Just days after a ceremony was held Feb. 2 at Presidio La Bahia to honor “donativos” or those who donated pesos to the American cause in its war against Britain, Lorenzo Lopez, who found what he thought was the list of the “donativos” released a statement to the media on Feb. 4.
“We received an email from Molly Long de Fernandez (Daughters of the American Revolution Spanish Task Force, Madrid) today and she brought to our attention the date on the donativo list as being problematic and also her concern that the letter was not mis-filed but the funds were actually collected in 1798. Further, the funds were not collected for the American Revolution (1776-1783) effort but for the war between France and England.
“We could not have anticipated this news because the we did not fight another war with England in that timeframe. Instead, Spain formed an alliance with France against England and we now we have no choice but to assume that the funds collected at the request of the King (again) and paid by La Bahia soldiers (again) were used for that purpose. Hence, the “contra la guerra con Inglaterra” on the donativo list, a bit mis-leading for sure as Spain was not at war, but that’s the situation at hand and we must accept it.”
Villarreal, author of “Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1783,” emailed the media Thursday that some on the list found by Lopez, including Diego Cadena, a direct descendant of Julia Lopez.
“Upon studying the rosters found in “Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1783,” it should be noted that 37 of the soldiers listed in the donativo list of 1798 were also present at Presidio La Bahia during the time of the American Revolution,” Villarreal wrote.
The 37 soliders were Alferez D. Francisco Vasquez, Francisco Rios, Juan Chirino, Mario Maldonado, Hermenegildo Gomez, Miguel Bezerra, Fernando Galan, Tomas de la Garza, Agustin de la Garza, Jose Maria Ramon, Francisco de la Garza, Diego Cadena, Alexo de Leon, Francisco Venites, Diego Menchaca, Antonio del Rio, Juan Andres Contreras, Carlos Delgado, Francisco Villafranca, D. Andres Benito Courbiere, Jose de Luna, Tomas de la Garza, Dionicio Liendro, Pedro Grande, Francisco Vasquez, Bernabe del Rio, Francisco Urrutia, Jose de la Garza, Pedro Cevallos, Diego Chirino, Juan Jose Manzolo, Pedro Ernandez, Antonio Vasquez, Jose Maria de Luna, Manuel Florez, Juan Jose Games and D. Antonio De Meziere.
“These Soldiers have been contributing since the American Revolution. Thank you, Julia and Lorenzo, for keeping the spirit alive and your diligence in searching for the “donativo” list,” Villarreal wrote.