extracts from a report to the Cortes by Dr. Miguel Ramos de Arizpe, of Coahuila one of the American
representives to the Cortes who gave the report in November, 1811 at Cádiz.
...In the town of Chihuahua resides a commandat general who is independent of the viceroyalty of Mexico and who has the same and even greater powers than the viceroy. The provinces of Coahuila and Texas, from two hundred and forty to seven hundred leagues distant from his residence, are subject to him in every way. Each one of these provinces has a provincial chief with the title of military and political governor, who, by inherent and delegated powers, has jursidiction in all cases, being dependent in cases of war and general welfare on the commandant general. In fiscal affairs, he is subject to the intendant of San Luis Potosí, who is from one hundred to six hundred leagues distant, with the final recourse to the supreme council of finance in Mexico City; and in appeals for justice, the military and political governor is subject to the audencia of New Galacia, which is as far away as the comandancy general [in Chihuahua]...
Texas was discovered and settlements begun there by the inhabitants of Coahuila by the middle of the seventeenth century. It was subject to the governor of Coahuila until 1720. At that time the viceroy, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo, who, with five hundred soldiers from Coahuila re-estblished the presidios and missions of Texas, which several times had been destroyed by the Indians and one time threatened by the French. At the present, Texas has its military and political governor, and, after so many years of abandonment, contains in all its vast territory only three towns, which are most commonly known by the names of presidios ...They are:
San Fernando or Real Presidio de San Antonio de Véxar [San Antonio]
La Bahía del Espírtu Santo [Goliad]
San Antonio de Véxar, which is today the captial, has for its local government a municipal council of two alcaldes, an attorney, all three elected, and six aldermen. La Bahía and Nacogdoches are commanded by Lieutenants of the governor, assigned and replaced at his will; and the missions are governed by a corporal. In each town a company of calvary is stationed. Since 1806, military detachments of not fewer than fifty men have been posted on the Guadalupe and Trinity Rivers on the road to the frontier to Louisiana and another at the port of Arcokisas [Orcoquiza on Galveston Bay], under whose protection some families have gathered. San Antonio and La Bahía are administered spiritually by parish priests, Nacogdoches and the missions by Recollect Franciscans of Guadalupe de los Zacatecas, and all are subject to the Bishop of Neuvo León. As a result of the pretensions of the Anglo-Americans on the borders between Louisiana and Texas, the troops of Coahuila, aided by seven hundred militamen of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, all under the command of Colonel Antonio Cordero, governor of Coahuila, marched to Texas and to its frontier at the end of 1805. These men, having remained there until the present, have augmented the population of the province to seven thousand souls...
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