The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 83
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Land Speculation as a Cause of the Texas Revolution. 83
have the right to take the land for itself and pay the state a suit-
able indemnity for it. Therefore, in conformity with articles 3 and
4 of the law of April 6, 1830,' the general government might buy
from the state of Coahuila and Texas the four hundred leagues of
land which it was said to be necessary to sell."2 Replying, May
13, the legislature expressed its "extreme regret" at the "impos-
sibility of fulfilling the decree of the general congress." Not an
article, it declared, in the whole law of August 18, 1824, applied to
article 1 of the law in question, and, .as regards article 2, the gov-
ernor had been expressly instructed to guide himself in his rules
for the settlement of the lands by the national law. Continuing,
the memorial said: "This legislature has read and deliberately
weighed the literal text of article 7th of the general law [referred
to by the law] of the 25th of April last, and does not find, either
in the letter or the spirit of the former, the reasons of the latter
for prohibiting the border and literal [littoral] states from alienat-
ing their vacant lands for colonizing thereon." The land was al-
ready sold and part of the purchase price had been received, the
contracts were made in good faith and were not opposed to the gen-
eral law; therefore the legislature prayed congress to repeal its de-
cree of April 25. Here the matter rested until the approach of
federal troops put the legislature to flight.
In an opinion of some four thousand words David G. Burnet,
late in 1835, upheld the right of the general government to annul
The law of April 7, 1835.- The next and final law
of which advantage was taken to sell Texas land was passed
"Art. 3. The government may name one or more commissioners to
visit the colonies of the frontier States, and regulate with their Legisla-
tures the purchase of those lands which they consider suitable for the
establishment of colonies of Mexicans, or any other nation in favor of the
federation. . . .
"Art. 4. The executive may take possession of the lands which he deems
necessary for the purpose of constructing thereon fortifications and
arsenals and for new colonies, indemnifying the States by subtracting the
value of said lands from duties due to the federation." Dublan y Lozano,
Legislacid6n Mexicana, II 238.
2Arrillaga, Recopilacion de Leyes y Deeretos, X 145. Newell, History
of the Revolution in Texas (New York, 1838), p. 40, says, erroneously,
that the law was annulled because the State was in arrears for its share
of the national debt.
"'Laws and Decrees of Coahuila and Texas," in Gammel, Laws of
Texas, I 301-3.
'Pamphlet in the Austin Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907, periodical, 1907; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/91/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.