Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »

MEXIA DE REYGADES, YNES

María-Cristina García

MEXÍA DE REYGADES, YNÉS (1870–1938). Ynés Mexía de Reygades, naturalist and botanical collector, daughter of Enrique and Sarah (Wilmer) Mexía, was born in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., on May 24, 1870. Her father, son of Gen. José Antonio Mexía, was a representative at the Mexican consulate in Washington. Her mother was of the family of Samuel Eccleston, fifth Catholic archbishop of Baltimore. In 1871 the family moved to Limestone County, Texas, where they owned an eleven-league grant that became the site of present-day Mexia, Texas. Ynés spent most of her childhood in Texas and received her secondary education in private schools in Philadelphia and Ontario, Canada. She attended St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the University of California, Berkeley. She married Agustín A. de Reygades and moved to Mexico; after their separation, she resumed the use of her maiden name and moved to San Francisco, where she spent the last thirty years of her life. Her interest in botanical collecting began in 1922, when she joined an expedition led by E. L. Furlong, then curator of paleontology at the University of California. Not until 1925, however, did she undertake her first important collecting trip to Mexico. Over the next thirteen years she organized several important expeditions: three trips to Mexico, specifically the states of Sinaloa, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua, Puebla, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, and Guerrero; one trip to Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska; and two trips to South America. She collected approximately 145,000 specimens, of which 500 were previously undiscovered, and is given credit for two new species.

Mexía traveled alone. Several accounts of her expeditions were published in Madroño (1929, 1935), the journal of the California Botanical Society, as well as in the Sierra Club Bulletin (1933, 1937). She was a well-known lecturer in the San Francisco bay area, where she entertained audiences with tales and photographs of her travels. She was a member of the California Botanical Society, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Association of the Pacific, the Sociedad Geográfica de Lima, Peru, and the California Academy of Sciences; she was also an honorary member of the Departamento Forestal y de Caza y Pesca de Mexico. The Mexía collections can be viewed at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia; the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Catholic University, Washington, D.C.; the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago; Gray Herbarium, Harvard University; the University of California, Berkeley; and important museums and botanical gardens in London, Copenhagen, Geneva, Paris, Stockholm, and Zurich. Mexía's botanical records and personal papers are collected at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1938 she became ill during one of her trips to the mountains of Oaxaca and was forced to return home. She died on July 12 of that year.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Mrs. H. P. Bracelin, "Ynés Mexía," Madroño 4 (1938). Annetta Carter, "The Ynés Mexía Collections and N. Floy (Mrs. H.) Bracelin," Madroño 23 (July 1975). Ynés Mexía, "Botanical Trails in Old Mexico: The Lure of the Unknown," Madroño 1 (1929). Doris Hollis Pemberton, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, María-Cristina García, "MEXIA DE REYGADES, YNES," accessed October 15, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fme54.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...