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

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seat ot power to inaugurate his new measures,
which he (Santa Anna) knew would
foment discord and redound to the discomfiture
of the instigator and ultimately to his
own advancement.
In less than three weeks after his inauguration
as president, Santa Anna surrendered
the office in order to march with a military
force against an insurgent army near Tlalpam,
under Duran. The petty complications
that were soon brought upon the scene are
too tedious to relate here, and it was during
this state of affairs that Austin visited the
capital, as mentioned above. The latter immediately
laid his petition before Congress,
but its attention was not seriously directed to
it on account of the turbulent matters before
them. Austin grew restless, and in October
began to hasten matters. Urging immediate
action before Farias, and saying that if some
answer was not soon given the Texans would
take their affairs into their own hands, the
vice-president took offense, considering that
Austin's expression was a threat. Austin,
seeing the prospective delay, wrote to the
city council of San Antonio, recommending
that it obtain the concurrence of all other
corporations in Texas in a scheme for separation
from Coahuila, with the hope that, under
the provision of the general law of May
7, 1824, a local government could be successfully
organized, even though the general government
should refuse its consent.
The result of Austin's visit, after the war
had been closed, was a respectful and honest
effort to improve the legal facilities of the
Texans, but it was believed by the convention
assembled for the purpose that the time had
not yet arrived for the erection of Texas into
an independent State. But Austin, on his
return trip to San Antonio, was arrested at
Saltillo, by order of Farias, on account of the

letter he had written to the San Antonio
council, and on account of the hasty language
used at the interview at the same time. He
was sent back to Mexico, and was in prison
eight months, awaiting trial, with no opportunity,
much of this time, of communicating
with the outside world. He was not finally
liberated until the expiration of nineteen
months. Much has been said pro et rontra
by Austin's friends and enemies concerning
his actions at this period; but the Texans
generally believe hin to have been sincere
and competent, and probably as judicious as
any other man they could have con mmissioned
for that errand. Santa Anna seemed to be a
friend of Austin and the Texans, but those
knowing his character entertained doubts as
to his sincerity.
The legislature of January, 1834, passed
various measures beneficial to Texas. The
municipalities of Matagorda and San Augustin
were created; Texas was divided into
three departments, the new one of Brazos,
with San Felipe as its capital, being organized;
the English language was permitted to
be used in public affairs, and an additional
representative at the State congress allowed;
the privilege of purchasing vacant lands was
granted to foreigners; laws were passed for
the protection of the persons and property of
all settlers whatever might be their religion,
and freedom from molestation for political
and religious opinions was guaranteed provided
public tranquillity was not disturbed; a
supreme court for Texas provided for, and a
system of trial by jury.
These liberal measures had great effect in
promoting temporary quiet in Texas, but
subsequent events rendered them nugatory to
prevent the revolt of the colonists. The hesitating
and vacillating action of government
kept the people in a state of suspense, and

ZISTO Y OPTEXAS

45

a

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 August 28, 2014.