The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 24
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Company under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Francisco
Ruiz, a native of B6xar.
The Ruiz expedition set out from Bexar on June 25, 183o,4 and
reached the banks of the Brazos on July 13. It consisted of loo
men, 12 pack loads of supplies, 3 yokes of oxen, and a new oxcart.
In the cart were a blacksmith's forge, a cannon, and the accom-
panying ammunition. Colonel Ruiz established temporary head-
quarters on the east bank of the Brazos about half a mile below
the Bexar-Nacogdoches Road.5
On July 16, 183o, General Mier y Terin named the new post
"Tenoxtitlan."6 There was no written accent on the a, so, accord-
ing to the modern Spanish rules of pronunciation, the word would
be stressed on the next-to-last syllable: Te-nox-ti-tlan. That was
the original Indian word used to describe Mexico City when it
was founded about the year 1 300, for the Indians had been told
to wander until they found an eagle perched on a prickly pear
devouring a serpent. When they did, they called the site Tenoch-
titldn, or "Prickly Pear Place." In the documents describing the
conquest of Mexico from 1519 to 1521, the word frequently
appears spelled Tenochtitlan, with an accent on the a, and there-
fore would have been pronounced Te-noch-ti-tldn, with the main
stress on the last syllable, and a secondary stress on noch. Colonel
Ruiz liked the name so well that he had it repeated to his troops
on three successive days.'
The Mexicans at the post probably pronounced it Te-noch-ti-
tldn, but, when the Anglo-American settlers arrived from the
United States, they had a tendency to move the stressed syllable
back toward the beginning of words. Thus they called it Ten-ock-
ti-tlan, and the place where the road crossed the river became
known as "the old Tenock Crossing."8
EManuel de Mier y Terdn to Antonio Elosda, April 24, 183o (MS., Spanish
Archives, General Land Office, Austin), Vol. 53, pp. 126-126 verso. See also "Tenox-
titlan," Texas Gazette (San Felipe de Austin), June 26, 183o.
*Elosda to Mier y Terfn, June 28, 183o (MS., B6xar Archives, Archives, University
of Texas Library).
Severo Ruiz to Elosta, July 18, 1830, ibid.
6Mier y Terin to Elosta, July 16, 183o (MS., Spanish Archives, General Land
Office, Austin), Vol. 53, p. 129.
'Francisco Ruiz to Elosta, August 7, 1830 (MS., Bexar Archives, Archives, Uni-
versity of Texas Library).
8Mrs. Jud Collier to M. D. M., interview, April 20o, 1963. Mrs. Collier's father-in-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/38/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.