A Governor's Report on Texas in 1809
EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY NETTIE LEE BENSON*
Manuel Maria de Salcedo y Quiroga, a spirited young Captain of
the Infantry Batallion of the Canary Islands, although stationed in
Cidiz, was appointed governor of Texas by the Council of the Indies,
on April 24, 1807,' just three weeks after having reached the age
of thirty-one." In spite of his youth, he had considerable experience
and education to prepare him for this difficult assignment on the
frontier facing the rapidly expanding United States of America.
He had entered the Royal Academy of Ocaia at age seven and
later attended the Royal Seminary of Nobles until he was seventeen.
By that time he had already risen to the grade of second lieutenant of
the cavalry regiment of Montesa. Upon leaving the Royal Seminary
of Nobles he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the in-
fantry in the command of his father, colonel of the infantry in Santa
Cruz, Tenerife. When his father, Manuel Juan de Salcedo,' was named,
on October 21, 1799, to a five-year term as political and military gov-
ernor of Louisiana, Manuel Maria and his brother, Francisco, were
assigned to Louisiana also.'
After their arrival in Louisiana and the father's assumption of
office on June 15, 1801,' Manuel Maria de Salcedo participated in
*Miss Benson is Latin American Collections Librarian and lecturer in history and
library science at the University of Texas at Austin.
1His complete baptismal name was Manuel Maria de la Concepci6n Josef Agustin Eloy
de Salcedo y Quiroga, according to the Partida de bautismo in Expediente personal of
Manuel Maria de Salcedo (Archivo General Militar, Segovia, Spain). Archivo General
Militar is hereafter cited as AGM, Segovia.
'Appointment of Manuel Maria de Salcedo, April 24, 1807, Titulo de Gobernador de
la Provincia de Texas, May 1, 1807, Audiencia de Guadalajara (Archivo General de Indias,
Seville, Spain), 10o3-4-I. Archivo General de Indias is hereafter cited as AGI. A copy of
the appointment can be found in AGI transcript 61 (Archives, University of Texas
Library, Austin), 170-174.
8The youngest governor of Texas to date, he was born April 3, 1776, in Malaga, Spain,
the son of Manuel Juan de Salcedo and Francisca de Quiroga y Manso. Partida de
bautismo, AGM, Segovia.
'Manuel Juan de Salcedo is frequently cited as Juan Manuel de Salcedo, but in all of
the official documents in his Expediente personal his name is always given as simply
Manuel or Manuel Juan de Salcedo. Expediente personal of Manuel Juan de Salcedo,
OHenry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana (3 vols.; Chicago, 1925), I, 391.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed May 25, 2015.