Tag Archives: Canary Islanders

Today in Texas History – May 31

The Veramendi Palace doors are in the Alamo, along the east wall.  Express-News file photo

From the Annals of Spanish Texas – In 1783, Fernando Veramendi was killed by Mescalero Apaches near the presidio of San Juan Bautista in Coahuila while on a business trip to Mexico City.  Veramendi was born in Pamplona, Spain and moved to Texas in 1770 first settling in La Bahia.  While conducting business in San Antonio de Bexar he found a bride, Doña María Josefa Granados, and thus, married into one of the influential Canary Islands families who were the primary Spanish settlers of San Antonio.   Now well-connected, Vermandi opened a general store, lent money to other settlers, and acquired large tracts of ranch and farm land.  He built a large home on  Soledad Street that later came to be known as the Veramendi Palace. He was a civic leader and was elected as an aalderman in the ayuntamiento of 1779, and later as a senior alderman in 1783. He was killed while on a business trip to Mexico City. He had five children the most prominent of who was his son Juan Martín de Veramendi who served as governor of Coahuila and Texas in 1832-33.

Photo of the doors from the Veramendi Palace displayed at the Alamo.  The building was demolished in 1910.

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Today in Texas History – March 9

From the Annals of the Colonists –  In 1731, colonists from the Canary Islands established Villa de San Fernando. Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar.  The party had increased by marriages on the way to fifteen families with a total of fifty-six persons. They joined a military community that had been in existence since 1718. The group ultimately became part of the Villa of San Fernando de Bexar, the first regularly organized civil government in Texas. Several of the old families of San Antonio trace their descent from the Canary Island colonists. María Rosa Padrón was the first baby born of Canary Islander descent in San Antonio.