Notes and Documents
The State of Coahuila y Tejas in 1824:
A Governor's View from Saltillo
EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY ANDRIES TIJERINA AND DAVIDJ. WEBER*
T RADITIONALLY, HISTORIANS HAVE REGARDED THE ACTIVITIES OF ANGLO-
American immigrants as the central theme of Texas history in the
182os. Although Texans then formed part of Mexico, historians of
Texas have generally explained conditions in Mexico only insofar as
they needed to make the Anglo-American story comprehensible. The
political and economic ventures of Stephen Austin and his countrymen
in Texas made little sense unless one knew that Mexico won indepen-
dence from Spain in 1821, that the new Mexican government adopted
laws permitting foreign colonists to settle in Texas under favorable con-
ditions, and that the empire of Agustin de Iturbide crumbled in 1823
and gave way the following year to a federal republic, the United States
The story of the Anglo-American newcomers' access to Texas lands
and their growing dissatisfaction with Mexico has also required histori-
ans to explain how Texas entered the Mexican federation in 1824 as part
of the larger state of Coahuila y Texas. The linkage, in the view of Anglo
Texans and Mexican Texans alike, put Texas at a disadvantage by placing
political power in the more populous neighboring province of Coahuila.
Texans, who already enjoyed their own representative government at the
* Andres Tijerina teaches in the Division of Behavioral and Cultural Sciences at the University
of Texas at San Antonio. DavidJ. Weber is Dedman Professor of History at Southern Methodist
University. Tijerina and Weber are grateful to Adin Benavides Jr. for useful advice on many
points in their translation and editing, and to George Miles, Curator of Western Americana in
the Beinicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, for permission to publish the
report of Governor Gonzales (see n 13).
For a fine introduction to both the new and the older historiography see Paul D. Lack, "In
the Long Shadow of Eugene C. Barker: The Revolution and the Republic," in Walter L. Buenger
and Robert A. Calvert (eds.), Texas Through Time: Evolving Interpretations (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 1991), 134-164.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/. Accessed January 30, 2015.