The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 297
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bexar. 297
Casafuerte in honor of the viceroy of Mexico.1 According to the
viceroy's orders it was to be made a cuidad, and created the capital
of Texas because it was the first civil settlement founded in the
province by families from the Canaries.2
The new settlement was to be governed by a city council or
cabildo, and orders for the appointment of the members of this
body had been issued long before the Islefios, as the Canary Island-
ers were often designated, arrived.3 The law in regard to the
formation of such a body in a new settlement founded under
similar conditions to those existing at San Fernando declared that
whenever any private individuals desired to form a new settle-
ment, and had the necessary number of married men for the pur-
pose-not less than ten4-they should be given permission to form
a settlement, should be assigned lands, with prescribed limits,5
and should be granted the right to elect from their own number
alcaldes and other annual officers of the cabildo.6
All these directions had been followed. The viceroy had issued
a decree authorizing the governor of Texas, or in his absence,
the captain of the presidio of B6xar to select from the heads of
these fifteen families six persons as regidores, one as alguacil
mayor, one as escribano de consejo y piblico, and one as mayor-
domo de los bienes y propios. These were to have the power to
elect from their own number two ordinary alcaldes as judicial of-
ficers. The first nine offices were to be given to the men whom
the governor considered most suitable for holding them for life.
'Bonilla, Brief Compendium, 40-41.
'Order of Viceroy, November 28, 1730. Copy dated December 27, 1806.
(B6xar Archives.) The government had originally planned the founding
of two cities between the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers which should
serve as the capitals of Texas. A better reason than that given by the
viceroy for the establishment of the capital at San Fernando lay in the
natural advantages of the place.
8Ibid. See appendix V.
4This provision probably led to the fixing of ten as the lowest number
of families to be transported at any one time.
'These provisions are specified in the Recopilacion, lib. IV, tit. V, ley vi.
"Ibid., ley x. Compare with the method of election when the settlement
was made by contract, ibid., leyes vi and vii.
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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/m1/304/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.