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Updated by myra-darter on Nov 18, 2016
Headline for Juan Cortina, Texas Rangers, and the U.S. Mexico border
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Juan Cortina, Texas Rangers, and the U.S. Mexico border

Links to interesting articles, analysis, and digital history resources.


CORTINA, JUAN NEPOMUCENO (1824–1894). Juan Nepomuceno (Cheno) Cortina (Cortinas), Mexican folk hero, was born on May 16, 1824, in Camargo, Tamaulipas, the son of Estéfana and Trinidad Cortina. His aristocratic mother was one of the heirs of a large land grant in the lower Rio Grande valley, including the area that surrounded Brownsville. The family moved to that land when Cortina was still young. In the Mexican War Cortina served as a part of an irregular cavalry during the battles of Resaca de la Palma and Palo Alto under Gen. Mariano Arista of the Tamaulipas Brigade. After the war he returned to the north bank of the river, where he was indicted at least twice by a Cameron County grand jury for stealing cattle. Although Cortina frequently appeared in public, his political influence among Mexicans prevented him from being arrested.


Image of Juan N Cortina

Image of Juan N Cortina
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

The HALL OF FAME is the State designated memorial of the Texas Ranger service, commemorating the service and sacrifices of 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or made significant contributions to development of the service.


Captain McNelly

Captain McNelly

Taming the Nieces Strip

Taming the Nieces Strip

This is only an image of the actual book. The book is a primary source. It is written by a Texas Ranger who gives first hand accounts of his experiences defending the US/Texas side of the border. It contains a lot of valuable information regarding Captain McNelly and Juan Cortina and the dispute between the two.

This is a primary source. It is a letter written by Juan Cortina to the citizens of Brownsville, a city on the Rio Grande.

PBS - THE WEST - Juan Cortina, "Proclamation to Texans" and "Proclamation to the Mexicans of Texas" (1859)

Juan Nepomuceno Cortina to the inhabitants of the
State of Texas,

and especially to those of the city of Brownsville.

Juan N Cortina

Information on the Cortina Wars from the perspective of the Mexicans