Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

Affidavit sworn by Eleanor and Simona Martínez to Alonso S. Perales



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Affidavit sworn by Eleanor and Simona Martínez to Alonso S. Perales


RACE discrimination - public establishments
RACE discrimination - restaurants
DISCRIMINATION against Mexican Americans


Affidavit sworn by Eleanor and Simona Martínez that states that they were discriminated against at a restaurant in Dilly, Texas for being of Mexican descent.


Martínez, Eleanor
Martínez, Simona


Perales, Alonso S. Are We Good Neighbors? 1948. EBSCO Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2




Perales, Alonso S.


Content compilation of The Latino/Hispanic American Experience Leaders, Writers and Thinkers copyright 2012 by Arte Publico Historical Collections. All rights reserved.


Gauthereau, Lorena. "Are We Good Neighbors?: Mapping Discrimination Against Mexican Americans in 1940s Texas."











[handwritten: Jan. 26- 1944]

Greyhound Bus stopped at Dilly, Texas for a 20 minute res period, which we took advantage of at approximately 10: P.M. on January 23, 1944.

Upon entering the restaurant we found the place quite crowded Finding only 2 vacant places up at the counter.

We, my sister Eleanor age 18 yrs and I Simona Age 21 yrs of age took our places and waited for what seemed approximately 5 minutes before we were waited on. A big husky girl, a restaurant attendant approached us as we waited. I noticed contempt written all over her face. The place where we were sitted [seated] was quite dirty with scraps of food and smeared with coffee. She never wiped it up instead she noticed it and left it just as it was. We didn't say a word, we just stayed waiting. She then placed glasses of water down with a terrific bang nearly knocking then [them] over, and all the while we were tolerant to all her unbearable actions. We asked her what kind of sandwiches she had, she told us, We than [then] asked her for ham sandwiches, All the while she spoke to us she used an awful tone of voice, as if to say scram. When she came back with the sandwiches, she placed them down with such a hard blow that I could have sworn she meant to throw them at our faces. We told her what we wanted to drink, Coca Colas. She didn't have any, she said, but we noticed that other [sic] were buying cokes. Well, she told us what all she had. So we asked her for two glasses of milk. I noticed that she selected the glasses that were placed separate from the clean ones. She poured our glasses of milk. All the while we were resenting everything she was doing for we knew just in what manner she intended everything, We stood for all not saying one thing because were uite [sic] hungry and felt an urge to eat. When she place the food checks or bills on the table she threw them square at our faces. I, Simona reproached her about the way she was treating us. By that time she had picked them up and threw the bills down on the floor and commanded us to pick them up and pay for the good as well. Then Eleanor spoke up, She said, Just who do you think you are and who do you think you are treating that way? She answered, Mexicans can never be treated any better. She was breathing quite fast with way seemed madness and not anger. My sister Ealeanor [corrected in pen: Eleanor] continued: "You can never be any better than we are,["] with that she immediately became enraged with disgust and flung a hard blow at Eleanor's face. Then Eleanor defended herself by throwing the glass of milk at her. Then the the mad woman ran from behind the counter forcing Eleanor to run out of the restaurant. I ran after to protect my sister for I knew she could Eleanor if she wanted to, for we are not the fighting kind. She cursed and sweared [sic] she didn't care whether the Mexican Republic would declare war for she didn't like the Mexican people and would very much like to see the end of them. When I saw her strike my sister I reached over to protect her where upon the woman took hold of me Simona, and knocked me down on the pavement hitting a terrific blow on my head, striking my face with blows that injured me some. By that time Eleanor ran up to me to help take her away from me. As she approached me [page 2] this woman released me and again ran after my sister. I got up as soon as she released me and ran after looking for my sister. I found her leaning against the filling Station wall Gaping [gasping] for air. I took hold of her to help her. The woman sill [still] made efforts to jump on her. She was held back by a soldier I do not know. We later paid for our food [handwritten addition: which we did not eat, and that was imposed upon us by the proprietor of the Cafe, who came up to us at the scene where we were knocked down and said to pay and to go away from there] and left for San Antonio on the Greyhound Bus.

[signed} Simona B. Martinez
[signed] Eleanor H. Martinez

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of January, A.D. 1944.

[signed] Alonso S. Perales
Notary Public, Bexar County, Texas.

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Martínez, Eleanor and Martínez, Simona , “Affidavit sworn by Eleanor and Simona Martínez to Alonso S. Perales,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed April 18, 2024,