The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 24
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
vember 20, 1829,60 which raises an interesting question of chro-
nology. Teran declared that the president's instruction to him
was in the form of a private letter (carta particular) and that it
was in response to a letter of his own.61 From this it would
appear that the decision to except Texas from the decree was
formed several weeks before the petitions of the local authorities
were received, and perhaps before the Texans even knew that the
decree had been issued.62 While that need not imply considera-
tion for the Texans, but simply the desire to avoid certain op-
position from them, it would at least prove that the suspension
was not decreed under the menace of insurrection.
Emphasizing the president's "private letter" to Teran and
ignorant of, or ignoring, the official letter to the governor, some
historians-both Mexican and American--have questioned the
validity of the exemption of Texas, but this position can hardly
be maintained. It probably is true, however, that the suspension
of the decree was not formally proclaimed or recorded in Mexico.63
Austin's reaction to hope and confidence was rapid. Immedi-
ately after hearing of the suspension of the decree he wrote his
brother-in-law, urging him to move to Texas. "I have never
been so thoroughly convinced as I now am of the future rapid
"Austin Papers, MS.: "I am authorized by his Excellency the Presi-
dent of the Republic to inform you, so that you can make it known to
the inhabitants of the settlements near that point, that the decree of
September 15 last, of which I enclose a copy does not comprehend the
department of Texas except that there shall be no further introduction
"I hasten to give you this notice with the object indicated and that
the publication of the decree may not cause the owners of slaves dis-
"Terfn to Elosua, December 18, 1829, General Land Office of Texas,
Vol. 57, page 130, MS.
'One is tempted to suspect that "November" 20 was an inadvertent
slip for "December" 20, but this seems doubtful. In letters of December
18 and 19 Teran speaks of having already written Austin, and though
thirty-nine days was much too slow for mail from Tampico, nine days
was hardly long enough. Acknowledging Terin's letter on December 29,
the day he received it, Austin recites the date but does not comment
"The writer has been unable to find a copy of the suspending decree
in any official collection. Alaman wrote Terfi on March 6, 1830 (Uni-
versity of Texas Transcripts from Department of Fomento, legajo 5, ex-
pediente 34) after the fall of Guerrero's government, that a committee
was engaged in revising the decrees issued by Guerrero and that one of
the questions to be considered was the repeal of the emancipation decree.
See Bugbee, in Political Science Quarterly, XIII, 655-658, for discussion
of Mexican and American historians in this connection.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/28/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.