The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 225
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Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara
trayed his confidence. Gutierrez at last gained some personal vindication
the next year, when Toledo condemned the insurgency, and renewed his
allegiance to Ferdinand VII. In Gutierrez's later writings, Toledo was the
personification of evil-an ambitious foreigner who had always aimed at
the destruction of Mexico and whose secret agents had purportedly engi-
neered the execution of Manuel Salcedo and his friends.78
Gutidrrez's passionate commitment to Mexican independence
stretched his talents to the utmost. A man of remarkable perseverance, he
was prone to self-righteousness and deep fears of betrayal. This last trait is
understandable, considering the enormous challenge of forming and
leading a diverse and fractious multinational army. Though Gutierrez
managed to rise from nominal commander to frontier caudillo, he did
not succeed in the task of governance. He ultimately had little control
over the intrigues of Shaler and Toledo, who cleverly exploited his weak
standing among U.S. volunteers.
Shaler himself did not aim at the annexation of Texas to the United
States, but rather the spreading of his government's political and eco-
nomic influence over an independent Mexico. A Jeffersonian in spirit,
he was blind to the contradictions in his own political faith and conduct.
He voiced respect for the principle of self-determination, but believed
that Mexicans needed North American guidance, along with enlight-
ened Hispanic-American leadership, to reach the promised land of re-
publican government and free trade. His meddling in Texas affairs even-
tually proved unsettling to the Madison administration, which feared
provoking war with Spain during its conflict with Great Britain. On June
5, 1813, James Monroe ordered Shaler to quit support of the insur-
gency. The special agent received this message in Nacogdoches-just as
he was on his long-awaited journey to Bxar. He then returned to
Gutierrez might have overcome Shaler's opposition if he had built a vi-
able coalition between his own military officers and the inhabitants of
B6xar. He failed, however, at one of the central tasks of a caudillo-the
building of civic support behind his leadership. He expected Bexarefos
to be grateful followers, notwithstanding restrictions imposed on political
participation and municipal governance. He learned little from the fate
of Las Casas, the previous insurgent governor, who had alienated promi-
" Harris Gaylord Warren (ed. and trans.), "Jose Alvarez de Toledo's Reconciliation with Spain
and Projects for Suppressing Rebellion in the Spanish Colonies," Louisiana Histoncal Quarterly, 23
(July, 1940), 827-863; Gutierrez de Lara, Breve Apologia, 15-20, Gutairrez to the Mexican Con-
gress, LamarPapers, I, 16 (quotations), 17-22, 28. When Gutierrez wrote his account, the Mexican
Republic was avidly seeking foreign assistance from the United States. See Warren, The Sword Was
Their Passport, 119-135.
J" Nichols, "William Shaler," 95; Gronet, "United States and the Invasion of Texas," 303.
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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/m1/277/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.