The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 316
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
scribing what form of money should be received in payment of
duties; and even in the years when no tariff bill was enacted the
question was up, in Congress in some form. In some cases a bill
had hardly had time to take effect before another was passed
altering its provisions or repealing it altogether.
By the ordinance creating the provisional government passed
by the Consultation, November 13, 1835, power was granted to
the General Council "to impose and regulate imposts and ton-
nage duties, and provide for their collection under such regula-
tions as may be the most expedient." In his first message Gov-
ernor Smith recommended the establishment of a tariff, and it,
was estimated by the finance committee that tonnage duties alone
would amount to $125,000. On December 8, 1835, the General
Council passed "An Ordinance and Decree establishing and im-
posing Duties on Imports and Tonnage and for other purposes,"
and this ordinance received the signature of the governor on the
12th.1 The ordinance named without defining six revenue dis-
tricts-Sabine, Galveston, Brazos, Matagorda, Jackson, and Aran-
sas. Duties were to be collected at the rate of 20 per cent
ad valorem on all goods entitled to debenture in the ports from
which they were exported, and at the rate of 10 per cent on all
others, with the exception of household goods, guns and ammu-
nition, which were to be admitted free. On December 27 a sup-
plementary act raised these duties to 25 per cent and 15 per
cent respectively. A supplementary act had already provided on
the 15th for a tonnage duty of $1.25 a ton on all vessels of more
than ten tons, and for a specific duty of 122 cents a gallon on
whiskey and wines.2
No reports are available on which to base an estimate of the
returns under this act, but they probably amounted to very lit-
tle. The merchants anticipated the law and imported larger
stocks than usual. The one firm which neglected to purchase
additional supplies because it was purchasing supplies for the
government was exempted from the provisions of the act. On
March 12, 1836, the constituent convention decreed that the pro-
'Barker, "The Finances of the Texas Revolution," in Political Science
Quarterly, XIX, 617, 623, 624.
CGammel, Laws of Texas, I, 983.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/322/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.