Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 17, Ed. 1, Tuesday, May 16, 1837 Page: 1 of 4
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VOIi. II. NO. 17.
WE LABOR FOR OUR COUNTRY.
WMO&E NUMBER 69.
PUBLISHED BY UORDEN & MOOREJ
PUBLIC PRINTERS. j
TERMS, $5 PER ANN., IN. ADVANCE
ADVERTISING, USUAL PRICES.
HOUSTON, TUESS5A5T, MAY 16, 1837.
TRANSLATION OF THE LAWS, ORDERS AND CONTRACTS OF COLONIZA-
TION, TRO.U' 1821, up to 1829; in virtue or which
COL. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN IN1RODUCED AND SETTLED
FOREIGN EMIGRANTS IN TEXAS.
No. 18. Appointment f Gasper Florcs, as Commissioner, in the
place fif Baton de Bastrp.
His excellency, the lieutenant governor of the slate, under
date of 7tn February last past, says to m: as follows:
"It being impossible for Do.i Felip i Ilenri.jue Neri Baron
de Bastrop, the form jn commissioner of the first colony of the
empresario, citiz2n Stephen F. Austin, to leave this capital to
conclude the unfinished business of said co'o.iy, as well on account
of his station as a m;mber of the legislature, as also becetuse he
is dangerously ill; 1-have thought proper to djfermine in conse-
quent e of your offtcialrepresentation, No. 11, of-the 16th Janu--ary
last past, and witnthe consent of said Bastrop, to authorize
citizen Gasper F.ores,who has been commissioned by the go-
vernment, for tne secondcolony of said empresario, to cqmpbte
the business wnich niay be unfinished, in the said first colony,
which you will communieate to said citizen, Gasper Flores, for
hi3 information and corresponding effects."
And 1 transcribe it to you for the purposes indicated. God
ind Liberty. Nacogdoches, I9h March, 1827.
JCSiS ANTONIO S YUCEDO,
Chief of Department.
1 To citizen Gasper Florcs.
No. 19. Kx Order relative to the R-gistcr.
J' Executive Department,
Of the State of Coahiula and Texas.
Under this date I have issued the following order, to citizen
Gasper Florcs, commissioner of that colony.
"slaving considered the official representation, dated 5th
ultimo, directed to me by citizen Stephen F. Austin, empresario
of Austin's" colony, in that department, relative to the mode of
preventing the original documents of that colony, i.om being
lost or destroyed hy the lapse of time, I hae though! proper to
approre of it, and in consequence, order that the following ar-
ticles shall be observed on thesubjjci, which are in addition to
the instructions heretofore given to you.
Aur. 1. In order to preserve and perpetuate the docu-
ments appertaining to the firsL enterprize of colonlz ition of the
empresario, citizen Stephen F. Au.in, in TfX.is, established in
virtue of-the supreme decree of toe Mexican government, dated
ISth r'cbruarv, 1823; of which you are appointed commissioner,
in place of tiie former commissioner, Baron dc Bastrop, all the
said documents shall be transcribed, together witii the decrees
of the government on the subject, and tiie titles issued in virtue
of them, to individuals, and to said empresario, accompanied
with a plot of each tr.icL of land, and of the town of San Felipe
de Austin, in a large book, well bound, and destined for that
Art. 2. At the top of the first page of said hook, the fol-
lowing words shall be written, "Register of the documents and
titles, issued in the first enterprize of colonization of the emprc-
.sario, citizen Stephen F. Austin, in Texas," which shall be sign-
ed by the commissioner, emprcsaiio and alcalde, of the town,
with assistant witnesses.
Art. 3. At the end of each document, and title, the fol-
lowing words shall be put: "The foregoing instrument of writ-
ing, is literally copied from its original, wnich i-. on file in the
archives of this colony;' date and signature of the commissioner
empresario, and alcalde, with assistant witnesses.
Art. 4. At the'end of the register of the whole, the fol-
lowing words shall be put: "The foregoing register, composed
of P'igos, contains literal and exact copies of all the docu-
ments and titles filed in the archives of the first colony of the
-empresario, citizen Stephen F. Austin, established in Texas, in
virtue of the colonization law, of the 4th January, 1823, and of
the decree ol the supreme government of the Mexican nation,
of the 18th of February, confirmed by those of the sovereign
constituent congress, and supreme executive power, dated the
1th and 14th April, of the said year 1823, which arc copied
"into this book, and compared with their originals, by the com-
missioner, citizen Gasper Florcs, emprcsaiio citizen Stephen F.
Austin, and the alcalde of this town, in compliance with the in-
structions of his excellency, the governor of the state of Coa-
liuila and Texas, dated 31st of May, 1827, for the purpose of
preserving and perpetuating said documents in the archives of
said colony in a secure form, in order that they may at all time?
have the same value and legality in law, as their originals: in at-
testation of all which, we, the said commissioner, empresario,
and alcade, sign, &c. &c."
'Inasmuch as I am informed that theJ)oo!c destined for this
object, is already acquired by the empresario, and that thestamp
paper on which the original titles are extended, has been paid
for; the said book s:iall he stamped hy the collector ofthe
stamp duties of the town of Sun Felipe de Austin, with the-
stamp of the fourth seal; and he will colLct the value of one
stamp for each leaf, for which purpose he will put the corres-
ponding certificate, on the first and last haf, expressing in tiie
latter the whole amount of stamps collected, which shall be en-
tered in the accounts of his offic-.'
Which I transcribe to you for your intelligence and obscr-
vance, so far as appertains lo you in answer to your official rep-
resentation of the 5th. of last month, re'alivc to the'matter.
God and Liberty Saltillo, 31st. May, 1827.
ARISPE, Governor of the State.
m . . JAN ANTONIO PADILLA, Secretary of Slate.
To Citizen Stephen F. Austin.
No. 29. (Decree No .72.), Colonization Law.
The Supreme Executive Powea, provisionally appointed hy the
General Sovereign Constituent Cons. To nil who shall
see and und rstand these present-; know ye-lhat the said
Congress, has decreed as follows:
Art. I. The Mexican nation offers lo forrigners, who rom-
to establish themselves within its territory, security for their per-
sons and property, provided, they subject themselves to the laws
of the counliy.
Art. 2. Tnis law comprehends those lands of the nation, not
the p;operty of individuals, corporations, or towns, which can
Art. 3. For this purpose the Legislatures of all the States, will,
as soon, as possijle, form colonization laws, or regulations for
thoir'respeUive stales, conforming themselves in all tuings, to the
constitutional act, general constitution, and the regulations es-
tabl.sned in this law.
Art. 4. Tnere cannot be colonized any lands, comprehended
within twenty leagues of the limits of any foreign nation nor
wit.siii ten leagues of tne coasts, without toe previous approba-
tion of the general supreme executive power.
Art. 5. if for the defence and security of the nation, the fed-
eral government should deem it necessary to use any portion of
these lands, for tne constiuctioiuof warehouses, arsenals, or oth-
er public edifices, they can do so, with the approbation of the
general congress, or in its recess, of the council of government.
Art. (5. Until after four years from the publication of this
law, there shall not be imposed any tax whatever, on the en-
trance of foreigners, who come lo establish themselves for the
fiist time, in the nation.
Ait. 7. Until after the year 1810, the general congress shall
not prohibit tiie entrance oKany foreigner, as a colonist, unless
imperious circumstances should -cquireit, with respect to the
individuals of a paiticular nation.
Art. 8. The government, without prejudicing the objects of
this law, shail take such precautionary measures as it may deem
expedient, for the security of the confederation, as respects the
foreigners who come to colonize.
Art. 9. A preference shall be given in the distribution of
lands, to Mexican citizens, and no other distinction shall be made
in regard to them except that which is founded on individual
meiit, or services rendered the coiuury, or under equal circum-
stances, a residence in the place where the lands to be distribu-
ted are situated.
Art. 10. The military who in virtue of the offer made on the
27th March, 1821, have a rig.,t lo lands, shall he attended to by
the states, in conformity witu the diplomas which arc issued lo
that filcl. by the supreme executive power.
Art. 11. if in virtue of the decree alluded lo. in the last arti-
cle, and taking into icw the probabilities of life, the supreme
xecutfvo power n.iould deem it expedient lo alienate any por-
tion of land in f.ivor of any odlcer, whether civil or military of
the federation, it can do so from the vacant lands of the territo-
ries. Art. 12. It shall not be permitted to unite in the same hands
with the right of property, more than one league square of land,
suitable for irrigation, four square leagues in supcrficic, of arable
land without the facilities or irrigation, and six square leagues
in supcrficic of grazing land.
Art. 12. The new colonists shall not transfer their property
in mortmain (nnnus mucrlus.)
Ait. 14. 'i his law guarantees the contracts which the cm-
prcsarios make with the families which they bring at their own
expense, provided they are not contrary lo the laws.
Art. 15. No person who by virtue of this law, acquires a title
to lands, shall hold them if he is domiciliated out ol the limits of
Art. 10. The government in conformity with the provisions
established in this law, will proceed to colonize the territories ol
Mexico, I8lh. August, 1S24.
CAYETANO IBARRA, President.
PEDRO DE AIIUMADA. Member & Sec'y.
MANUEL DE V1LLAY COCIOi Member & Sec'y.
Therefore, we command it lo be printed, circulated, and
obeyed NICOLAS BRAVO, Members of the
VICENTE GUEPvRERO, Supreme Execu-
M1GUEL DOMINGUEZ. J live Power.
No. 21. COLONIZATION LAW OF TIIE STATE OF
COAIIUILA AND TEXAS.
The Governor provisionally appointed by the Sovereign Con-
gress of this state lo all who shall see these presents; know,
that the said congress, have decreed as follows:
Decree No 16. The constituent congress of the free, indepen
dent and sovereign St ite of Coahuila and Texas, desiring by
every possible means, to augment the population of its territo-
ry; promote the cultivation of its fertile lands; the rising and
multiplication of slock, and the piogrcss of the arts, and com-
merce; and being" governed by the constitutional act, the
federal constitution, and the basis established by the national
decree of the g Mitral congress, No. 72, have thought proper
to decree the following lwv or colonization:
Art. 1. All foreigners, who in virtue of the general law, of
the ISth. August, 182-1, which guarantees the security of their
persons and piopcrty, in the territory of the Mexican nation,
wfch to remove to any of the set'lcmcn's of the stale of Coahui-
la and Tex is, are at liberty to do so; and the said state invi es
and calls them.
Art. 2. Those who do so instead of being incommoded shall
he admitted by the local authorities of said settlements, who
shall freely permit them to pursue any branch of industry, that
th'y may think proper, provided they respect the general laws
of the nation, and those of the state.
Art. 3. Any foreigner, already in the limits of "the -state of
Coahuila and Texas, who wishes to settle himself in it, shall
make a declaration to that clPct, before the Ayunlamiento of
the place, which he selects as his residence, the Ayunta'i i miIo
in such case, shall administer to him the o ith, which lie mus'
take to ob"v the fdril and stale constitution':, and obs rve thr
religion which the former prescrib'.; the nam of the person.
jiuitl his family if he has any, shall then be registered in a book
Ikept for that purpose, with a statement of where ho was horn,
and whence from, his age. whether married, occupation, and
that he has taken the oath prescribed, and considering him fronl
that time and not before, as domiciliated.
Art. 4. From the day in which any foreigner has been enroll-
ed, as an inhabitant, in conformity with the foregoing article,
,he is at liberty lo designate any vacant land, and the respective
political authority will grant it to him in the same manner, as to
a native o'f the country, in conformity with the existing laws of
the nation, under the condition that the proceedings, shall be
passed to the government for its approbation.
Art. 5. Foreigners of any nation, or a native of any of the
Mexican states, can project the formation of new towns on any
t lauds entirely vacant,pr even on those of an individual, in the
case mentioned in the 35th article; but the new settlers whopre-
jseht themselves for admission, must prove their Christianity, moi
'alify,and good habits, by a ceilificate from the authorities where
they formerly resided.
Art. 0. Foreigners who emigrate at the time in which, the
general sovereign congress may have prohibited their entrance,
tor the purpose of colonizing, as they have the power to do,.af-
ter the year 1840, or previous to that time, as respects those of
any partieular nation, shall not then be admitted; and those who
aj ply in proper time, shall always subject themselves to such
precautionary measures of national security, which the su-
preme government, r without prejudicing the object of this law,.
may think proper lo adopt relative to them.
Art. 7. The government shall lake care, that within the
twenty leagues bordering on the limits of the United States of the
North, and ten leagues in a straight line frorii the coast of the
Gulph of Mexico, within the limits of this slate, there shall be
no other settlements, except such ?s merit the approbation of the
supreme government of the Union, for which object, all peti-
tions on the suhj ct, whether made by Mexicans or foreigners,
shall be passed to the superior government, accompanied by a
Art. 8. The pi ejects for new settlements in which one or
more persons offer to bring at their on n expense, one hundred
or more families shall be presented to the government, and if
found conformable with this law, they will be admitted; and
the govennment will immediately designate to the contractors,
the land where they are lo cstahli-h themselves, and the term of
six years, within which, they must present the number of fam-
ilies they contracted for, under the penalty of losing the rights
and privileges offered in their favor, in proportion to the num-
ber of families which they fail to introduce, and the contract to-
tally annulled if they do not bring at least one hundred families.
Art. 9. Contracts made by the contractors OEmndertakers,
Empresarios, with the families brought at their expense, arc
guaranteed by this law, so far as they are conformable with its
Art. 10. In the distribution of land, a preference shall be given
to the military entitled to them, by the diplomas issued by the
supreme executive power, and the Mexican citizens who are not
military, among whom there shall he no other distinction, than
that founded on their indhidual merit, or services performed
for the country, or in equal circumstances, a residence in the
place where the land may be situated; the quantity of land
which may be granted, in designated in the following articles:
-Art. 11. A square of land, which on each side has one
league or iivc thousand varas, or what is the same thing, a su-
peifieie of twenty-five million varas, shall be called a sitio, and-
this shall be the unity for counting one, twe, or more sitios; and'
also the unity for counting one, two, or more labors, shall be
one million square varas, or one thousand varas on each ride
which shall cpmposc a labor. The vara for this measurement
shall be three geometrical feet.
Art. 12. Taking the above unity as a basis, and observing
the distinction which must be made, between grazing land, or
that which is proper for raising of stock, and fanning land, with
or without the facility of irrigation; this law grants lo the con-
tractor or contractors, for the cstablshment of a new settlement,
for each hundred families which he may introduce and estab-
lish in the state, five sitios of grazing land, and five labors at
least, the one half of which, shall be -without the facility of irri-
gation, but they can only receive this premium for eight hun-
dred families, although a greater number should be intro-
duced, and no fraction whatever, less than one hundred shall
entitle them to any premium, not even proportionally.
Art. 13. Should any contractor or contractors in virtue of
the number of families which he may have introduced, acquire
in conformity with the last article, more than eleven square
leagues of land, it shall nevertheless be granted, but subjectq
the condition of alienatinjr the excess, within twelve vears. and
if it is not done, the respective political authority shall dbt"byj.
selling it at public sale, delivering the proceeds to the owiwijw
after deducting the costs of sale. ' tJMdp
Art. 14. To each family comprehended in a contract whoso
sole occupation is cultivation of land, one labor shall be given,
should he also be a stock raiser, grazing land shall be added to
complete a sitio, and should his only occupation be raising of
?fock, he shall only receive a supcrficic of grazing land, equal
to twenty-four million square bars.
Art. 15. Unmarried men shall receive the same quantity
wh"n they enter the matrimonial state, and foreigners who niar-
ry'nativc Mexicans, shall receive one fourth more; those who
arc entirely single, or who do not form a part of some family
whether foreigners or natives, shall content themselves with the
fourth part of the above mentioned quantity, which is all that
jean he given thorn until they marry.
! Art. 10. Families or unmarried men who, entirely of their
own accord, have emigrated and may wish to unite themselves
to any new towns, can at all times do so, and the same quantity
nf land shall he assigned them, which is mentioned in the two
li-f articloc, but if they do so in the first six years from thees-
rnb!ishincnt of the settlement, one labor mohc shall be given to
J familic?, and single men in place of the quarter .designated io
jthe 15th article, shall have the third part.
;JT.gw -fe-, -
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Borden & Moore. Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 17, Ed. 1, Tuesday, May 16, 1837, newspaper, May 16, 1837; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth47930/m1/1/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.