In 1888 Pablo Cruz founded El Regidor [LCCN: sn84045523], a weekly Spanish-language newspaper, with Cruz serving as both publisher and editor. El Regidor reported on issues concerning Tejano people in San Antonio, giving first-person, eyewitness accounts of Texas politics. In his editorials, Cruz detailed the Mexican immigrant’s struggle to obtain United States citizenship. Cruz, himself a naturalized Mexican immigrant, used El Regidor as a platform to publicize his social and political goals for the Mexican immigrant community.

In 1893 El Regidor measured 13 inches by 20 inches, typically published four-page issues, and aligned itself with the agrarian populist People’s Party. The Party’s support of small landowners and opposition to centralization of power resonated with Cruz and his immigrant readers. However, following the Party’s attempts to limit the voting rights of Mexican immigrants in Texas, which culminated in the pivotal civil rights case In Re Ricardo Rodríguez (1897), Cruz abandoned the Populist movement. El Regidor remained independent until 1906 when it declared itself to be Republican. Its circulation grew from a modest 1,200 in 1896 to nearly 10,000 at the end of its run in 1915. The paper included national and international newswires, focusing on the politics of Mexico in particular. The last page of every issue from 1904 to 1915 is dominated by advertising for medicines and local merchants.

Cruz used his paper to voice discontent with those who questioned and violated civil rights of barrio residents by encouraging them to unite against behavior such as educational segregation of children of Mexican ancestry. In 1901, Cruz started a campaign through El Regidor to raise funds for the defense of Gregorio Cortez, a Mexican man charged with the murder of Sheriff Morris of Karnes County. Cruz, convinced the murder of Sheriff Morris was justified, advocated for Cortez in the pages of El Regidor. The campaign was a success – funds were allocated to hire Judge B. R. Abernethy of Gonzalez and Samuel Belden of San Antonio to conduct the defense and Cortez was eventually pardoned in 1913.

Cruz died in 1910. His wife, Zuelma P. de Cruz, edited and published the paper, suspending publication in 1915. After Cruz’s death, El Regidor’s masthead still credited “Fundador, Pablo Cruz.” Col. Francisco A. Chapa, who published El Imparcial [LCCN: sn83045325], took Cruz’s place as an activist in the community, particularly in the effort to defend Gregorio Cortez. Cruz’s son, Pablo Cruz, II, was a founding member of a Mexican American fraternal organization that eventually organized as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

At a Glance

Cite This Collection

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El Regidor in The Portal to Texas History. University of North Texas Libraries. https://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/ERGDR/ accessed June 16, 2021.

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