Leal, Antonio (1750–ca. 1802)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: March 1, 1995

Antonio Leal, rancher, was born in San Antonio de BĂ©xar in 1750. His principal occupation seems to have been capturing and selling mustangs in partnership with Philip Nolan, whom he had met in San Antonio in 1790. The business was pursued under permit of the Spanish government issued every three months. Leal and his wife, Gertrudis de los Santos, owned the ten-league grant, later known as the Edmund Quirk grant, on which San Augustine was built. The land was used for collecting and pasturing the horses before they were sent to Louisiana. Nolan had his pasture on the Trinity River near their hunting grounds. The partnership lasted until Nolan's death on March 21, 1801, when Leal and his wife were arrested as Nolan's accomplices; they were afterward prosecuted in one of the most famous trials in Texas history. At the end of the trial the Leals were deported from Nacogdoches to Bexar, where Leal died about 1802. Gertrudis then married Antonio Baca, commandant of Bexar, whom she also survived.

Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Edward Everett Hale, "The Real Philip Nolan," Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society 4 (1901). Philip Nolan Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Leal, Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/leal-antonio.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995

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