The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 209
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Jos Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
had attempted to gain from Adair. Reading Shaler's correspondence, one
senses that Gutierrez was galled by these terms. He doubtless knew that
he was being used, since the U.S. volunteers needed a creole officer to
lend political legitimacy to their expedition once inside New Spain.'
Magee's volunteers easily took Nacogdoches, the main settlement of
East Texas on August 12, 1812. Tejanos, Anglo-Americans, and other res-
idents cheered the invaders, whose arrival promised the end of Spanish
commercial restrictions and the concurrent growth of lawful trade with
the United States. Royalist resistance quickly collapsed. Many militiamen
and provincial soldiers deserted or defected to the Republicans."
From Guti6rrez's viewpoint, the military success of the Republican
Army had still to be translated into political gains. If the invasion were to
be directed along Mexican lines, he had to enhance his standing among
U.S. volunteers. He approached this goal partly by publicizing his aims
among likely recruits in Louisiana. Working through an Anglo-American
associate-possibly William Shaler--he offered volunteers "all the rights
of honored citizens of the Mexican republic." Soldiers would also gain
special privileges: land grants, possible mining concessions, rights to wild
horses and mules, rewards from the public treasury, and shares of confis-
cated property seized from "those who are inimical to the republican
cause." Such words no doubt enticed young men of the southwestern
United States to cross into Texas. Here was an opportunity for adventure,
a fight for a noble cause, and the lure of wealth to boot!7
While addressing Anglo-Americans through intermediaries, Gutierrez
assumed a direct role in shaping three Spanish-language proclamations
addressed respectively to the inhabitants of Texas, B6xar, and Mexico on
September 1, 1812. Confident of victory, he reassured Bexarefios that An-
glo-Americans were trustworthy allies, and not, by inference, the rapa-
cious barbarians depicted in Spanish propaganda. The inhabitants were
"free descendants of the men who fought for the independence of the
United States ... brothers and inhabitants of the same continent [as our-
selves]." Guti6rrez wished above all to shatter colonial feelings of de-
pendence upon Spanish authority. Self-liberation and rebirth were the
seeds of national independence. Gutierrez summoned the people of
Bexar to "awake! awake! ... We will not permit these tyrants, who pretend
to have sovereign empire over your lives, to steep their wicked hands any
more in the blood of our brothers; I will not allow them to seize your per-
SWllham Shaler to James Monroe, Aug 18, 1812, Special Agents MSS. Shaler indicated in this
letter that "Bernardo had the nominal command in chief." The initial invasion force, which gath-
ered in the Neutral Ground, numbered from about sixty to 16o men. See Harry McCorry Hen-
derson, "The Magee-Guti6rrez Expedition," SHQ 55 (July, 1951), 45-
" Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas, 151-52; Castaiieda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, VI, 75-84.
7 Alexandria [La ] Herald Extra, Aug. 31, 1812.
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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/m1/261/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.