The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 208
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Man and his Maps
The confusion over Sinchez's actual name began in 1938 when Carlos
Sinchez-Navarro y Pe6n published the officer's journal as La Guerra de Te-
jas: Memorias de un Soldado.2 Carlos was descended from Jos6 Melchor
S~nchez Navarro (1782-1836) four generations down the line. This fam-
ily owned practically all of Coahuila at the time of the Texas Revolution,
and Jos6 Melchor was our Jos6 Juan's first cousin, their fathers being
brothers. Jos6 Juan's father was Jos6 Antonio Sinchez Navarro and his
mother wasJuanaJosefa Estrada, making his correct family name Sinchez
Navarro y Estrada (father's full family name followed by mother's family
name). Sinchez Estrada is acceptable, as is Sanchez Navarro, but "Navar-
ro" by itself is unpardonable. Although he would refer to himself in doc-
uments in his military service records and in the Bxar Archives and the
Benson Latin American Collection (BLAC), as Sinchez, Sanchez Navar-
ro, or Sanchez Estrada, we have yet to find him signing a document with
anything more than "Sanchez." Perhaps in his era it was unnecessary, as
everyone in Coahuila knew that members of this extensive and very rich
clan were Sinchez Navarros whether they went by "Sanchez" or not.4
So how do we give his name? Much needless confusion would end if we
called him "Sanchez," the same way he signed his name. This man had
too many talents and lived an eventful life on the frontiers of Texas too
many years for Alamo specialists to garble his name as they have in the
past. Since his rank shifted from captain to colonel to general over the
years, and it will be confusing for writers to refer to him variously as
Sinchez Navarro and Sanchez Estrada in future works, why not simplify
the issue by calling him Sefior Sinchez?
The Alamo Vista that is the cause of much of this confusion was first
made available to the general public in 1913 thanks to Henry R. Wagner,
2 Sinchez-Navarro (ed ), La Guerra de Tejas. Captain Sinchez's journal entries run from pp. 91
through 158 Huneycutt, At the Alamo, p. iii, states that he used the second edition for his transla-
tion "which unlike the Ist, included an appendix with more details about the Alamo." It appears
that Huneycutt was refernng to the edition issued in 196o by EditonalJus, but there is no appen-
dix and no additional battle insights by Sinchez therein, only a few notes scattered here and
there from unnamed sources. The later edition lacks the Alamo Vista and plan found in the first
printing. Editor Sinchez-Navarro (p. 85 in the first edition, p. 45 in the second) says his pub-
hshed account was taken from a book of "cuentas de la Ayudantia"-the ledger books now at the
Center for American History (CAH) at the University of Texas at Austin.
" General of Brigade Jose Juan Sanchez, Cancelados section of the Archivo Hist6rico of the
Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional (cited hereafter as AHSDN) XI/111/2-357. This collection of
documents (53 fojas) refers to him variously as "Sanchez" and "Sinchez Navarro," but his signa-
ture on several letters is consistent with how he signed himself elsewhere-"Jose Juan Sanchez,"
with his distinctive rubric.
4 In addition to his christening record in the Sagrario Metropohtano (Cathedral), Saltillo, see
the Fondo Testamentos in the Archivo Hist6rico de Saltillo (Municipal Archives). On Aug. 24,
1819, for example, JuanaJosefa de Estrada, widow ofJos6 Antonio Sinchez Navarro, gave her
sonJoseJuan Sinchez Navarro power to administer three days of water at the Hacienda de Santa
Anna de los Valdes. Born in 1793, he would have been 26 years old at the time.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/238/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.