Tejano History

Leal Goraz, Juan

Tejanos |

       LEAL GORAZ, JUAN (1676–1743). Juan Leal Goraz, Spanish colonizer of Texas, was born in 1676 on the island of Lancerote in the Canary Islands to Antonio Goraz and María Pérez. He led the colonization of the Villa de San Fernando (San Antonio) by Canary Islanders and later became the city's first mayor. In March 1730 a handful of emigrants gathered in the port of Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, in response to a royal decree calling for colonists to settle in Texas. As an inducement the crown agreed to provide the colonists transportation and a generous subsistence for a year. A colonial judge appointed the oldest male among them, Leal Goraz, as their leader. When the colonists arrived at Veracruz in the early part of June, the Mexican viceroy reaffirmed Leal's leadership. Many of those who traveled with him were weakened by the rigors of the journey. Among these, Lucia Hernández, Goraz's wife and mother of his five children, became ill and died. Fifteen families arrived near the Bexar Presidio on March 9, 1731, and immediately staked out their new community, the Villa de San Fernando. The king granted in perpetuity, to each of the colonists and their heirs, the noble title of Hidalgo (“person of noble lineage”). Unfortunately, with the title came a degree of arrogance and intolerance toward the region's established population.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.