Texas History students at the Blanco ISD Middle School gathered in the middle school library on Thursday, February 24, along with Jesse Salazar, Principal, and Coach Michael Kipp, history teacher, to host a book donation for the Blanco ISD library. Published and released recently by the Texas State Historical Association, the biography is the first comprehensive history of the life of Jose Antonio Navarro (1795-1871) who, with others like Houston and Maverick, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, said the Presenter, E. Jeannie Navarro, a direct descendant.
Kenneth P., another Navarro descendant, was also present at the event. Kenneth is a Blanco ISD middle school Texas History student. Kenneth descends from Jose Antonio George Navarro (1819-1899), who was a long-serving judge in Zapata County, Texas. Kenneth’s grandparents, Fred and Nancy Langston Peyton, live in Austin. Taylor C., another Blanco history student, displayed her poster of the early history of Texas, including Navarro, which she created as a school project.
The early history of Texas is a story of two different cultures united by a common goal, that of seeking civil liberties, personal freedom, including the opportunity to improve our lives and enjoy security and justice from our government, what today we call the “American Dream,” stated the Presenter. This dream brought two different cultures together to work, strive, suffer and die for that goal of freedom and democracy, stated the Presenter.
Navarro lived under 5 of the 6 flags over Texas, a tumultuous era in Texas history that saw the transition of Texas from a Spanish colony to a Mexican state, an independent Republic of Texas, an American state in the Union, a Confederate state, and an American state once again (after the Civil War), stated the Presenter. More than bearing witness to these events, Navarro helped shape them, according to the author. “Navarro was always a steadfast defender of the rights of all Tejanos (Hispanic heritage and born in Texas), ensuring at both the 1836 consultation that created the Texas Republic and the 1845 drafting of the Texas State Constitution, that political rights would not be restricted solely to those with ‘white skin’ as other convention delegates proposed,” stated Navarro.
Other Texas patriots were mentioned in the presentation, including Byrd Lockhart, in whose honor the City of Lockhart was named, appointed by then Land Commissioner Navarro in 1831 to survey the DeWitt colony. Juan Seguin, also a Tejano, was a Texas State Senator and Texas revolutionary hero. Jim Bowie was related to Navarro by marriage and Navarro was a close friend of Stephen F. Austin and supported his colonization efforts, stated the Presenter.
The”Friends of Casa Navarro” is the Casa Navarro State Historic Site’s support group that is sponsoring the book project to place the Navarro biography in each school district library in the State. Presentations are currently being scheduled across the State. Also mentioned in the presentation were the educational exhibits at the newly renovated Casa Navarro State Historic site beginning this fall.