The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 323
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bxar. 323
of penas de cdmara.1 There was, however, no provision to indicate
which regidor was to have any particular one of these offices.
The regidor decano presided over the cabildo, and exercised judi-
cial authority whenever the first and second alcaldes were absent
from the villa. In addition to this, as the election reports in the
B6xar Archives show, he usually nominated men to municipal
offices, and was, in most cases authorized by the governor to in-
stall the new officers after the cabildo had elected them.2
According to the list of officers sent by the cabildo to Governor
Elguezabal, the second regidor served as alcalde provincial.3 As
to the duties of what must have been the same officer at New
Orleans, the Ordinances and Instructions of Don Alexander
O'Reilly say :4 "The regidor alcalde mayor5 provincial shall bear
the rod of justice, and shall have cognizance of crimes committed
in the uninhabited places without the cities and villages. Thefts,
robberies, carrying away of property by force, rapes, as also
treason, assaults, accompanied by wounds, or followed by death,
setting fire to or burning down houses or crops, and other crimes
of this nature, shall be within the competency of the said alcalde
mayor provincial. 2. He may also take cognizance of the afore-
said crimes, although committed in cities, when the offenders have
quitted the same, and have withdrawn to the country with their
plunder; as also of murders or assaults committed on officers
while in the exercise of their duties, or in the interval thereof, if
the same are the effects of malice. If, however, the governor, or
one of the ordinary judges of the city, shall have previously taken
cognizance thereof, the alcalde mayor provincial shall not inter-
fere therein, by reason that the jurisdiction of the same is vested
in the ordinary alcalde. The judge, however, who shall have ap-
'Fines forfeited to the royal treasury.
'Election report, 1750. For a case in which the installation was per-
formed by an officer other than the regidor decano see expediente con-
cerning the election for 1784, B6xar Archives.
8See ante p. 321-322.
5For the explanation of the presence of the term mayor see Recopila-
cion, lib. V, tit. IV, ley. i.
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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/m1/330/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.