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Vásquez, Ráfael (1804–1854)

Biography Entry

Ráfael Vásquez, Mexican general, was born in Mexico City in 1804. He began his career a captain of patriots of the Hacienda de Ciénega de Mata on February 20, 1827. A commander of the Mexican centralist forces, he was appointed brevet brigadier general in 1839. Later he sought to draw a force of Texans and Mexicans serving with Antonio Canales Rosillo in the Republic of the Rio Grande into ambush near Saltillo. In spite of treachery the federalists under Col. Samuel W. Jordan routed the centralists forces who fled into Saltillo, leaving their cannon. On March 5, 1842, Vásquez occupied San Antonio with approximately 700 men. The Texans, not being strong enough to hold the town, evacuated without a fight when Vásquez demanded its surrender. He took San Antonio, raised the Mexican flag, and declared Mexican laws in force. Vásquez departed on March 7 and crossed the Rio Grande back into Mexico; his invasion was regarded as a plundering or guerrilla party and was one of the events leading to the Somervell and Mier expeditions. Vásquez was commandant general of the state of Jalisco from 1851 to 1852. He died in Mexico City on March 9, 1854.

Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols., San Francisco: History Company, 1886, 1889). George B. Erath, "The Memoirs of George B. Erath, 1813–1891," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 26–27 (January-October 1923; rpts., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1923; Waco: Heritage Society of Waco, 1956). Sam W. Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune: The Somervell and Mier Expeditions (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Military

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas

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

Anonymous, “Vásquez, Ráfael,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 5, 2020

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