The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Notes aid DOCUImlts
Caledar of the Letters of Atoxio iartm/ez,
Last Spaiish aoreror of rexas, 1817-1822
Translated and edited by VIRGINIA H. TAYLOR
INTRODUCTORY NOTE
A NTONIO MARIA MARTINEZ was a lieutenant colonel in the
Zamora Regiment when in 1817 Viceroy Juan Ruiz de
Apodaca appointed him governor of Texas. Martinez
refused the appointment because he had been informed of the
low military standards and the destitute condition of the province.
Finally, when the viceroy agreed to provide financial aid and
establish standard military regulations, Martinez accepted the
post and set out to assume his new duties with ambition and
enthusiasm. Before he reached the province, the shape of things
to come was revealed to him in his first encounter with Com-
mandant General Joaquin de Arredondo. Immediately upon
Martinez' arrival at San Antonio de B6xar he wrote the viceroy
that he had discussed the organization of the presidial companies
with Arredondo in Monterrey but that "from what the com-
mandant general said," he did not have the remotest hope that
it would ever be accomplished.
Martinez' first letters to the viceroy and the commandant gen-
eral clearly state his insurmountable problems; successive letters
restate them persistently and to the point of pathos. With his
small forces at La Bahfa del Espiritu Santo and San Antonio de
Bdxar he attempted to protect the eastern frontier and the Gulf
Coast against the constant threat of foreign aggression; to block
the heavy contraband trade and continual intrigue in those same
areas; to defend the helpless citizens against repeated Indian at-
tacks and depredations; to secure the province against internal
disorder and revolution; to build up a self-sustaining system of
economy, largely by the developments of agriculture, but more

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed May 29, 2015.