Galán, Luis (ca. 1777–1820)

By: Jesús "Frank" de la Teja

Type: Biography

Published: March 13, 2021

Updated: March 14, 2021

Luis Galán, merchant and public figure during the Mexican War of Independence era, was born at La Bahía del Espíritu Santo sometime about 1777 to Felipe Galán and Felipa Ramón. He came to San Antonio with his older brother Francisco Xavier in the late 1780s, and they established themselves as merchants and government contractors. About 1797 Luis married Josefa Bustillos between the births of the second and third of their six children. He was twenty-one years old when first elected to San Antonio’s cabildo in December 1798 and served as alcalde in 1807 and 1810 and on an interim basis in 1809. In 1799 Galán became administrator of the royal monopolies in San Antonio, as well as postmaster, positions that he held with some difficulty for the next twenty years given the problematic political and economic circumstances of Texas at the time. Despite his troubles with superiors, he proved a staunch royalist. Named to the governing junta that overthrew Juan Bautista de las Casas in March 1811, he served as one of two Texas representatives to fellow royalists in Coahuila and to the commandant general. Galán traveled as far as Chihuahua to request that Manuel Salcedo be restored to the Texas governorship. In San Antonio at the time the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition captured the city, he was imprisoned along with other royalists. After the restoration of royalist rule, he and José Antonio Saucedo carried out an inventory and sale of property confiscated from insurgents. His wife having died in 1804, Luis Galán remained a widower until his death from tuberculosis in 1820 in San Antonio. He was buried on September 26, 1820, in Campo Santo in that city.

Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, Vol. 6 (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Julia Kathryn Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas: A Story of the Last Years of Spain in Texas (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1939; reprint 1969). Art Martínez de Vara, Tejano Patriot: The Revolutionary Life of José Francisco Ruiz, 1783–1840 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2020).

  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Politics and Government
  • Civic and Community Leaders
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas
  • Mexican Texas
  • Central Texas
  • San Antonio

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

Jesús "Frank" de la Teja, “Galán, Luis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 13, 2021
March 14, 2021

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