Although the Plan of San Diego bares the town’s name, many historians believe that it was not written or adopted in that town. Much of the reason why they believe this to be the case is that Basilio Ramos, who signed the plan and on whose person the plan was first discovered, said that it was given to him and the other signers in a Monterrey jail and they were asked to sign it in order to be released from the jail.
The problem with this assertion is that Ramos then proceeded to make his way to Texas to begin organizing for the Plan. If indeed he signed it only to be released, would he have continued with its implementation?
In 1959, the Houston Chronicle ran a story that in which John Sutherland, an old-timer from San Diego, said that the Plan was indeed hatched in San Diego. Sutherland, an attorney in San Diego, claimed to be the person
who first reported the Plan to the Attorney General’s Office in Washington.
The 84-year-old Sutherland said that the conspirators met at a building at the corner of St. Charles and Mier Streets used in 1957 by the San Diego Lumber Company as a warehouse. He said he would sit on his porch, which was located across the street from the warehouse on Mier Street.
Sutherland said he could identify at least 20 men involved in the deliberations. He said he wrote a full report for authorities in Washington and that investigators were sent to look into the matter.
The problem with Sutherland’s story is that no one has been able to find any report, letter, or other documentation to substantiate his account. He, moreover, said he was called to testify at Ramos’ trial in Brownsville but in fact Ramos was never tried.
After spending the early months of 1915 in jail, Ramos was indicted and was released when his bond was reduced from $5,000 to $100. He made bond and was never seen by authorities again. Court records indicate that a capias for his arrest was issued on May 15, 1915 but a second court record dated June 10, 1915 indicates that authorities were not able to locate Ramos. The case against Ramos remained on the docket of the U.S. District Court in Brownsville until it was dismissed on May 14, 1923.
Shortly after Ramos’ arrest, two San Diego men were picked up in San Diego in relation to the Plan, but Manuel Flores and Anatolio Gonzalez were quickly released for mistaken identity.
Other than the document baring the name of San Diego, there appears no other documentation that can definitively corroborate that it had its origins in San Diego. In the final analysis, there is no proof that it was written anywhere else so we have to take the Plan at face value.