José Antonio Navarro, the namesake of Navarro County, would have turned 219 years old Thursday, and the date was recognized by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas with a wreath and short ceremony at the county courthouse in front of his statue.
Navarro, a hero of the Texas Revolution and signer of the Texas Republic’s constitution and the declaration of Independence, proposed naming the county seat after the Island of Corsica, his parents’ birthplace.
The purpose of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is to encourage history scholarship and teach it, explained Mellie Howard.
“We do this to remember the men and women, to perpetuate their memory, who helped us achieve liberty from Mexico,” Howard said.
County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr. then gave a short presentation on some of the highlights of Navarro’s life, including the fact that while on an economic development trip to Santa Fe he was captured by Mexican forces, then tried and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life, but a subsequent president of Mexico “allowed him to escape.”
Although he studied law, Navarro went into public service, and was elected to the legislatures of the Texas Republic, as well as the state of Texas. Prior to the fight for independence, he’d been chosen for the Mexican senate, but he didn’t go since he was aware of the plan for Texas to split off.
In his research, Davenport said he didn’t find anything derogatory about Navarro, and he suggested that all Texans should aspire to be as patriotic and courageous as he was.
“Anytime we can learn more about history, the better,” Howard said.
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