The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 322
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Zaorczo de Zavala and the rexas
ON a July morning in 1835 the San Felipe, outward bound
from New Orleans since the 7th, hove to off the bar at
Velasco. From among its passengers a small, dark-com-
plexioned individual in his mid-forties and distinguished of mien
made his way ashore at Quintana.' By this act the unannounced
newcomer became the object of one of the greatest manhunts in
Texas history, rivalling that for La Salle and some of the more
recent efforts of the Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investi-
gation. This July visitor was no ordinary arrival on the Texas
scene. From tyranny he was in flight, and to Texas he had turned
for refuge; here he was to spend the few remaining months deeded
to his existence. The polished manners, dark complexion, and
foreign tongue were never to endear him to the rank and file of
the Anglo-Saxon settlers who had preceded him, but his knowl-
edge, experience, and ability were to render him almost indis-
pensable to the founding fathers who in the succeeding sixteen
months were to foment, foster, fight, and win a revolution and,
in consequence thereof, create and establish an independent re-
public. But for better or for worse, Lorenzo de Zavala, late Mex-
ican minister plenipotentiary to the court of Louis Philippe,2 had
cast his lot in Texas.
Proud descendant of ancient Spanish forebears long resident in
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article, first read during the Association's 1952 meeting, is
based in large measure on the author's Lorenzo de Zavala: Profeta del Liberalismo
Mexicano (Mexico City: Librerta de Manuel Porrua, 1952).
'Francisco Pizarro Martinez to Jos6 Maria Ortiz Monasterio, New Orleans, August
g, 1835 (MS., Archivo General de la Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Mexico),
Sec. 3, Caja 1, Exp. 3516; The Bee (New Orleans), July 8, 1835; New Orleans
Price Current and Commercial Intelligencer, July 11, 1835. Zavala may have arrived
at the mouth of the Brazos by the loth; vessels sometimes completed the voyage in
2Zavala departed from Mexico City on November 30o, 1833, and officially pre-
sented his credentials to the French king on April 26, 1834. He submitted his
resignation to Santa Anna in a letter of August go, 1834, but did not take leave of
the king until March 25, 1835, after the arrival of his successor.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/401/?rotate=90: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.