Texas Almanac, 1945-1946 Page: 57
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HISTORY OF TEXAS. 57
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-
ing repeal of the law passed by the Mex-
ican Congress in 1830, asking settlement
of certain land titles in East Texas, seek-
ing the right to use the English language
in public business, the privilege of or-
gamnizing a militia, separation of Texas
from the State of Coahuila and certain
Second San Felipe Convention.
Nothing came of the first convention
at San Feline other than the further
arousing of distrust on the part of the
Mexicans, who were unfamiliar with
Anglo-American ideas of peaceful as-
sembly. When Santa Anna became
President early in 1833 another conven-
tion was called, meeting at San Felipe
de Austin April 1, 1833. This convention
adopted resolutions similar to those of
the first assembly and, in addition, drew
up a proposed State Constitution, the
Constitution being drafted by a commit-
tee headed by Sam Houston. Stephen F.
Austin headed a commission elected to
carry the new Constitution and petition
for reforms to Mexico City for approval.
Austin proceeded to Mexico City and,
after several months of delay, received
certain promises from Santa Anna and
started homeward. But prior to extract-
ing the promises from Santa Anna, he
had in a fit of impatience indiscreetly
addressed a letter to Texas friends advis-
ing them to go ahead with organization
of separate statehood, though authoriza-
tion was still lacking. The letter fell
into the hands of Mexican officials and
Austin was thrown into prison. After
fifteen months of imprisonment he was
released in 1835 and returned to Texas.
Austin had been genuinely friendly to-
ward Mexico; he had refused to assist in
the Fredonian rebellion and lent his in-
fluence against its success; he had been
conservative during the difficulties of
1832 and seemed sincerely desirous of ef-
fecting a settlement that would establish
Texas as a permanent member of the
Mexican federation of states. He had
done so despite pressure exerted upon
him by some of his fellow colonists to
join the faction favoring revolution. By
their actions the Mexicans lost the con-
fidence of the man who was at once
their best friend and the most influential
of the colonial leaders.
When, early in 1835, Santa Anna sent a
company of soldiers to Anahuac to assist
in the collection of duties, a force of colo-
nists under William B. Travis marched
on the town and forced the Mexicans to
surrender their arms and leave for San
Antonio. As a result, General Cos.
brother-in-law of Santa Anna and com-
mander of northern Mexico, ordered the
arrest of Travis and several others.
Alarmed at the situation, several leading
colonists endeavored to effect a peaceful
adjustment, but Cos refused to accept
explanations until Travis and other Tex-
ans were under arrest. It was at this
juncture that Austmn returned from Mex-
ico and announced that he had become
convinced that war was Texas' only re-
Affairs in Texas had led Santa Anna to
the decision to station a military force in
the state. Gen. Martin Perfect de Cos,
his brother-in-law, had been placed in
charge of the northern states, and Col.
Domingo de Ugartechea was stationed
in San Antonio in charge of the military
forces in Coahulla-Texas.
While there had been several prior
armed conflicts, what may be properly
considered the first battle of the Texas
Revolution was that at Gonzales Oct. 2,
1835. Colonel Ugartechea sent a com-
pany to Gonzales to take possession of a
cannon, but the Mexicans were attacked
by the Texans and defeated. The news
of this battle spread and volunteers
poured into Gonzales. It was in this
battle that the Texans used the famous
flag bearing the words, "Come and Take
It," referring to the cannon which the
Mexicans had demanded.
It was decided to march on San An-
tonio and, on Oct. 11, Austin was elected
commander in chief. In the meantime,
on Oct. 9, a small band of volunteers had
surprised the Mexican garrison at Goliad
and captured a store of military supplies.
A detachment of Austin's army had a
light engagement with Mexican cavalry
at Mission Concepcion Oct. 28, and on
Nov. 26 the so-called "grass fight" oc-
curred south of San Antonio. This skir-
mish was occasioned by the rumor that
an approaching burro train carried sil-
ver for the pay of the Mexican garrison
at San Antonio, but when captured the
burros' burden proved to be hay destined
for consumption by Ugartechea's cavalry
In the meantime a gathering of repre-
sentative colonials was held at San Fe-
lipe beginning Nov. 3, 1835, a provi-
sional government set up, and Austin,
Branch T. Archer and William H. Whar-
ton were selected to go to Washington
and ask for the assistance of the United
States. This withdrew Austin from com-
mand of the army which was besieging
San Antonio and Gen. Edward Burleson
was placed in command there by an elec-
tion. Henry Smith was elected provi-
sional Governor of Texas and a council
was organized. While Burleson had been
chosen to lead the army at San Antonio,
Gen. Sam Houston was named by the
gathering at San Felipe as Commander
in Chief to succeed Austin.
At the consultation at San Felipe a
warm debate had been followed by a de-
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Texas Almanac, 1945-1946, book, 1945; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117166/m1/59/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.