The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 75
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Local Government in the Spanish Colonies
before it was sent on to the authorities of the Crown.7 Regidores
who were appointed to serve with an alcalde as fieles executores
were subject to residencia by an oidor (judge) appointed annually
by the viceroy or president of the audiencia for that purpose.8
A law giving the regidores special preference in the allotment
of lands has already been cited.9 Another law provided that they
should only be imprisoned in a decent jail (circel decente).1 All
the officials of the cabildo were enjoined to attend its meetings
regularly, but in case the governor and the alcalde ordinario should
be absent, the oldest regidor, as lieutenant of the alcalde ordinario,
was to be chairman and ranking member, even though the alguaciles
mayores of the audiencia or the oficiales reales should be present
and members of that body."
Under the head of "sale of offices" is a law of 1620 which makes
the office of regidor salable instead of elective, the avowed pur-
pose being to correct certain abuses arising from these elections.12
THE ALCALDE ORDINARIO
No city could have more than two alcaldes ordinarios.l3 This
official had to be a citizen, but could be a military man if he was
also a resident land owner of the city.14 The alcalde must be a
capable, honorable man, able to read and write and possessed of the
other necessary qualifications for such an office.'l In the filling
of this office, preference was to be given to the "first discoverers,
conquerors, and settlers" (primeros descubridores, pacificadores y
pobladores) and their descendants, provided they were able and
suitable for the office.'( Officials of the Crown could not be elected
to, nor exercise the office of alcalde ordinario." Debtors of the
real hacienda were disqualified for this office."8
The viceroy, president, and judges were not to interfere in any
way whatsoever with the free election of the alcalde ordinario.19
The incumbent alcaldes ordinarios were to assist in conducting
the election, and were to remain in the cabildo until the new
'3:16:5, 1642, 1647. 85:15:11, 1563 to 1640. 84:12:5, 1532 to 1596.
104:10:13, 1622 to 1630. 113:15:83, 1641, 1648. 128:20:7, 1620.
184:10:1, 1630. "5:3:8, 1554. "'5:3:4, 1534.
185:3:5, 1595. "5:3:6, 1584, 1620. 185:3:7, 1620 to 1624.
15:3:2, 1536 to 1581.
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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/m1/84/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.