Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 48
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48 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1941-42
ient port of New Orleans. A wise colo-
nial policy on the part of Mexico might
have overcome these difficulties; cer-
tainly it would have long postponed the
crisis that did arise after a brief interval
Inconsistent Mexican Policy.
There is sufficient material in the rec-
ord to show that most of the early colo-
nists came to Texas in good faith and
were willing to become permanently citi-
zens of the Republic of Mexico. Certain-
ly Stephen F. Austin did everything pos-
sible to maintain the status und - which
he had contracted to bring settlers to
Texas. Most of his colonists seem to
have been with him in sentiment, at
least, in the earlier stages of the grow-
ing controversy when wise statEsman-
ship at Mexico City might have changed
permanently the course of historical de-
velopment in the region between the
Sabine and Rio Grande.
However, it must be said that there
were those Americans who came to Tex-
as looking backward. Possibly there was
no actual conspiracy to wrest Texas from
Mexico, but there were some who were
not adverse to adding oil to any flame of
discontent. The Mexican National Gov-
ernment unwisely did much to fan the
Unfortunately, several incidents arose
to heighten suspicions at Mexico City. As
early as the latter part of 1826, trouble
developed between American and Mexi-
can settlers at Nacogdoches. Hayden Ed-
wards had been given a grant at Nacog-
doches, where Gil y Barbo and his fol-
lowers had lived for several decades.
Mexican authorities at San Antonio de-
cided in favor of the Mexican settlers.
Edwards organized the Republic of Fre-
donia and declared Texas independent of
Mexico. Though Edwards was quickly
driven out, his action was cause of dis-
quiet at Mexico City.
As a result of this and other develop-
ments, the liberal colonization policy was
reversed. In 1829 a decree was issued
freeing slaves, which brought protest
from American settlers in Texas who
were largely cotton growers from the
slave states of the South. This difficulty
was settled by revocation of the procla-
mation. It was followed immediately,
however, by even more definite measures
to stop American immigration into
Provisions of Law of 1830.
In April, 1830, the Mexican Congress
enacted a law forbidding further settle-
ment of Americans in Texas excepting
in two colonies, providing for establish-
ment of Mexican convict colonies in
Texas, and levying duties on all foreign
imports and establishing customs houses.
By this legislation it was hoped to lessen
the growth of American population, ac-
celerate that of Mexican population and
break up the growing commerce with the
United States, forcing commercial rela-
tions with Mexico.
It was this act that brought the first
storm of protest and added to the several
underlying causes of the Texas Revolu-
tion. Neither the National Constitution
of 1824 nor the Constitution of the State
of Coahuila-Texas of 1827 granted cer-
tain rights accepted as inalienable by the
Anglo-Americans, notably trial by jury
and the right of bail. Furthermore, a
state religion was not to their liking and
particularly obnoxious was the require-
ment that settlers in the colonies be
Catholics. Most of the American settlers
were Protestants, and they did not com-
ply with the regulation in good faith or
evaded it entirely.
Clash at Anahuac.
A former American who had become a
Mexican army officer, Col. John D.
Bradburn, in command of the customs
house at Anahuac, aroused the resent-
ment of surrounding colonists by inter-
fering with their plans for obtaining le-
gal titles to land that they had acquired
as squatters. Further, he arrested, ap-
parently without good cause, several col-
onists, including William Barrett Travis.
A small force of Americans gathered and
attacked the town. Bradburn promised
to release the prisoners and the attacking
force retired momentarily.
Turtle Bayou Resolutions.
Bradburn failed to release the prison-
ers, but the attackers decided to await
reinforcements. In the meantime, in
their camp on Turtle Bayou, they passed
resolutions declaring their attempt not
a revolt against Mexico, but an expedi-
tion on behalf of Gen. Lopez de Santa
Anna, who was leading a revolution
against President Bustamente. Santa
Anna was then posing as a liberal in op-
position to the dictatorial methods of
Bustamente. Before the attack on Ana-
huac could be resumed, Colonel Piedras
arrived with a force from Nacogdoches
and released the American prisoners.
Battle of Velasco.
Although only a few shots were fired
at Anahuac, the conflict precipitated the
first actual engagement of the growing
Texas-Mexican controversy. A detach-
ment bringing two cannon from Brazo-
ria to camp at Turtle Bayou, via the
Brazos, as refused passage by the
Mexican ommander at Velasco at the
mouth of the Brazos. After a three-day
battle the Texans were victorious, cap-
turing Col. Domingo Ugartechea and his
Following this conflict, Texans took ap-
preciable part in the revolt of Santa Anna
against Bustamente. Government gar-
risons at Nacogdoches, San Antonio and
other points were forced out or made to
First San Felipe Convention.
The coming of Santa Anna into promi-
nence as a liberal and friend of the peo-
ple led the Texas colonists to ask for re-
forms. A convention was held at San
Felipe de Austin Oct. 1, 1832, at which
Stephen F. Austin was elected chairman
and a memorial addressed to both federal
and state governments was adopted ask-
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/50/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.