José María Letona, a lawyer and a resident of Saltillo, Coahuila, born in 1799, participated in the revolt of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla as an orderly to Gen. Mariano Jiménez and later served that chief as legal advisor. In 1821 Letona was a member of the provisional governing junta at Saltillo that declared for the Plan de Iguala. In January 1831 he was recognized as governor of Coahuila and Texas by the legislature on the basis of an election held on September 6, 1830. He assumed the functions of his office on April 5, 1831. Letona regarded the Law of April 6, 1830, as unconstitutional, and in line with this view sent José Francisco Madero to Texas as land commissioner to survey the grant land titles to the settlers on the Trinity. He also supported the Cherokee Indian land claims. Letona died in Saltillo on September 18, 1832, and was succeeded in office by Vice Governor Juan Martín Veramendi.
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Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la época colonial (Mexico City: Editorial Cultura, 1938; 2d ed., Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1978). Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols., San Francisco: History Company, 1886, 1889). E. W. Winkler, "The Cherokee Indians in Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 7 (October 1903).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Letona, José María,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 11, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 3, 2020
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