The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 150
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Austin's loyalty to the empire is further shown in that in his
original petition of May 13 and a letter to Iturbide of January
1, 1823, he asked to be made a citizen of Mexico. Evidently this
was granted, for his passport issued on March 3, 1823, refers to
"Esteban F. Austin, Citizen of the Empire."84 Unfortunately for
Mexico, not all of the empresarios who followed were as loyal to
their adopted country as was Austin.
The imperial effort to colonize Texas was a failure. The Austin
grant was too little and too late, the project of Tadeo Ortiz to
bring European Catholics was sidetracked and lost in the war of
words waged by members of congress over the general coloniza-
tion law, and little or no effort was made to encourage Mexican
families to move to the frontier. At a time when speedy decision
and instant action was mandatory, the politicians blithely argued
over the ideological aspects of the slavery question, the economic
philosophy of land distribution, and other abstract points.
Although the Indian problems were capably handled and the
diplomatic negotiations with the northern tribes showed great
promise, these were not a complete success because of the lack
of sufficient force. The sixteen thousand men of the Army of the
Three Guarantees who overawed the expeditionary troops of
Spain in 1821 were allowed to remain idle and unpaid until
dissension spread through the ranks and a revolution overthrew
the empire. How different the story of Texas history might be if
these troops had been sent to the province of Texas to drive out
the barbarous Comanches and the encroaching Anglo-Americans.
The Imperial Colonization Law of 1823, in spite of the fact
that the only grant made under it was to the sincere and loyal
Stephen F. Austin, was an open invitation to the land-hungry
Anglo-Americans to emigrate to Texas. Although the imperial
government did not open wide the doors of Texas, at least it
removed the lock. By this action, coupled with the failure to
dislodge the unauthorized Anglo-American settlers, the imperial
government, like Dr. Frankenstein of Mary Shelley's epic novel,
created a "monster" which could not be controlled. The chain
of events which resulted in the independence of Texas on March
2, 1836, began in the days when Texas was ruled by Agustin I
and a seventh flag, the green, white, and red banner of Mexico,
with a crowned eagle, flew over the imperial province of Texas.
s4Bustamante to Austin, March 3, 1822, Austin Papers, II, Part I, 581.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/198/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.