The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 306
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
One more instance in which the laws of the Recopilacion were
violated may be mentioned. It was provided that in new settle-
ments formed by groups of private persons, having the proper
number of married men for the purpose-not less than ten-the
settlers should be given the right to elect ordinary alcaldes and
other annual officers of the cabildo from among themselves.1 Con-
trary to these provisions the first cabildo, with the exception of
the alcaldes, was appointed by the captain of the presidio of B6xar
in obedience to the orders of the viceroy, who had provided that
the captain should perform this duty if the governor of the prov-
ince could not act. These officers were given their positions for
life. In obedience to this same order, the alcaldes were elected,
either by the regidores -alone (Of. ibid., tit. XI, ley, ii, and report
of first election, appendix VI.), or by the whole cabildo with the
exception of the escribano de consejo. (Cf. Election report, 1750,
Bexar Archives.) As to the way in which they were elected
previous to 1750, no evidence hias been found. On January 1 of
this year the two alcaldes for the incoming year were elected by
the vote of all the officers of the cabildo with the exception of the
regidor decano, who was not present, and the escribano de consejo,
who was present, but did not vote. This arrangement was not in
accordance with the law providing that the people should elect the
alcaldes. Shortly after 1 750 a complete series of the election re-
ports are found. From these it is evident that it became the cus-
tom for the cabildo to elect all the municipal officers. It is not
possible, however, to ascertain whether or not all of the members
of the cabildo, with the exception of the escribano, voted as in the
election for 1750. The cabildos in Spain had become close cor-
porations, membership in which was either inherited or purchased,
and the consejos in America had followed this course of develop-
ment.2 This probably explains the state of affairs at San Fer-
nando, although, during tIhe period under consideration, no attempt
was made to sell any of the municipal offices,- and no member, so
'Recopilacion, lib. IV, tit. V, ley x.
2Bourne, Spain in America, 235.
'For the offices that were to be sold in the Indies see Recopilacion lib.
VIII, tit. XX, ley i. For the laws governing such sales see ibid. tit. XX.
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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/m1/313/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.