Why the Monument is Important
The Martín de León Colony, like the Austin Colony, was instrumental in the colonization of Texas. Don Martín was the only true Tejano Empresario and his colony was second only to that of Stephen F. Austin's in terms of success. Even after Texas gained its independence and became a state, Don Martín's established infrastructure continued to remain crucial for new immigrants arriving at Indianola and Lavaca to settle the West and bring their own cultures.
The early Tejano culture that arrived with Don Martín when he carved this part of Texas from the wilderness stressed the importance of family, community, and God; included things we take for granted today such as the right of women to own property (which did not exist in Anglo law); and provided the template for much of our modern local government system. This Tejano culture was the root of many things that today are synonymous with “Texas” itself such as ranching, roping, rodeos, cowboys, and of course Mexican food.
Don Martín’s beloved dream, the Villa de Guadalupe Victoria, has grown into the beautiful city of Victoria, Texas, with over 70,000 people today. The City of Victoria has donated space to honor its founder, so now is the time to come together as a community, like the original de León Colony’s settlers came together in 1824, to fund the monument.
To quote Stephen F. Austin,
“If he who, by conquest, wins an empire and receives the world's applause, how much more is due to those who, by unceasing toil, lay in the wilderness the foundation for an infant colony, and build thereon a vigorous and happy state..."