The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 211
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Josd Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
public" (presumably the Mexican government represented by Gutier-
rez). By crossing into Texas, Magee and his comrades implicitly adopt-
ed a new form of American citizenship independent of their native
The Republican Army was sorely tested following its capture on No-
vember 7 of La Bahia, a Spanish garrison situated on the San Antonio
River upstream of the Gulf Coast. Underestimating royalist strength, the
insurgents and filibusters were soon besieged by a superior force under
Governor Salcedo. Unable to break out of the enemy's cordon, the Re-
publicans were brought to despair during the next three weeks. Some
Tejano and Mexican soldiers defected to the royalists. Civilians ceased to
supply the rebels with food, and stopped their outcries against the
gachupines.42 Feeling betrayed and despondent, Magee proposed surren-
der, only to be stopped from carrying out this deed by his own officers.
The latter rejected Salcedo's demands, which would have allowed Anglo-
Americans to return to their country unharmed, while leaving the re-
bellious subjects of the Crown at the mercy of Spanish justice. The vol-
unteers' resolve not to sacrifice their comrades seems to have weighed
heavily in their decision."
Gutierrez was shaken by the events at La Bahia. Seeking to rescue
himself and his army, he risked Mexican territorial aspirations in Texas
by calling for direct military intervention by the United States. Writing
to Shaler on November 25, he announced that his greatest desire was
"the Union of the two Americas." His letter began with a declamation, "I
and the inhabitants of this Province." Gutierrez then explained that the
people of Texas, living between Nacogdoches and La Bahia, desired him
to establish a government and constitution for them. His letter implied
some form of joint U.S.-Mexican administration over East Texas, in
which "some Americans" would be placed in command of communities
as agreeable to himself. Significantly, Gutierrez signed this document as
head of a committee composed of a secretary and four Hispanic-Ameri-
can officers. He clearly believed that his proposal would carry more
weight if it appeared to have his countrymen's support rather than if it
represented only his own wishes. A republican caudillo required at least
" John H. Robinson to James Monroe, July 26, 1813, Flhbustering Expedition MSS.
42 "Gachupin" was a derisive name for a native-born Spaniard resident in Mexico. According to
the memoir of one U.S. volunteer, the inhabitants of La Bahia had scorned the "Guatchepens"
[szc], when the invaders first took the fort. See Henry P. Walker (ed.), "Wilham McLane's Narra-
tive of the Magee-Gutierrez Expedition, 1812-1813," SHQ, 66 (Oct., 1962), 247. McLane's ac-
count is corroborated by the memoir of W. D C. Hall. See LamarPapers, IV, pt 1, 278.
" Magee to Shaler Nov. 25, 1812, Special Agents MSS. In this letter Magee complained: "We are
differently received in this country to what we expected-indeed, you have no conception of the
treachery of these people." See also Samuel Davenport's report to William Shaler, in Shaler to
Monroe, Dec. 25-27, 1812, Special Agents MSS.
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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/m1/263/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.