Manuel Flores, trader and Mexican agent, lived before the Texas Revolution in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, where he illicitly traded with the Caddo Indians who lived in the vicinity. In 1835 he failed in an attempt to keep the Caddos from making a treaty with the United States that called for the removal of the Indians from Louisiana. The next year, during the Texas Revolution, he unsuccessfully tried to recruit these Indians to the side of Mexico. He eluded United States military units and presumably fled to Mexico; by 1838 he was associated with the Mexican authorities at Matamoros as an emissary with the task of convincing the Texas Indians that they should overthrow the Republic of Texas. In the spring of 1839, under orders from Valentín Canalizo, he led an expedition from Matamoros that carried war supplies to the Indians in Texas whom the Mexicans were trying to organize. After killing four members of a party of surveyors between Seguin and San Antonio on May 14, the Flores group was trailed by a company of Texas Rangers for two days, and a part of the ranger company, led by Lt. James O. Rice, confronted the Mexican group on the North San Gabriel River on May 17, 1839. Flores's band was routed, and Flores was reported among the dead. In the baggage removed after the skirmish the Texans found several documents that seemed to link the Cherokee Indians with a Mexican plot to conquer Texas. These documents prompted President Mirabeau B. Lamar to demand that the Cherokees leave Texas, and this precipitated the Cherokee War. In 1936 a marker was placed near the site of the Rice-Flores engagement. Flores has often been confused with another Manuel Flores. See also SAN GABRIELS, BATTLE OF THE.
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William L. Mann, "James O. Rice, Hero of the Battle on the San Gabriels," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 55 (July 1951). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Roderick B. Patten,
“Flores, Manuel [?–1839],”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 2, 2020
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