The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 85
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Local Government in the Spanish Colonies
twelve negroes.3" The alcalde and the four diputados were to meet
at least every two months and if, on petition or at the discretion
of the alcalde ordinario, an open meeting of all the electors should
be called, "cabildo abierto," the boat owners had to attend to dis-
cuss the important affairs that had occasioned the summons.40
A fort (casa fuerte) was to be built in the rancheria as protection
against the corsairs, and within this casa fuerte there were to be
two rooms, one of which was to contain the treasury chest of the
real hacienda with three keys. The other strong room was for the
deposit of the oyster shells secured by the fishermen. All shells
were to be brought here immediately and not opened for the extrac-
tion of the pearls except in the presence of the oficiales reales.41
The alcalde and four diputados were authorized to hire a chap-
lain at the expense of the rancheria, and if he turned out to be
prejudicial to the community, he could be dismissed by these same
officials.42 These five officials had to keep a record of their ordi-
nances, decisions, etc., and these records were to be kept in a box
with two keys, one key going to the alcalde ordinario, the other to
the oldest diputado.43
The alcalde of the rancheria could not be alcalde ordinario or
regidor in any other place, and he had to reside where the major
portion of the rancheria was located.44 A procurator was elected
to look after the things pertaining to the rancheria and to oppose
the things that were prejudicial to it."4 Also an escribano real of
that jurisdiction was elected to authenticate autos, draw up con-
tracts, etc., as occasion demanded.48 Within a month after election
the incoming officials were to take an invoice of the papers, prop-
erty and equipment left by 'their predecessors.47
The chief duties of the cabildo, and especially of the alcalde, were
to discover new oyster beds, assigning certain persons to this
specific task,4" and to keep a sharp lookout for corsairs, special
sentinels and lookouts being stationed on the coast for that pur-
pose.4" The cabildo had full jurisdiction over the ordinary affairs
of the rancheria and no one was exempt from the contribuciones
which they imposed for the good of the community.50 Appeal from
'4:25:7, Carlos II. "44:25:10, Carlos II. "4:25:2, 1579.
"4:25:14, 1495. 434:25:11, Felipe II. "4:25:4, Carlos II.
4"4:25:5, Carlos II. "44:25:5, Carlos II. 474:25:17, Felipe II.
"4:25:15, Felipe II. "4:25:18, Felipe II. "64:25:19, 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/m1/94/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.