Texas Talks with Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm: Patricia de Leon's Legal Battles and Legacy

Dr. Crimm discusses Patricia's legacy. During the Texas Revolution, General Rusk moved many Mexican families from the de Leon colony in an attempt to prevent them from aiding the Mexican government. During this instability, Patricia decided to move her family to New Orleans which she sold her ranch property to do. By 1845, Patricia returned to Texas and her children scattered. Many became involved in court battles. Many Mexicans lost land during this period as Anglo squatters came in and took over. However, Patricia fought back and hired Anglo lawyers so that she could keep what was left of her family's land. She was willing to use the Anglo system to regain her land. In her will, she left land, cattle, and mortgages to her daughters. She also donated land to create a Catholic Church in Victoria. Patricia owned property, sued, held mortgages, and handled business in her own name. This was all allowed under Mexican law and the world she lived in, which she used to defend herself.
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Texas State Historical Association

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