The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 76
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
senate of Vera Cruz with the duty of drafting a colonization law
for the state of Vera Cruz. At the outset this committee frankly
stated that "practically no question upon which there was less in-
formation than that of colonization could have been submitted for
consideration." To supply this lack the committee tried to get
information in regard to pertinent laws in force in the United
States, but was only able to obtain a copy of the general coloniza-
tion law of Mexico and the state law of Coahuila and Texas. It
was, therefore, compelled to rely mainly upon Ortiz's recommenda-
tions. On this point, the committee said: "The achievements of
Ortiz in the country watered by the Goazacoalco give a respectable
force to his opinions. The more the committee has fixed its at-
tention upon his recommendations, the more strongly has it ad-
hered to his ideas. In them are found simplicity, liberality of
principles, and practical knowledge. The committee has, there-
fore, in the main adopted these ideas."4
'In addition to proposing certain colonization regulations, the project
of the law provided for the imposition of taxes, the granting of various
privileges to induce immigration, the appointment and control of em-
presarios and other employees, the founding of towns and other settle-
ments, the fixing of standards for the measurement of lands, and the
machinery for the administration of justice.
As provided by the Federal decree of August 18, 1824, certain unappro-
priated lands could be granted to native and foreign empresarios, one-
third being, however, reserved for the state. One-fourth of this state
land could be used for the support of religious worship, education, or
other public projects.
Settlers were to pay certain predial contributions but, for a time,
were to be exempt from military service and from the payment of taxes
for religious worship and from impost duties.
Special privileges were to be given in connection with holding and
exploiting mines. Liberal inducements were offered heads of families,
while bachelors who married Mexicans were to be granted extra lands.
Curates were to be provided by the State. The transfer and sale of
lands were permitted, and empresarios and outstanding citizens were ex-
pected to become members of agricultural and colonization societies.
Empresarios were to introduce families at their own expense, to en-
courage agriculture, to supply settlers with stock and farming imple-
ments, to provide for primary education, to supply teachers, and to im-
prove roads, irrigation facilities and river travel. In return therefor,
they were to be granted certain concessions.
The chief employee, the inspector of colonization, was to be a Mexi-
can. He was required to have control over all other employees and was
to render monthly reports. He was to lay off townsites, to oversee the
observance of public worship, to grant titles to lands with the approval
of the government, to require the oath of allegiance from settlers, to
keep a register of families, and to make a biennial report to the govern-
The standard of measurement was to be the square league of 5,000
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/80/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.