Tejano Moments: Don Jose Antonio Navarro - Part 3

Local historian, Rudi Rodriguez, believes Navarro deserves title of ‘Father of Texas’

SAN ANTONIO – In KSAT’s last installment of a three-part Tejano moments series, we focused on the role Don Jose Antonio Navarro played in Texas politics.

In the final part we talk to a local historian about why he thinks Navarro is the true “Father of Texas”.

“We talked earlier about his ascension politically in business, and he’s at the pinnacle,” said historian and founder of Texastejano.com, Rudi Rodriguez. “He’s at the height of his career politically and at a time period where the revolution is brewing.”

By 1835, Tejanos and Texians came together to claim liberty from Mexico.

Don Jose and his uncle, colonel Francisco Ruiz, were elected to represent Bexar County in the fight for independence.

Both men went on to sign the Texas Declaration in 1836. And several weeks later, the Alamo fell.

However, shortly after that, revolutionists victory during the “Battle of San Jacinto” set Texas free.

“He’s exactly the man that Texas needs at that moment,” Rodriguez said.

About a decade later, Navarro was the only Tejano delegate in the convention of 1845. He voted for annexation and helped write the first state constitution. He was also elected twice to the state senate before retiring from politics in 1849.

Due to his many political contributions, some have called him the “Father of Texas”, a title most often held by Stephen F. Austin.

Rodriguez saying he feels Navarro is the one worthy of the title.

“He epitomized the success, the strength of a businessman, a politician. He represents a family, his family, family at the hands that have been here for over 100 years... and he’s also someone that defined society and culture,” he said.

“I would suggest that certainly he merits the title,” Rodriguez said.

If you are interested in visiting the Casa Navarro State Historic Site, click here for the hours and location.

About the Author:

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer at KSAT. Before joining the team, she was a producer and video editor at KIII-TV and a radio intern in Corpus Christi. She graduated from Del Mar College with an Associate's degree in political science and liberal arts. Roslyn is family-oriented and loves spending time with her fiancé and chihuahua Paco.