The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911 Page: 30
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
their better Government. Laws however, were of but little use, as
their commerce was very limited, and crimes but seldom com-
The colonial system prevailed until the Provinces of Coahuila
and Texas were joined together forming one state and a constitu-
tion adopted for its Government. An organization then took place
under the constitution. All the country West of the River Trinity
including the Gaudaloupe formed but one jurisdiction, entitled to
one Ayuntamiento which was presided [over] by one Alcalde. To
make these terms a little more intelligible, suffice it to say, the
Alcalde is a judicial officer possessing great power, and is presi-
dent of the Ayuntamiento when in session--the whole body may
be compared to the Mayor and Aldermen of a city. The Ayunta-
miento is the petitioning authority-all petitions to the Govern-
ment must emanate from that body and pass through the Chief of
Department otherwise they would be deemed unworthy of atten-
tion. It is unnecessary to say more on this subject as I confidently
hope that we are now done with the use of those terms, and that
their names may be lost in Texas forever. They will however serve
to refer to as circumstances may require in the course of my nar-
rative. Population increasing the lower section of the colony in-
cluding Brazoria was laid off by the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe
into a precinct called Victoria, to be presided [over] by a Comis-
sario whose functions are somewhat like those of a justice of the
peace in the United States. I was elected to fill that office in
It may be well to remark here that all the colonists were pre-
sumed to be Roman Catholics, or bound to become such, as that
was one of the necessary prerequisites to become a citizen-and no
marriage could be consummated by law without the presence and
permition of a Priest and none as yet had thought proper to reside
amongst us, and as necessity is the mother of invention, the system
of provisional marriages by bonding was introduced, requiring the
judicial officers, who were by law ex oficio Notary Publics, to take
the acknowledgement of the parties to a bond conditioned in a suffi-
cient penalty to be married by a Roman Catholic Priest so soon
as an opportunity might offer. This however exceptionable it may
appear, was certainly the most sensible and natural mode which
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911, periodical, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/m1/38/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.