San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 48
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SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR.
and declared that there exists no other superior decree that might act in the
favor either of the settlers or the " five towns of the Missions," he accordingly
issues an ordinance requesting the neighbors and those who may wish to con-
tribute to the taking of the water, to enlist themselves forthwith, contributing
every one any and " necessary utensils," and the Baron promises that the
partition of the lands " will be made with the due equity of chance." He insists
that the person who may take charge of the work must possess intelligence and
experience; the election of the Acequiero to be decided by a plurality of votes
among the shareholders. The Acequiero elected shall be entitled to an extra
portion or suerte of land, but he shall furnish two additional men. The Gov-
ernor then makes in his decree, numerous suggestions concerning the construction
of the ditch, as to its protection from cattle by the planting of nopal trees
(prickly pears) or other thorny bushes, and says that the water gates must have
stone and mortar foundations and suggests other sensible precautions concerning
the width, depth and general completeness of the work to be done. He is very
thorough, but withal indulgent, and he says that all the persons engaged in the
construction may suggest any opinion that may contribute to the convenience
and benefit of all, so that everything (he loves peace-this good Governor) may
move smoothly and peaceably, for the end, he says, " of the respectable laws of
his Catholic Majesty, is to avoid in his dominions all kinds of discords amongst
his subjects." And in order that this important decree may be made known and
promptly executed, " I have ordered its publication, after holding High Mass, at
the beating of the drum at the door of the Court House, as customary."
In the meanwhile, we may surmise that things went along smoothly for
a while, for nothing more is heard of the Upper Labor Ditch and its construction
until July 13th, 1776, when we learn of the second election, in which one Angel
Galin is elected over his opponent, Bartholome Seguin, to take the place of
Foribio Fuentes; who, for "reasons by him exposed, which were found suffi-
cient," makes application to be relieved and to be awarded the emoluments in
land, etc., to which he was entitled. He is relieved on July 15th, on the condi-
tion that he put two men daily on the work of construction until the new
director shall bring the irrigation to a convenient place, which means that the
first Suertes of land would be drawn for an1d granted when the water had been
conveyed over sufficient land to warrant a partition. On the former date, July
13th,the share-holders who seem to desire to profit by sonic undesirable experiences
entered into a hard and fast agreement with Angel Galin, the newly elected Ace-
quiero, in which he is bound to continue the work to its conclusion without the in-
terference of any person, for the sum of one dollar per day, deducting the price of
four men of the twenty-six to work daily, (the poor peones or laborers could not have
made much above the price of their salt, according to this), and under no consid-
eration whatever will a substitute be allowed him, and that those entitled to
irrigation shall have the right to remove him, in case the work shall be badly
directed, or for any "other motives that impartial persons may find, such as delay,
bad work, direction &c," he is to inspect the work daily until the object of fur-
nishing all the neighbors with water be accomplished, and he binds himself to the
completion of the contract "with all his present and future property." To all this
Angel Galin is ready to agree, so he takes charge of the work.
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/91/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.