The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 216
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
name a junta, consisting of a presiding officer, six vocales (voting mem-
bers), and a secretary. While doubtless consulting with sympathetic citi-
zens, the governor manipulated the choice of the council far more than
he subsequently admitted.54
Gutierrez conceived of the junta as a provisional state government sub-
ject to national authority. The junta was to maintain close relations with
neighboring states, and even more, with "the Interior of the Mexican re-
public." It was to exercise lawful power until a general Congress of the
Mexican Republic made other arrangements as deemed necessary. The
Texas declaration of independence implied that a state government
might be formed during wartime that might be modified once independ-
ence and peace were secured. Gutierrez exemplified the tendency among
caudillos-especially those operating on a regional or national level-to
seek legitimacy through governmental and juridical regulations that
strengthened and rationalized command."5
Unfortunately we know little about Gutidrrez's provincial junta, since
that body apparently left little trace of its deliberations. A royalist ac-
count of April 15, 1813, clearly lists six members of the new council,
four of whom are identifiable as prominent citizens: "Presidentd' Baca,
Francisco Arocha, Tomis Arocha, and Clemente Delgado. The Arochas
had been among the most fervent local opponents of former governor
Manuel Salcedo. Clemente Delgado's politics were more malleable,
since he had declared for the counterinsurgency of 1811 before casting
his lot with Gutidrrez.6
The first constitution of Texas, approved by the junta on April 17,
1813, consolidated power on a local level. As Julia Kathryn Garrett has
explained, the junta would itself appoint the cabildo (civic council) of
B6xar, the only municipality recognized by the constitution. The admin-
istration of lesser towns such as La Bahia and Nacogdoches was to re-
" Samuel Kemper, who took a furlough from the Republican Army m late April 1813, fur-
nished a copy of the English version to the St. Francisville [La.] Time Pece. The document appeared
later m Niles' Weekly Register, IV, 313, July 17, 1813. Kemper's action indicates that he still had a
strong interest in the Republican Army, which he later rejoined. See also Operaciones, Arredon-
do, IV, 19-2o. The mihtary council affirmed a declaration apparently proclaimed and signed by
the "citizenry and army" ("vecindario y Tropa"). I have found no actual record of the original dec-
laration in my research
5 Fernando Diaz Diaz, Cauddlos y caciques Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna y Juan Alvarez (Mexico: El
Colegio de Mexico, 1972), 3.
5e Report ofJos6 Antonio Benavides, acting commander at Laredo, in Operaciones, Arredondo,
III, 331-332, David R. McDonald and Timothy M. Matovina (eds.), Defending Mexican Valor zn
Texas: Jose Antonio Navarro's Hzstorical Wrntngs, 2853-z857 (Austin: State House Press, 1995), 67.
The president of the junta was listed as Baca-doubtless Antonio Baca, a substantial cattle owner
and wealthy merchant who had previously distributed a large sum of money among the insurgents.
See LamarPapers, VI, 151; Jackson, Los Mesterios, 538-539. Clemente Delgado, serving on the jun-
ta of Bexar, signed a petition of Oct. 23, 1811, requesting the favor of royal authority. See Tran-
scripts, Nacogdoches Archives (Texas State Archives, Austin)
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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/m1/268/: accessed February 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.