Menchaca, José Antonio ( 1800 Jan 9 - 1879 Nov 1 )
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MENCHACA, JOSE ANTONIO -- Born in San Antonio de Bexar, Texas in 1800. Texas at that time belonged to Spain. He was second Sergeant in Captain Juan N Seguin's Company at San Jacinto and on May 26, 1846 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 31 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1139 for 320 acres of land for three months service in the army of Texas in 1836 but the period of enlistment is not shown. He received Bounty Certificate No 4455, dated November 5 to November 26, 1836. His appointment as Captain of Cavalry was confirmed by the Senate of the Congress of the Republic, May 22, 1837. Congress on February 3, 1844 authorized the payment for his services as a Captain in the Army of Texas from July 1 to September 11, 1842.
Captain Menchaca in applying for a Headright Certificate from the Bexar County Board of Land Commissioners, February 23, 1838, stated that he was married prior to March 2, 1836. His wife evidently died, for on January 31, 1842 he was married to Concepcion Galan at San Antonio.
Captain Menchaca became Mayor pro tem of San Antonio, July 20, 1838, succeeding William H. Daingerfield, who had resigned.
Captain Menchaca died at San Antonio, November 1, 1879, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. The State of Texas had a monument erected at his grave in 1936 in San Fernando Cemetery No. 1, San Antonio. Mrs. J.B. Lacose, daughter of Captain Menchaca presented a photograph of her father to the Texas Veterans Association at the annual meeting of the Association at San Antonio in 1880. Another daughter present at the convention was Mrs. Antonio Neuendorf.
In the Archives of the State Library, Memorial 86, File 60, is a petition from Captain Menchaca addressed to the Legislature of Texas, January 25, 1853. An act for the relief of Captain Menchaca was approved by the Governor February 7, 1853, granting him a league of land. This is found in Gammel's Laws of Texas, Vol. 3, page 1404. "The petition of Antonio Menchaca, a citizen of Texas respectfully represents, That, during the siege of San Antonio in the year 1835, by order of the Mexican Generals, then in command in San Antonio a valuable property the residence of your petitioner was utterly destroyed with all its appendages. Your petitioner being then a soldier of Texas in the company commanded by Capt. James Bowie. That in consequence of the destruction of his home and his property he has never since been able to own a home. That in 1839, the Congress of the Republic of Texas taking into consideration the case of petitioner, donated to him a house and lot on the Plaza in San Antonio, the title whereof was to vest in petitioner so soon as the same should be confiscated That no steps were ever taken for its confiscation, and at the close of the war of 1846 and 1847, the family of whom the house had previously belonged returned from Mexico and took from petitioner the house and lot which ought to have been confiscated but was not.
Petitioner hopes he may say without impropriety that he has at all times been a true citizen and soldier of Texas, it is well known that he has fought her battles from 1835 to the present time. That he commanded a company in the battle of San Jacinto and received the testimony of all that he rendered good and efficient service, that during those times of severe trial and suffering on the frontier, when many who had been looked upon as friends to Texas, fell away from their allegiance his name has never been shaded by a suspicion.
As he suffered and served for Texas in her feeble infancy he hopes that his sacrifices and losses will be remembered in her day of prosperity, while accumulating years render him unable to assist others and drive him to sick assistance for himself.
He is a free Texan and asks no gratuity; but he has sustained losses with cheerfulness while Texas was less able to compensate him than he to sustain himself without compensation; and now that Texas is rich he asks that his property may be lightened and his losses compensated.
Petitioner would not prescribe terms to the Legislature, but receive with cheerfulness such compensation in money or land as your wisdom may decree.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Second Sergeant
- Company: Capt. Juan N. Seguin
- Battle Account: "Memoirs of Captain Menchaca", copy transcribed in Kemp biography
- Alternate Names: Menchasen, Tony
- Date of Birth: 1800 Jan 9
- Birthplace: Texas, San Antonio
- Came to Texas: n/a
- Date of Death: 1879 Nov 1
- Burial Place: San Fernando Cemetery No. 1, San Antonio, Texas
- Bounty Certificate: 1130
- Donation Certificate: 31
- Wife: 1. Maria Leonor Teresa Ramón; 2. Concepcion Galan
- Children: Maria de Jesus Menchaca; Maria Antonia Catalina Menchaca Neuendorff; Joaquina Menchaca Glanton; Antonia Manuela Menchaca LaCoste