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Decrees and Laws

 

 Decree of September 30, 1823[1]

The sovereign congress, taking into consideration the pitiful and deplorable state to which the hostilities of the barbarians have reduced the province of Texas, and in order to obviate in part the misery of the civilized inhabitants, has decided to declare that all goods of whatever class, national or foreign, that enter the province of Texas for consumption of the inhabitants, shall be free from duty for a period of seven years, dating from its publication in that capital. Therefore, we order the tribunals, justices, chiefs, and other authorities, civil, military and ecclesiastical, of every class and dignity, that they observe and have observed, comply, and execute this decree in all its parts. Have it understood and arrange for its printing, publication, and circulation.

Mexico City, September 30, 1823.

 Vicente Guerrero, President Josť Mariano de Michelena Miguel Dominguez.

 

 

First Colonization Law of 1824[2]

 

ART.. 26.-It shall be considered, that the many settlers who within 6 years from the date of their grant have not cultivated or occupied according to its quality the land which has been granted to them, have renounced their rights, and the proper civil authority shall resume the grant and the title deeds.

 

 

ART. 27.-The projectors, and military men, of whom previous mention has been made, and those who have purchased lands, can sell their lands at any time, on condition that the purchaser oblige himself to cultivate them within the period in which the original possessor ought to do so, including also the time which they have been in his hands; the other settlers may sell theirs when they have cultivated them wholly,

and not before that time.

 

Constitution of Coahuila and Texas[3]

 

ART. 37. Those not born within the territory of the republic, to be -eligible as deputies, proper or substitutes, shall have been eight years domiciliated therein, and possess real estate to the amount of eight thousand dollars, or an industrious employment that that shall yield them one thousand dollars per annum, and the qualifications provided in the preceding article.

 

Bustamante Decree of April 6, 1830[4]

 

Article 1. Cotton goods excluded in the law of May 22, 1829, may be introduced through the ports of the Republic until January 1. 1831 and through the ports of the South Sea until June 30, 1831.

Article 2. The duties received on the above-mentioned goods shall be used to maintain the integrity of the Mexican territory to form a reserve fund against the event of Spanish invasion, and to promote the developments of national industries in the branch of cotton manufacturers.

Article 3. The government is authorized to name one or more commissioners who shall visit the colonies of the frontier states and contract with the legislatures of said states for the purchase, in behalf of the Federal government, of lands deemed suitable for the establishment of colonies of Mexicans and other nationalities; and the said commissioners shall make, with the existing colonies, whatever arrangements seem expedient for the security of the republic. The said commissioners shall supervise the introduction of new colonists and the fulfilling of their contract for settlement, and shall ascertain to what extent the existing contracts have been completed.

Article 4. The chief executive is authorized to take such lands as are deemed suitable for fortification or arsenals and for the new Colonies, indemnifying the States for same, in proportion to their assessment due the Federal government.

Article 5. The government is authorized to transport the convict soldiers destined for Vera Cruz and other points to the colonies, there to establish them as is deemed fit; the government will furnish free transportation to the families of the soldiers, should they desire to go.

Article 6. The convict soldiers shall he employed in constructing the fortifications, public works and roads which the commissioners may deem necessary, and when the time of their imprisonment is terminated, if they should desire to remain as colonists, they shall be given lands and agricultural implements, and their provisions shall be continued through the first year of their colonization.

Article 7. Mexican families who voluntarily express a desire to become colonists will be furnished transportation, maintained for one year, and assigned the best of agricultural lands.

Article 8. All the individuals above mentioned shall be subject to both the Federal and State colonization laws.

Article 9. The introduction of foreigners across the northern frontier is prohibited under any pretext whatsoever, unless the said foreigners are provided with a passport issued by the agent of the republic at the point whence the said foreigners set out.

Article 10. No change shall be made with respect to the slaves now in the states, but the Federal government and the government of each state shall most strictly enforce the colonization laws, and prevent the further introduction of slaves.

Article 11. In accordance with the right reserved by the general congress in the seventh article of the law of, August 18, 1824, it is prohibited that emigrants, from nations bordering on this republic shall settle in the states or territory adjacent to their own nation. Consequently, all contracts not already completed and not in harmony with this law are suspended.

Article 12. Coastwise trade shall be free to all foreigners for the term of four years, with the object of turning colonial trade to ports of Matamoras, Tampico and Vera Cruz.

Article 13. Frame houses and all classes of foreign food products may be introduced through the ports of Galveston and Matamoros, free of duty for a period of two years.

Article 14. The government is authorized to expend five hundred thousand dollars (pesos) in the construction of fortifications and settlements on the frontier; in the transportation of the convict-soldiers and Mexican families of same, and their maintenance for one year, on agricultural implements---on expenses of the commissioners or transportation of troops; on premises to such farmers among the colonists as may distinguish themselves in agriculture, and on all the other expedients conducive to progress and security, as set forth in the foregoing articles.

Article 15. To obtain at once one-half of the above sum, the government is authorized to negotiate a loan on the custom proceeds which will be derived from the ordinary classes of cotton goods. Said loan to pay a. premium of three per cent monthly, payable at the expiration of the periods fixed in the tariff schedule.

Article 16. One-twentieth of the said customs receipts shall be listed in the promotion of cotton manufactures, such as in the purchase of machines and looms, small sums being set aside for the installing of the machinery, and any other purpose that the government shall deem necessary; the government shall apportion these funds to the states having this form of industry. The said funds shall be tinder the control of the minister of relations for the purpose of promoting industries of such importance.

Article 17. Also three hundred thousand dollars (pesos) of the above-mentioned customs receipts shall be set aside as a reserve fund on deposit in the treasury, tinder the strict responsibility of the government, which shall have power to use same only in ease of Spanish invasion.

Article 18. The government shall regulate the establishment of the new colonies, and shall present to congress, within a year, a record of the emigrants and immigrants established under the law, with an estimate of the increase of population on the frontier.

 

Other Decrees

DECREE No. 50.[5]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas, viewing the embarrassments of the State treasury from want of funds to meet the most urgent expences, and wishing furthermore to prevent the difficulties that would result to the State authorities from their limited means, and even to the treasury itself in the event the necessary expences are not strictly and punctually paid with its existing funds, has thought proper to decree:

ART. 1. The office of Councillor is hereby suspended for the present, until the State is able to defray the expense thereof; and the Executive, in so far as it is his duty to consult the Council, shall proceed of himself, availing himself of the aid of the standing deputation during the recess of Congress.

ART. 2. The Vice Governor shall receive pay only when he officiates on account of death, sickness, or absence on the part of the Governor, and, while he is repairing to the capital, should he not belong there, the acting president of the Tribunal of Justice shall discharge the duties of Governor, providing a substitute to exercise his judicial functions agreeably to the law regulating the administration of justice.

ART. 3. The. establishment of a treasury is hereby suspended for the present until the State has sufficient funds; the regulation and distribution of its expences continuing as heretofore, with the appointment of an additional clerk to assist exclusively in the accounts of this department.

ART. 4. The department and district chiefs, except the one in Texas, are likewise hereby suspended for the present in the exercise of their functions, and the Ayuntamientos of each shall communicate directly with the Executive through the channel of the first Alcalde.

For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in Saltillo on the 17th of April, 1828.

JOSE M. CARDENAS, President,

JOSE F. MADERO, D. S.

NEPOMUCENO V. RECIO, D. S.

 

 

DECREE No. 92[6]

 

ART. 8. The Ayuntamientos shall ascertain what children of the municipality are unable to pay, and whose parents wish to send them to school, but do not for want of means.

 

ART. 9. From among the said poor children the Ayuntamiento shall take from one to five by lot, and send them to the establishment to be sustained by the municipal funds: where there are none such, a voluntary subscription shall be raised for that object; in either case one shall be sent without fail, to be taken always by lot. Said children shall be received gratis in the school, being furnished by the state with what articles they need for their instruction.

 

ART. 10. Also the children of those citizens in the department of Texas, who contributed to establish the present school fund of the capital, shall be admitted gratis, provided they continue paying the quota they agreed.

 

ART. 11. The Ayuntamientos shall require citizens, who have the means, to send their children to the establishments, and with those who are obstinate in complying, whether from vicinity, negligence, or apathy, they shall take such measures as they consider to be just.

 

ART. 12. To support the expense to be defrayed a fund shall be created in the capital of each department, to be under the charge of the respective Ayuntamiento, with power to appoint a depositary, from within or without their own board.

 

ART. 13. Said fund shall consist of the present school funds of the capital towns, to which shall be added the legacies intended for this object, the municipal quotas assigned, and the product of pay pupils in the respective schools.

 

ART. 14. Parents who are able, shall pay for each of their children fourteen dollars per annum, while learning the first rudiments, until they commence to write, and eighteen dollars the rest of the time until they leave the establishment.

 

ART. 15. The Ayuntamiento shall be vigilent, that the collection of the sums assigned to this fund be exact, permitting no delay; and taking care that the parcels paid in be entered in a book that shall be formed in each capital for keeping the account of its respective establishment.

 

ART. 16. The special fund of each department shall be used in paying the teacher, house rent, market, and repair of school furniture, the amounts thus paid out to be proved by the teacher's receipts, authenticated by the certificate of the sindico procurador and the order of the Alcalde.

 

ART. 17. When the fund of an establishment has not the means of promptly meeting any expense it shall be assisted by the funds of the municipality, to be restored and should even these be exhausted, application shall be made for the aid of funds, to be restored, to the chief agents of the state rents, who shall supply what is necessary after the proper

document is authenticated by the Ayuntamiento.

 

ART. 18. Each pupil educated in the establishment, on leaving, shall pay to the respective Ayuntamiento the sum of ten dollars, to be called gratitude money, and with this a separate fund shall be formed, to be used to reward the teacher, with the understanding that it shall not be delivered him until the conclusion of his contract, he being required to

keep an exact account of the amount of said funds paid.

 

 

DECREE No. 149.[7]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas, in view of the remonstrance of the principal citizens of this capital, supported by the

Aymntamineto thereof, also by that of Monolova, and the facts whereon their petition is founded being publicly known, has thought proper to decree:

 

ART. 1. Ignacio Sendijas and Jose Maria Balmaseda, representatives, are hereby declared to be comprised in article 4, of the plan of Xalapa.

ART. 2. Jose Maria Aragon and Rafael Manchola, are hereby excepted from the preceding article.

ART. 3. Licentiate Manuel Carrillo is also hereby declared to be comprised in the aforementioned article 4.

ART. 4. This event or act shall be communicated, through the secretary office of this congress, to the respective chamber of the national congress, accompanied by a copy of the antecedents that have given rise thereto.

ART. 5. The exposition of Gomer Arnaes shall be copied, and returned to the executive, with assurance of the displeasure with which it has been viewed.

For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given at the city of Leona Vicario on the 18th September, 1830.

God and Liberty.

RAMON GARCIA ROJAS, President.

MARIANO GARCIA, D. S.

VICENTE VALDES, D. S. S.

 

DECREE No. 164.[8]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas, considering the evils experienced in the political and financial administration of the department of Texas for the reason that the extensive territory thereof is comprised in one sole district, and populated mostly by foreign colonists, thinly settled therein; exercising the power conferred by article 8 of the constitution, decrees:

ART. 1. The department of Bexar shall be divided into two districts, and the following shall be the dividing line-commencing at Bolivar Point on Galveston Bay; thence running northwesterly to strike between the San Jacinto and Trinity rivers, following the dividing ridge between the said rivers to the head waters of San Jacinto; thence following the ,dividing ridge between the Brazos and Trinity to the head waters of the latter, and terminating north of the source of the said Trinity upon Red River.

ART. 2. The territory situated east of said line shall be called the District of Nacogdoches, and the town of the same name shall be the capital.

ART. 3. A district chief shall reside in said town, or at such place as the executive shall think most proper, whose appointment, removal, attributes, salary and office expenses shall be in the manner and form provided by the constitution and laws in force with respect to that class. of officers.

ART. 4. The aforementioned department shall continue to be governed agreeably to the provision of this decree, and such as was established for that effect prior thereto.

ART. 5. On receipt of this decree, measures shall be taken for the appointment of the district chief herein mentioned.For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in the city of Leona Vicario on the 31st of January, 1831.

JOSE CAYETANO RAMOS, President.

PEDRO de la FUENTE FERNANDEZ, D. S.

JOSE de JESUS GRANDE, D. S.

 

 

DECREE No. 183.[9]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas has thought proper to decree:

ART. 1. Persons not born within the territory of the republic of Mexico are hereby prohibited from retailing national and foreign effects, and shall be permitted to sell only by half or entire mule loads.ART. 2. Spaniards not comprised in the general law of exile, of the 20th of March, 1829, and those excepted by the general congress since the enacment of said law, shall be excepted from the foregoing article.ART. 3. Eight days from the publication thereof, this law shall have its full effect with respect to those mentioned in article 1st, now engaged in retailing goods in the state.

ART. 4. No Mexican or Spaniard, comprised in article 2nd, shall retail the effects of any foreigner or foreigners within the state, whether on commission, in company or under any other pretext, unless he proves to the Alcaldes of the place, by a proper writing, that he has acquired full control and ownership in the said goods.

ART. 5. For infringements of this law the power to institute a judicial process shall be common to the people. The Alcaldes of themselves, or solicited by any other person, shall proceed against the transgressors.

ART. 6. The penalty imposed upon offenders shall be from one to two years destination to a fortress, and the confiscation of their goods; and after deducting the costs of court, one half the value of said effects shall go to reward the informers and captors, and the other shall be added to the public treasury.

ART. 7. In the colonies of the department of Texas, also throughout the state, foreign colonists may sell the effects produced by their own art or industry at wholesale and retail.

ART. 8. Foreigners who settle in the state and follow therein any useful trade or industrious pursuit, may sell the effects, to which this law gives rise, at wholesale and retail.

For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in the city of Leona Vicario on the 9th April, 1832.

JOSE MARIA de AGUIRRE, President,

FRANCISCO S. de ARREOLA, D. S.

CESARIO FIGUEROA, D. S.

 

 

DECREE No. 184.[10]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas, has thought proper to decree:

Three years additional term is hereby conceded to Santiago Power,

to effect the colonization settlement which he contracted with the executive of the state in April 1828.

For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in the citv of Leona Vicario on the 22d of March, 1832.

JOSE IGNACIO CANALES, President.

CESARIO FIGUEROA, D. S.

FRANCISCO S. de ARREOLA, D. S.

 

 

DECREE No. 185.[11]

Three years additional term is hereby granted to John Cameron to fulfill the colonization contracts which he ratified with the executive of the state, on the 21st of May 1827, and 19th of September, 1828.For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in the city of Leona Vicario on the 3d of April, 1832.

JOSE JESUS GRANDE, D. President.

MANUEL HERNANDEZ, D. S.

MANUEL MUZQUIZ, D. S.

 

 

DECREE No. 192.[12]

The Congress of the State of Coahuila and Texas has thought proper to decree:

The years additional term are hereby granted to the empresarios Joseph Bellhein and David G. Burnett in order that they may accomplish the establishments of colonization which they contracted with the government on the 21st and 22nd of December, 1826.For its fulfilment, the Governor of the State shall cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.

Given in the city of Leona Vicario on the 27 of April, 1832.

JOSE JESUS GRANDE, President.

M. MUZQUIZ, D. S.

C. FIGUEROA, D. S. ad interim.

 

 

 

 

 

[1]McKeehan, Wallace L. "Coahuila y Texas Under President Vicente Guerrero", Sons of Dewitt Colony Texas, http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/chieftains.htm#guerrero

[2] Biles, Christina., "State of Coahuila and Texas Colonization Law" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01004.pdf  p.9 of PDF

[3] Biles, Christina., "Constitution of Coahuila and Texas 1827" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01008.pdf  p.5 of PDF

[4] McKeehan, Wallace L. "Bustamante's Decree of 1830" Sons of Dewitt Colony Texas http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/consultations1.htm#articles

[5] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.1 of PDF

[6] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.28-29 of PDF

[7] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.60-61 of PDF

[8] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.71 of PDF

[9] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.85 of PDF

[10] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.85-86 of PDF

[11] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.86 of PDF

[12] Biles, Christina., "Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas" "Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

 (Volumes 1-10)"http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/pdf/law01006.pdf  Sec 2, p.95 of PDF