The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 67
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Local Government in the Spanish Colonies
to provide a priest, and a church with all of its accessories, and
he had to give a bond as security for the fulfillment of the terms
of the contract. If he failed he lost both his bond and the land
The other form of colonization was democratic, providing that
a group of persons could receive the four league grant of land if
they would found a town6 at least five leagues from any other town.'
In this group of people there must be at least ten married men.8
Under either system, before setting out to found the new town, the
town officials had to give a description of the persons and property
of the prospective colonists to the escribano (secretary) of the town
from which they were starting. The law prohibited the drawing
off of land-owning citizens from one town to found another.9 The
officials of the prospective town had to make an invoice of the
property for use in the new town that each colonist had on hand
A host of laws relate to the locating of the town in a healthful,
pleasant spot, advantageous from both an economic and a military
standpoint." The plaza mayor was to be the first thing laid out.
It was to be one and a half times as long as wide, and from two
to eight hundred feet in length.'12 The number and arrangement
of streets, their width,'8 the, size and style of houses,'4 the location
of the church, the cabildo, the stores, and the arrangement of the
water front were all provided for in minute detail.'1
The grants to these towns by the crown could not be changed
by the viceroy,'' but the classification of the new town as a "cuidad,
villa 6 lugar" was made by the governor of the district in which
it was established.'7 This same official had to see that the proper
government was established.'8 A metropolitan city was to have a
juez with the title of adelantado, alcalde mayor, corregidor, or
alcalde ordinario, who should exercise jurisdiction jointly with the
regimiento of the town or city. The. regimiento was to consist of
two or three officials of the hacienda real, twelve regidores, two
fieles executores, two jurados from each parish, a procurador gen-
64:5:6, Felipe II. 84:5:10, Felipe II. '4:5:6, Felipe II.
84:5:10, Felipe II. 94:7:18, Felipe II. '4:7:19, Felipe II.
114:7:1 to 17, Felipe II. 124:7:9, Felipe II. 184:7:10, Felipe II.
144:7:17, Felipe II. '"4:7:8, Felipe II. 185:2:2, Carlos II.
174:7:2, Felipe II. 184:7:2, Felipe II.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/76/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.