#199 Circular from the Committee of Safety of the Jurisdiction of Austin Page: 1 of 1 (Transcription)


All are aware of the present movements
of volunteers towards the western frontiers.
For the information of everyone, this Committee
dem it proper to state as briefly as
possible, the leading facts which ahve given
rise to this excitement.
When the circular of this committee, under
date of the 19th ult. was issued, information
of an unquestionable character had
been received here, as to the marching of
soldiers from Bexar, in some short period,
within the limits of the colonies. The
object appeared to be the apprehension of certain
citizens among whom Don Lorenza de Zavala,
now a citizen of Texas, was particularly
designated and aimed at. This
gentleman had come to Texas as to an
asylum from the persecution fo the present
administration of Mexico. His offense we
know not, except that he is the known
friend of free institutions. This distinguished
man, the authorities of Texas have been
arbitrarily required by a military mandate
to surrender into the hands of general Cos,
who, in his zeal to secure the person of this
patriotic and virtuous citizen, actually issued
an order some time since, addressed
to colonel Ugartechea, commandant at Beto
to march into the colonies and take him, at
the risk of losing all the force he should
employ. The mere intimation of such an
order would be an evident direspect to the
citizens of Texas, but the issuing of it, with
( ) ( ) threats of colonel Ugargechea
of putting ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
ties of Texas, and upon the constitution.
But what is of most importance, such
proceedings serve plainly to show us all, what
kind of government the present reformers in
Mexico are aiming to subject us to -- which
is the government of the bayonet, and the
regulation of all the affairs of Texas by
military power, regardless of the Constitution,
of the civil authority, and of all the legally
vested, equitalbe, and natural rights of the
people of Texas.
That such is the real and ultimate object
of the military power now reigning in Mexico
and that the reasons assigned for the
present hostile movements are nothing but
mere pretexts to cover up the main objects,
and thus fill the country with troops, is clear
and evident; but should there still remain
doubts on the mind of any person, let him
weigh and maturely consider the following
facts, and draw his own conclusions.
The Constitutional Governor of this State,
Viosca, and also another Govvernor, Falcon,
who had been consti( )tionally installed to
succeed Viesca, have been deposed by the
militia a Monclova. The state authorities
were imprisoned, and a governor appointed
by the acting president of the general
government of Mexico. This is evidently
an act of military unsurpation and
despotism, and the state of Coahuila and
Texas is at this time without any constitutional
or legal government at all, and the
people of every part of the state, and those
of Texas in particular, are left at full liberty
to provide for themselves as they may
deem est.
But a more general, though succinct view
of matters, is necessary for a full and propoer
understanding of this subject.
A disastrous and ruinous civil war was
kindled in 1832, by means of an insurrection
agaisnt the Bustamente administration
and general Santa Ana was placed at
its head. The avowed object of this insurrection
was to protect the federal system, and
sustain the Constitution of 1824, which, it
was then alleged, was attacked and endangered
by the measures and projects of the
Bustamente administration. On this
principle the people of Texas supported general
Santa Ana to defend the Constitution of
1834, and the federal system. The general
was enthusiastically supporrted by every
liberal and free Mexican, and by the friends of
the federal system in every part of the
nation. With this support he triumphed.
He became the man of the peopel -- the
protector of the feeral system -- the oracle
of public opinion -- the arbiter of the nations
political destinies. how has he used
this power, thus acquired? Let the military
despotism now enthroned in Mexico
upon the ruins of the federal system -- let the
friends of this system, who are now groaning
in prison or wandering in exile -- let the
Constitution of 1824, which still raises its
dying voice from the feet of military usurpation--
let the free and impartial in Mexico
and in the whole civilized world give the reply.
They all say he used it to destroy
what he avowed he had taken up arms to
protect; he used the federal party as blind
instrumetns to destroy the federal system;
he abandoned his federal friends who had
given him power, and united wiht the military,
aecclesiastical and central party, against
whom he took up arms in 1832. This same
party is now governing in Mexico, and htey
say to the people of Texas, in the language
of friendship and persuasion -- in that of
sugar-plums and honey, that in the new
Constitution, or central government that is forming
in Mexico guarantees shall be given
shall be given to the people of Texans whose
rights shall be protected and secured, and
they are told that the government expects
from their docility of submission to all the
reforms and laterations that may be agreed to
by the majority of the nation. (See the official
letter of the minister of relations, a
translation of which is published at the end
of this paper, numbered 1.) But who composes,
and what is this majority of the nation
spoken of by the minister, and how
are these reforms to be effected? It is
composed of the same military power before
spoken of, who have assumed the voice of
the nation, and have suppressed, by military
influence, the free expression of public opinion,
and the reforms are to be effected by
unconstitutional means; a sufficient proof of
which is, that the present Congress in Mexico
which was elected with constitutional
powers alone, have, by their own act alone
declared themselves to be invested with the
powers of a national convention, to frame a
new constitution, or reform that of 1824 as
they think proper.
What is here meant by "reforming" the
Constitution of 1824, may be clearly deduced
by the "reform" of the militia made
by this same general Congress. This "reform"
replaced the militia of the States to
one militia-man for every five hundred
inhabitants, and disarmed all the rest. The
people of Zacatecas resisted this iniquitonal
law, but were unfortunate, and compelled for
the time being, to submit to the military
power of the reformers: so that, in part,
"reform" means destruction.
From this condensed view of the past let
every impartial man judge for himself what
what kind of faith or credit ought to be
given to the professions of the present
government of Mexico, and ask himself whether
a subtle poison may ny be concealed
in the sugar-plums, or a sting in the honey
that is now offered to the "docile" people
of Texas.
But in addition to this general view of
matters, information of the most positive
and unquestionable character is in the
possession of this committee, that every possible
effort is making by the government in
Mexico to raise troops, money, and
resources to fit out an expedition -- an army of
invasion against Texas. Infantry, artillery,
and calvary have been ordered from San Luis
Potosi, Saltillo, and Tamaulipas; and all
the disposable infantry at Cmpeche has
also been ordered out to Texas by water, as
it was supposed they would stand the
climate better than other troops. Magazines
of arms and ammunition are forming at
Matamoras, Goliad, and Bexar, and the
old barracks and fortifications at the latter
place are repairing to receive a large force.
In short, the common talk all over Mexico
among the military, is the invasion of Texas.
Now, if the present government of Mexico
is sincere in its professions of liberal
guarantees for Texas, why all this
preparation for a military invasion? Why has
general Cos marched with all the disposable
force at Matamoras (about four hundred
men) to Bexar, where he now is, according
to last accounts? Can it be that the government,
in its fatherly care for Texas,
fears that there are servile slaves in this
country, who will oppose liberal (guarantees)?
Or is it that the promised guarantees are
only a cover and a false show, to quiet
Texas until the general Government is prepared
to give to it a military government.
It is well known to all that the reforms
spoken of by the minster, and now being
made in Mexico, contemplate the abolition
of the whole federal systems, the establishment
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) government
which is to absorb and swallow up
all the powers and authorities of the nation:
military commandancies will supply the place
of the state governments, and the vested
rights of Texas under the Constitution and
law of May 7, 1821, are to be disregarded
and violated.
Ought, or can, or will the people of Texas
submit to all this? Let each man study
the subject, and answer for himself. If he
will submit, let him go to the military power
and prostrate himself. If he will not
submit let him give his answer from the mouth
of his rifle!
In regard to the present movements of
the military, the letter from Gonzales and
extracts from other letters of unquestionable
faith (numbered 2.) will inform the public.
By these letters the people of Texas are
informed that their fellow citizens at
Gonzales have been attacked -- ( )!
They will also percieve that general
Cos has arrived with a reinforcement
of troops, and is preparing for a campaign
of extermination against the people of
The head quarters of THE ARMY OF THE
PEOPLE for the present is at Gonzales. it
is already respectable in numbers and
invincible in spirits.
This Committee exhorts every citizen
who is yet at home, to march as soon as
possible to the assitance of his countryment
now in the field. The campaign is opened.
Texas must be freed from military despots
before it is closed.
Chairman of the Committee of the
Jurisdiction of Austin.
San Felipe de Austin, October 3, 1823.

Extract of an official letter from the Minister
of Interior Relations of Mexico to the
Municipality of Gonzales.
"When the general Congress takes into
consideration the reforms of the Constitution
which ahve been requested unanimously
government will very cheerfully co-operate
in that object, by making the propositions
which may most conduce to so laudable an
end, reconing always on the good sense
and docility of the colonists, who, on adopting
this for their country, subjected themselves
to the alterations that, respecting the
institutions, the majority of the nation may
think fit to agree upon; which disposition
the government is decided on supportin gin
fulfillment of its duty, as it is, also, of
protecting all the inhabitants of the Republic,
lovers of order, and of punishing those who
foment sedition.
(Signed) "BONILLA"
Dated Mexico, August 5, 1835

(No. 2)
AUSTIN -- A detachment of the Mexican
forces from Bexar amounting to about one
hundred and fifty men, are encamped opposite
us: we expect an attack momentarily.
Yesterday we were but eighteen strong,
today one hundred and fifty, and forces
continually arriving. We wish all the aid and
dispach that is possible ( ) ( ) that we
may ( ) up ( ) our limited march for Bexar,
and drive from our country all the
Mexican forces. Give us all the aid and
dispach that is possible.
Respectably yours,

Extracts from a letter, written by a gentleman
of unquestional authority, dated La
Beca, October 1, 1835.
"The Alcalde of Goliad was struck or
whipped in the street by a officer, for not
being able to get the carts ready as soon
as he wanted them, to transport the arms, etc.
to Bexar. A Mexican from Victoria was
also insulted, as being one of the ( )
of ( )pe; the soldiers saying that it
is only a short time until they visited us,
and ( ) themselves to what cash and
other things we had. The new officers
who came with the arms, said that, as soon
as general Cos should reach Bexar, it would
it would be the signal of march for San Felipe
de Austin.
"Cos is about to pass on to Bexar.He
has a guard of thirty men with him, and the
( ) of ( ) is close at his
heels. Cos has about 560,00 in ( ),
for the purpose of paying of the troops.
He informed the Alcalde of the Nueces,
that he intended to overrun Texas, and
establish custom-houses and detachments of
his army where thought fit.
A letter from Bexar says "the people
must either submit, or prepare for defense;
as the intention is to march into the colonies,
and regulate the land affairs, and a great
many thigns, by military force; also to clear
the country of what they choose to call
vagrants etc."
Information which is relied on, has been
received from the interior, that the states of
Zaca( ) and Guadalaxara have risen and taken
up arms in defence of the Constitution
of 1824, and in support of the federal
system; also that there are insurrections in
the state of Tamaulipas, in favor of the
course: also, that the republican general,
Juan Alaveres, has gained a victory over the
government toops in the south of Mexico.
All these, and all the freeman of Mexico,
are now fighting for hte same cause that
the people of Texas are defending. It is
the cause of freedom -- it is holy and just,
and must triumph.

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#199 Circular from the Committee of Safety of the Jurisdiction of Austin, text, 1836~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3376/m1/1/transcription/: accessed March 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Library and Archives Commission.