The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961

reaas ailure to Sed a Deputy to
rhe Spanish Cortes, 1810-1812
NETTlE LEE BENSON
T WAS NO FAULT of the Spanish government that Texas did
not have a representative in the Cortes between 181o and
1812. On the contrary the Spanish officials not only felt that
the province should be represented but tried to have a native
Texan elected and sent to Spain to speak for Texas. No such
deputy arrived in Spain during this time, however, largely be-
cause the Texans did not choose to undergo the expense of main-
taining a representative and could not agree on the selection of
an eligible candidate. The same confusion and dissension too
frequently evident in later Texas politics occurred then, and as
will be shown, with similar unfortunate results. Representation
in the Cortes at that time might have greatly changed the early
history of the province.
Spain, when invaded by Napoleon's army in 18o8, needed all
the help she could muster. She especially needed the loyalty and
aid of her farflung provinces. To obtain these the Central Junta
of Seville, which had taken over the government of Spain, issued
a decree on January 22, 18o09, which recognized the Spanish
dominions in America as integral parts of the nation and declared
that they should have representation in the governing junta of
the kingdom. Accordingly the municipal council of each capital
of each province in the overseas dominions was to proceed to
name three persons of ingenuity, talent, and education. From
those three, one name was to be drawn and sent to the head of the
viceroyalty or captaincy-general, where, at a real acuerdo, from
all the names sent, three were to be drawn; and then from the
three, one drawn to identify the person to represent the vice-
royalty in the Supreme Governing Junta.1
1Spain, Suprema Junta Central de Sevilla, Decree of January 22, 1809, in Gazeta
de Mdxico, XIX, 325-328; Lucas Alamin, Historia de Mdjico (5 vols.; Mexico,
1849-1852), I, 291.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed July 6, 2015.