Texas Declaration of Independence Signer. Born to María Manuela de la Peña and Juan Manuel Ruiz in San Fernando de Bexar – present day San Antonio. In 1803 he was appointed San Antonio's first schoolmaster. He was elected to the city council in 1805, and in 1809 he was elected city attorney. He joined the Provincial Militia on January 14, 1811 with the rank of lieutenant. He took part in the battle of Medina in 1813 on the side of the rebels against Spain. When the revolutionaries were defeated, he was left with a price on his head. He and his nephew fled to Louisiana and exile. He returned to Texas in 1822, after Mexican independence, when he joined the Mounted Militia, making captain the following year. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Mexican Army, and was given command of the garrison at Nacogdoches in 1827 and the garrison in San Antonio in 1828. By 1835, he again sided with the rebels against a distant ruler, and became one of the leaders in the struggle for Texas independence. Ruiz was second among those who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2,1836. He and his nephew were the only native Texans to do so. He was elected senator in the first Congress of the Republic in 1836. A study he wrote 'Report on the Indian Tribes of Texas in 1828' was translated and published by Yale University in 1972. It was a contemporary description of the customs of the Lipan Apaches, the Comanches, and the Chariticas. The house where he lived was pulled down and reconstructed at the Witte Museum in San Antonio in 1942 by the San Antonio Museum Association.
Bio by: Iola