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ARCINIEGA, JOSE MIGUEL DE

ARCINIEGA, JOSÉ MIGUEL DE (?–?). José Miguel de Arciniega, legislator, military explorer, and alcalde of San Antonio de Béxar, was the son of Gregorio and Josefa (Flores) Arciniega. His father was a soldier from San Carlos de Parras Presidio (see SECOND FLYING COMPANY OF SAN CARLOS). In 1816 Arciniega was authorized to go to the United States border to check on possible illegal entry of Americans. In 1818 he and Vicente Gortari gave information secured at Nacogdoches, Texas, and Natchitoches, Louisiana, on foreigners at Galveston and on the Trinity River. Arciniega was a member of the provincial deputation of Texas, which in October 1823 gave consent for abandoned mission lands to be distributed to settlers without property. In 1826, when he was sent to learn the intentions of the Cherokee Indians, he met Richard Fields and leaders of the Comanche, Tahuallace, Tejas, and Caddo Indians at Laguna de Gallinas, near Nacogdoches. Arciniega was arrested in October 1826 by alcalde Juan José Zambrano for signing a document for María Josefa Seguín but was evidently exonerated, as in December he was appointed captain of the civil militia. By April of 1827 he and Ángel Navarro were elected commissioners, and the following month he and José Antonio Navarro were elected deputies to the state congress at Saltillo, where they managed to pass a law allowing slavery in Texas. In 1832 Arciniega returned from the United States border to advise Ramón Músquiz of the cholera epidemic in New Orleans. On February 27, 1833, he was reelected alcalde of Bexar, and in June he assumed the post of political chief because Músquiz was ill.

Arciniega had been appointed land commissioner for Stephen F. Austin's colonies in November 1830. In this position he signed a four-league grant for the town of Bastrop and with Samuel May Williams laid out the town in 1832. On September 22, 1835, Arciniega received a Spanish grant of 48,708 acres now in Hunt, Grayson, and Harrison counties. He was chosen interpreter for Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos in negotiations for the surrender of Bexar in December 1835. It is unclear whether he supported the Texas Revolution, as he was appointed Bexar delegate to the Convention of 1836 but did not attend. He had been appointed second judge of Bexar in 1835, and it was probably in that position that he corresponded with Thomas Jefferson Rusk in August 1836 concerning a cholera epidemic in Brazoria, treatment of Bexar residents, and the theft of cattle. In the cattle case he was ordered to assist the cavalry sent by Rusk to prevent the thefts and to protect anyone who had not opposed the Texans in the war.

Arciniega married Alejandra Losoya, and they had five children. After 1836 his name appears only twice in the records. In 1840 he reported for tax purposes twenty town lots in San Antonio and three slaves. In 1850 Juan N. Seguín testified that Miguel Arciniega, Jr., was a member of an 1839 campaign against Indian tribes.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Adán Benavides, Jr., comp. and ed., The Béxar Archives, 1717–1836: A Name Guide (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989). John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). William Fairfax Gray, From Virginia to Texas, 1835 (Houston: Fletcher Young, 1909, 1965). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Kenneth Kesselus, History of Bastrop County, Texas, Before Statehood (Austin: Jenkins, 1986). Virginia H. Taylor, The Spanish Archives of the General Land Office of Texas (Austin: Lone Star, 1955). Gifford E. White, ed., The 1840 Census of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Pemberton, 1966; 2d ed., Vol. 2 of 1840 Citizens of Texas, Austin, 1984).

John G. Johnson

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

John G. Johnson, "ARCINIEGA, JOSE MIGUEL DE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/far03), accessed April 16, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.