The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1

8

Laws, Orders and Contracts

Martinez, relative to the new settlement, dated in August, 1821, were
from a governor of the independent MDexican nation, and not from a
Spanish governor. For this reason, the intimation as to the trip to
Mexico, was totally unexpected, and very embarrassing; for not calculating
on any thing of the kind, he had not made the necessary preparations
for such a journey. There was no time for hesitation; arrangements
were made for Mr. Josiah H. Bell to take charge of the new settlement,
and Austin departed for Mexico, a journey of 1200 miles by
land.
The Mexican nation had just sprung into existence. The galling
chains of Spanish despotism had been gloriously thrown off, but the
necessary restraint of law, system, and local police, had not yet been
sufficiently established; much disorder prevailed in consequence, in many
parts of the country; and the roads were infested in many places, with
deserters, and the lawless bands of robbers. Austin, however, arrived
in the great capital of this nation, on the 29th of April, 1822, without
any other accident than being overhauled, and partially robbed by a war
party of 54 Comanches, on the river Nueces, about one hnndred miles
beyond Bexar. From Monterrey he had one companion, Lorenzo Christie,
who had been a captain, in general Mina's expedition. They both disguised
themselves, in ragged clothes, with blankets, serious dissentions had
already arisen between the generalissimo and congress; the regency were
divided, and in discord among themselves; Yanez, one of its principal
and most liberal members, having had a personal dispute of great
warmth with Iturbide, during one of the sittings, in which the terms
"traitor," "usurper," the friends of liberty
were greatly alarmed at the ascendency which the generalissimo had
acquired over the military, and lower class of the populace; and every
thing indicated an approaching crisis. Accordingly on the night of
the 18th of May, the soldiery and populace, headed by sergeants and
corporals. proclaimed Iturbide emperor. It was a night of violence,
confusion and uproar. The 700 bells of the city, pealing from the
steeples of monasteries, convents and churches; the firing of cannon and
musketry from the different barracks: and the shouts of the poulace
in the strees, proclaimed to the true friends of freedom. that a few common
soldiers, in union with a city mob, had taken it upon themselves
to decide the destiny of Mexico, and to utter the voice of the nation.
The session of congress on the 19th was held, surrounded with bayonets,
(S)

Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed July 30, 2014.