Juan Seguín

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Juan Seguín
Juan seguin.jpg
Republic of Texas Senator from Bexar District
In office
December 5, 1837 – February 5, 1840
Preceded byThomas Jefferson Green
Succeeded byWilliam H. Daingerfield
101st and 110th Mayor of San Antonio
In office
Preceded byMiguel Arciniega
Succeeded byJosé Ángel Navarro
In office
Preceded byJohn William Smith
Succeeded byFrancis Guilbeau
Member of the San Antonio City Council
In office
Justice of the Peace of Bexar County, Texas
In office
County Judge of Wilson County, Texas
In office
Personal details
Juan Nepomuceno Seguín

(1806-10-27)27 October 1806
San Antonio de Béjar, Province of Texas, Viceroyalty of New Spain
(now Texas, U.S.)
Died27 August 1890(1890-08-27) (aged 83)
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Political partyDemocratic Party
María Gertrudis Flores de Abrego
(m. 1825)
Military service
AllegianceTexas Republic of Texas
Bandera Histórica de la República Mexicana (1824-1918).svg Mexico
Branch/serviceTexas Texian Army
Army of the Republic of Texas
Bandera Histórica de la República Mexicana (1824-1918).svg Mexican Army (Mexican-American War)
Years of service1835–1836, 1836–1842
1846-48 (Mexico)
UnitTexian volunteer and regular army
Battles/warsTexas Revolution
Juan Seguin's "Rancheros" Volunteers
Flag of Coahuila y Tejas.svg
Flag used by Juan Seguin's Volunteers during the Siege of the Alamo
CountryRepublic of Texas
AllegianceRepublic of Texas
Typevolunteers (militia)
Rolecavalry, infantry
Part ofTexian Army
EngagementsTexas Revolution
Stephen F. Austin
Sam Houston
Juan Seguín
William Travis 
James Bowie 
Davy Crockett 

Juan Nepomuceno Seguín (October 27, 1806 – August 27, 1890) was a Spanish-Tejano political and military figure of the Texas Revolution who helped to establish the independence of Texas. Numerous places and institutions are named in his honor, including the county seat of Seguin in Guadalupe County, the Juan N. Seguin Memorial Interchange in Houston, Juan Seguin Monument in Seguin, World War II Liberty Ship SS Juan N. Seguin, Seguin High School in Arlington.

Early life[edit]

Juan Nepomuceno Seguin was born on October 27, 1806, in San Antonio de Bexar, Province of Texas, Viceroyalty of New Spain, to Juan José María Erasmo Seguin and Maria Josefa Becerra (Spaniards from the Canary Islands). As the son of a postal administrator, he would help his mother in business, while his father was one of the drafting rapporteurs for the Mexican Constitution of 1824. In 1825, Seguin married María Gertrudis Flores de Abrego. They had ten children. He was elected an alderman in December, 1828 and served on numerous electoral boards before becoming the San Antonio alcalde (mayor) in December 1833. He then served as political chief of Bexar in 1834, when the previous chief became ill. In 1835, he led a relief force to Monclova, when the Federalist Governor appealed for help.[1]

Texas Revolution[edit]

As a teenager in Mexico, he had a strong interest in politics. While Antonio López de Santa Anna repealed the Mexican Constitution of 1824, Seguín was very critical of his contemporary Mexican leader. Years later Seguín gladly joined the Texas Revolution to rid the area of Santa Anna's rule.[2] In 1835–1836, Seguín recruited and commanded troops for the Texian Army.[3][Note 1] He was commissioned a captain by Stephen F. Austin in October 1835[4] and was tasked with supplying the Texian troops with food and provisions.[5] Seguín sent out scouting parties to the Missions of San Antonio in search of a suitable base camp for the Texians [6] and participated in the early successful Battle of Concepcion.[7]

Martín Perfecto de Cos was appointed as military governor over Texas by his brother-in-law Antonio López de Santa Anna, and established his headquarters in San Antonio on October 9, 1835.[8] Upwards of 160 rancheros (Mexican ranch owners) and other Tejanos under Seguín, José Carbajal, Plácido Benavides, Salvador Flores and Manuel Leal joined Austin and approximately 400 Texians at the Siege of Béxar.[9][10][11] After a two-month battle, Cos surrendered on December 9.[12]

In January 1836, Seguín was commissioned as a captain in the regular Texas army.[Note 2] Upon the return of Santa Anna's army, Seguín joined William B. Travis on February 23, in the Battle of the Alamo.[13] Although serving at the Alamo during the thirteen-day siege, he did not actually participate in the final battle of the Alamo.[14] He was chosen to carry the Alamo message through enemy lines,[15] that the Texans "shall never surrender or retreat." Seguín got that message through to the other soldiers on the Texian side.[14] He then returned with men to reinforce the Alamo, but it had already fallen to Santa Anna's army.[16]

Juan Seguin's Volunteers were Texas Tejano Mexican ranch owners or "Rancheros" who joined the Texian Army to fight Mexico in the Texas Revolution of 1835–1836.

After the Alamo, he re-formed cavalry companies at Gonzales and acted as the rear guard, providing protection for fleeing Texas families during the Runaway Scrape.[17] His company, with Captain Moseley Baker's company, blocked the Mexican army from crossing the Brazos River, preventing them from overtaking the Texians.[13] His cavalry command, participating as infantry with Sherman's company, fought in the victorious Battle of San Jacinto.[18][19] In May 1836, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.[20] On June 4, as a representative of the Republic of Texas, he accepted the formal surrender of the Mexican forces in the Alamo.

Life under the Republic of Texas[edit]

After Texas became a Republic, he was the head of the San Antonio military, commanding a force to defend the western frontier.[21] Texas army Brigadier General Felix Huston ordered Seguín in early 1837 to arrange for burial of the Alamo defenders' remains that had been left where they were burned. Ashes were identified and collected at three unrecorded sites. Prior to the February 25 funeral, the casket lay in "the parish church". An account provided by Seguin, in the March 28, 1837 issue of the Telegraph and Texas Register, states they were buried where the majority of ashes had been found, but was not specific about the location.[22] He told historian Reuben Potter in 1861 that the site was in a peach orchard near the mission. Twenty-eight years later in correspondence with Hamilton P. Bee, Seguín remembered placing the remains in a tomb inside the "Cathedral of San Antonio".[23] Remains believed to be those of the Alamo defenders were discovered at the Cathedral of San Fernando in 1936, the battle's centennial. Time had decayed their original container, and they were re-interred in a marble sarcophagus. Purported to hold the ashes of Travis, Bowie and Crockett, some have doubted it can be proven whose remains are actually entombed there.[23]

Seguín was elected as a Texas Senator from 1837 to 1840 and worked closely with Congressman José Antonio Navarro to ensure legislation that would be in the best interest of the citizenry of Texas, who were quickly becoming the political minority. In 1839, Seguín, captain of a Texas force of about fifty-four men, again protected the colonists in the Henry Karnes campaign against the hostile Comanche Indians.[24] In 1839, at a town thirty miles east of San Antonio, he was honored by parade and celebration; that newly named town would now bear his own name, Seguin. In 1840, he resigned his congressional seat in order to join a controversial campaign against the Centralist government in Mexico City.[25] He became mayor of San Antonio in 1841.

Texas became flooded with adventurous and land-hungry North Americans who were unfamiliar with the native Texans' history[26] and their loyal support of Texas.[27] Seguin's leadership and loyalty was challenged by these newcomers.[28] Refusing to burn San Antonio to the ground by order of the new head of the Texas military was just the beginning.[13]

In 1842, San Antonio was overrun by Santa Anna's forces. During March 1842, Colonel Seguin and the citizens of San Antonio sought refuge at Manuel Flores' Ranch in the city of Seguin, Texas.[29] A counterattack was planned, and even though Seguín pursued the army of Ráfael Vásquez, chasing them from Texas,[30] he was deemed to be to blame for the attack.[31]

Seguín resigned from office in April, due to threats on his life.[32] Opposition to his defense of Texas rights, adversities, and false charges that he was aiding the Mexican army proved too much to bear. He fled to Mexico to "seek refuge amongst my enemies," where he was captured, arrested and coerced to enlist in the Mexican army as a staff officer. He returned to San Antonio with the opposition army of Adrian Woll[32] in September 1842 and later served under Santa Anna in the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848.

Later life[edit]

In February 1848, Seguín requested permission to return to Texas. By the year's end, he had returned,[33] building a home[34] in 1852; adjacent to his father Erasmo Seguín's house, and ranching in Floresville, Texas.[28] He was elected to two terms as Justice of the Peace of Bexar County in 1852 and 1854, and became a founding father of the Democratic Party in Bexar county.[35] In 1858, he published his life memoirs. Seguín served as County Judge in Wilson County in 1869. However, business dealings occasionally took him back to Mexico, and in around 1883 he settled in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, to be near his son Santiago, who was mayor. He died there on August 27, 1890. His remains were returned to Texas in 1974 and as part of the nation's Bicentennial celebration were reinterred in his namesake town, Seguin,[36] during ceremonies on July 4, 1976. A large monument, depicting him on horseback waving his saber, now honors his service to Texas, in the downtown Seguin Central Park.[37]


A statue of Juan Seguín in the City of Seguin.

In popular culture[edit]

Film and TV[edit]


Tejanos who served under Juan Seguín[edit]

Tejano volunteers under Juan Seguín

Tejano volunteers under the command of Juan Seguín for all or part of their service in the Texas Revolution and the Republic of Texas


  • MacDonald, L. Lloyd (2009). Tejanos in the 1835 Texas Revolution. Pelican Publishing. pp. 260–262. ISBN 9781589806382.
  • Teja, Jesus F. De la; Matovina, Timothy; Poché, Justin (2013). Recollections of a Tejano Life: Antonio Menchaca in Texas History. University of Texas Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0292748651.
  • Texas State Archives, Republic of Texas Claims
  • Texas A & M professor Wallace L. McKeehan, also on the school's Board of Regents website: Hispanic Texian Patriots in the Struggle for Independence
  • Handbook of Texas Online

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Juan Seguin married María Gertrudis Flores de Abrego, a member of one of San Antonio's well known ranching families. There were four Jose Flores De Abrego sons, (brothers-in-law to Juan Seguin), who joined in with him. (see de la Teja (1991), p. 18) Captain Salvador Flores, Captain Manuel N. Flores, Lieutenant Nepomuceno Flores, and Private Jose Maria Flores all participated in the Texas Revolution, on the Texian side.
  2. ^ According to records, Seguin did not appear at the Convention to accept his appointment in the regular army; Jesus (Comanche) Cuellar filled in for him. He instead took the position to become the first judge of San Antonio. According to Lindley, he was not regular army until after departing from the Alamo as a courier on February 25. See de la Teja pg.79, Lindley pg.113


  1. ^ Teja, Jesús F. de la. "Juan Nepumuceno Seguin". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Todish (1998), p. 109.
  3. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 77.
  4. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 135.
  5. ^ Edmonson (2000), p. 219.
  6. ^ Hardin (1994), pg. 29
  7. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 78.
  8. ^ Menchaca, Poche, Matovina, de la Teja (2013), p. 63
  9. ^ Lozano (1985), p. 34.
  10. ^ Zamora, Orozco, Rocha (2000), pp. 35–49 Occupied Texas: Béxar and Goliad, 1835–1836 (Paul D. Lack)
  11. ^ Poyo (1996), p. 53, Efficient in the Cause (Stephen L. Harden)
  12. ^ "Surrender terms signed by General Cos and General Burleson at San Antonio, December 11, 1835". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Groneman (1998), p. 98.
  14. ^ a b de la Teja (1991), p. 79.
  15. ^ Lord (1961), p. 111.
  16. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 80.
  17. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 81.
  18. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 83.
  19. ^ Lindley (2003), p. 160.
  20. ^ Lozano (1985), p. 36.
  21. ^ Matavoina (1995), p. 19.
  22. ^ "Telegraph and Texas Register May 28, 1837". The Portal to Texas History. Texas State Historical Association. 28 March 1837. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Sibley, Marilyn McAdams (October 1966). "The Burial Place of the Alamo Heroes". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Texas State Historical Association. 70 (2): 272–280. JSTOR 30236392.
  24. ^ Moore (2006), p. 228.
  25. ^ Todish (1998), p. 109-110.
  26. ^ Edmonson (2000), p. 412.
  27. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 113.
  28. ^ a b Nofi (1992, pp. 85–86.
  29. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 116.
  30. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 117.
  31. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 118.
  32. ^ a b Groneman (1998), p. 99.
  33. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 50.
  34. ^ a b survey, historic american buildings. "Juan N. Seguin Ranch House, Northwest of Floresville, Floresville, Wilson County, TX". Library of Congress.
  35. ^ de la Teja (1991), p. 51.
  36. ^ Groneman (1999), p. 99.
  37. ^ Visit Seguin, Texas
  38. ^ Gesick, John. "Seguin, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  39. ^ "History of Seguin". City of Seguin, Texas. City of Seguin, Texas. Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  40. ^ "Juan Seguin School, Guadalupe County". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  41. ^ "Juan N. Seguin Memorial Interchange". Texas State Legislature. State of Texas. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  42. ^ a b "Texas Memorial Highway System". Texas Dept. of Transportation. State of Texas. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  43. ^ "Seguin Salute". Texas Highways. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  44. ^ "2934 – Juan N. Seguin". American Merchant Marine at War. USMM. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  45. ^ "Juan Seguin High School". Juan Seguin High School. Arlington ISD. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  46. ^ "School Districts in Fort Bend County". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  47. ^ "Juan Seguin Elementary / Homepage".
  48. ^ "Juan Seguin Elementary | Home".
  49. ^ "Seguin Early Childhood Center".
  50. ^ "Elementary Schools Directory". La Joya ISD. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  51. ^ "The Last Command (1955)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  52. ^ "The Alamo". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  53. ^ Brode, Parker (2009) pp.212–213
  54. ^ Fregoso, Rosa Linda (May–December 1983). "Seguin: The Same Side of the Alamo". Bilingual Review / La Revista Bilingüe. Bilingual Press / Editorial Bilingüe. 10 (2/3): 146–152. JSTOR 25744068.
  55. ^ Houston: The Legend of Texas at IMDb
  56. ^ The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory at IMDb
  57. ^ Alamo: The Price of Freedom at IMDb
  58. ^ Texas at IMDb
  59. ^ "The Alamo 2004". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  60. ^ Jackson, Jack (18 January 2013). Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause. ISBN 978-1606995044.


Further reading[edit]

  • Hansen, Todd (2003). Alamo Reader. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-0060-3.
  • Manchaca, Martha (2001). Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans. The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-75253-9.
  • Simons, Helen; Hoyt, Cathryn A.; Perry, Ann; Smith, Deborah (1996). A Guide to Hispanic Texas. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-77709-5.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José Francisco Ruiz
Thomas Jefferson Green
1837 (25 days only)
Republic of Texas Senate
Republic of Texas Senator from Bexar District
Juan Seguín

Succeeded by