Che l4onetary Jistory of the
Repu#ic of rexas
EDWARD W. HEUSINGER
T HE political history of Texas from its beginning as a
province of New Spain and as a state of Mexico and the
manner in which it achieved its independence is well
known. Little has been written of Texas' monetary history, how-
ever, and not enough is known of the difficulties under which
the Republic of Texas issued paper money and bonds to obtain
funds with which to pay the expenses of its government.
Although in April, 1835, the legislature of the state of Coahuila
and Texas had granted a charter for the establishment of a Bank
of Agriculture and Commerce to Samuel May Williams, there
were no banks in 'Texas when independence was declared on
March 2, 1836. The money in circulation consisted principally
of old Spanish and Mexican silver dollars, a few gold coins, and
notes of state banks of the southern states.
It should also be remembered that the civilized population,
according to a Mexican official statement in 1834, was no more
than 21,000. Henry M. Morfitt, who was sent by President Andrew
Jackson to Texas to examine conditions for the purpose of recog-
nizing the independence of Texas, estimated that the population
of the young republic at that time consisted of 30,00o Anglo-
Americans, 3,470 Mexicans, 14,200 Indians, and 5,00o Negroes.
No large amount of money of any kind could have been required
for the transaction of business, especially since most purchases
were made on credit or by barter.
The events which led to Texas' independence took place in
rapid succession. The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836. The Con-
stitution of the Republic was adopted on March 17 in conven-
tion held at Washington-on-the-Brazos, and David G. Burnet was
chosen president of the ad interim government. The battle of San
Jacinto was fought on April 21, and the first Congress convened
on October 3. When Sam Houston was inaugurated President of
the Republic on October 22, he not only found himself without
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/. Accessed August 27, 2014.