José Vicente Travieso, son of Tomás Travieso and Rosalia Zendeja, was born on March 13, 1773, in Saltillo, Coahuila, where his father had relocated for business purposes. Travieso’s grandfather Vicente Álvarez Travieso, a member of the original Canary Islander settlers, had acquired a large ranch, Las Mulas, from which by the 1760s his son Tomás began regularly taking mule trains of hides, tallow, and dried beef to Saltillo where he married Ana Rosalia de la Zendeja y Llanas in 1768. Tomás maintained households in both Saltillo and San Antonio at least through the early 1790s, and Vicente grew up in the latter town and eventually took over management of Las Mulas after his father’s death. On the eve of the Casas Revolt in January 1811, Vicente’s operations at Las Mulas included thirteen employees, including a handful of families, more than 600 head of cattle, and more than 1,000 head of sheep and goats. By 1795 Vicente had established his own household with his wife María de las Barcenas, by whom he had one daughter who died in infancy. María died in 1798, and in 1802 he married María Luisa de Luna, a year after the birth of their first child. Between then and 1814, the couple had at least four more children, the last of them born after Vicente had become a fugitive rebel during the Mexican War of Independence.
Aside from his commercial and ranching activities, Vicente Travieso became involved in public affairs in San Antonio by 1796, when he served as a member of the cabildo. As a descendant of one of the most prominent Canary Islander families, he was an outspoken defender of local prerogatives and became involved in the town’s complaint against Governor Antonio Cordero’s efforts to reduce the size of the cabildo. Despite Travieso’s reputation as troublesome to royal authorities, Governor Manuel Salcedo appointed him a roundup commissioner, and during the Casas Revolt he appears to have been in charge of San Antonio militia, although he was not singled out either as a supporter or opponent of the revolt. Such was not the case two years later, when Vicente served as a member of the governing junta set up by José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara following the Republican Army of the North’s capture of San Antonio and declaration of Texas independence (see GUTIÉRREZ-MAGEE EXPEDITION). Escaping capture after the August 18, 1813, battle of Medina, Vicente Travieso remained engaged in anti-royalist activity. According to Father Servando Teresa de Mier’s testimony, Travieso along with a handful of Tejanos joined Henry Perry and his men when the Americans abandoned Francisco Xavier Mina’s expedition at Soto La Marina and was killed in battle on June 19, 1817. In June 1820 his widow began efforts to recover some of the property confiscated from him as a rebel.