In the first installment of a three-part series, KSAT introduced you to a Texas hero, Don Jose Antonio Navarro, and what led him to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Now in part two, we dive into how his political experience helped him become a state leader.
Navarro was first elected as a city councilman, then a judge and later, mayor. Eventually, his political accomplishments led him to become a Texas representative to the federal congress.
“Navarro’s ability as a being a successful merchant and then a well-respected politician earns him his position in the community,” local historian and founder of texastejano.com, Rudi Rodriguez said.
He was one of two representatives to Coahuila y Tejas congress in Saltillo, New Spain as well as an “empresario” or entrepreneur. He also assisted in the creation of grants and laws to develop the Coastal Bend.
“The laws that are passed allow Texans to come and settle here to get free land, to get favorable laws for cotton production aid the Texans as well as Tejanos because the Tejanos want the development of Texas, they want more population,” Rodriguez said.
The passing of laws in 1824 made it easier for people to get from the central part of New Spain into Texas and newly arriving immigrants from the American East were able to get help promoting their “empresario grants.”
“Stephen Austin, for example, comes to him and he says, ‘we really need these laws to be placed to be passed so that we can have additional opportunities,’” Rodriguez said.
Navarro went on to pass several bills in the Mexican congress.
If you are interested in visiting the Casa Navarro State Historic Site, click here for the hours and location.