University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Jóse Antonio Menchaca Reminiscences, 1807-1836.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Menchaca, Jóse Antonio
Title: Menchaca, Jóse Antonio, Reminiscences
Dates: 1807-1836
Abstract: The José Antonio Menchaca Reminiscences, 1807-1836, contains six volumes of Menchaca’s unpublished memoirs. These volumes relate to Menchaca's experiences as a soldier during the Battle of San Antonio and during the development of San Antonio. The memoirs concern military, political, and social affairs in Texas.
Accession No.: 1951
Extent: 6 vols.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in San Antonio to Juan Mariano and María Luz (Guerra) Menchaca, Texas, José Antonio Menchaca (1800-1879) fought as a Tejano officer during the Texas Revolution. Before his marriage to Teresa Ramón, the mother of his four children, in 1836 he also fought in several of Mexico’s battles for independence from Spain. Granted amnesty by General Santa Anna at the Alamo, Menchaca left before the battle and later entered the Texan Army. In the army, Menchaca, a captain, gained renown at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 with Juan N. Seguín’s company of Texas Mexicans. He returned to San Antonio afterward, where he was active during its development as an alderman and mayor pro tem in July 1838. In September 1842, under the leadership of General Adrián Woll he was injured while defending San Antonio against an invasion by the Mexican Army. Soon after being taken prisoner in a skirmish, Menchaca was released under the condition that he end his career as a Texas soldier. Menchaca never served in the military again. Later, Menchaca became an honored member of the Texas Veterans. Around 1870, he became an activist on behalf of the Tejano population, often testifying in court for members of the community. The town of Menchaca in Travis County, Texas, is named in his honor.


Coalson, George O. "Menchaca, Jose Antonio (1800-79),"Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.

Matovina, Timothy"José Antonio Menchaca: Narrating a Tejano Life, " in Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas, edited by Jesús de la Teja, 171-192.

Scope and Contents

The José Antonio Menchaca Reminiscences, 1807-1836, contains Menchaca’s unpublished memoir dictated to newspaper reporter Charles M. Barnes when Menchaca was 76 years old. In these volumes, Menchaca describes his imprisonment by the Spanish during San Antonio’s rebellion in the Texas Revolution, the Battle of San Jacinto, and includes other accounts of his military and personal accomplishments during and after the Texas Revolution. The memoir also focuses on Menchaca’s perceptions of Tejano culture and legacy.


This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Burleson, Edward, -- 1789-1851
Bowie, James, -- d. 1836
Crockett, Davy, -- 1786-1836
Houston, Sam, --1793-1863
Menchaca, Antonio, 1800-1879--Archives
Newcomb, James P. -- (James Pearson), -- 1837-1907
Santa Anna, Antonio López de, -- 1794?-1876
Seguín, Juan Nepomuceno, --1806-1890
Mexican American leadership -- Texas -- History -- 19th century
Mexican Americans -- Texas -- History -- 19th century
Alamo (San Antonio, Tex.) -- Seige, 1836
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836
Texas -- History -- To 1846
Texas -- History, Military
Texas -- Politics and government -- To 1846

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jóse Antonio Menchaca Reminiscences, 1807-1836, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2F32 Memoirs
2R115 Memoirs, 1807-1836