Navarro, Jose Angel [The Elder]
NAVARRO, JOSÉ ÁNGEL [THE ELDER] (1784–1836). The elder José Ángel Navarro, a soldier and leading citizen of early Texas, oldest child of María Josefa (Ruiz) and Ángel Navarro, was born in San Antonio de Béxar in 1784. He was a lieutenant of infantry when the Spanish general Joaquín de Arredondo led an army into San Antonio in August 1813 after the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. The general, learning that Navarro's relatives were on the side of Mexican independence, discharged him and caused him to flee for his life into the interior of Mexico. His widowed mother hurried her minor children out of town, and his brother Antonio, an uncle, and a brother-in-law sought safety in Louisiana. In 1821 the family was together again, and José Ángel proclaimed to San Antonio the new independence of Mexico and accepted the surrender of the Spanish governor (see MEXICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE). From this time the fortunes of the Navarros improved. The sons ran the mercantile store founded by their father. Navarro was able to make the second largest donation to rebuild their burned-out church, San Fernando. He witnessed the marriage of his niece, Ursula Veramendi, to James Bowie in 1831.