as Edwards' immigrants arrived, the colony
was quickly divided into two hostile factions.
Edwards did what he could to preserve order
and maintain hiis authority, but several measures
adopted by him were far from politic.
The second article of his contract provided
that all possessions found in Nacogdoches
and its vicinity, supported by the correspondlug
titles, should be respected; and that in
case any of the ancient possessors should
claim preservation of their rights, it was the
empresario's duty to comply therewith. This
afforded a wide loop-hole through which to
thrust in claims to the most valuable lands,
and old title-deeds were diligently searched
for or manufactured.
, "In order to ascertain the extent of these
claims, Edwards, in November, 1825, called
upon all persons holding such land titles to
produce them, in order that their legality
might be decided upon according to law. In
this there was no harm; but he gave further
notice that the lands of those who failed to
present their titles would be sold, and that
claimants whose title were just would have
to pay for any improvements that had been
made on the lands by the present occupants.
This caused indignation to the Mexicans and
gave great offense to the authorities, who
could but regard his notification in respect to
the sale of lands as an assumption of power
that had never been given him.
"By the sixth article of the contract Edwards
was authorized to raise the national
militia within his colony, and was appointed
its chief until further disposition should be
made. Accordingly he gave notice for the
election of militia officers to take place on
December 15 of the same year. At the same
time he proposed that the people should
elect an alcalde. With the election of this
magistrate the more serious troubles began.
Each party had its candidate for the office.
Chaplin, Edlwards' son-in-law, was put forward
by the American colonists, and Samuel
Norris, devoted to Mexican interests, by their
opponents. The election decided in favor of
the former, who took possession of the
archives and entered upon the duties of the
office. But Sepulveda, tihe out-going alcalde,
and his party dispute'J many of the votes as
having been cast by settlers outside the limits
of Edwards' grant, though under the alcalde's
jurisdiction. Accordingly they represented
the matter to Saucedo, the political chief at
San Antonio. Already offended with Edwards,
by reason of a report sent in by the
latter giving an account of his official acts,
and which was not deemed sufficiently respectful,
Saucedo decided in favor of Norris,
and instructed Sepulveda to install him by
force of arms it any opposition was offered.
No resistance was made, however, and on the
exhibition of Norris' comtnission Chaplin
surrendered up the archives of the office to
"And now commenced a system of petty
tyranny and invidious distinctions which exasperated
the colonists. Americans, who
had wrought improvements on their lands,
were ousted from them to give place to Mexicans,
the favorites of Sepulveda and the
alcalde. A band of 'regulators' was formed,
under the command of James Gaines, the
brother-in-law of Norris; and, backed by
these ruffians and the official support of
Saucedo, the Mexican party domineered as
they liked. Moreover, accusations against
Edwards were made to the political chief,
who did not conceal his hostility to the empresario."
Hayden Edwards and his brother continued
their endeavors to save their fortunes and
people, but the Cherokee Indiane, who had
Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed March 14, 2014.