The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 226
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ered that, of the sixteen heads of families composing the settle-
ment, eight had voted for one site and eight for the other. Con-
sequently Leal measured the two sites; and, discovering that the
one next to the village was shorter by 107 fathoms, he recom-
mended that this location be used and forwarded the case to
Governor Manuel de Sandoval for his approval, since the loca-
tion of a fence was of sufficient gravity to require gubernatorial
sanction in those days.
The governor approved the recommendation and ordered the
settlers to build the fence within five days or pay a fine of six
pesos, which was a lot of money in those days when a good horse
could be bought for eight pesos.
The time expired and no fence was built. Three settlers re-
fused to heed the citation: Alcalde Martin Lorenzo de Armas,
Councilman Juan Curbelo, and Francisco Joseph de Arocha, a
notary public and secretary of the Cabildo. Arocha sent word
that he was not any messenger boy to be running around every
few minutes with his inkwell in his hand. Lorenzo, when in-
formed by his wife that the boy had come to summon him, re-
plied: "Tell him that I am asleep and cannot be disturbed."
Leal ordered the chief constable to arrest these three and
imprison them in the guardroom of the presidio, since there was
no jail in the village itself, but at this point the ponderous
Spanish legal machinery began to break down because of the
scarcity of settlers on the Texas frontier. The constable replied
that he could not apprehend the men because he was seriously
ill; so Leal ordered himself to notify the parties.
Their reaction is recorded in Leal's own words:
Arocha replied that he was willing to obey the said writ, but he
asked and entreated my court to be so good as to excuse him from
imprisonment in the guardroom because he was ailing, and, if God
gives him health, he will report to the said guardroom; meanwhile
he considers himself a prisoner from the day he was notified. Juan
Curbelo replied that the guardroom was no place to imprison him
because of the honors and privileges which the King Our Lord has
granted him, but that, nevertheless, he would appear.
Lorenzo, the third offender, went along quietly.
Three days after they were imprisoned, Governor Sandoval
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/294/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.