A Guide to the Order of the Damas de Galvez Records, 1977-2000
Order of the Damas de Galvez is a women's unit of equal status to the men's Order of Granaderos de Galvez. Both are patriotic organizations dedicated to honoring the memory of General Bernardo de Galvez and other Spaniards who aided American Colonies during the War for Independence. Charles Barrera, a lifelong Texan, pursued his inspiration for forming the men's organization in 1975 while planning a Bicentennial celebration parade in San Antonio to recognize the importance of General Bernardo de Galvez and Spain's contributions to America's Independence.
Charles Barrera and five charter members founded the national Order of Granaderos de Galvez in 1975. In June 1977 Alicia Barrera, Charles Barrera's wife, founded the Order of the Damas de Galvez in San Antonio. In recognition of their devotion in founding the organizations, Charles and Alicia Barrera were given the lifetime honorary titles of Supreme Governor and First Dama. By 1978, chapters of both organizations emerged in El Paso, Galveston, and Houston. Alicia served an active leadership role in the Order of the Damas de Galvez through the 1990s.
Order of the Damas de Galvez held monthly and later bimonthly meetings to discuss participation in community events, election of officers, attendance at annual national meetings, and where to make donations. Activities of the organization included sponsoring a mass on the birthday of General Bernardo de Galvez, donating books to schools and colleges, and planning for community events such as the Pageant of the Three Kings.
The collection spans the years 1977 through 2000 and consists of founding records, minutes, meetings, treasurer's reports, annual membership rosters, and general correspondence. For the most part, records from the late 1970s and the 1980s no longer exist. However, surviving records do clearly portray the beginnings, purpose, and functions of the Order of the Damas de Galvez, although details of their interaction with the men's unit, Granaderos de Galvez, are lacking.
Founding records document the beginnings of the Order of the Damas de Galvez and its brother organization. Included are articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws, and an article on the organization's history. Meeting minutes and documentation of annual state and national meetings provide details of the functions, activities, finances, conduct, membership, and leadership of the organization. Correspondence includes personal letters to Alicia Barrera, notice of events, invitations to various functions, and thank-you letters for book donations.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish material from the records must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
[Identification of item], Order of the Damas de Galvez Records, MS 21, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Received as a gift from the Order of the Damas de Galvez in 1996 and 2000 (Acc. 1996-012, 2000-013)
Processed by Toni L. Jeske, Processing Archivist, September 1998; and Tatina Wulzer, Collections Assistant, June 2008.
Detailed Description of the Collection