The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 200
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
where he united forces with MarianoJimenez. On March 16,Jose Bernar-
do Gutierrez arrived at insurgent headquarters, bearing a letter of support
from his elder brother to Allende. The rebel junta, doubtless impressed by
Jose Bernardo's patriotism, appointed him lieutenant colonel and mili-
tary chief in Nuevo Santander. Allende meanwhile prepared to march
across Texas to the United States, where he aimed to win sympathetic re-
cruits and to purchase arms with his cargo of hijacked Spanish silver.1
Allende's plan was compromised within a few days by reports from
Texas. On March 2, counterrevolutionaries in B6xar had toppled rebel
governor Juan Bautista de las Casas. They had also arrested Ignacio Al-
dama and Juan Salazar, Mexican emissaries to the Congress of the United
States. With this reversal, Allende's council named Jos6 Bernardo to un-
dertake the captives' aborted diplomatic mission. Gutierrez had scarcely
obtained this important office when startling news struck again. A royalist
ambush had seized Allende, Jim6nez, and Hidalgo at the Wells of Bajin
on March 21. This deadly blow was the work of Manuel Salcedo, the de-
posed Spanish governor of Texas, and his co-conspirator, Ignacio Elizon-
do, a former insurgent officer turned royalist. Salcedo later presided at
the trial and execution of the rebel caudillos in Chihuahua.'2
Jos6 Bernardo Gutierrez initially directed more attention to his military
command than to his weighty diplomatic responsibility. By late July, how-
ever, he could no longer resist flight. Joaquin Arredondo's royalist troops
had taken full command of the Rio Grande towns, forcing Jos6 Antonio
Gutierrez into hiding. Jos6 Bernardo, being helpless to protect his family
against Spanish reprisals, began his trek toward Texas with a mere twelve
companions. Before the small party, as he later recalled, lay "immense
deserts, and unknown trails or paths ... hidden armies, such as the royal-
ists of B6xar and Nacogdoches" as well as "Barbaric [Indian] Nations. .. .""
Gutierrez was in a highly anomalous position when he reached
Louisiana in mid-September 1811. He lacked proper credentials, since
apparently losing his official papers while fleeing a Spanish ambush close
by the U.S. border. The absence of proper documentation raised funda-
mental issues of political legitimacy. What government did Gutierrez rep-
" Hamill, Hzdalgo Revolt, 201-206; De la Garza, Dos hermanos heroes, 13, Lucas Alamin, Hzstona
deMe:co.. (5 vols.; Mexico:J. M. Lara, 1849-1852), II, 83-84, 167-170; Vizcaya Canales, Albores
de endependencea, 155.
12 Gutierrez to the Mexican Congress, Lamar Papers, I, 6; Fihx D. AlmarhizJr., "Texas Governor
Manuel Salcedo and the Court-Martial of Padre Miguel Hidalgo, 1810o-1811," Southwestern Hstor-
cal Quarterly (cited hereafter as SHQ), 99 (Apr., 1996), 435-464. Las Casas and the captured en-
voys were subsequently tried and executed in Monclova. See Frederick C. Chabot (ed), Texas zn
zr8i: The Las Casas and Sambrano Revolutions (San Antonio: Yanaguana Society, 1941), 30-31.
'' Gutidrrez to the Mexican Congress, Lamar Papers, I, 7; Gutidrrez de Lara, Breve Apologia, 8
(quotation). In this account, Gutxirrez maintained that he had fourteen rather than twelve com-
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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/m1/252/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.