Vicente Tarín, soldier and Indian commissioner, son of Pedro Nolasco Tarín and María Bernarda Araújo, was born around 1767 probably in the Villa de San Gerónimo, Chihuahua, México. He served as a lancer during the latter Spanish colonial period, later becoming a Republican insurgent leader. Tarín had served in the military for twenty years and was a sergeant in the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras when it arrived at San Antonio de Valero Mission in 1803. While there, he distinguished himself as a formidable Indian fighter and was instrumental in recovering stolen livestock on numerous occasions. By 1807 he had been appointed to the position of second alférez, due in part to his exemplary record. Tarín's first wife, María (or Mónica) Luján, died in 1796. He remained a widower until 1810, when he married Juana Isidora Leal, daughter of Joaquín Leal. According to civil records they had six sons, although subsequent research and DNA testing of descendant lines has shown that Tarín may have been the father of only two of them.
Tarín was made a second lieutenant and commander of the Parras Company by 1811, while concurrently holding a position in the Presidial Company of San Antonio de Béxar. During the Casas Revolt of that same year, Tarín was singled out as the one most capable of apprehending the criminals of that revolt because of the diligent manner in which he executed his duties. Having joined the insurgent army of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition by 1813, Tarín, a captain, participated in the disastrous battle of Medina on August 18. After the battle, his wife was among the hundreds of women imprisoned by Spanish troops (see LA QUINTA). With the Republicans' crushing defeat, Tarín was forced to seek refuge in Louisiana. By 1815 Tarín was forming his own company while still in Natchitoches. His ventures into the province included bartering guns and other goods with the Comanches, continuing the seditionary alliance that had been established with them. Tarín was a member of James Long's Supreme Council when it issued its declaration of independence in Nacogdoches on June 23, 1819. He signed his name to the document as secretary. Having attained independence in 1821 the Mexican government, in an effort to establish peace with the Indians, appointed Tarín and José Francisco Ruiz as Indian commissioners. Negotiations began that resulted in the signing of a treaty in Mexico City by the Lipan chiefs. Between May 1822, when Tarín returned from a successful diplomatic trip among the Comanches, and October of that year, Tarín and all but one member of his company were killed in an American Indian attack in northern Texas. See also MANUEL ANTONIO SANTIAGO TARÍN and JOSÉ DARÍO ZAMBRANO.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Nacogdoches, Gateway to Texas: A Biographical Directory (2 vols., Fort Worth: Arrow-Curtis Printing, 1974, 1987). Julia Kathryn Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas: A Story of the Last Years of Spain in Texas (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1939). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). John Ogden Leal, trans., Baptismals of the Children of the Military Company of San Carlos de Parras, 1788–1824 (MS, Bexar County Courthouse Archives, San Antonio). Art Martínez de Vara, Tejano Patriot: The Revolutionary Life of José Francisco Ruiz, 1783-1840 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2020). Joseph Carl McElhannon, "Imperial Mexico and Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 53 (October 1949). Harris Gaylord Warren, The Sword Was Their Passport: A History of American Filibustering in the Mexican Revolution (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1943).
Politics and Government
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Randell G. Tarín and Robert L. Tarín, Jr.,
Jesús "Frank" de la Teja,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 24, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
May 3, 2022
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: