The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 303
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bexar. 303
and they should have had a share in the municipal government of
the newly founded villa, but practically, in the earlier years of the
municipality, this was not true. The settlement established by
Alarc6n on the banks of the San Antonio River, in 1718, contained
thirty families. According to the laws of the Indies, this was the
requisite number for founding a villa to be governed by a consejo
composed of ordinary alcaldes and regidores.1 It was the inten-
tion of the government that the settlement founded by
Alarc6n should be organized as a villa.2 It was even subse-
quently referred to as a villa,3 but no evidence has as yet
been found to show that these settlers had any distinct munic-
ipal government. Yet if this were true up to the com-
ing of the Canary Islanders, the viceroy, in making pro-
visions for the laying off of the town, had provided that
such persons as might join the Islefios should be eligible to
municipal office. This, however, may have been intended to apply
to other settlers that were expected to come from the Canary
Islands. The first cabildo was composed entirely of Islefios, and
with the exception of the alcaldes, the members were appointed
for life. Consequently there was not much chance for a non-
Islefios to hold office at first. From 1731-1749 only some three or
four men who did not belong to this favored class, so far as the
records show, enjoyed the honor of serving on this body.4 By the
of pobladores wished it to appear that they alone had the right to this
title; whereas the vecinos agregados del presidio, at no cost to his maj-
esty, were the most ancient pobladores and conquistadores of the country.
If the fact that they came at no cost to his Majesty be emphasized, the
expression vecinos agregados might be taken to include only the settlers
who came out in 1715. Still another use of the word is found in a peti-
tion presented by Thomasa de la Garza to the governor (1745, Boxar
Archives) asking for a certain building lot. She stated that her hus-
band had served as a soldier at Espiritu Santo for many years, but on
account of his illness, they had removed to San Fernando where she had
lived for more than three years on a lot belonging to Joseph Miguel de
Urrutia. In this petition she calls herself a vecina agregada a la villa.
'Recopilacion, lib. IV, tit. V, ley vi.
"Directorio 6 Instrucciones, 32 vta.
8Relacion de los Empleos Meritos, y Servicios, 246 vta; and Diario del
Marqudz de San Miguel de Aguayo, 11
4Libro de Cavildo, etc., 1742-1749, Nacogdoches Archives.
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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/m1/310/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.