Frank de la Teja, Ph.D.
Jesús F. "Frank" de la Teja has a lengthy, active relationship with TSHA and its programs. He served as TSHA President in 2007-2008 while simultaneously serving as the inaugural Texas State Historian (2007-2009). For seventeen years, De la Teja was the book review editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and also contributed research articles to the journal. He has long advised on Handbook of Texas projects, most recently with the Handbook of Tejano History. He and his wife established TSHA’s Catarino and Evangelina Hernández Research Fellowship to support research in Latino history in Texas. Named a TSHA Fellow in 2001, De la Teja has published extensively on Spanish, Mexican, and Republic-era Texas. He was the Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Regents’ Professor of History, and Director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University-San Marcos until his retirement in August 2017. De la Teja earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seton Hall University and his doctorate in colonial Latin American history from The University of Texas at Austin.
Scion of one of San Antonio’s leading early families, Juan Nepomuceno Seguín grew up in a Texas beset by violence and destruction. During the 1820s he matured in a household that welcomed Stephen F. Austin, and like many prominent Tejanos, the young Seguín came to see Anglo-Americans as a boon to the development of his beloved homeland. With the eruption of rebellion in Texas in October 1835, he volunteered for service in the Texas army and was involved in some of the most memorable events in the War of Independence, from the siege of Bexar to the Runaway Scrape and the battle of San Jacinto.As the most prominent Tejano military figure during the war, and an important political figure thereafter, Seguín made enemies among the newly arriving Anglo-Americans unaware of the contributions of numerous Tejanos to the Texas cause. His opposition to land-grabbers in the San Antonio area and the machinations of political enemies while serving as mayor of San Antonio forced him to seek safety in Mexico, where he was impressed into military service. Among his controversial actions during his six-year exile were involvement in Gen. Adrián Woll’s occupation of San Antonio in September 1842 and command of a Mexican cavalry company during the Mexican War.After his return to Texas in 1848, he became involved in San Antonio politics and was a founding member of the Bexar County Democratic Party. He served as an election precinct chairman and as Wilson County judge during Reconstruction before finally retiring in 1870 to Nuevo Laredo, where two of his sons had set up residence. He died in the Mexican border town in 1890.Jesús F. de la Teja has written the most extensive biographical study yet done on this controversial Tejano, who deserves a place among the more familiar names in the litany of the illustrious patriots of the Texas Revolution. Here is a wealth of information for serious historians but, even more, a readable and informative account for any person interested in early Texas history. This reprint edition of the out-of-print classic contains a new introduction.
- TSHA Fellowship (2001)
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