Anglo-American Arrival in Texas

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					   Chapter 3
Arrival in Texas
                                              Land Empresarios

                             After Moses’ death, his son, Stephen F. Austin, assumed his
                             father’s contract. By 1825, Stephen Austin had nearly
Moses Austin (1761-`1821)    completed the terms of his first contract, and that year the
In January 1821, the         government made a second agreement with him to settle 500
Spanish government agreed    families. Stephen received an additional three grants between
to Austin proposal to let    1825 and 1831, but only complied fully with his first contract.
him oversee the settlement   He used part of his grants for speculating purposes, as did the
of 300 Catholic families     other empresarios and even some settlers who sought to turn
from the United States to    a profit from the Mexican government’s generosity.
Texas in exchange for a
huge personal grant of       Between 1821 and 1835, a total of forty-one empresario
Texas lands. (Calvert, De    contracts were signed, permitting some 13,500 families to
Leon, Cantrell, p. 58.)      come to Texas.             (Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, pp. 58, 61-62.)
Philip Nolan

    A scientific
    dispatched by
    President Thomas
    Jefferson. (1806)

        General James Wilkinson
In 1819, Dr. James Long and a
force of fellow filibusters
attempted to wrest Texas from
Mexico. This endeavor
apparently had the backing of a
group of Natchez entrepreneurs
who were upset over the
passage of the
Transcontinental Treaty of
1819. p. 57.
Constitution of
Haden Edwards,
Benjamin Edwards
and the Fredonia
Republic (1826)
                       The Investigation and Report of Mier Y Terán

   In order to evaluate how the national government might
   best deal with the troubles in Texas, Mexico dispatched
   Manuel de Mier y Terán, a high-ranking military officer
   and trained engineer, to the north. Crossing into Texas in
   1828, Mier y Terán reported that:

   •The province was flooded with Anglo Americans
   •Nacogdoches had essentially become an American town
   •Prospects for assimilation of the Anglos into Mexican
   culture appeared dim
   •The Anglo settlements generally resisted obeying the
   colonization laws.

   Mier y Terán report spurred the drafting and
   implementation of the Law of April 6, 1830.
Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, p. 64.   Manuel de Mier y Terán, 1789-1832
                         The Law of April 6, 1830

  •The Law of April 6, 1830 intended to stop further
  immigration into Texas from the United States by
  declaring uncompleted empresario agreements as void,
  although Mier y Terán let stand as valid those contract
  belonging to men who had already brought 100 families.

  •Future American immigrants must not settle in any
  territory bordering the United States.

  •New presidio were established to check illegal

  •The Law banned further importation of slaves into

Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, p. 64.
Among Anglos, a radical faction of the Federalists, which has come to be known
as the “war party,” emerged from the outrage over the Law of April 6. In the
summer of 1832, friction between settler and authorities trying to enforce
recently instituted policies regulating commerce in the Gulf ports and the
collection of new tariffs reached a high pitch at the military post in Anahuac.
Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn,        The Law of April 6, 1830, Resisted
an Anglo-American adventurer
                                             Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, p. 64.
who had joined the Centralist
cause in Mexico, arrested the
lawyer William Barret Travis
when the latter attempted a
ruse to secure the release of
two runaway slaves that
Bradburn had in protective
custody. In response to Travis’s
arrest, vigilantes gathered to
call for his release. When
Bradburn refused to surrender
his prisoner, the colonists,
accustomed to the Anglo-
American tradition of the
separation of military and
civilian law, and to trial by jury,
labeled Bradburn a despot.
    Turtle Bayou Resolutions, 1832
In June of 1832, a party of Anglo Texas
from around Anahuac and the port town
of Brazoria marched on Bradburn’s
garrison. A full-scale battle seemed
imminent, but while waiting for
reinforcements, the Anglos issued a
document known as the Turtle Bayou
Resolutions on June 13, 1832, which
cleverly argued that their actions at
Anahuac were not an uprising but a
demand for their constitutional rights
as Mexican citizens, adding that their
cause was in sympathy to that of the
Federalist leader, Antonio López de
Santa Anna, then attempting to
overthrow the Centrists, the party to
which Bradburn belonged. Higher
military officials avoided further
bloodshed at Anahuac by replacing
Bradburn and releasing Travis and
other whom Bradburn had arrested.
    Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, p. 64.
                         Anglos in Texas, 1821-1836
• POPULATION: By 1834, it is estimated that the number of Anglo Americans and their slaves
reached over 20,700. This figure might well have represented the doubling of the number of
Americans in Texas just sine 1830, which highlights the extent to which the Law of April 6, 1830
was disregarded, both by Anglos and sympathetic Spanish officials.
• LIFE: Life in Texas was rough and rustic. Basic goods such as clothing, blankets, and footwear
were not readily available. Many lived off the land, which involved hunting, fishing, planting small
gardens and gathering nuts and berries.
• COTTON AND SLAVERY: With slaves and imported technology, some Anglos planted and
processed cotton for outside markets, and by 1834, Anglos’ farms may have shipped some 7,000
bales of cotton to New Orleans.
• BARTER AND SMUGGLING: Due to a lack of currency, people bartered to obtain needed
commodities and services. Anglos found numerous ways to earn an income, among them
smuggling. The tariff laws that exempted Anglo products during the 1820s had not applied to all
imports and generally excluded household goods and implements. Taking advantage of this
loophole (even in cases where is was legally closed) Anglos brought merchandise illegally into
Texas, and some even then shipped the products to more southern Mexican states or west to
New Mexico.
• EDUCATION: The foreigners established numerous schools in the 1820s and 1830s, patterning
them after schools they had known in the southern United States.
• RELIGION: Although Anglos had agreed to observe the Catholic religion in order to qualify as
Mexican citizens, the Church neglected them because of, among other things, a shortage of
priests. Hence, many Anglo settlers held illicit church services and religious camp meetings.
                                                           (Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, pp. 69-70.)
             THE TEXAS GAZETTE

Godwin Brown Cotton established the
first successful press in 1829 in
Austin’s colony in Texas. The
newspaper, named the Texas Gazette,
served Austin in his determination to
assure the host country of Anglo-
American loyalty and to remind the
colonists of the gratitude they owed
Mexico. The Gazette ceased
publication in 1832, but other papers
continued to spread the new to Anglo
Texans.                   (Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, pp. 73-74.)
             Blacks in Texas, 1821-1836
• Using the guise of contract labor, Anglos had been able to perpetuate slavery despite
Mexican disapproval. By 1836, the number of slaves in Texas numbered about 5,000. The
institution of slavery arrived in Texas with all its southern trappings, for whites sought to
recreate it just as it existed in the United States. As in the South, where society delineated
strict roles for the different races, in Texas many Anglos considered blacks a racially
inferior people suited to a life of strenuous labor and servitude.

• Anglos considered slaves legal property. Hence slaves could be:
    •bought and sold
    •hired out
    •counted as one’s assets
    •used as collateral

• To control the slave population, whites followed tried and tested policies, including the
liberal use of the lash.
                                                    (Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, pp. 71-73.)

• Slaves attempted to run away when possible, often seeking refuge among the Indian
tribes of East Texas or in the Mexican settlements of the nation’s interior.
                         Tejanos, 1821-1836
• Most Hispanic Texans (Tejanos) lived in the ranching areas of Central and South Texas. Many
of them were the descendants of the first colonizers and presidial soldiers assigned to garrisons
through the Spanish period.
• As was the case before Mexico gained independence, Mexican society in Texas continued to be
a divided one, the emerging opportunities in commerce, ranching, and politics during the 1820s
and 1830s fueling the fragmentation. Government bureaucrats, successful merchants or
rancheros, and others who came from prominent families made up a small elite. Among its
members were Erasmo and Juan N. Seguín, José Antonio Navarro, Ramón Músquis, and retired
soldiers such as José Francisco Ruiz and José María Balmaceda.
• The status of Hispanic women reflected both liberties and restrictions. Women sued for
military survivors’ benefits and engaged in the sale of lands, from which some achieved financial
standing equal to or surpassing that of some men. But women also suffered from serious
disadvantages. Law and tradition barred them from voting or holding political office. Religion
discouraged divorce, dooming many to endure unhappy marriages. There was also a double
standard: women adulteresses were ostracized while a blind eye was turned to the philandering
of men.
• Hispanics supported education through fund-raising drives. Hispanics opened schools in the
following communities:
    •Laredo (1825)
    •Nacogdoches (1828)
• Militia units remained the primary form of defense, as had been common during the period
before 1821.                                             (Calvert, De Leon, Cantrell, pp. 73-74.)
• Catholicism remained the primary religion among the Mexican Texans.
Independence left Mexico in disorder and decay. Conditions
were far worse in Mexico than in Argentina or Brazil because
the actual fighting had been so much more widespread and
protracted in Mexico. The economy was in shambles.
Spaniards and taken their capital out of the country. Of a
population of seven million, an estimated half a million died
during the war years. Devastation in the countryside and in
the cities left thousands unemployed. Disease, banditry, and
violence were rampant. (Skidmore & Smith, p. 254; Suchlicki,
p. 61)

                            Agricultural production was at a
                            standstill, because many farms
                            and haciendas had been
                            destroyed and abandoned.
                            (Suchlicki, p. 61)
The textile industry had fallen on hard times. The scars of
battle were visible throughout the country, especially in
the central valley. As one traveler recalled, there were
“ruins everywhere—here a viceroy’s place serving as a
tavern, where the mules stop to rest, and the drivers to
drink pulque—there, a whole village crumbling to pieces;
roofless houses, broken down walls and arches, and old
church—the remains of a convent.” (Skidmore & Smith, p.
RESTLESS UNEMPLOYED SOLDIERS: Economic disorder meant there
were very few jobs and much unemployment. According to one estimate,
about 300,000 men, most of whom had fought in the wars, had no job or
income when the battles came to an end. This represented 15 to 30
percent of the entire adult male population. They were eager, often
angry, and usually armed. They posed not only an economic problem but
a social threat as well. (Skidmore & Smith, p. 255.)
The two institutional bases of power in
     Mexico after independence:

    The Church          The Military
    President Guadalupe Victoria             Vice-President Nicolás Bravo
Liberals wanted:                           Conservatives wanted:
• the state to guide the Church, instead   • a strong Church which would play an
  of the other way around                    important role in guiding the nation
• a decentralized, federal republic        • a strong central government that
• limited democracy (but more inclusive      guarded against the passions of the
  than any conservative wanted)              masses and the dominance of local
• individual property rights as opposed      interests
  to communal property rights              • to support corporate ownership in
• the abolition of fueros, or special        mining and industry
  privileges of corporate entities (i.e.   • protection for Church and military
  the Church and the army)                   fueros
• secular education                        • Catholic education
 The Presidential Election of 1828
1. Manuel Gómez Pedraza wins.
2. The liberals could not accept the outcome, and started a
   revolution with Santa Anna as their military leader.
3. The Revolution is successful, and the insurgents install
   their candidate, Vicente Guerrero, as president.
   Anastasio Bustamante, a compromise conservative,
   became vice-president.
     The Spanish Invasion of 1829
1. The Spanish invade Mexico and take Tampico in
   July of 1829.
2. Santa Anna lays siege on their fort, and the
   Spaniards, plagued by yellow fever and lack of
   provisions, surrender by October.
3. Many Spanish merchants leave Mexico to escape
   reprisals by angry Mexican nationals.

General Santa Anna
          A Parade of Coups d'état
1. Guerrero refused to relinquish the extraordinary "emergency" powers that Congress had given him
to cope the threat posed by the Spanish invasion.
2. In reaction against this, Vice-President Bustamante posed as a champion of constitutionalism and
led an armed revolt against Guerrero's government.
For the second time in Mexico's brief history a conservative vice-president led an armed revolt
against a liberal president.
But where Nicolás Bravo had failed, Bustamante, largely because of his influence with the army,
4. Bustamanta captured President Guerrero, and had him executed on January 14, 1831.
 5. The Repression of the Bustamante dictatorship: Bustamante soon became a rather crude
dictator. (suppression of the press, badgering the legislature and judicial branches, political
corruption, repression against the Yorquinos {Liberal Free Masons}).
 6. Santa Anna overthrows Bustamante. In response to his General Santa Anna took up the liberal
cause and marshaled his forces to overthrow the Bustamante government. Bustamanta's government
soon fell to Santa Anna, who then returned to Veracruz to revel in his latest victory and await the
outcome of the 1833 presidential elections.
                  The following era, from roughly 1833
                  to 1855, can be justifiably termed the
                  era of Santa Anna. He dominated
                  Mexican politics for much of this
                  period, and left an indelible mark on
                  Mexican history.
                  Born in Veracruz in 1794, the young
                  Santa Anna showed little interest in
                  books. Instead, at the age of sixteen
                  he joined the army and soon

General Antonio
                  thereafter fought against pro-
                  Hidalgo rebels. For the next decade,
Lopez de Santa    the young Calvary officer staunchly
                  supported the crown's efforts in New
    Anna          Spain.
  General Antonio
Lopez de Santa Anna
                                     The era of Santa Anna:
                 An era of flamboyant caudillaje and chronic instability

1821--he switched allegiance and joined Iturbide's fight for Mexican Independence.
1823--he led republican forces against the empire and was instrumental in overthrowing
1827--he took the lead in suppressing Vice-President Nicolás Bravo's (conservative) revolt
against President Victoria (liberal).
1828--he saw to it that the defeated liberal candidate, Vicente Guerrero, was installed in
1829--he defeated the Spanish invasion forces as Tampico to save the infant republic.
1832--he overthrew the Bustamante dictatorship after it had become intolerable.
But his illustrious career in a chaotic Mexico was just getting started in 1833. Indeed--if
you can believe it--1833 marks the beginning of an era that was even more chaotic for
Between May 1833 and August 1855 the presidency changed hands thirty-six times, the
average term being about 7½ months. Santa Anna occupied the presidential chair on
eleven different occasions, and, without question, he was the most powerful political figure
in Mexico during this time. Even when he was out of office he was a powerful force to be
reckoned with and a constant danger to the incumbent regime and to anyone aspiring to the
Santa Anna wins the
Presidency in 1833, then
leaves it to Gómez Farías

In 1833, Santa Anna won
the presidency with the
largest majority in Mexican
history. But, he soon grew
bored of the presidential
day-to-day work. Thus, he
returned to his estate in
Vera Cruz and left the
presidency to Vice-
President Valentín Gómez
The liberal reforms of
Valentín Gómez Farías

A.Military Reforms:
  1. Reduce the size of the
  2. He abolished military
     fueros (i.e. army officers
     would now have to stand
     trial in civil courts.)
           B. Gómez Farías’s Clerical Reforms
1.   Clergymen throughout the country were advised that they should limit their
     directives and admonitions from the pulpit to matters of religion.
2.   The secularization of education--including the University of Mexico.
3.   All future clerical appointments would be made by the government rather than the
4.   The mandatory payment of the tithe was declared illegal. (The individual was asked
     to search his own conscience and respond as he would.)
5.   Congress enacted legislation permitting nuns, priests, and lay brothers, who had
     taken oaths to spend their entire lives as brides and servants of Christ, to forswear
     their vows. (This was done in the name of individual freedom--a concept much in
     vogue with the nineteenth-century liberals.)
6.   The Franciscan missions in California were secularized and their funds and property
Understandably, many of those who had vested interests in the Church
or the military hated Gómez Farías reforms.
To the rallying cry of Religión y Fueros the church, the army, and other
conservative groupings banded together and called for the overthrow of
the government.
Santa Anna joins the conservatives cause and overthrows the
government of his former Vice-President, Gómez Farías:
Again thirsting for public acclaim the retired President Santa Anna
jumped at the new opportunity for action and agreed to lead the
movement against his former vice-president, Gómez Farías. Not
embarrassed by lack of consistency, the embattled champion of all
liberal causes since 1821 suddenly began denouncing anticlerical
atheists, naive federalists, subversive anarchists, Gómez Farías, and his
liberal cohorts.
Constitution of
                  The Texas Revolt
A. Permission to settle:
Starting in 1821, Spain and then an Independent Mexico had granted
permission to Catholic (North) Americans to settle the sparsely
populated territory of Texas.
B. Incentives for settlement:
Soon there was a great influx of Americans settlers into Texas. The land
was practically free--only 10¢ an acre as opposed to $1.25 an acre for
inferior land in the U.S. Each male colonists over twenty-one years of
age was allowed to purchase 640 acres for himself, 320 acres for his
wife, 160 acres for each child and, significantly, an additional 80 acres
for each slaves that he brought with him.
The numerical dominance of the American settlers:
1827: By 1827 there were some 12,000 United States citizens living in
Texas, while there were only 7,000 Mexicans.
1835: By 1835 the immigrant population had reached 30,000, while the
Mexican population had barely passed 7,800
     The Mexican response to the
         influx of Americans
1. Slavery was abolished:
The first important piece of legislation designed to prevent a further weakening
of Mexican control was President Guerrero's emancipation proclamation of 1829.
Because slavery was not important anywhere else in the republic, the measure
was clearly directed at Texas. Although manumission was not immediately
enforced, it was hoped that the decree itself would make Mexico less attractive
to colonists from the U.S. South and would thus arrest immigration.

2. Forbiddance of further immigration:
The colonization law of 1830 explicitly forbade all future immigration into Texas
from the United States and called for the strengthening of Mexican garrisons, the
improvement of economic ties between Texas and the remainder of Mexico by
the establishment of a new coastal trade, and the encouragement of increased
Mexican colonization.
October 2, 1835—The
Battle of Gonzales.
The first battle of the
Texas Revolution
begins when Santa
Anna sends a
detachment of
Mexican Calvary to
retrieve a cannon.
Texans drive them
back using the
cannon. The battle
flag used by the
Texans features a
picture of a cannon
and the written dare
"come and take it."
        The Texans Response
The Texans considered these measures repressive. The
last straw, as far as the Texans were concerned, was the
news from Mexico City that Santa Anna had arbitrarily
annulled the federal Constitution of 1824. The centralist
tendencies of the new regime meant that, instead of
having a greater voice in the management of local
affairs, the Texans were to have no voice at all.
The Lone Stare Republic is declared.
The Texans had decided on independence and
subsequently chose David Burnet as president of the
Lone Star Republic and Zavala as vice-president.
* 1835: Santa Anna moves north at the head of some
6,000 troops.
* In 1836 a Mexican force of about 4000 men commanded by
Santa Anna reached San Antonio. The San Antonio garrison—
187 men under the command of Colonel William Barrett
Travis—withdrew to the Alamo. About 15 civilians were with
the men inside the Alamo. Santa Anna attacked the Alamo,
eventually breaching the mission walls. Only the civilians
                       San Antonio de Béxar
The Goliad Affair: Mexican forces executed
365 Texan prisoners who had surrendered.
Several weeks after the surrender of the Alamo,
Genaral José Urrea engaged a force of Texans
under the command of Colonel James W. Fannin at
the small town of Goliad. Surrounded and
outnumbered, Fannin surrendered in the belief that
he and his men would be afforded the recognized
rights of prisoners of war. Realizing that the tenor
of the war had been set at the Alamo, General
Urrea wrote to Santa Anna urging clemency for
Fannin and the other prisoners. Urrea then moved
on to another engagement and left the Texas
prisoners in the charge of Lieutenant Colonel
Nicolás de la Portilla. Santa Anna, however,
ordered Nicolás de la Portilla to execute the
prisoners, which he promptly did despite some
moral misgiving. All 365 prisoners were executed.
The Houston administration also
passed legislation to encourage
immigration and raise revenue; for
this it turned to land, the
government’s most tangible resource.
The ad interim government had
provided headrights (grants of land
that obliged grantees to comply with
certain conditions, such as improving
the land) in order to entice volunteers
into the Texas army. (p. 90.)
Texas Forever!! [New Orleans? 1836].
Broadside, CN 00834, Broadside
Collection. This is the only known
copy of an inflammatory circular
issued in New Orleans that
demonized the Mexican army and
offered substantial inducements of
land to all who would come to aid the
Texan cause. The broadside contains
a brief account of the Alamo siege,
the outcome of which was still
unknown at the time this circular was
Battle of San Jacinto
Santa Anna is defeated and captured at the Battle of San Jacinto:
The excesses committed by Santa Anna's troops at the Alamo and Goliad crystallized
opposition to Mexico both among Texans and in the United States. Supplies and men
began to pour into Texas, and by the third week in April Houston felt strong enough to
make a stand. He chose his own ground and, in the middle of the afternoon on April
21, caught Santa Anna's troops of guard near San Jacinto River. Within half an hour
the Mexican arm was routed, and Santa Anna himself fled for safety. Two days later
he was captured by one of Houston's patrols.
In this popular print the victorious General Houston, dressed in colorful Indian garb, vents
his moral wrath on the defeated Mexican commanders. The contemporary lithograph
suggests how deeply the events of the Texas Revolution resonated in the United States.
Mexico: Territorial Divisions, 1820s
The loss of Texas and the war with the United States contributed more to Mexico’s
impoverishment, its apparent sterility, its xenophobia, its lack of self-esteem, and its general
demoralization than any other event of the nineteenth century. (Meyer, Sherman and Deeds, p.

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