Córdova, Vicente (1798–1842)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 9, 2020

Vicente Córdova, Nacogdoches official during the Mexican period and leader of the Córdova Rebellion, was born in 1798. He was evidently well educated and was among the largest landholders in Nacogdoches in the late Mexican period. He served at various times as alcalde, primary judge, and regidor. He was for several years captain of a militia company and during the battle of Nacogdoches in 1832 fought on the side of the local citizens. He supported the Texas Revolution as long as it espoused a return to the Constitution of 1824 but opposed the call for Texas independence. Córdova married María Antonia Córdova on July 29, 1824; the couple evidently had several children.

In the fall of 1835 Córdova secretly began to organize local resistance to the Texan revolutionaries, though as late as 1836 he was elected primary judge for the department. During this period he kept the Mexican government informed of his attempts to "foster the favorable feelings which the faithful Mexicans here have always entertained" toward Mexico. He negotiated with Chief Bowl of the Cherokee Indians and their allies, promising the Indians possession of hunting grounds and other rewards. In August 1838 he assembled a large group of Mexican loyalists and Indians on an island in the Angelina River, but the Córdova Rebellion, as it was called, was quickly suppressed.

Afterward, Córdova, accompanied by a small group of Mexicans, American Indians, and Blacks, attempted to flee to Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The group was discovered encamped near Waterloo (now Austin) and several days later fought a battle with the Colorado volunteers led by Edward Burleson on Mill Creek near the Guadalupe River. Córdova was apparently severely wounded but managed eventually to make his way to Mexico. He returned to Texas with Gen. Adrián Woll and assisted in the occupation of San Antonio in September 1842. He was killed shortly thereafter in the battle of Salado Creek, September 18, 1842.

Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Nacogdoches Archives, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin. Joseph Milton Nance, After San Jacinto: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836–1841 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964).

  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Military
  • Politics and Government
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Córdova, Vicente,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/cordova-vicente.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 9, 2020

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