The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 317
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bxar. 317
been accused of treason again appeared before the governor and
asked that Goras be made to prove the charge he had made against
them. Another delay followed, and upon the governor's departure
for Adaes he remanded the case to the alcalde, ordering him to
complete it, and send the records to the asesor -the interested
parties paying the charges. The alcalde ordered the money col-
lected, but Goras appealed to the justicia mayor, who finally or-
dered that the prisoner be released until he could gather his crop.
This was done, and on March 4, 1734, all the parties concerned
appeared before the governor and compromised the case.' From
this it would seem that the alcalde could try cases and pronounce
sentence in disputes between citizens of the villa, and that his de-
cisions were not final, but could be appealed to either the governor
or the justicia mayor. Examination of a number of trials shows
that the process is much the same in every case. The appeal from
the alcalde's decisions were usually carried to the governor's court,
and then to the viceroy's.
In addition to the legislative and judicial powers exercised by
the alcaldes of San Fernando, they had various administrative
duties to perform. According to the laws of the Recopilacion, an
alcalde could serve as governor upon the death or absence of that
official, in case there was no lieutenant-governor.2 Sometimes
when the occasion arose at San Fernando an alcalde served as
governor, but the office was most frequently filled by the justicia
mayor. In 1791, Governor Mufioz was absent from the villa when
the time came to install the new cabildo. The first alcalde, Ig-
nacio Cavillo, acted as lieutenan~t-governor, and, as such, admin-
istered the oath of office to the new members. The alcalde was
also a police officers Among the duties he performed in this
capacity may be mentioned the making of rounds at stated
times with the assistance of certain officers.4 The alcaldes had to
1Expediente in case of Joseph Padr6n vs. Juan Leal Goras, 1733-4,
2Recopilacion, lib. V, tit. III, ley mii.
'Election report, 1791, B@xar Archives.
'This duty devolved also upon the alcaldes under O'Reilly's government.
See Ordinances and Instructions, 259.
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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/m1/324/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.