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Cortina, Juan Nepomuceno (16 May 1824–30 October 1892), revolutionary, politician, Mexican governor, and rancher, was born in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, the son of Trinidad Cortina, the town mayor and an important landowner, and María Estéfana Goseascochea. Little is known of Juan Cortina’s early life and education. Upon the death of his father in the early 1840s, his family moved to the Espíritu Santo grant, part of the area between the Nueces and Río Grande claimed by both Mexico and Texas and the future site of the city of Brownsville, Texas. This land belonged to Cortina’s mother. Cortina associated with ...

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Vallejo, Mariano Guadalupe (07 July 1808–18 January 1890), soldier, rancher, and elected official, was born in Monterey, California, the son of Ignacio Alvarado Vallejo, a soldier, and Maria Antonia Lugo. Vallejo grew up in Monterey in an elite family. His parents encouraged his schooling, and the young man’s reading tastes ran to Enlightenment literature, some of it forbidden by the church. He once smuggled into California a small library of prohibited books, an offense for which he was briefly excommunicated. Vallejo followed in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the military. In 1828 or 1829 the young ...