The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 318
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
visit prisons, and to take all possible measures to prevent the com-
mision of crimes within their jurisdiction; and they had also many
duties to perform in connection with the management of the in-
ternal affairs -of the cabildo. As president of this body the 1st
alcalde had to be present at the election of his successor,1 and to
see that the archives of the cabildo were properly kept.2
The functions of the alguacil mayor of San Fernando, who like
the alcalde had a vote in the cabildo,8 and was elected by it, may
conveniently be considered next for the reason that the functions
of these two officials were very closely connected. According to
the laws of the Indies, the alguacil mayor was charged with the
duty of making rounds at night,4 and of arresting culprits in
obedience to the orders of his superior authorities.5 In regard to
his duties the Ordinances and Instructions of Don Alexander
O'Reilly' say: "1. The alguacil mayor is an officer charged with
the execution of sentences and judgments rendered, as well for
payments ordered, taking possession of goods for sale, and impris-
onment, as for the punishment of crimes. . . . 2. The recovery
of moneys upon writ of execution, orders for taking possession of
goods, and seizure of real property, shall be executed by the algua-
cil mayor. .... 3. The alguacil mayor shall also have the super-
intendence of the prisons, ['and] shall commission the jailors and
keepers of prisons, after having presented them to the governor
[for approval]. The alguacil mayor 'and his lieutenants shall go
the rounds, and shall visit the public places, both by night and day,
to prevent noises and disputes, under the penalty of being sus-
pended from their offices, and payment of the damages that may
result from their neglect. They shall arrest, without other au-
thority, the offenders, and shall give immediate information
thereof to the alcaldes. They shall not tolerate unlawful games, nor
10f. Recopilacion, lib. V, tit. III, ley iii.
2Inventories of documents in Bfxar Archives for 1745, 1746, 1762, and
1796, Nacogdoches Archives.
8Election report, 1750, B6xar Archives.
Recopilacion, lib. V, tit. VII, ley viii.
"Ibid., ley ix.
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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/m1/325/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.