The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 125
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De Witt's Colony.
the king's nomination might serve in the ayuntamiento. Each
ayuntamiento must also have a secretary.
It was the duty of the ayuntamiento to care for the health, com-
fort, and safety of the inhabitants, and to protect their property;
to preserve the public peace; to manage and invest the funds
arising from city property and from municipal imposts and excise
taxes, and, upon their own responsibility, to name a person to
take charge of such sums; to assess and collect taxes, and to remit
them to the treasury; to look after all public institutions of learn-
ing, hospitals, asylums, orphan homes, and other charitable insti-
tutions; to supervise the construction and repairing of highways,
bridges, and prisons, and to look after the forests and nurseries
belonging to the community and all public works necessary, useful,
or ornamental; to formulate municipal ordinances and present
them to the cortes for approbation; and to promote agriculture and
The alcalde was the most important officer of the ayuntamiento.
In the exercise of his various functions he corresponded, as de-
scribed by reference to modern municipal offices in the United
States, partly to a member of a town council, partly to a police
judge, partly to a policeman, and partly to the mayor of a city.
With the co-operation of the two regidores he had control of the
political and economic affairs of the town. The sindico procura-
dor served as city attorney and sometimes acted as treasurer.2
After Mexico became free from Spain she retained the same
general scheme of municipal government. The colonization law of
Coahuila and Texas provided for the establishment of an ayunta-
miento in every new town of two hundred inhabitants, unless there
were another ayuntamiento within eight leagues, in a municipality
to which it might be annexed.3
The regulations concerning the ayuntamiento provided for in
the constitution of the state of Coahuila and Texas corresponded
very closely to those regarding the Spanish ayuntamiento. The
most marked differences were the following: Members of the
ayuntamiento were required by the constitution of Coahuila and
Texas to be twenty-five years of age, or twenty-one if married; to
have resided three years, one year immediately preceding election,
1 olleccion de los Decretos y Ordenes que han expedido las Cortes Gen-
erales y Extraordinarias desde 24 de Setiembre de 1811 hasta 24 de Mayo
de 1812, II 146-148.
2 Blackmar, Spanish Institutions of the South-West, 286-290.
8 Colonization Law of Coahuila and Texas, March 24, 1825, section 41.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/127/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.