The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 314
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
a vote in the cabildo will be considered first, and this includes all
except the escribano.1 The most important officer was the alcalde,
who gnbined the functions of law-maker, judge, and policeman.
He issued municipal ordinances for the preservation of good order,
and the promotion of the healthfulness and cleanliness of the villa,
and, on occasion, he arrested and punished individuals for dis-
obedience to these ordinances.
A few examples of ordinances issued by alcaldes will serve to
illustrate the nature of the legislative powers they exercised. One
issued in 1735 by Juan Leal Goras, regidor perpetuo and alcalde
of San Fernando, required owners of certain grain lands to en-
close them with stakes, and to place irrigating ditches in good
condition, and charged citizens and stock-raisers to secure a herds-
man for their stock. Penalties were prescribed for failure to ob-
serve this ordinance.2 Another issued in 1744 by Alcalde Joseph
Curbelo prohibited citizens from going upon the streets after nine
o'clock at night without urgent reasons therefor under penalty of im-
prisonment and fine, and provided that idle and objectionable char-
acters should either secure employment or leave the villa.3 And
another issued in 1746 by Alcalde Juan Joseph AMontes de Oca,'
forbade, under penalty of a fine, the carrying of small arms in
the villa.5 Other instances could be cited, but these are sufficient
to show that the alcaldes of San Fernando exercised legislative
power in local affairs.
The alcaldes, as has been said, also exercised judicial power.
The laws of the Recopilacion provided that in Spanish settlements
where there was no governor or lieutenant-givernor the ordinary
alcaldes should have cognizance of all civil or criminal cases that
would come within the jurisdiction of the governor or the lieuten-
1Election report, 1750, B6xar Archives. .See Recopilacion, lib. V, tit.
III, ley xv; and ibid., lib. IV, tit. XI, ley ii.
2Expediente in case against Martin Lorenzo de Armas and others for
violation of ordinance, B6xa.r Archives.
'This was one of the few men other than Islefios who held a municipal
office at San Fernando previous to 1750.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
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/m1/321/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.