About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The OTHER San Patricio

I have a student working on the Irish in Texas, and it prompted me to give a nod to her work on this St. Patrick's day.

Tucked away just north of Corpus Christi, Texas are two communities founded by Irish immigrants to Mexico. One is Refugio, Texas, (pronounced by the locals as Refirio) and the other is San Patricio - located in San Patricio county and sporting such street names as McGloin and McMullen. Brought to Mexico by the promise of land, they intermarried with powerful Tejano families. The Irish settlers hopped quickly on the Texas Revolution band wagon, supplying food to the troops and coming out the whole squabble as powerful land owners in the new republic. And, unlike their more famed and not-so-Irish cousins in the San Patricio Brigade (which were as much Protestant, Scotch, and German as Irish and Catholic), these Irish Mexicans have been fairly well ignored in history. My student reports that not even the local history museums - as prolific in Texas as In-n-Out burger joints in California - carry much information on these Irish Dons. Looking forward to seeing her work with the papers of several of these families as well as land records, etc. Check out an annotated bibliography of the Irish in Mexico here.

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