The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 221
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Jose Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
November 27, 1812. When Gutierrez issued his proclamation of May 2o,
1813,Joaquin Arredondo was marching northward to suppress the rebel-
lion in Texas.68
One can not be certain whether Gutierrez deliberately misinformed his
own army, or quite possibly fed it intelligence based upon rumor. He had
a strong tendency to exaggerate both his own military strength and the
enemy's weakness. This practice reflected a desire to steel his men's
courage, but could easily expose the caudillo to ridicule if his words
proved false. Based in remote Texas, he evidently had no idea of the
widening rift between Generals Ray6n and Morelos over the formation of
a national congress and the issuance of a declaration of Mexican inde-
pendence. Gutierrez had not received, moreover, the formal recognition
that he craved from Mexican authorities. While fired with great expecta-
tions, he still occupied a peripheral position within the broader insurgent
Gutierrez lost the propaganda war of 1813-mostly because of the in-
creasingly vicious criticism launched against him by Shaler and Toledo.
This rhetorical attack was based partly on liberal political concepts. For
example, Shaler's and Toledo's newspaper, Gaceta de Texas, praised habeas
corpus and freedom of the press. Their second publication, El Mexicano,
then stooped to the low road of personal innuendo, xenophobia, and
racial prejudice. The paper accused Gutierrez of conspiring with Colonel
Savary, "a Frenchman of color" in New Orleans, who was alledgedly pre-
pared to land an army of mulattoes on the Texas Gulf Coast. This rumor,
while phrased in menacing tones, may have had some basis in reality.
Gutierrez was possibly seeking military assistance among Haitian refugees
in Louisiana through Pierre Girard, his agent in New Orleans.70
There are many ironies to the complex, and often confusing battle
within the Republican camp in 1813. For example, Shaler was the avowed
advocate of self-determination in Mexico, but attempted to anoint Toledo
as the republican caudillo of Texas. His correspondence reveals little but
" Timmons, Morelos, 79-83, 98-99, Alamin, Hzstona de M jwo, III, 356-357, 485, Garrett, Green
Flag Over Texas, 206-2 10
" Timmons, Morelos, 98-100oo, 112-115. On April 5, 1813, Ray6n's government appointedJose
Antonio Peredo as envoy to the United States, granting him broad power for the purchase of arms
and the negotiation of an alhance. See Hernindez y Divalos, Documentos, VI, 1039-1040. For an
example of Gutidrrez's exaggerations, see his broadside to the creoles of Mexico, issued at Natchi-
toches, June 1, 1812, in "Historia, Operaciones de Guerra, Salcedo Manuel 1810-1812," I:
io1-lo2, Transcripts (CAH). This document stated that Gutierrez had not only obtained pledges
of military support from the Congress of the United States, but also received similar guarantees by
" Kathryn Garrett, "The First Newspaper of Texas: Gaceta de Texas," SHQ 40 (Jan., 1937),
200-215; Garrett, "Gaceta De Texas: Translation of the First Number," SHQ 42 (July, 1938),
21-27 (this newspaper was published on May 25, 1813), El Mexcano (Natchitoches, La.),June 19,
1813 (this newspaper was published in Spanish and English).
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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/m1/273/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.