The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 301
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Municipal Government of Ban Fernando de Bexar. 301
lished. Blackmar interprets this law to include missions.1 If this
be true-which, however, is doubtful-the settlement of the villa
at the point selected by the viceroy was undoubtedly in violation
of the law in question, as there were several missions nearer than
five leagues. At any rate, the groups of settlers gathered at this
point must be considered as forming a lugar de Espafioles, and,
therefore, if it were recognized as such by the government,2 the
location of the new villa so near this settlement was illegal. That
the villa was placed near the missi-ons and the presidio is proved
by the following statement. "In 1731, four settlements were made
on this river [the San Antonio] three for the conversion of the
heathens, and one called the villa of San Fernando in which the
Islander families, and other citizens of the place are settled.
These with the presidio form but one settlement."3 In fact, the
villa was placed but a few hundred yards from the presidio which
was located on what is now known as the military plaza. The
center of the villa settlement was marked by the spot now called
the main plaza.4
Other cases in which the organization and methods of procedure
in the municipal government of San Fernando were in violation
of the Recopilacion may be mentioned. The law fixing the length
of the term of municipal offices was, at first, modified to meet con-
ditions at San Fernando. This law declared that officers of the
cabildo should be elected annually, and that having served in any
capacity for the period of one year, no man should be eligible to
the same office or to any other municipal office until at least two
years had elapsed. In the case of an alcalde an interval of three
years was required before he could be again elected alcalde.5 In
1SpanIsh Institutions of the Southwest, 132.
2The viceroy, in his provisions for laying off the villa, declared that the
plan should be altered if any of the measurements could not be made in
any of the directions mentioned owing to the fact that these lands were
3Descripcion de las Misiones del Colegio de la Santa Cruz en el Rio de
San Antonio, aio de 1740, in Memorias de Nueva Espala, XXVIII, 201.
4Ereccion de la Parroquia de San Fernando de Bewar, aiio de 1738 pub-
lished in el Bejareo, Tomo I, No. 8, in Texas State Library.
'Recopilacion, lib. IV, tit. IX, ley xiii. Of. ibid., lib. V, tit. III, ley ia.
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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/m1/308/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.