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Land! : Irish Pioneers in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas - Graham Davis


Irish Pioneers in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas

Hardcover Published: 19th July 2002
ISBN: 9781585441891
Number Of Pages: 320

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The only successful European impresarios in mid-nineteenth century Mexican Texas—men authorized to bring immigrants to settle the vast spaces of Mexico's northern territories—were Irish. On their land grants, Irish settlers founded Refugio and San Patricio and went on to take active roles in the economic and political development of Texas. It required a hardy spirit and strong ambition to weather the perils that accompanied these opportunities—the long journey, shipwrecks, hostile Indians, injury and disease—and Irish pioneers proved fit for the task. They were not seeking relief from famine or English oppression in their own country. These were vigorous, strong-willed people who possessed the monetary means to remove themselves from their insular surroundings. What they were seeking, and what they obtained, was land.

Graham Davis tells this Irish-Texan story of the search for land by recounting the experiences of the original empresarios John McMullen, James McGloin, James Power, and James Hewetson, and he finishes the book with an impressive description of the ranching empire of Power's nephew, Thomas O'Connor. In between, he examines the marriages, commercial contacts, political alliances, and language ties that "Mexicanized" these successful entrepreneurs. Living in the heart of the war zone, some of the Irish settlers fought for independence while others remained loyal to the Mexican government that had made them citizens and given them land.

Davis offers a vivid picture of the hardships of pioneer life and the building of communities, churches, and schools. He describes how Irish ranchers had the opportunity to thrive after the annexation of Texas and emphasizes their willing acceptance of Mexican ranching methods. He makes a convincing case that the Irish came to Texas not as victims but as entrepreneurs and opportunists in search of land.

List of Illustrationsp. viii
List of Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. x
Introductionp. 3
The Province of Texas in Newly Independent Mexicop. 9
The Context of Emigration: Prefamine Irelandp. 39
Irish Recruitment and the Settlements of San Patricio and Refugiop. 72
The Irish and the Texas Revolution, 1835-36p. 106
The Life of Pioneer Settlers in Texasp. 154
Ranching Culture and the Texas Cattle King: Thomas O'Connor of Refugio Countyp. 195
Conclusionp. 237
Passenger Listsp. 241
Land Grantees in San Patricio and Refugiop. 247
Signers of the Goliad Declaration of Independencep. 255
Irish Colonists in the Texan Armiesp. 256
Notesp. 259
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781585441891
ISBN-10: 1585441899
Series: Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 19th July 2002
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.65