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Jose Tomas Canales

September 20, 2022

Jose Tomas Canales was born on a ranch in Nueces County, Texas, on March 7, 1877. J.T. Canales was devoted to public service, he made his mark as both a lawyer and a politician. He was the sole Mexican-American representative in the state legislature during his years in the state house from 1905-1921. J.T. Canales was an author, philanthropist, superintendent, and landowner. He was one of the founders of LULAC (1929) and wrote most of its first constitution. He valued education, embraced woman suffrage, and was vocal against the Ku Klux Klan.

J.T. Canales was the only prominent local Democrat, who was an outspoken critic of the Texas Ranger oppression of the Hispanic population of the lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1918 he brought 19 charges of misconduct against the Rangers for actions during the border wars and demanded a legislative investigation and the reorganization of the force.

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