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

notes altd Doeumatts
Zexas iM 1604
C. NORMAN GUICE
ALTHOUGH TEXAs was just another Spanish frontier province
at the opening of the nineteenth century, part mission, part
J fort, remote, and half forgotten in so far as the central gov-
ernment was concerned, it, along with all the other regions of
New Spain, was subjected in or about 1804 to a census-by-official-
estimate. The "statistical relations" which were drafted by various
local authorities were subsequently sent to the Real Tribunal del
Consulado de Veracruz, the merchant guild of Veracruz, which had
been instructed by royal orders of June 21 and August 26, 1802,
to collect "geographic, administrative and economic data and in-
formation." Intendants and other local officials were to inform the
Consulado as to "the value and variety of the products of that
territory; the expenses and other charges borne before shipping;
the total revenue produced; the hindrances or obstacles which
might be inhibiting progress, along with suggestions for elim-
inating them." It was hoped that the consular officials, thus inti-
mately acquainted with the social and economic conditions of the
land, would be able to "devise measures which might be applied
not only to solve various administration problems but also give
impetus to the development of agriculture, industry, and com-
merce."' Little use, however, seems to have been made of the
iMexico, Archivo General de la Naci6n. Bandos, Vol. 23, No. 2; Mexico, Archivo
General de la Naci6n, Consulado, Vol 193, No. 1; Mexico, Archivo Hist6rico de
Hacienda, Coleccidn de documentos publicados bajo la direcci6n de Jesus Silva
Herzog (Mexico, Secretaria de Hacienda, 1944), Vol. III, "Relaciones estadisticas
de Nueva Espafia de principios del siglo XIX" (hereinafter cited as "Relaciones"),
i. It should be noted that the royal orders did not establish a new administrative
procedure. The creation, in Madrid in 1795, of the Secretaria de la Balanza de
Comercio had already done that, at least in part. "In part," because the second
Count of Revillagigedo, viceroy in New Spain between 1789 and 1794, had ordered
similar surveys, and, for that matter, the "relaciones geogrAficas" of the second half
of the sixteenth century had insured the collection of somewhat the same informa-
tion. For an example of the Revillagigedo materials see ibid., 145-185; for examples
of the sixteenth century documents, see Marcos Jim~nez de la Espada (ed.),
Relaciones geogrdficas de Indias, (4 vols.; Madrid, 1881-1897).

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 September 20, 2014.