The voice of the people: Pablo Cruz, El Regidor, and Mexican American identity in San Antonio, Texas, 1888-1910



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Texas Tech University


This dissertation examines the life and career of Texas entrepreneur Pablo Cruz, who in 1888 established El Regidor, a Spanish language weekly, in San Antonio, Texas. Until his death in 1910, Cruz used his social and political standing along with his paper to advance and defend the interests of the barrio community. The study explores several themes, including a nineteenth century middle class perspective as voiced by Cruz through El Regidor. This research adds a new dimension to the limited scholarship on the Gilded Age Mexican American middle class. Even though Mexican American leaders, such as Cruz, celebrated their Mexican heritage and concerned themselves with events in Mexico, they recognized the duality of their identity. The political, economic, and social reality of this ethnic population was San Antonio, not Mexico.

Furthermore, this study traces Cruz's political activities and public rhetoric on discrimination and reveals the complexity of race relations. He utilized his paper to voice discontent and encourage barrio residents to unite against those who questioned and violated their civil rights. Finally, the dissertation includes an analysis of Mexican American identity formation and evolution.