Tadeo Ortiz and Texas
W. H. TIMMoNs*
STUDENTS OF TEXAS HISTORY ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE MAJOR DEVELOP-
ments of the 182o's concerning the efforts of the Mexican republic
to colonize its northern frontier: the liberal features of federal and
state legislation, the extraordinary and unexpected tide of Anglo-
American immigration from the United States, which reached nearly
twenty thousand by 183o, the resulting alarm of the Mexican officials,
and the Law of April 6, 1830, prohibiting further Anglo-American
colonization of Mexican territory. From the standpoint of Mexico,
this latter action was regarded as a necessary expedient to deal with
an emergency, and included a feature to save Texas by undertaking a
program of counter-colonization with Mexicans and Europeans. As
viewed by the Texas colonists, however, it was a high-handed and
unjust measure which greatly intensified their discontent with Mex-
One Mexican who became greatly interested in the Texas problem
about this time was Tadeo Ortiz de Ayala, who since 1829 had been
serving as consul in Bordeaux, France. Born in 1788 in the town of
Mascota, in the present state of Jalisco,' probably of creole antecedents,
Ortiz studied Latin and philosophy in Mexico City, but left there in
1809 to complete his education in Spain." Since most of the peninsula
was under the control of the legions of Napoleon Bonaparte, young
Tadeo retired to Cidiz, where at length he became associated with
Jose Alvarez de Toledo, whose revolutionary activities in America
*Mr. Timmons is professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso.
'For an analysis and translation of the Law of April 6, 183o, see Alleine Howren,
"Causes and Origin of the Decree of April 6, 1830," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
XVI (April, 1913), 378-422; see also Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin
(Dallas, 1926), 135-167, 296-328.
2Tadeo Ortiz, Mdxico considerado como nacidn independiente y libre (Bordeaux, 1832),
320. Ortiz' baptismal certificate, stating that he was born on October 18, 1788, was among
his personal papers captured by royalist forces in BogotA, Colombia, in 1815 and forwarded
to the Spanish government by D. Pablo Morillo in his Anexo 5 to Carta #io, dated
November 12, 1816. Estado-Santa Fe (Archivo General de Indias, Seville), Legajo 6
(22); hereafter cited as AGI, Estado-Santa F6.
3Ortiz to "Joaquin" [Ignacio] Ray6n, June 16, 1812, in Juan HernAndez y Divalos
(ed.), Coleccidn de documentos para la historia de la guerra de independencia de Mdxico
de 8o08 d x82z (6 vols.; Mexico, 1877-1882), V, 193-194; Ortiz to "Manuel" [Jos6 Maria]
Morelos, June 18, 1812, ibid., 189-191.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed December 4, 2013.