly that of Gálvez, Galveston's namesake.

"Historians are starting to realize that without the Spanish we wouldn't have become the country we are," Lozano said.

Gálvez was the Spanish governor of the Louisiana province during the American Revolution. Before Spain's official declaration of war on the British in 1779, Gálvez helped the American troops by securing the port of New Orleans so French, American and Spanish boats could have exclusive use of the Mississippi River.

When it was time for Gálvez to amass troops to fight the British along the Gulf Coast, he enlisted free and enslaved African Americans, Creoles, American Indians and his own Spanish troops. Realizing he would need to feed the men, he sent a messenger to Texas Gov. Domingo Cabello y Robles requesting longhorn cattle.

This is Texas' biggest link to the Revolution, said Joel Escamilla, governor of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez, an organization founded in 1975 with a mission parallel to that of TCARA....
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