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Alonso S. Perales Papers


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



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:

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

II. Alsono S. Perales Papers Microfilm:

(a) Inventory (pdf) (http://info.lib.uh.edu/sites/default/files/docs/Alonso_S_Perales_Microfilm_IndexII.pdf)

(b) 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: The material in this collection is in the public domain. However, Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, and all reproduction restrictions apply. In any published research based on these materials, an acknowledgement of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, University of Houston, must appear.

Acquisition Source: Donated by daughter Marta Carrizales and son Raymond Perales.

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],

Series 13: Marta Pérez de Perales Papers
This series contains 9 folders housed in 1 box; it is organized thematically and alphabetically and contains Marta Perales’s personal correspondence and documents. Also included are tax and other financial records. Of particular note is information about Marta Perales’s patent including design sketches. Notably there is a folder devoted to Marta Perales’s father, Casimiro Pérez, which includes his biography, obituary and funeral documents. It contains items dated from 1926-1993.
Box 10
Folder 1: Correspondence Al pueblo de Alice – Colorado Industrial School for Boys
Item 1: Al Pueblo de Alice, no date
Item 2: Albidress, Charles Jr., Jun 2, 1960
Item 3: The American Historical Company, 1960
Item 5: Benítez, Joe, Jun 14, 1974
Item 6: Bentsen, Lloyd, Jun 21, 1979-Dec. 16, 1980
Item 7: Bernstein, Frances, Jan. 27, 1967 – Apr. 18, 1967
Item 8: Bonilla, Rubén, undated Riusech,
Item 9: Buehler, Walter J., May 12, 1960
Item 10: Canales, J. T. (also see LULAC), Jun 23, 1960 - May 23, 1961
Item 11: Castañeda, Carlos, May 11, 1960
Item 12: Ceniceros, Joseph F., Jan. 12, 1971
Item 13: Clements, William P., Governor of Texas, Jun 10- 24, 1980
Item 14: Cisneros, Henry G., Mar. 12, 1979
Item 15: Chavarría, Elvira, May 26, 1981
Item 16: Colorado Industrial School for Boys, Feb. 18, 1957
Folder 2: Correspondence Dean - Gutiérrez
Item 1: Dean, Paul, Apr. 25, 1964
Item 2: Delgado, Medar L., Jul. 28, 1971
Item 3: Down Town LULAC Council No. 363, Nov. 12, 1962? - Nov. 12, 1963
Item 4: Editor, Express Publishing, Feb. 16, 1957 (3 copies)
Item 5: Eisenhower, Mamie, Feb. 27, 1957
Item 6: Elie _____, sister, Jul. 29, 1932
Item 7: Ellis, Wm. L., Jan. 24, 1963 - Feb. 28, 1963
Item 8: Embajador República de Nicaragua, Jul. 20, 1970 (2 letters)
Item 9: Estela, sister, Oct. 5, 1953
Item 10: Flores, P.F., Sep. 27, 1984
Item 11: Galván, Edmund, Jan. 24, 1949
Item 12: García, Mario T., May 5, 1982
Item 13: Gentlemen, Jan. 29, 1953
Item 14: Gonzales, Henry B., Jun 13, 1973 - Sep. 3, 1984
Item 15: Grant, Davis, Sep 25, 1962
Item 16: Gutiérrez, Margo, Nov. 5, 1988 (Also see Committee 100)
Folder 3: Correspondence Hale - Pulido
Item 1: Hale Jr., Chas L., Jan. 21, 1963
Item 2: Heard, J. A., Apr. 19, 1966
Item 3: Herrera, Ismael, May 16, 1960
Item 4: Hischfield Aldama, Julio, Jul 27, 1961
Item 5: Flores, Patrick, undated-Sep. 27, 1984
Item 6: Jadot, Jean, May 27, 1979
Item 7: Kennedy, Edward M., no date
Item 8: Kilgore, d. E., May 17, 1970
Item 9: Klien, Lester L., to Manuel Bernal, Nov. 23, 1970
Item 10: Koebke, Albert, telegram, May 10, 1960
Item 11: LaBrum, Harry, May 24, 1965
Item 13: Limón, José, Aug. 29, - Oct. 10, 1972.
Item 14: Littlefield, Martin, Vantage Press, Jan. 8, 1972
Item 16: María Jesús _____, Nov. 29, 1953
Item 17: Martel Adeler, Erik Ignacio, Aug 17, 1977
Item 18: Martínez, Valdés, Felipe Polo, Dec. 6, 1962
Item 20: Mitchell, Carolyn L., Dec. 30, 1970
Item 21: MonteMayor, Sister María Isabel, May 10, 1960
Item 22: Mother’s Day cards (many from her two children).
Item 23: Muy respetable señor, no addressee, Jul. 21, 1993
Item 24: Nanín, May 10, 1960
Item 26: Olga, May 10, 1960
Item 27: Pacheco Moreno, Manuel, no date
Item 28: Perales, Alonso S., Aug. 16-18, 1953.
Item 29: Pérez, “El Bandito,” (Mrs. Perales’ brother, Oct. 16, 1977
Item 30: Pérez, Hilda and Lola, Aug. 27, 1926
Item 31: Pérez Carlos, Amelia, May 11, 1960
Item 33: Pulido, Guillermo, Oct.2, 1991
Folder 4: Correspondence Quekmeyer - Stanford
Item 1: Quekmeyer, J. G., Jul. 7, 1925
Item 2: Rabb, Maxwell M., Mar. 6, 1957
Item 3: Ramírez, Andrés, telegram, May 10, 1960
Item 4: Riusech, Rev. Jose P., May 11, 1960
Item 5: Roane, Aline C., Jul. 2, 1965
Item 6: Rowan, John A., Mar 20, 1964
Item 8: Sánchez, George I., no date.
Item 9: Sheen, Fulton J., Oct. 10, 1975
Item 10: Smallwood, Ronald, May 21, 1960 – Mar. 10, 1961
Item 11: Sociedad E.V. C., no date
Item 12: Soelberg, G. F., Feb. 25, 1957 (2 copies)
Item 13: Stanford, John W., Mar. 29, 1966
Folder 5: Correspondence Tate - Watts
Item 1: Tate, Robert S., May 13, 1960
Item 3: Toadhue, Anne, May 1, 1930
Item 4: Tobias, Donna R., Jan. 18, 1979 – Aug. 14, 1979
Item 5: Toraldin, telegram, May 14, 1960
Item 6: Torres C., Sara, May 14, 1960
Item 7: Treviño, Fortino (also see Alonso S. Perales Correspondence), Oct. 7, 1940 Dec 15, 1970.
Item 8: United States Department of State, Jul. 20-21, 1970
Item 9: United States Patent office, Apr. 12, 1952
Item 10: Vento, Adela S., Apr 20, 1962 - Nov. 5, 1988
Item 11: Vento, Arnoldo, Feb. 19, 1973 - Oct. 25, 1988 (also see Alonso Perales correspondence)
Item 13: Walch, Ofelia, no date
Item 14: Walker, Ann, Mar. 9, 1962
Item 15: Watts, Frances H., May 10, 1960
Folder 6: Manuscripts, typescripts, Patent information and honors
Folder 7: Religious and leisure interests
Folder 8: Financial, insurance and other legal documents
Folder 9: Casimiro Pérez Álvarez
Item 1: Eulogy
Item 2: Biography
Item 3: Correspondence
Item 4: Personal medical documents

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],

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