Alonso S. Perales Papers

Descriptive Summary:

Creator:Alonso S. Perales
Title:Alonso S. Perales Papers
Inclusive 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?"
Extent:.25 linear feet
Container:G-3-2 Box #1
Repository:South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Historical Notes:

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 Content:

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."


The materials are arrange in folders.


Access:Open for research
Rights Statment:Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A& M University-Kingsville. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

Index Terms:


  • Perales, Alonso S., 1898
  • Wells, Benjamin Sumner, 1892-1961
  • Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948


  • Draughons Business College
  • Washington Preparatory School
  • National University of Washington
  • Diplomatic and consular service
  • United Nations
  • League of Latin American Citizens -- History

Geographical Names

  • Alice (Tex.)
  • San Antonio (Tex.)
  • Washington (D.C.)
  • Brownsville (Tex.)
  • Cuba -- Politics and government
  • Nicaragua -- Politics and government
  • Mexico -- Politics and government
  • Texas -- Social conditions


  • Chicano movement
  • Lawyers -- Texas
  • Mexican Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century
  • Mexican Americans -- Politics and government -- 20th century
  • Mexican Americans -- government policy

Administrative Information:

Preferred Citation

Alonso S. Perales Papers, A1993.016, South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


A1993-016 – Gift of Dr. Donna Tobias

Proccessing Information

Cecilia Aros Hunter processed the collection in 1993; Lori Atkins entered metadata in the database and created the updated Finding Aid in November 2015.

2016 Texas A&M University-Kingsville,
James C. Jernigan Library, South Texas Archives,
MSC 197, 700 University Blvd, Kingsville, TX 78336-8202