Texas is one of the most recognized and history filled states, due to its size and previous independence. This means that within its borders, it holds many heroes. Most Texas hero such as Stephen F. Austin or Davy Crockett are the most notable ones. Almost any major general involved in the Alamo got major recognition, except for one in particular. Juan Seguin played a major part in the development of Texas history, but has gone unnoticed due to his origins. Seguin was a hero not only on the battlefield, but on the political one as well.
Seguin first started his political career at a very young age. Although he may not have noticed it at the time, the activities he was involved in pushing him towards a life of politics.. He was born in San Antonio in 1806.He was born on a settlement ”the only settlement of any size in Texas” (Seguin,2018). Seguin didn’t actually have much time to go to school and get an education due to the fact she had to help take care of his family.
Although he never pursued it, he did have a strong passion for music growing up. Juan married María Abrigo at the age of 19 and they had children soon after that.Maria was from a wealthy family, so upon marrying her Seguin was able to start his public service career considerably early. Seguin Did his best to always stay relevant and involved in his community. He would help his mother run the post office, served in Congress, and eventually served as a political chief in 1823.
To his surprise, he was elected to be a political alderman in 1828. After Seguin fell ill, he was forced to retire from his position.
Seguin strayed from his political career and initiated his military career in 1835. Although it is not often spoken, Seguin had a large impact in the Texas Military and was highly respected by Stephen F. Austin himself. Austin soon made him Captain after he saw his impact in the Battle of Gonzales.. Although his company was the riser guard for Sam Houston after being sent out of the Alamo, they were also in charge of a major fall in 1835 . They were one of the first Tejano troops to fight in the battle of San Jacinto. Segin was finally promoted to commander after the Mexicans had surrendered. His military career was not as long as is political career due to the sudden ending to the war. After Seguin resigned, he went on to join the Texas Senate.
Seguin was one of the first Mexican representatives in the Texas Senate, despite that fact that Spanish was his first language and he only spoke broken English. His impact did not go unrecognized. ”In 1837 Seguín became the first Tejano to serve in the Republic of Texas Senate” (Augstyn,2018).He eventually gave his position to Antonio Canoles so he could resign .Missing home, he returned to San Antonio and became a mayor in his hometown. After being re-elected mayor, Seguin received a lot of racial backlash from Anglo-Americans, so he moved back to Mexico. Since Seguin went back to Mexico for 6 years before his return to Texas, he was seen as a traitor. There was a lot of talk going around and ”The Mexican government hardly welcomed Seguin with open arms.”( PBS,2018)Until he realized he needed to participate in the Mexican war to defend the Rio Grande, he had questioned going back.After the war ended, he decided to come back to Texas and he moved in with his father.Even though Seguin knew the consequences of his return, he decide to go back anyway.Shortly after his return, he decided to switch up his political career and become a judge. Seguín soon retired and moved to Nuevo Laredo. Here he died in 1890. The town he lived in was eventually renamed after him, “Seguin”.
In a time when racism was a common topic and practiced issue, Seguin was able to overcome and set an example .Seguín was a major influence and inspiration to Texas, but those who he really inspired were Mexican Texans. Seguin inspired many people with his lengthy resume. He was trustworthy, responsible, and well respected. . He also showed that anything is possible and you don’t need a substantial education to be successful.Many people knew Seguin had no formal education, yet he was able to hold so many high rankings.His musical career may not have taken off the way he wished, but I’m sure he had no idea he would become so important to the military and the government..He spread himself thin, participating in any area of politics that he could, “Seguin held many different positions. Seguín served his country in a number of political roles including Congressman and Senator, and as the Mayor of San Antonio.”( TSL,2017) His achievements paved the way for many more Mexican Americans to make their mark in Texas history. With the Seguíns level of respect and help in the revolution, he brought together the world of Anglo Americans and Tejanos. He influenced the government in trusting more people, despite their origin. Even in the state of high tension, due to the war Seguin was able to be seen as a loyal ally. If this does not set an example for Texas Government then I don’t know what does.
Juan Seguin was always put into a position of power throughout his life. He did his best to make the best decision for Texas and his people. Despite any racial backlash he received, Seguin prospered and always effectively did his job.With his presence in the Texas Government, he was able to pave the way for many more Mexican Americans. Through his legacy he was able to affect Texas politics forever. Due to his political upbringing, drive, and marriage; Seguin was able to make a name for himself. His name is recognized all over Texas through street signs and town names , although his legacy is not. Many people don’t know the true story behind Seguin, but hopefully they will come to receive knowledge of this Texas Hero.