The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 196
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
cially at peace with Spain. The expedition was also an outgrowth of the
Hidalgo Revolt in Mexico, which inspired Guti6rrez's rise to caudillo, or
military and political strongman, in Texas.2
During the mid-nineteenth century, Anglo-American historians of
Texas portrayed Gutierrez as the villain of 1813. He was the alleged op-
portunist and despot who damaged the Republican cause through engi-
neering, or at least approving, the killings at Salado Creek.3 Mexican au-
thors have tended to assess Gutierrez in very different terms. He has been
commonly seen as a patriot betrayed by former allies-notably William
Shaler, the U.S. State Department's special agent on the Louisiana-Texas
frontier, and Jose Alvarez de Toledo, the Cuban revolutionary who sup-
planted Gutierrez as commander-in-chief on August 4, 1813.'
Though historians have expressed periodic interest in the Gutierrez-
Magee expedition,Julia Kathryn Garrett's Green Flag Over Texas, published
in 1939, is still the only full-length scholarly study on this subject. In her
vivid narrative, Garrett emphasized both the expedition's revolutionary
potential and its ultimate failure. She lauded Guti6rrez's patriotism, but
sharply criticized his government for failing to establish a liberal political
order in Texas. In her view, Guti6rrez and his junta, or governing council,
being "untrained in statecraft . .. could not cross the new frontier of re-
publicanism." They instead supposedly "reverted to type" by instituting,
"after some remodeling," the "political system of the Spanish regime."'
Caudzllos were war leaders who came to the fore on a local, regional, or national level during
colonial rebellions against Spanish rule Their authority was rooted in personal power and pres-
tige rather than in "formal institutions" of government. See John Lynch, Caudzllos in Spanish Amer-
ica, z8oo-z85o (Oxford. Clarendon Press, 1992), 3 (quotation), 6-8, 33-35-
' Henry Stuart Foote, Texas and the Texans . (2 vols.; Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait &
Co., 1841), I, 186-188, H Yoakum, Hzstory of Texas From Its Frst Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexatzon
to the United States zn 1846 (2 vols.; New York: Redfield, 1855), I, 170. A far more sympathetic ap-
praisal of Gutidrrez is found in the unpubhshed and undated historical notes of Msrabeau Buon-
aparte Lamar. See Charles Adams GuhckJr. (ed.), The Papers ofMzrabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols.;
Austin: Baldwin & Sons, Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1921-1927), V, 391-397, VI, 469-474 (cited
hereafter as Lamar Papers).
'Vito Alessio Robles contended that Gutierrez fell victim to Wilhliam Shaler, an alleged agent of
North American imperialism. See Alessio Robles, Coahuzla y Texas en la dpoca colonial (M6xico: Ed-
Itorial Cultura, 1938), 657 For an earlier account, which attributed Gutidrrez's downfall to Tole-
do's treachery, see Carlos Maria de Bustamante, Cuadro hzst6rico de la revoluce6n mexzcana
(1843-1846; reprint, 3 vols, Mexico. Edlciones de la Comis6n Nacional ..., 1961), I, 251-255.
Bustamante's account mirrored Gutihrrez's accusations in Breve apolgia que el Coronel D. Josd Bernar-
do Gutzdrrez de Lara hace de las zmposturas calumnzosas que se le articulan en un folleto zntztulado: Levan-
tamiento de un general en las Tamaulzpas contra la repblhca o muerto que se le aparece al gobzerno en aquel
estado (Monterrey: Pedro Gonzalez, 1827), 15-23.
' Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas, 183 (quotations). For a less critical treatment of Gutilrrez, see
Rme Jarratt, Guterrez de Lara, Mexican-Texan: The Story of a Creole Hero (1949), reprinted as The Mex-
ican Expenence in Texas (New York: Arno Press, 1976), pt 1 Carlos E. Castafieda was the first schol-
ar to write extensively on the Gutierrez-Magee expedition with reference to both the Spanish colo-
nial and Tejano experiences. See Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, z5z9-I936 (7 vols.; 1950, reprint,
New York: Arno Press, 1976), vol. 6, Transition Period The Fzght For Freedom, 1z8o-z836, 45-120.
For more recent interpretations, see Felix D AlmarizJr., Tiagc Cavalzer Governor Manuel Salcedo
of Texas, z808-z8z3 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971); Jesis F. de la Teja, "Rebelhon on
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/248/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.