Life Story: Maria Gertrudis Barceló (ca. 1800 - 1852)

Beyond the Legend of La Tules

The story of a Mexican casino owner who assisted the U.S. during the Mexican-American War.

“Lady Tules,” Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1854. New-York Historical Society Library.

“Lady Tules,” Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1854.

Suggested Activities

  • APUSH Connection: 5.3 The Mexican-American War
  • Pair this life story with the Testimonio resource to illustrate how Mexican women navigated the U.S. acquisition of territory after the Mexican-American War.
  • To better understand the legal context of Maria’s life, see Marriage Contracts in the Spanish Colonies.
  • For another example of women smoothing a political transition, see: Negotiating the Surrender