Losoya, José Toribio (1808–1836)

By: Randell G. Tarín

Type: Biography

Published: March 1, 1995

Updated: August 3, 2020

José Toribio Losoya, Alamo defender and one of Capt. Juan N. Seguín's company of Tejanos, was born in the Alamo barrio on April 11, 1808, to Ventura Losoya and Concepción de Los Angeles Charlé. The family's two-room stone house, an old Indian dwelling that had been deeded to them, was on the Plaza de Valero near the southwest corner of the mission compound. As a young man, Losoya married María Francisca Curbier and became the father of three children. By 1830 he was a private in the Álamo de Parras military company (see SECOND FLYING COMPANY OF SAN CARLOS DE PARRAS), serving under Lt. Col. José Francisco Ruiz. That year the company built and occupied Fort Tenoxtitlán, where Losoya and his family remained until the company's return to San Antonio de Béxar in September of 1832. Losoya was one of many Mexican soldiers who opposed Antonio López de Santa Anna's despotic rule. By the fall of 1835 he had deserted the Mexican army to enlist as a private (a rifleman) in Seguín's company of Tejanos. In December of that year he participated in the siege of Bexar. The Losoya family was displaced from their home for many months as the Texans used it and other structures surrounding the Alamo to defend their position. As Santa Anna's troops converged on San Antonio in February 1836, Seguín rode from the Alamo, leaving seven of his men, including Losoya, behind as reinforcements. Losoya's wife and three children sought refuge in the mission chapel with several other women, children, and slaves. Losoya died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. In the aftermath, his body was found in the chapel of the mission and was cremated. His ashes, like those of the other martyrs of the Alamo, were for long (and almost certainly in error) thought to have been placed in San Fernando Church (now San Fernando Cathedral). His wife, son, and two daughters survived the siege.

Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990). Ruben Rendon Lozano, Viva Tejas: The Story of the Tejanos, the Mexican-born Patriots of the Texas Revolution (San Antonio: Southern Literary Institute, 1936; 2d ed., San Antonio: Alamo Press, 1985). Malcolm D. McLean, comp. and ed., Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas (19 vols., Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington Press, 1974–93). Amelia W. Williams, A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1931; rpt., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36–37 [April 1933-April 1934]).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Randell G. Tarín, “Losoya, José Toribio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/losoya-jose-toribio.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995
August 3, 2020