Lorenzo De Zavala in Texas
LORENZO DE ZAVALA IN TEXAS*
W. S. CLEAVES
Much has been written and more has been said about the Anglo-
American leaders of the Texas Revolution, but little or no attention
has been given, generally speaking, to the part which Mexicans-
Texas born or otherwise-played in the early stages of the heroic
struggle that was to result in the creation of an independent re-
public destined to become a state of the American Union. Of the
numerous picturesque characters that played an important role in
this grim drama of life and death no one deserves more to be
remembered than Lorenzo de Zavala. It is difficult to conceive
today the full extent of the influence exercised at that time by his
dominating personality and his ardent zeal for personal rights.
Generally recognized by Mexican historians as a misguided
genius, often accused of having allowed his personal views and
political interests to betray his mother country, this man who from
the earliest years was an ardent defender of liberty and a thorough-
bred liberal, espoused the Texas cause with an enthusiasm equal
to that of the most patriotic advocate of Texas Independence.
What has been his reward? A passing mention in our histories
and a general tendency to minimize his real significance on the
part of Texas historians.
In his own country his name is associated with treachery; in
Texas few remember him and those who know his name can tell
but little as to the part he played in the short but dynamic period
of the birth of Texas.
To understand the part he played in the Texas Revolution it is
necessary to take a hurried look at his career before he left his
Lorenzo de Zavala was born in the little village of Tecoh, near
M6rida, the seat of the Comandancia-General of Yucatan, in the
year 1788. Being a member of a distinguished family of moderate
means, he was given the best education that the rather isolated
province afforded. He attended the boarding-school of the Francis-
*This sketch of Zavala, read at the meeting of the Texas State Historical
Association in April, 1932, is condensed from the writer's M. A. thesis,
prepared at the University of Texas in 1931.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/. Accessed January 25, 2015.