Las Villas del Norte had the great honor of having Jose "Joe" Antonio Lopez present "José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara Uribe, the First President of Texas" this past February the 7th. His enthusiasm, charisma, and happiness lighted the whole room.
His presentation was not just solely about Don Bernardo but also about the early history of Texas, one that is too often ignored by Texas historians.
Mr. Lopez's presentation talked about why history is important, background and genealogy details, Las Villas del Norte, "El Grito", Don Bernardo's Ride, Independent Province (state) of Texas, and the significance of the battle of Medina.
Left to Right: Moises Garza, Cordelia "Cordy" Dancause de Lopez, and Jose "Joe" Antonio Lopez
Why is History Important?
Joe explains that history is vital, it is a chronology of events in time. He explains how the first chapters in Texas history were written in Spanish and clarify that Texas history does not start in 1836.
Background & Genealogy Details - Mr. Lopez talked about Texas in New Spain and Mexico covering 1519 up until 1848. He presented some great maps and explained them in great detail. In this section, he also talked and showed us how he is personally related to Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara. He also explained who is the Tejanos/Tejanas and where they come from.
Las Villas del Norte - In this part of his presentation, Joe talked about Las Villas del Norte their original names, founding dates, and also their current names. He also explains how early life was in Revilla thus providing us with a great idea of how life was in Las Villas del Norte in general.
"El Grito" (The Call to Duty) - Turbulent times came around during the life of Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara and he answered the call of padre Hidalgo. Gutierrez de Lara was charged in kicking the Spanish out of Texas. Mr. Lopez also presented great information about Mexico's Independence from Spain.
Don Bernardo's Ride - The first Texas Vaquero to visit the White House was Don Bernardo Gutierrez. Mr. Lopez explains the purpose of Gutierrez's visit to the white house, how he was treated, and how he gave them a lesson in geography.
Independent Province (State) of Texas, 1813 - In 1813 the first Texas Revolution begins. Mr. Lopez does a great job of providing the audience with places and dates of where the battles with the Spanish took place. Intrigue builds up as he explains how Don Bernardo was removed as a leader by U.S. Agent William Shaler and Cuban-born Alvarez de Toledo.
The Significance of the Battle of Medina - Mr. Lopez detailed the significance that the battle of Medina has for Texas history. He explains how barbaric the Spanish were to leave the bodies of the defeated in open ground for about nine years.
In the summary section of his presentation, Mr. Lopez presented a detailed summary of the Life of Don. Bernardo and highlights his accomplishments in both Texas and Mexico.
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