Did you know that people were living in what is now Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Mexico, and Cuba during the American Revolution? Did you know they participated in the war with military service, monetary donations, and food? Some of the military troops that served on the Gulf Coast came from Spain and the Canary Islands!

Did you know the first Texas cattle drive was during the American Revolution? The Louisiana Governor, Bernardo de Galvez, requested the cattle from the Texas Governor to support Spanish, French, and American troops in the American Revolution. (The original Texas province included what is now New Mexico.)

Barbara Wiley, Captain Gilbreth Falls-Absolom Hooper Chapter member and co-author of “American Independence: The Spanish Secret,” presented an educational program at the Dona Ana Chapter in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on October 16, 2021. She covered the history of Bernardo de Galvez and the patriots across the Gulf Coast who served in the Spanish Military, donated money to the Revolution, or contributed goods and cattle.

The Dona Ana Chapter Regent nominated the “American Independence: The Spanish Secret” for the NSDAR Excellence in American History Children’s Book Award in 2021. In addition, at the recent New Mexico State Conference, the State Junior American Citizens (JAC) Committee Chair presented how the JAC Committee used the book in New Mexico to meet JAC requirements.

The Dona Ana Chapter was interested in why Barbara decided to co-author and publish a children’s coloring and activity book about Bernard de Galvez in the American Revolution. Barbara and co-author, Liz Strassner, first learned of Galvez with the children who started the Bernardo de Galvez Society, Children of the American Revolution. Barbara and Liz were surprised to learn that despite their education, they had never known about the Spanish efforts in the American Revolution or that people who were living along the Gulf Coast participated in the Revolution. The Order of The Granaderos y Damas de Galvez provided educational opportunities and other support for the new C.A.R. Society and their Senior officers related to Galvez. In addition, it supplied a photograph that ended up being the basis for the coloring book cover. With the help of Barbara’s talented husband, Barbara and Liz decided to create a fun teaching coloring book for children. Of course, Barbara had made sure that her home state of New Mexico was well covered in the book, in addition to her current state, Texas.

The Captain Gilbreth Falls-Absolom Hooper Chapter was chartered in the historic town of Friendswood, Texas. For more information about the chapter, contact Regent is Ann Strouhall at pastrouhal@yahoo.com, or Vice-Regent is Kelly Henry at kekkijo@yahoo.com.