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Tuesday, June 06, 2006 

Untold History

Does anyone know who these people are and why they should be important people to know?
  • Bernardo de Galvez;
  • Francisco de Miranda;
  • Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo;
  • Santos Benavides;
  • Juan Cortina;
  • Adrián J. Vidal and "Vidal's Independent Partisan Rangers; and
  • Federico Fernandez Cavada
If you can't, don't feel bad because you are not alone according to a study from the Fordham Institute.
A new Fordham Institute study says two-thirds of the states don’t make the grade when it comes to standards for instruction in world history, but states received their lowest marks for weak or non-existent standards for the teaching of the history and culture of Latin America and Mexico.
The names I listed have contributed in the shaping of America while they were citizens of Mexico or a Latin American country.

The Houston Chronicle that the same study reported that ranks Texas number 4 among the four border states when it comes to teaching Latin American and Mexican history.

Fordham's The State of State World History Standards 2006, found that thirty states would receive a grade of a D or F grades for not addressing a history of other countries in the Western Hemisphere, and have "significant gaps or shortcomings" in their approaches.
Nonetheless, on a scale of "zero" to "10," four states (Alaska, Idaho, Missouri and Montana) received a grade of "zero" for maintaining standards that pay only "superficial or cursory attention" to Mexico and the Western Hemisphere. Another 30 states – including Hispanic population centers like Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada and Texas – received grades of "2" through "5" for standards that address Mexico and Latin America, but with “significant gaps or shortcomings” in their approaches.

On a brighter note, Arizona, California, New Mexico and twelve other states received scores of "6" through "10" for standards that "propose a coherent and thorough approach" to the history of Mexico and Latin America. Even those states drew criticism, however, for not requiring students to study world history. No state requires that students be tested in it before being advanced to the next grade, the report says.
It is sad when our future generations are taught that Alamo was about land squatters versus the evil Mexicans. Or leaving out important figures who helped in very significant ways or omitting important facts.

Answers to the people listed above which I mentioned in a pervious post I did on my blog, Memorial Day Observance.

Bernardo de Galvez - From 1775-77, de Galvez provided rations and weapons to the Continental Army. In 1777, he arranged safe passage for James Willing, an American agent of the Continental Congress, who had led a successful campaign along the Mississippi harassing British shipping, plantation owners and military outpost. Before Spain entered the American Revolutionary War, Gálvez did much to aid the American patriots. He corresponded directly with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Henry Lee, personally received their emissaries, Oliver Pollock and Capt. George Gibson, and responded to their pleas by securing the port of New Orleans so that only American, Spanish, and French ships could move up and down the Mississippi River. Over the river, a veritable lifeline, great amounts of arms, ammunition, military supplies, and money were delivered to the embattled American forces under George Washington and George Rogers Clark. Spain formally declared war against Great Britain on June 21, 1779, and King Carlos III commissioned Gálvez to raise a force of men and conduct a campaign against the British along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast....After the fighting, Gálvez helped draft the terms of treaty that ended the war, and he was cited by the American Congress for his aid during the conflict. Gálvez also organized a militia of Native- Americans, freed African-Americans and his own Spanish regular soldiers to attack British held forts at Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. A year later, he engaged the British at Mobile, Alabama and a year after that at Pensacola, in western Florida. In each case, de Galvez was able to force the British from their entrenchments and freed these cities. The largest bay on the Texas coast is named after him as well as an island. The bay was called Bahía de Galvezton, which was later called Galveston.

Francisco de Miranda - de Miranda fought in the siege and surrender of Pensacola, and later in the Spanish capture of the Bahamas, which he negotiated as the official representative of the governor of Cuba. While in Cuba, de Miranda played a role in obtaining supplies for the French Admiral de Grasse who then sailed to the Chesapeake Bay to assist the Americans to capture Yorktown, Virginia.

Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo - Born in 1808 to an upper class family in California Mexican. Vellejo helped the US win California from Mexico. Vallejo was extremely critical of much of Mexican upper class society and government. Much to the horror of his family, at age twenty-three he had been unofficially excommunicated from the Catholic Church for his refusal to turn over banned books to a local priest. He consistently identified with Mexican liberals, who stressed the rule of law and an efficient government with constitutionally limited powers, separate from religious authority. Like many other Mexican liberals, he saw the United States as something of a model form of government. Accordingly, in 1836 he supported a short-lived rebellion led by his nephew, Juan Batista Alvarado, that led to the proclamation of California as a "free state."

Given his attraction to the United States, Vallejo's treatment at the hands of American rebels in 1846 came as a rude shock. General John C. Fremont, the leader of the so-called "Bear Flag Rebellion," imprisoned Vallejo and his younger brother at Sutter's Fort for two months without filing any formal charges. The city of Vallejo, CA, was named in his honor, a vineyard produces wines with his name, and in 1965, the U.S. Navy commissioned the nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine USS MG Vallejo, one of "the forty-one for freedom," in honor of this distinguished Hispanic.

Santos Benavides - he was highest ranking Tejano to serve the Confederacy. The Confederacy ill equipped Benavides, which also meant he was frequently without food. He was also forced to march across vast expanses of South Texas and northern Mexico. Benavides was joined with his two brothers, Refugio and Cristóbal, who both became captains in the regiment. He was one of the last to surrender.

Juan Cortina - "Robin Hood of the Rio Grande" he aided the Union Army during the Civil War. Before that on July 13, 1859, in Brownsville, Cortina witnessed an Anglo city marshal pistol-whipping one of his former family employees. Outraged, Cortina demanded that the marshal stop abusing the Mexican, and when the marshal refused, Cortina shot him in the shoulder, took his former servant up onto his horse, and fled with him to safety. Cortina aided Benito Juarez and other Mexican nationalists against French intervention.

Adrián J. Vidal and "Vidal's Independent Partisan Rangers - soldier in both the Confederate and Union armies. Vidal acted as the eyes of the Union Army in the Valley. After switching sides, Vidal and his men were able to get through Brownsville, where he and his men plundered neighboring ranches and killing several Confederate sympathizers. Vidal was enlisted in the Union Army along with many of his men who served with him in the Confederate Army. But even in the Union Army, he and his men were faced with discrimination so he and his men had fled into Mexico to help Cortina.

Federico Fernandez Cavada - Cavada, a Cuban-born Unionist fought in in the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg and was later caught and sent Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. After the war, Cavada went back to Cuba to fight in Cuba's 10-Year War which he attained the rank of general.

When Hispanics talk about having their land taken from them, many are not talk about the war between the US and Mexico. Many are talking about after the war. For example, I was looking into my families history since trying to figure what part of Mexico where my grandparents were from or where they orginally from Texas when it was part of Mexico.

After Texas' independence, the Anglos never considered the Hispanics who were in Texas as being citizens of Texas and continued to call them Mexicans. In my research into my families past, I found out that I am related to Colonel Antonio Zapata.
Antonio Zapata, military leader and wealthy ranchero, was born around 1800 in Guerrero, Tamaulipas, and spent the early part of his life as a sheepherder. He eventually made a fortune as a ranchero. Zapata served as juez in Guerrero and distinguished himself as a militia officer against Comanche and Lipan raiders. ... He joined with other northern leaders in armed resistance to Antonio López de Santa Anna's Centralist subversion of the Mexican Constitution of 1824. Commissioned a colonel, he fought for the Federalist cause under the command of Antonio Canales Rosillo. ... In 1838 he became a major leader in an insurrection that organized at Guerrero against the Mexican Centralist government. He participated in various military campaigns and served against Centralist forces.
So this would mean that on my mothers side of the family, they were orginally from Texas. However, after Texas' independence, Zapata lost a large majority of his land to the gringos. From the Handbook of Texas:
During the Texas Revolution foreign merchants closed their trading houses in northern Mexico, Zapata's properties were looted, and he took some $70,000 in losses, yet he remained financially solvent.
What is never mentioned in the history books is how many Mexicans lost their land, we are made to believe that my relatives gladly gave up their land and people like me have no right to make claims that the land was stolen.

It is time to take down the Matrix of fabricated lies.


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  • I'm XicanoPwr
  • From Tejas, United States
  • Un Xicano who is tired of the current status quo.
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