The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 188
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
local and provincial levels, bristled when Congress linked them with
Coahuila in May 1824. Texans became angrier when they learned that
politicos in the Coahuila city of Saltillo formed a new government in Au-
gust that stripped Texas of its political institutions. From a Texas per-
spective, union with Coahuila represented a forced marriage, and many
Texans looked forward to a quick divorce.2
The brief but comprehensive report that follows offers a broader per-
spective. Its author was the new governor of Coahuila y Texas, Col. Jos6
Rafael Gonzales. On December 6, 1824, just seven months after the
Mexican Congress created the state and four months after he had been
chosen to preside over it, Gonzales completed work on a panoramic
view of the problems of Coahuila y Texas. With the state's municipal and
regional governments not yet formed, its economy still staggering from
damage inflicted during the long war for independence, and its hard
currency confused, the province of Coahuila itself gave Governor Gon-
zales ample cause for concern. Problems in Texas did not loom as large
from the perspective of Saltillo as they did from San Antonio. The diffi-
cult circumstances that Gonzales described in Coahuila, however, help
explain why Texans, Hispanic and Anglo Texan alike, regarded
Coahuila as a liability.
Gov. Jos6 Rafael Gonzales prepared his report in response to a request
of October 25, 1824, from Lucas Alamin, who then served as Mexico's
secretary of state in charge of foreign and internal affairs. Seeking data
on public administration for his own end-of-the-year report to Congress,
Alamin had sent an inquiry to all of the states and territories in the
young republic. The new Constitution of 1824 required all states to sub-
mit annual reports to the federal government," and Alamin had sup-
plied the topics on which governors should comment: government,
taxes, militia, public security, political economy, mail, sanitation, chari-
ties, hospitals, missions, public instruction, reading rooms, mines, roads,
canals, commerce, trade fairs, weights and measures, coinage, manufac-
turing, machinery, agriculture, public land, and Indians..
The list might have seemed daunting to the new governor of Coahuila
y Texas, who had lived in Texas as well as Coahuila and who knew the
2 Andres Tijerina, Tejanos and Texas under the Mexzcan Flag, I82 -z836 (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 1994), 98-102; David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 182r-1846: The
American Southwest Under Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982), 24.
S As secretary of state from 1823 to 1825, Alamin submitted two reports or memornas to con-
gress, on Nov. 8, 1823 and Jan. 11, 1825 respectively. Both were published at the time. They
have been reprinted in Rafael Aguayo Spencer (ed.), Obras de D. Lucas Alamdn: Documentos Diver-
sos (Iniditos y muy raros) (4 vols.; Mexico City: EditorialJUS, 1945-1947), I, 58-161. For the con-
situtional mandate for the states to furnish an annual report see title VI, second section, article 8
of the Constitution of 1824, in H. P. N. Gammel (comp.), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 ... (o10
vols.; Austin: Gammel Book Co., 1898), I, 92.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/238/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.