The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 305
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bexar. 305
ports of elections had been sent to the governor for approval on
the 21st of the same month in obedience to the same orders. The
new cabildo was to be installed on January 1st. This arrange-
ment was strictly adhered to, at least, as late as 1800.
Another instance in which the laws of the Recopilacion were
violated, was in regard to the place of meeting. The law pro-
vided that all sessions of the cabildo, all elections, etc., should be
held in the municipal hall. The penalty imposed for violation was
permanent loss of office.1 Special provision was made that no
meetings should be held at the governor's house unless there were
urgent reasons therefor. 2 Both of these laws were violated. There
was no municipal hall at San Fernando for years after its founda-
tion,3 and consequently meetings had to be held at other places.
As late as 1783, the cabildo met in the jail.4 Sessions were fre-
quently held at the house of the alcalde. It was not unusual to
hold meetings at the governor's house even toward the end of the
Another case of violation of the laws of the Recopilacion was
the election of alcaldes who were unable to write." Of the nine
officers of the first cabildo only four men could sign their names.
Juan Leal Gora.s, 1st alcalde, could write sufficiently well for any
person knowing that his signature was affixed to a document to
identify it. Salvador Rodriguez, 2nd alcalde, 'hbwever, had to
have some one sign for him. The only man among the Islefios
upon their arrival at B6xar who could write a legible hand was
Francisco Joseph de Arocha, secretary of the cabildo."
'Recopilacion, lib. IV, tit. IX, ley i.
'Ibid., ley ii.
'Minutes for January 12, 1742, Libro de Cabildo, etc., 1742-1749, Na-
'Minutes for February 20, 1783, Libro en que se asienta lo acordado
en el cavildo, etc., 1783-1807, Bexar Archives.
"Cf. Recopilacion, lib. TV, tit. III, ley iv.
GArocha served in this capacity from the time of his appointment on
July 1, 1731 until January, 1757, when, upon petition presented to the
cabildo, he was relieved from the office on account of his age. (BCxar
Archives. The fact that the place remained vacant during the re-
mainder of the century probably indicates that no properly qualified suc-
cessor to him could be found.
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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/m1/312/: accessed February 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.