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Cruz, Pablo (1866–ca. 1910)

Cynthia E. Orozco Biography Entry

Pablo Cruz, publisher, was born in Monclova, Coahuila, in 1866 to Cruz Valdez and Viviana Cárdenas de Cruz. In 1877 he moved with his family to Floresville, Texas, where they lived for five years. He married Zulema Palanco, and they had seven children. His son Paul helped initiate the Order of Sons of America, a Mexican-American civil-rights organization, in San Antonio. In 1888 Cruz began publishing and editing El Regidor, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper. It was one of a few Spanish-language newspapers in San Antonio in the late nineteenth century. During the Spanish-American War El Regidor sided with the United States over Cuba. Cruz was also involved in printing and publishing books. He was recognized as a supporter and promoter of education, public welfare, and civic causes.

In 1901 Cruz used El Regidor to inform readers about the Gregorio Cortez case and collect defense funds. His efforts reached Mexico, and a ballad sung there referred to Cruz as a "prominent brother" and an "upright Mexican" for aiding Cortez. Cruz coordinated fund-raising efforts and hired lawyers, Judge B. R. Abernethy of Gonzales and Samuel Belden of San Antonio, for defense. The first trial resulted in a death penalty, but the lawyers appealed, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the decision. According to one source, the appeal addressed the issues of illegal arrest and arrest without a warrant, and the court ordered a change of venue because of local knowledge of the case. Cruz also employed attorneys for trials of Cortez in Wharton, Karnes, and Nueces counties. When Cruz died around 1910, Col. Francisco A. Chapa, publisher of El Imparcial, continued the movement to defend Cortez. The family continued El Regidor until 1916.

Américo Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958). A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).

Categories:

  • Journalism
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans

Time Periods:

  • Progressive Era

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

Cynthia E. Orozco, “Cruz, Pablo,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 05, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/cruz-pablo.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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