José Félix Trespalacios, governor of Texas, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico, was a member of the Chihuahua militia from 1810 to 1814, when he was tried for conspiracy to provoke a rebellion in the Provincias Internas and was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to ten years in the presidio at Ceuta. In San Luis Potosí on the way to Mexico City, he escaped and joined rebels under Sebastian Gonzáles. In a battle with royalist forces Trespalacios was captured and put in the fortress at San Juan de Ulloa with the officers of the Francisco Xavier Mina expedition. Again Trespalacios escaped. He went to New Orleans, where with the aid of local merchants he organized an expedition to aid the Mexican independence movement and joined forces with James Long, becoming nominal commander of the Long expedition. He followed Long to Texas in November 1820 and subsequently went to Mexico with Benjamin Rush Milam to attempt to combine efforts with Agustín de Iturbide. Trespalacios landed at Campeche, declared for the Plan of Iguala, was imprisoned and later released by the Iturbide government, and late in 1821 helped secure the release of Long and members of his party. Trespalacios was named colonel of cavalry by the regency and was appointed governor of Texas by Iturbide, serving from August 17, 1822 until his resignation on April 17, 1823. Under his administration Stephen F. Austin's Texas colony was divided into the Colorado and Brazos districts. Trespalacios was senator from Chihuahua to the Mexican National Congress from January 10, 1831, to December 1, 1833, and served as commandant general and inspector of Chihuahua from January 10, 1833, until his retirement from the army on December 15, 1834. He died at Allende, Chihuahua, on August 4, 1835.
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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). Eugene C. Barker, "The Government of Austin's Colony, 1821–1831," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (January 1918). Carlos E. Castañeda, "Juan N. Almonte's Statistical Report on Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 28 (January 1925). Lois A. Garver, "Benjamin Rush Milam," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 38 (October 1934, January 1935).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Trespalacios, José Félix,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 12, 2020
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