By: Madison Tramel, Mykyala Myers & Jude Al bakhit
Juan Maria Jose Erasmo de Jesus Seguin was born in San Antonio on May 26, 1782. He was a politician in San Antonio de Bexar in the 19th century. He helped found the first public school in 1812. From 1807 until 1835, he served as head postmaster of San Antonio, Texas. After Mexico achieved independence from Spain, he was named the sole representative from Texas to the Constitutional Convention. He helped to draft the Constitution of 1824, and was a major influence in the addition of general colonization. Seguín assisted Stephen F. Austin in choosing land for the first colony of American settlers to immigrate to Texas. He recruited men and provided the Texan army with food and horses during the revolution. In early 1836, he sent spies to the Nueces to watch for Santa Anna, and provided food and cattle during the "Runaway Scrape”. Lastly, he supported the Texas Revolution by providing political as well as material support. He died at his house, Casa Blanca, in Floresville, Texas on November 7, 1857 at the age of 75.
When and Why Seguin Came to Texas
When: Erasmo Seguin purchased one of five lots off the Military Plaza in San Antonio in the 19th century.
Why: He was attracted to plentiful and expensive land. He was seeking adventure and personal gain, and he sought escape from the problems in the United States.
Identify Seguin's Problems with the Following:
There were many problems with the Mexican government, but the three main complaints from the settlers were to repeal the part of the law that forbade Anglo-American immigration, to suspend tariff duties to the colonists for three years, and to establish Texas as a separate Mexican State.
There were many economic problems the settlers faced. Luckily, Seguin saved many of the colonists from economic ruin by finding a loophole in the Mexican anti-slavery laws that allowed the colonists to keep their slaves.
Settlers in the Settlement:
The settlers in the settlement wanted Texas to become a separate state. There were not enough settlers to justify another state administration, but Seguin understood the settlers complaints. He cared about their needs and their wish for a separate state.
Completion of their Settlement Plan:
While the small group of Anglo settlers in Seguin were establishing themselves, events continued to occur around them that caused the settlers to leave the Seguin region (read the detail below). The area from San Antonio to Seguin to Gonzales would become a crossroads of the Texas Revolution. It wasn’t until 1838 when the settlers would return and develop Seguin.
The Success or Failure of the Settlement
Seguin’s settlement was successful. During the 10 years between 1823-1833, the Green De Witt colony continued to expand, bringing the first settlers into the place that eventually became Seguin, TX. This helped Seguin’s settlement to first become established. There were 4 factors that caused settlers of Seguin to leave and return to Gonzales in 1834. These factors were Indians, a threatening sense of warfare between Texas and Mexico, being isolated from the security of a large organized settlement, and standing in the way of San Antonio and Gonzales. As the only colonists located between San Antonio and Gonzales, they were totally isolated from protection. The settlers would eventually return to and develop Seguin four years later.
Geographic considerations that were problematic for the settlers or their leaders
The colonists in the Seguin region were the only colonists between San Antonio and Gonzales. This caused them to be totally isolated from people and protection. This was a problem and they had to flee to Gonzales because of it. Seguin is also located on the Guadalupe River. This was good and attractive to settlers because of the food and water it provided, but it was also a natural barrier that made it harder for people to reach the settlement.
Eye Witness Account
From a letter by Guy M. Bryan to the editor of the Texas State Gazette on August 7th, 1852:
"Austin arrived at San Antonio de Bexar with his little party in company with the Commissioner, Don Erasmo Seguin, on the 15th of August 1821. In justice to the name of Seguin, I must add that no Mexican ever did more for Texas and the Colonists than did that true-hearted old man, Erasmo Seguin. In the infancy of Texas---in the days of her weakness---and his strength, he was the faithful friend of the American; (would that I could say the same of the Americans towards him.) A man of intelligence and position, having the confidence of his government, through him Austin obtained many favors for the colonists. In San Antonio whenever an American got into difficulty, Seguin was the first and best friend he had, and those who lived here in early times when the Mexican was strong, know well how valuable such a friend could prove."
This historical marker for Erasmo Seguin is located at the Corner of Dwyer & East Nueva Streets - south side of court house square in San Antonio, Texas. It was dedicated in 1973.