The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 227
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Jose Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
anti-Spanish intrigues. In 1820, the so-called "Republic of Texas," found-
ed by Dr. James Long, named Gutierrez as vice-president of its supreme
council. Guti6rrez appears, however, to have wisely remained aloof from
this ill-fated venture.8"
Gutierrez rejoiced in 1821 when Mexico at last achieved national inde-
pendence. This fundamental point meant far more to him than that
Agustin Iturbide, a former royalist officer and an adherent of constitu-
tional monarchy, had come to power. Rather than return to his native
country, Guti6rrez remained in Louisiana for three more years, taking on
the task of advising Mexican officials on Indian affairs. He lobbied strong-
ly for an offensive war against the Comanches.84
From his family residence in Natchitoches, Jose Bernardo commented
favorably on Iturbide's election as emperor in May 1822, and his subse-
quent dissolution of the nation's first constituent congress on October
31. To Guti6rrez, the emperor's action was legitimate, because it main-
tained the principle of "National Representation" through the formation
of a junta until a second congress could be invoked. This observation is
revealing about Guti6rrez's penchant to favor strong centralized com-
mand, joined to some type of constitutional assembly, during the difficult
task of nation-building. Significantly, his personal loyalties shifted after he
assumed the position of governor of the state of Tamaulipas (his native
Nuevo Santander) in July 1824. He then strictly followed the orders of
the national congress, which had since forced Iturbide into exile. When
the deposed emperor landed in Tamaulipas, Guti6rrez enforced a con-
gressional law that ordered the apprehension and execution of the for-
Until his death on May 13, 1841,Jos6 Bernardo Guti6rrez de Lara was
a steadfast believer in the independence and territorial integrity of the
Republic of Mexico. National unity took precedence over all else. In
1839, he took to battle for the last time to fight against North Mexican
Federalists at war with the central government. After a bloody skirmish,
he was taken prisoner, suffering the indignity of having his home sacked
by the rebels. This humiliation by no means silenced Guti6rrez, who de-
nounced the insurgents for uniting forces with Anglo-American Texans.8"
' For an overview of Gutidrrez's activities, including his attempt to gain Haitian mlhtary back-
mg in 1814, see Warren, The Sword Was Ther Passport, 102-103, 119-120, 234, 252
" Gutirrez correspondence, cited in de la Garza, Dos hermanos hIroes, 90-91, 107-108.
"'Jos6 Bernardo Guti6rrez de Lara to Jos6 Antonio Gutierrez de Lara, Mar. 8, 1823, cited in
ibid, 120; Timothy E. Anna, Forgzng Mexzco, 1821z-835 (Lincoln. University of Nebraska Press,
1998), 91-97;Juan Fidel Zorrilla, Los Ailtzmas dias delturbzde (Mexico: Porrfia, 1969), 109-114-
"' De la Garza, Dos hermanos heroes, 200-201 ;John Milton Nance, After San Jacznto. The Texas-Mex-
ican Frontier, 1836-1841 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963), 217-219, Jose Bernardo
Gutierrez de Lara to Antonio Zapata, Oct. 22, 1839, Alcance al semmano politico deljueves 31 de Oc-
tubre de 1839 [Monterrey]
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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/m1/279/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.