The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 198
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Bernardo Gutierrez supposedly strayed from "republican" principles as
Garrett contended, he was actively pursuing his particular vision of a Re-
public of Mexico. We therefore need to understand his perspective-as
well as that of his contemporary critics-to make sense of factionalism
among American allies during the Gutierrez-Magee expedition. Gutier-
rez was not simply moving backward politically in Texas, but instead rush-
ing impetuously toward an independent Mexican nation.6
Jos6 Bernardo Maximiliano Guti6rrez de Lara was born on August 20,
1774, in Revilla, a small town on the southern bank of the Rio Grande in
the frontier province of Nuevo Santander. His family, which helped to
found the village in 1750, was quite prosperous on a local level. Jos6
Bernardo managed ample ranching lands and also earned a livelihood as
a merchant. His elder brother, Jos6 Antonio, served as village priest after
graduating from the seminary in Monterrey. Both men were well into ma-
turity at the outbreak of the revolt initiated by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla,
the renowned revolutionary priest, on September 16, 181o. (Jos6 Anto-
nio was forty andJose Bernardo thirty-six.) They would soon cast their lot
with other discontented creoles-men who perceived their American
birth, and not their European ancestry, as the touchstone of national
identity and political loyalty.7
The Gutierrez brothers were pragmatic rebels. Realizing the difficulties
of confronting Spanish authority in their thinly populated frontier dis-
trict, they awaited the northward movement of Lt. Gen. MarianoJiminez's
insurgent army before committing decisively to the revolt sometime dur-
ing December 1810. The brothers disseminated revolutionary broadsides
and intelligence that circulated across the Eastern Interior Provinces of
Nuevo Santander, Coahuila, Nuevo Reino de Le6n, and Texas. Jos6
Bernardo journeyed to the distant southern region of Nuevo Santander,
where he plotted with provincial soldiers eager to cast off "the ignomin-
ious Spanish yoke." The fostering of military rebellion, rather than guer-
rilla warfare, marked the first phase of his contribution to the insurgency.8
" Virginia Guedea andJaime E Rodriguez O., "How Relations between Mexico and the United
States Began," in Myths, Msdeeds, and Mzsunderstandzngs" The Roots of Conflzct in U.S.-Mexican Rela-
tzons, ed. Rodriguez O. and Kathryn Vincent (Wilmington, Del" Scholarly Resources, 1997),
17-19; Francisco Valdes-Ugalde, 'Janus and the Northern Colossus- Perceptions of the United
States in the Building of the Mexican Nation," Journal of American Hsloy, 86 (Sept., 1999),
568-600. An important essay, which recently came to my attention, is Virginia Guedea, "Au-
tonomia e independencla en la provlncia de Texas: Lajunta de goblerno de San Antonio de B-
jar, 1813," m La independencza de Mxzco y el proceso autonomista novohzspano, 1808-1824, ed. Vir-
ginia Guedea (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, 2oo1), 135-183.
7 De la Garza, Dos hermanos heroes, 11-12, Jarratt, Gut~rrez de Lara, 1-4. (Revilla is today Nuevo
" Gutierrez to the Mexican Congress, Lamar Papers, I, 5 (quotation) See also Juan Fidel Zorril-
la, Tamaulpas en la guerra de independencza (M6xico Porria, 1972), 83-89. Jos6 Bernardo Gutidr-
rez de Lara evidently joined the insurgency between Jimenez's entry into Matehuala in early
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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/m1/250/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.