The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 307
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bexar. 307
far as the available records show, ever inherited any- office at San
Fernando during the eighteenth century.
The functions of the cabildo are, in the main, well defined al-
though the exact way in which the various duties devolving upon
it were apportioned among the members is not exactly clear. To
describe these functions, however, is a difficult task, since the
judicial, the executive, and the legislative powers vested in this
body are not clearly differentiated. The political hierarchy of the
Spanish government was headed by the king, and included in a
descending series, arranged in order of importance, the viceroy of
Nueva Espafia, the general commandant of the Provincias Internas,
the governor of Texas,- and finally the cabildo itself.2 The
cabildo was practically restricted to carrying out the orders of the
higher authorities. The Spanish cabildo was charged with the
politico-economic government of the settlements under its control."
According to Moses this was "the care of the public health and
accommodations, to watch over prisons, hospitals, and benevolent
institutions that are not of private foundation, primary schools
sustained by public funds, the construction and repair of bridges,
highways, and roads, the raising and expenditure of public moneys
from taxes, licenses, and the rents of municipal property; to pro-
mote the advancement of agriculture, industry, and commerce,
and to assist the alcalde in the preservation of peace and public
order among the inhabitants."4 The duties of the cabildo of
For the first suggestion of the government yet found that offices should
be sold, which was made in 1812, see Expediente Mandado Formar etc.,
'The justicia mayor of the villa of San Fernando, and its jurisdiction,
who was likewise captain of the presidio of Bexar, should perhaps be
enumerated in this series. But since I have had available so little ma-
terial concerning the nature of his jurisdiction, and his relation to the
governor and the cabildo his name has been omitted.
'In taking the oath of office, the cabildo of San Fernando promised
obedience to all these authorities. (Report of election, January 1, 1780,
3Escriche, Diccionario lazonado de Legislacion y Jurisprudencia, under
Moses, The Establishment of Municipal Government in San Francisco,
page 16, in Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political
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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/m1/314/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.