Hugo Oconór becomes ad interim governor of Texas
On this day in 1767, Hugo Oconór became ad interim governor of Texas. Born in 1732, Oconór was an Irishman who attained the rank of major of a volunteer regiment in the Spanish army. His vermilion hair inspired frontier Indians to nickname him the “Red Captain.” After service in Cuba and Mexico City, he worked as inspector general of the eastern Provincias Internas in 1765 and investigated the conflict between Texas governor Ángel de Martos y Navarrete and presidio commander Rafael Martínez Pacheco. After the removal of Navarrete, Oconór’s service as governor ad interim won the admiration of soldiers and citizens alike. He reinforced San Antonio against Apache raids and brought order to the frontier. He returned to Mexico in 1770, and throughout the next decade, as he commanded various offices, he focused on repelling the Apaches farther west. Oconór was governor and captain general of Yucatan at the time of his death in 1779.