The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1

for Austin's Colony.

21

fortune has taken this new settlement under her protection, there is
abundant reason for hoping that it will prosper in future. It was undertaken,
and has been established by individual enterprise alone, without
the aid of strong capitalists, and totally unsupported by troops, or succors
of any kind, from government. In this respect, it presents an
anomaly, in the history of similar establishments. Independent of the
perils from hostile Indians, scarcity of provisions, internal dissensions,
and many others, incident to an infant and wilderness settlement; it has
seen four great political changes in the government of this nation, and
it has worked its way in peace and safety through them all. Those
changes were from the despotic government of Spain to the independent
government under the regency,in 1821-22,from that to the imperial government
in 1822-23, from that to the republic under the supreme executive
power, in 1823-24, and from that to the federal system, which now
exists.
The foregoing observations have been exclusively confined to the first,
or "old colony," as it is frequently called. The colonisation laws which
are generally in force at this time, will now be noticed, and also the
contracts entered into, with the government, by Austin, under those
laws, in order that the emigrants who have been settled, or who may
wish to settle under said contracts, may fully understand the subject,
and the nature of their titles.
In order to give a clear idea of the authority which enacted those
laws, the decrees of congress establishing the federal system, will be
first referred to.
On the 17th June, 1823, congress decreed that a new constituent
congress should be elected by the people, for the express purpose of
adopting the form of government, forming the constitution, and organising
the nation, agreeably to the will of the people; which would
be fairly expressed by said new congress, thus elected for that purpose.
The members of the first congress were ineligible to be elected for the
second.
On the 19th of the same month, congress passed a resolution directing
the supreme executive power, to inform the people that the then existing
congress were in favor of the federal republican system of government,
but had not formally adopted that system, and proceeded to form the
constitution, because it had decreed on the 17th, that a new congress
should be elected for that purpose.
The first congress finally closed its sessions on the 30th of October;
and the second constituent congress, whose members had been elected
in virtue of the decree of 17th June, convened and opened its sessions
on the 5th of November. On the 31st of January, 1824, congress decreed
the "Acta Conistituvia de la Federaciozn lIexicana,"' or act of confederation,
by which the federal system was formally adopted, and the
basis and outlines of the government established. The federal constitution,
however, was not finally sanctioned and promulgated until the
4th of October.
On the 7th of May, congress decreed that the former provinces of
Coahuila and Texas should form a state and proceed immediately to
elect its legislature; but that so soon as the latter should be in a situation
to form a separate state of itself, the national congress should be informed
thereof for its resolution.
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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 April 21, 2014.