Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Alonso S. Perales Papers



Collection Summary

Creator Alonso S. Perales
Title Alonso S. Perales Papers
Dates: 1898-1960
Abstract: Materials accumulated about Alonso S. Perales, a founder of LULAC, a Nicaraguan Consul General, and a longtime civic leader in San Antonio. Perales was Consul general for twenty-five years and had served as counsel to the Nicaraguan delegation to the United Nations in 1945. He was a founder of the League of United Latin-American Citizens and was the author of two books, "In Defense of My Race" and "Are We Good neighbors?"
Identification A1993-016
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/ead.php?xml=Perales%20EAD
Quantity: .25 linear feet
Location: G-3-2 Box #1
Language: English

Historical Note

Alonso S. Perales grew up in Alice, Texas, the town of his birth. He was born on October 17, 1898, son of Nicolas and Susana (Sandoval) Perales. He was orphaned at age six and worked while still a child. Alsono completed his primary studies in Alice. He married Marta Perales, a bookstore owner; they adopted a daughter and two sons. Perales graduated from Draughtons Business College in Corpus Christi, was drafted into the United States Army during World War I and received an honorable discharge. After taking the civil service examination Perales moved to Washington D.C. where he enrolled at the Washington Preparatory School. Next came the National University of Washington, where he earned his bachelor of Arts in Economics and Government and later his law degree in 1926. He served on thirteen diplomatic missions to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and the West Indies. His ability to handle English and Spanish with high proficiency and his knowledge of Hispanic protocol proved invaluable on these sensitive missions. He also served under the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration. Returning to San Antonio Perales established his law offices and began his fight for equal education and social justice for the Mexican American. Perales saw himself as a defender of la raza and was one of the founders of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citicens) in 1929 and helped write the LULAC constitution, along with Jose Tomas Canales and Eduaro Idar. He was elected as 2nd president of LULAC in 1930 convention held in Alice, Texas. In 1930 Perales testified before a United States Congressional hearing on Mexican immigration, and in the 1940s he worked to introduce a bill in the Texas legislature prohibiting discrimination based on race. Perales was an intellectual, an articulate public speaker in Spanish and English who firmly believed in the law. His essays, letters, speeches and books raised awareness of racial discrimination in Texas and won him the respect and devotion of the Mexican immigrant community. Perales died on May 9, 1960 in San Antonio.


Scope and Contents

Materials include a handwritten history of the LULAC organization, the early 1927 constitution, and a letter from his biographer, Adela Sloss-Vento claiming he was the founder of the organization. Newspaper clippings and printed materials provide information on Perales contributions to the Chicano movement and his involvement with bettering the lives of Mexican-American citizens. His biography is included in the collection, "Alonso S. Perales His Struggle for the Rights of Mexican-Americans."


Arrangement

The materials are arranged in folders.

Index Terms

Persons
Perales, Alonso S., 1898-1960
Wells, Benjamin Sumner, 1892-1961
Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948
Organizations
Draughons Business College
Washington Preparatory School
National University of Washington
United Nations
League of Latin American Citizens
Geographical Names
Alice (Tex.)
San Antonio (Tex.)
Washington (D.C.)
Brownsville (Tex.)
Cuba
Nicaragua
Mexico
Texas
Subjects
Chicano movement
Lawyers – Texas
Diplomatic and consular service
Mexican Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century
Mexican Americans -- Politics and government -- 20th century
Mexican Americans -- government policy
League of Latin American Citizens – History
Cuba -- Politics and government
Nicaragua -- Politics and government
Mexico -- Politics and government
Texas -- Social conditions