The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 219
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Josi Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
Shaler's attitude toward Guti6rrez shifted from suspicion to contempt
following the killings at Salado Creek and the promulgation of the Texas
constitution. From early May through July 1813, he barraged Monroe
with reports condemning Guti6rrez while extolling Toledo. The former
was the dictator whose constitution was "an absurd revolutionary farce."
Guti6rrez allegedly lived "in the style of an Eastern Basha, while every-
thing around him is penury and misery...." By contrast, Toledo was a
"man of humanity, with talents, and an enlightened mind." Toledo's in-
tent was "to annul Bernardo's absurd government, to form a junta by the
free suffrages of the people, and march immediately to the 'rio grande'."
Shaler had no doubt that Toledo was the man on the white horse-a tru-
ly virtuous republican patriot and liberator.
Shaler felt far more comfortable dealing with the cultivated Toledo, to
whom he wrote in French, than with Guiti6rrez, a provincial of little for-
mal education. He was especially pleased when Toledo allowed him to re-
view, and to translate into English, his prized copy of Miguel Ramos
Arizpe's pamphlet concerning the government of the Interior Provinces
of New Spain. This document, which Ramos Arizpe presented to the
Cortes in 1811 , advocated liberal reform, including some degree of pop-
ular participation in the election of municipal and provincial councils. To
Shaler, these ideas were an enlightened model of "the genius of Spanish
legislation." The special agent was impressed by Ramos Arizpe's blending
of republicanism into what he perceived to be the orderly and rational as-
pects of colonial administration.64
Considering the lag in communications between B6xar and Natchi-
toches, Guti6rrez did not yet realize in mid-April 1813 that he had little
chance of preventing a Shaler-Toledo entente. His amicable letter to
Shaler of April 18 seems pathetic and even naive. In this missive, Guti6r-
rez aimed to persuade Shaler that the new independent state of Texas was
a liberal regime devoted to the "happiness of freemen." Immigrants from
the United States were especially welcomed to develop commerce, indus-
try, and mines containing "the riches of Potosi in gold and silver." Guti6r-
rez once again conjured images of riches to whet Anglo-American ambi-
tions. He had previously offered assurances that open borders and free
trade should be the basis of a republican alliance between American
"9 Shaler to Monroe, May 7, 14 (1st through 3rd quotations), July to (4th quotation), 1813,
Special Agents MSS.
"4 Shaler forwarded his translation to the U.S. government in his letter of April 2o, 1813. Shaler
to the State Department, Apr. 2o, 1813 (quotation), Filibustering Expedition MSS. See also Net-
tle Lee Benson (ed. and trans.), Report that Dr. Miguel Ramos de Anzpe ... Presents to the August Con-
gress on the Natural, Poltzcal and Civil Condztzon of the Provinces of Coahuila, Nuevo Le6n, Nuevo San-
tander, and Texas of the Four Eastern Interior Provinces of the Kzngdom of Mexico (Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1950), 37-39, 48-49. For the use of French, see Shaler to Toledo, July 15, 1813, in
Palacio L6pez, Plhegos de la dzplomacza znsurgente, 248-249.
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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/m1/271/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.