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Alonso S. Perales Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

Personal Papers

General Correspondence

Nicaraguan Consular Service

Aricna-Tacna Compromise

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)/Sons of America

National Foreign Trade Council

Committee of One Hundred Citizens and League of Loyal Citizens

Additional Civil Service

Law Firm

Religious Interests

Perales Original Works

Newspaper Clippings and Saved Articles

Marta Pérez de Perales Papers

Original Works by other individuals

Periodicals and Publications

Scrapbooks

Artifacts



Contact us about this collection

Alonso S. Perales Papers, 1898-1991 | University of Houston Libraries

By Kristen McAlear and Nicolás Kanellos

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Collection Overview

Title: Alonso S. Perales Papers, 1898-1991

ID: 04/2010-002

Primary Creator: Perales, Alonso S., 1898-1960

Extent: 17.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/2009

Subjects: Comité contra el Racismo, Committee of One Hundred Citizens, League of Loyal Citizens, League of United Latin American Citizens, Perales, Alonso S., 1898-1960, Perales, Marta Pérez de

Forms of Material: Blueprints (reprographic copies), Books, Brochures, Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence, Manuscripts (document genre), Offprints, Periodicals, Photographs, Scrapbooks, Typescripts

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Containing 17 series and housed in 14 boxes, this collection documents the life and work of Alonso S. Perales and, to a lesser degree, that of his wife, Marta Pérez de Perales. The collection also contains the correspondence with Perales by noteworthy civil rights leaders as J. T. Canales, Dr. Carlos Castañeda, José Luz Saenz, Mauro Machado, George I. Sánchez and Adela Sloss de Vento. The Alonso S. Perales Papers also contain the organizational papers for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Committee of One Hundred Citizens and League of Loyal Citizens and various other civil rights organizations. Perales’ journalism, essays, speeches and radio addresses are represented on hundreds of pages of typescript, at times with marginalia. His published materials include books, pamphlets and thousands of newspaper columns and letters to the editor. The collection also includes onionskin copies of typewritten letters from Perales to recipients, including community leaders, national and state politicians, and their typewritten letters responding to him. An extensive newspaper clipping file and full pages of newspapers from around Texas that carried his writing are also conserved in this collection. A particularly interesting chapter in the Perales documentation corresponds to his service as Consul for Nicaragua in San Antonio, during which he seems to have forged a strong relationship with Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza. Also included is a rich collection of personal and business photographs, many of which have been identified, and important memorabilia, such as awards, certificates and citations given to Mr. Perales.

Related Materials:

Selections from the Alonso S. Perales Papers digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/perales)

Alsono S. Perales Papers Microfilm: Catalog listing (http://library.uh.edu/search~S11?/eMicrofilm+2309/emicrofilm+2309/-3,-1,0,B/exact&FF=emicrofilm+2309&1,22)

Biographical Note

Alonso S. Perales, civil-rights lawyer and diplomat, was born on Oct. 17, 1898, to Susana Sandoval and Nicolas Perales in Alice, Texas. His father died when he was six years old and his mother when he was 12, leaving him an orphan. He worked laying railroad ties and picking cotton to put himself through high school and college. Later, Perales was drafted into the United States Army during World War I. After the war, Perales received an honorable discharge and moved to Washington D.C. to work with the U.S. Commerce Department. Perales eventually enrolled at George Washington University, receiving his B.A. He then attended the National University where he received his Law degree in 1926.

Perales married Marta Pérez y Peña, a bookstore owner, and they eventually adopted a daughter and two sons. In the 1920s and 1930s he went on thirteen diplomatic missions to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and the West Indies. In particular he was Legal Advisor to the United States Electoral Mission in Nicaragua in 1928, 1930 and 1932 and was one of the attorneys on General John J. Pershing’s staff for the Tacna-Arica Arbitration Commision in 1925-1926. He served as Consul General of Nicaragua in San Antonio, Texas and in 1945 he served as legal counsel to the Nicaraguan delegation at the United Nations conference. He also served under the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration.

From the 1920s until his death, Perales remained a prominent political leader, particularly as a defender of Mexican-American civil rights. As such he participated in various Civil Rights organizations and was one of the founders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929. Along with José Tomás Canales and Eduardo Idar, he helped write the LULAC constitution and served as the organization’s second president in 1930, organizing Council 16 in San Antonio. As president of LULAC one of Perales greatest accomplishments was the successful defeat of the Box Immigration Bill in 1930 which would have put a quota on Mexican immigration to the United States. His other civic activities included founding the Independent Voters Association, a Mexican-American political club in San Antonio, introducing legislation calling for the prohibition of racial discrimination, and membership in other religious and civil rights organizations. For his civic activities he was decorated by Spain with the “Medal of Civil Merit”, one of the nation’s highest civil honors.

Perales published numerous essays, speeches and two books: Are we good neighbors? which documents cases of racial discrimination, and the two volume En defensa de mi raza which compiles many of his essays and speeches on racial discrimination and those of other intellectuals. Also a regular columnist for La Prensa and other Spanish language newspapers, he published columns entitled “Arquitectos de nuestros propios destinos” which spoke of Mexican-American civil rights issues and “Por mi religión” which presents issues related to the Catholic Church.

Alonso S. Perales died on May 9, 1960. In 1977 the Alonso S. Perales Elementary School in Edgewood ISD was dedicated on the west side of San Antonio, and in 1990 the national LULAC convention in Albuquerque paid tribute to him.

Subject/Index Terms

Comité contra el Racismo
Committee of One Hundred Citizens
League of Loyal Citizens
League of United Latin American Citizens
Perales, Alonso S., 1898-1960
Perales, Marta Pérez de

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Permission to publish or reprint these materials must be requested from Arte Público Press at https://artepublicopress.com/permissions/.

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or his/her heirs or Arte Público Press. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form.

Acquisition Source: Donated to the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project (https://artepublicopress.com/recovery-project/) by Alonso S. Perales' daughter Marta Carrizales and son Raymond Perales.

Related Materials:

Selections from the Alonso S. Perales Papers digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/perales)

Alsono S. Perales Papers Microfilm Catalog listing (http://library.uh.edu/search~S11?/eMicrofilm+2309/emicrofilm+2309/-3,-1,0,B/exact&FF=emicrofilm+2309&1,22)

Preferred Citation: Alonso S. Perales Papers. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Processing Information: Nicolás Kanellos, Carolina Villarroel, Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Norma Mouton, Cristelia Pérez, Miguel Kanellos, Kristen McAlear and the research assistants at the Recovering the U. S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Program.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: General Correspondence],
[Series 3: Nicaraguan Consular Service],
[Series 4: Aricna-Tacna Compromise],
[Series 5: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)/Sons of America],
[Series 6: National Foreign Trade Council],
[Series 7: Committee of One Hundred Citizens and League of Loyal Citizens],
[Series 8: Additional Civil Service],
[Series 9: Law Firm],
[Series 10: Religious Interests],
[Series 11: Perales Original Works],
[Series 12: Newspaper Clippings and Saved Articles],
[Series 13: Marta Pérez de Perales Papers],
[Series 14: Original Works by other individuals],
[Series 15: Periodicals and Publications],
[Series 16: Scrapbooks],
[Series 17: Artifacts],
[All]

Series 1: Personal Papers
This series contains 23 folders housed in 2 boxes. Included in this series are personal documents, education records and military records saved by Alonso S. Perales and his wife. Notable documents are birth certificates, wills, driver’s licenses, membership cards, passports and other identification and tax information. The documents pertaining to military service include Perales’s honorable discharge certificate, special orders and travel orders as well as records from veteran’s benefits. This series also contains photographs from Perales’s life, some identified. Of special interest is “Antecedentes de Alonso S. Perales”, a speech given at the dedication of the Alonso S. Perales School. One large subseries contains extensive educational records from Alonso S. Perales’s university studies, including essays, notebooks, graded exams and report cards.
Sub-Series 1: Personal Documents
This subseries contains 13 Folders housed in 2 boxes. Please note that Box 14 is an oversize box and contains items from several series. Notable documents are birth certificates, wills, driver’s licenses, membership cards, passports and other identification and tax information. Many photographs are included in this series, some identified.
Box 1
Folder 1: Birth, Death, Wedding Documents and other biographical material
Folder 2: Honors/Awards/certificates
Folder 3: Photographs, sketches and paintings
Folder 4: Letters of recommendation
Folder 5: Personal tax and banking documents
Folder 6: Personal documents and membership cards
Folder 7: Military Service
Folder 8: U.S. Civil Service Commission
Folder 9: “Mensaje de Perales a los ciudadanos latinoamericanos”
Folder 10: Political campaign materials
Folder 11: Leisure interests, activities and vacations
Folder 12: Address lists and handwritten notes
Box 14
Folder 1: OVS  Photographs, Sketches, Paintings, Diplomas and certificates
Item 1: New York Poster
Item 2: Alonso S. Perales portrait by Jesús Castro
Item 3: La fiesta de las flores – Washington University, Dec 1921
Item 4: 1926 Senior Prom – National University law school, Dec 4, 1919
Item 5: Autographed portrait, Feb. 12, 1942
Item 6: Alonso S. Perales portrait – Charcoal Sketch, Jul 15, 1946
Item 7: “My Son” Charcoal Sketch
Item 8: Harold E. Stassen autographed print
Item 9: Family portrait, family friend, Oct. 1946
Item 10: Dwight D. Eisenhower portrait
Item 11: Cónsul General de Nicaragua certificate, Apr 5, 1934
Item 12: Cónsul, ad honorem de Nicaragua certificate, Apr 16, 1937
Item 13: Diploma– Universidad Nacional de México – Marta Pérez de Perales
Item 14: Diploma– Universidad Nacional de México – Alonso S. Perales
Item 15: United States Customs Court certificate – Alonso S. Perales
Sub-Series 2: Educational Documents
This subseries contains 10 folders contained in 1 box. It features items related to Alonso S. Perales’s university education. Of particular interest are the examination materials, graded blue book essays, and English and rhetoric essays, including an unsigned essay “Discovery of silver in Peru”, likely authored by Alonso Perales.
Box 1
Folder 13: University Study Materials
Item 1: Class schedules
Item 2: Tuition records
Item 3: Cancelled checks for tuition
Item 4: Report cards
Item 5: University Admission documents
Item 6: Collegiate Debate, Rutgers vs. George Washington University
Item 7: Miscellaneous notes
Folder 14: Examination Materials
Folder 15: Political Science
Folder 16: Religion and Sociology
Folder 17: Biology
Folder 18: English and Rhetoric
Folder 19: English and Rhetoric Essays
Folder 20: Economics and Psychology, [1930]
Folder 21: Law School
Folder 22: Short hand notebooks

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: General Correspondence],
[Series 3: Nicaraguan Consular Service],
[Series 4: Aricna-Tacna Compromise],
[Series 5: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)/Sons of America],
[Series 6: National Foreign Trade Council],
[Series 7: Committee of One Hundred Citizens and League of Loyal Citizens],
[Series 8: Additional Civil Service],
[Series 9: Law Firm],
[Series 10: Religious Interests],
[Series 11: Perales Original Works],
[Series 12: Newspaper Clippings and Saved Articles],
[Series 13: Marta Pérez de Perales Papers],
[Series 14: Original Works by other individuals],
[Series 15: Periodicals and Publications],
[Series 16: Scrapbooks],
[Series 17: Artifacts],
[All]

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