220 Southwestern Historical Quarterly October the branding of Navarro as a “leading white supremacist” (265) as a result of his membership in conser vative groups opposed to the racial reforms associated with Reconstruction in Texas. These groups did, argues McDonald, use racist language in their pronouncements, but they did not support the disfranchisement of freed- men so much as they opposed the disfranchisement of former Confederates. Far from being a “white supremacist,” Navarro led the successful efforts in the Constitutional Convention of 1845 to prevent voting in the new state of Texas from being limited to whites—a victory of signal importance for the mixed-race majority of the Tejano population. McDonald goes so far as to say that “Navarro’s efforts at the convention reflect his concern for his constituents of mixed race regardless of variation” (212), but Navarro’s willingness to go along with restric- tions on Africans and their descendants show that his attitudes toward blacks were equivocal, not equalitarian. Indeed, McDonald concedes that it was largely through Navarro’s efforts in the Coahuila y Texas legislature in 1828 that the door remained open to bringing slaves from the United States disguised as indentured servants. Navarro was as devoted as his
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Oct 15, 2011
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