SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2009, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
New Spain-Index

 

Nueva España
Nuevas Philipinas--Provincia de Tejas

 

Previous Page--First Republic of Texas | Execution of Gov. Salcedo | First Constitution | Defeat at Medina/Arredondo's Revenge

Coastal Independence Movements | Illegal Immigration Resumes | Adams-Onis Treaty 1819 | Last Filibuster-Dr. James Long | Legal, Controlled Immigration-Moses Austin

For more biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online


Aury Privateer Flag[Adventurer, buccaneer and anti-Spanish filibuster Louis Michel Aury was thought to have flown this flag with white field bordered by red with a green wreath above a blue sword and olive branch from his heavily armed privateer vessels in the Gulf which were based in Galveston. Aury is said to have also flown the Venezuelan tri-color with permission of the government to prey on Spanish shipping.  (Image from C. E. Gilbert Jr. A Concise History of Early Texas: As told by its 30 historic flags, 1964)]

Royal Forces Secure the Sabine River--Coastal Independence Movements. For three years after the Battle of Medina and at the expense of the population and property of Texas, Commandant of the Provincias Internas Joaquin Arredonda under Viceroy Calleja were able to protect Spanish Texas against significant attempts at penetration and filibustering, particularly by land from the east. The extensive Texas coastline with its bays and Galveston Island was not as easy to control. The area became a safe haven for adventurers and pirates preying on shipping in the Gulf. In fall 1816, José Manuel Herrerra proclaimed a government on Galveston Island as part of the Mexican Republic and appointed Louis Michel Aury, a one-time associate of Simón Bolívar, as governor and naval chief. According to some historians, Aury is described as a buccaneer, who was commissioned by the Mexican revolutionists in the Hidalgo movement to secure Galveston Island. After the deposition of the Hidalgo movement, Aury again turned to pirating and preyed on vessels in the Gulf independent of flag. In 1816, Henry Perry, an officer with Gutierrez and Toledo in the now scattered Republican Army of the North, joined him on Galveston Island.

Gen. Xavier MinaIn November 1816, the two adventurers were joined by Francisco Xavier Mina (left) and his three ships from Spain where they targeted Spanish shipping in the Gulf. Mina was an experienced Spanish patriot and revolutionary having fought against France in the Spanish Peninsular War in 1810. He turned against restored King Ferdinand in 1815 and made his way to America to continue his revolutionary activities against the crown, intent upon invasion of Spanish Mexico. In April 1817, Mina and Aury landed at Nuevo Santander and moved inland to Soto la Marina with a force of about 250, a large part of whom were Anglo adventurers from east of the Sabine River. He hoped to eventually link up with southern Mexican revolutionaries led by Guadalupe Victoria and others. He was met by Commandant Joaquin Arredondo and routed. Mina escaped to join the Mexican rebels further south, but in fall 1817 was captured and executed by firing squad. Capt. Perry and 50 men moved to La Bahia along the coast from Galveston where he demanded surrender of the Spanish garrison with intent to eventually link with Mina and Aury from the south. Texas last Spanish governor, Antonio María Martínez from Bexar, met Perry’s force near current Goliad on the plains of La Encinal del Perdido in what some refer to as the Battle of the Perdido and routed them. Seriously wounded Capt. Perry took his own life to avoid capture. Don Luis de Aury returned to other adventures further south on the Central and South American coasts. He at one time returned to Galveston Island to find it in possession of Jean Lafitte who had set up a mini-kingdom with a fort and palace called Maison Rouge in a village named Campeche. Lafitte at one time commanded over 20 vessels some of which were full warships. [The portrait of Gen. Mina is from the frontispiece of William Robinson's Memors of the Mexican Revolution, 1821.  The caption of the illustration:  General Xavier Mina. From the Original Picture.  Painted a few weeks before he left England.  In the possession of Tho. Broadwood, Esq.]


Jean LaFitte from Thrall, Rev. Homer S. A Pictorial History of Texas: From the Earliest Visits of European Adventurers, to AD 1879. N.D. Thompson & Co., St. Louis, MO, 1879Venezuelan National Flag

JEAN LAFITTE maintained control of Galveston Island in the years 1818-1821. Lafitte was one of the most daring and colorful filibusters of his time. He flew a solid, blood red flag from his masts and from time to time flew the Venezuelan yellow, blue and red tri-color shown above. It is thought that he displayed, as did Aury, the Venezuelan colors with permission of the government whose aim was to disrupt Spanish shipping in the Gulf and Caribbean.


Illegal Immigration Resumes from the East--French Exiles at Champ D'Asile. Concurrent with the Mina-Perry expeditions from Galveston Island were increasing numbers of settlers moving illegally across the Sabine River who clustered near Pecan Point south of the Red River. Aided by Jean Lafitte in 1818, a group of about 400 French ex-patriates, Tombigbee refugees, French nationals fleeing slave uprisings in the French West Indies, some Spaniards, Mexicans, Poles and Anglo-Americans under a General Charles François Antoine Lallemand arrived on Galveston Island with mixed, but apparently primary motives of establishing a colony and new home. Joseph Bonaparte, an exile in America, backed the group with his vision of liberation of New Spain French style which would then help free his brother Napoleon from prison in St. Helena. The Tombigbee episode was an attempt by a group of French exiles from Philadelphia, PA called the French Agricultural and Manufacturing Society or Society of the Cultivation of the Vine and Olive to establish a colony on the Tombigbee River in the Mississippi River Territory (now Alabama). Upon suggestion by Spanish envoy to the USA, Luis de Onís, Lallemand attempted to obtain permission to establish a colony in New Spanish Texas from the Viceroy, but he was refused permission to land anywhere in New Spain. Under Gen. Antoine Rigaud, the group moved illegally up the Trinity River to a place they named Champ d’Asile (near current Liberty, LibertyCo, TX) where they built a fort and began to plant crops including olive trees and grape vines. Lallemand issued a manifesto of their intent to remain and exercise their God-given right to establish homes in the area despite orders from royal forces to leave. Threatened by Spanish forces from San Antonio and Indian attacks, the idealists returned to Galveston Island where they experienced a major hurricane that further decimated their meager resources. Some of the idealists returned to New Orleans, some to Nacogdoches and others joined the "mini-kingdom" of Jean Lafitte.

Sabine River--Eastern Border of New Spain by Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. Amid momentous independence movements on the European continent, the despotic reign of King Ferdinand VII (1814-1833) and military-enforced constitutionalism (1820-1823), Spanish rule in America and Texas was coming rapidly to a close. In 1819 the outright seizure of both Florida and Texas by the USA was a serious concern. Spain had not undisputedly controlled the area northeast of the Rio Grande River to the Arroyo Hondo and Calcasieu Rivers by treaty since the Louisiana Territory was briefly returned to France in 1800. The border remained a point of dispute and negotiation linked to the question of Spanish Florida between Spanish minister to the USA, Don Luis de Onís de Gonzales, and American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, during the administration of President James Monroe. The negotiations were aided in no small part by the international and internal problems of Spain, which extended to New Spain. Proposals from the US side in the extreme was that the border of the Louisiana Purchase was the Rio Grande River, then compromise proposals of the Colorado River and then the east fork of the Trinity River. In 1819, Spain ceded Florida to the USA for 5 million dollars and clear establishment of the border of New Spain and the USA as the Sabine River north to the Red River, west to the 100th meridian and north to the Arkansas River, following the Arkansas River and about midway between current state of Colorado to the 42 parallel then west to the Pacific Ocean.


Last Filibuster into Spanish Texas--Dr. Colonel James Long

Flag of the Long Expedition[This flag was displayed by the Long Expedition and is considered by some to be the flag of the second Texas Republic (first was that set up by the Republican Army of the North in 1812). It was the first movement for Texas independence that used the red and white stripes of the newly founded Confederation of American States and was the first to display a single Lone Star Image from C. E. Gilbert Jr. A Concise History of Early Texas: As told by its 30 historic flags, 1964].

Dissatisfaction over the "concession" of Texas to Spain precipitated the last major filibustering expedition to attempt to establish a Republic within Spanish Texas. With financial backing from the uncle of his wife, Gen. James Wilkinson, Col. Dr. James Long of Natchez, a former U.S. Army surgeon in Carroll's Brigade in the War of 1812 under Gen. Andrew Jackson, raised arms and followers with the objective to establish a Republic of Texas by connecting with insurgents in Mexico which could be used as a base of solidifying independence in the whole of Mexico. Long, an idealist experienced with the futility of war and violence for greedy ends, was a man of some means and staked his entire fortune on the venture. Soon after the war he met and married Miss Jane Wilkinson with whom he retired to his plantation at Natchez. Through presumably Wilkinson associations he became very familiar with the earlier experience and fate of Phillip Nolan and directly with individuals having an active familiarity with Texas. The group is thought to have been encouraged by General Andrew Jackson and others in high echelons of the USA government, although official policy of the United States was neutrality in regard to Spain. A force of near 300 occupied Nacogdoches, then troops were spread with outposts from there to the coast and a government was established on 23 Jun 1819 with Long as President and Commander of the Army.

Samuel DavenportAmong his "Supreme Council" of advisors were Stephen Barker, Horatio Bigelow, John G. Burnet, Hamlin Cook, J. Child, Peter Samuel Davenport (photo left), Pedro Procello, John Sibley (photo below from Lindenwood College), W.W. Walker, and Bernardo Gutiérrez, former commander of the Republican Army of the North. In addition to Long, Vicente Tarin, former Commandant of the Second Flying Company of Alamo de Parras and anti-Spanish resistance leader in Texas, was a signatory to Dr. Long's Declaration of Independence where he is identified as "Secretary."

 


Dr. John Sibley (1757-1837) was U.S. Indian agent for the Orleans territory between 1805 to 1814.  He is credited with maintaining US-Indian relationships friendly to the United States from the Sabine River to Matagorda Bay.  Consequently, he was an object of intense observation by Spanish authorities. His correspondence with Thomas Jefferson and the US government departments as well as to US newspapers were rich with information on Texas in the period and is credited with shaping US government policy.  He operated from his long time home in Natchitoches and participated with Long Expedition in Texas.

Horatio Bigelow was a newspaper man who edited the Nacogdoches Texas Republican in 1819, was captured with James Long and other members in 1821.  He later returned to Nacogdoches, where he worked with the Nacogdoches Mexican Advocate.

Peter Samuel Davenport (b. 1764) was a partner in the trading cartel, The House of Barr and Davenport, which held a monopoly on trade with Texas Indians sanctioned by the Spanish government. Davenport was the primary agent at one time, operating from the Old Stone Fort in Nacogdoches.   A wealthy man, he was the major quartermaster and supplier of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition and became a captain participating in battle.  A fugitive living in relative luxury in Louisiana, he became quartermaster of the Long Expedition, eventually returned to his villa Grand Ecore where he died in 1824.


John SibleyLiberal land laws, trading houses, customs rules and a newspaper edited by Bigelow was established.  After capture of Nacogdoches, Long sent emissaries Johnson and Smith to attempt to enlist the support of Jean and Pierre Lafitte and establish Galveston Island as a port of entry for the new Republic of Texas. Lafitte responded and Long then outlined his invasion plan to Lafitte with a message carried by associate Capt. James Gaines. The immediate response by Lafitte was not encouraging. While preparing to meet Lafitte personally, Long learned that Royal forces under Col. Ignacio Perez from San Antonio were marching toward Nacogdoches. Long sent his family east across the Sabine and tried to avoid confrontation with the Spanish forces. The camp under Capt. Johnson on the Brazos River was surprised and 22 of Long's men captured by Perez. David Long, Col. James Long's brother, was killed during the attack. Perez proceeded to Nacogdoches and in stepwise fashion destroyed outposts established by the Long group on the Brazos and Trinity Rivers with surviviors from each outpost fleeing to the next. At Capt. Smith's camp at the Coushatta Indian village on the Trinity River, the remnants dispersed east across the Sabine River and some down the Trinity to Bolivar Point where Col. Long and others met the few survivors. Perez proceeded to destroy all traces of settlement that he could find whether Long related or not and according to his report "I burned 30 habitations....They left large crops of corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and various other vegetables, gangs of hogs, and flocks of fowls....I left nothing which might possibly serve in [the] future."

Undaunted, Long returned to New Orleans to enlist more help and support. He enlisted resigned American army General Eleazar W. Ripley of New Orleans to help guide a renewed movement. Ripley was invited by Long's Supreme Council of the Republic of Texas to become President and ex-officio Commander in Chief of the armies and navies. Ripley outlined a detailed policy which included plans for stimulating trade, culture, religion, education and manufacturing and agriculture. Slavery would be forbidden in the new Republic. Ripley drew up plans for roads, bridges, canals and clearing land for farms. There or in the meantime, Long was introduced to José Félix Trespalacios, Ben Milam, John Austin and William H. Christy, who were preparing an expedition to aid Republicans further south in Mexico. Apparently, Ripley never came to Texas, although a son died in the Goliad Massacre in 1836.

The group along with Mrs. Long and a servant sailed with four vessels for Bolivar Point on the Bolivar Peninsula opposite Galveston Island. The group is said to have actually seen Lafitte ships sailing out of the harbor for the last time as they evacuated the coastal islands. The plan was for Trespalacios, Milam and Christy to sail to Tampico and join Republicans there, then move up the coast to link with Long's forces at La Bahia. According to author Stuart Foote in Texas and Texans, Long in 1820 declared José Félix Trespalacios (then exiled in Cuba) President and Bernardo Gutierrez (once commander and President of the Republic of the North) as Vice-President. Leaving Mrs. Long and a small party on Bolivar, Long and a force of 52 sailed to Matagorda Bay, landed at the mouth of the Colorado River 15 miles above the mouth at Mesquite Landing in the fall of 1821 and captured La Bahia and during that time learned that Mexico had declared independence from Spain under Emperor Iturbide. At La Bahia, superior royal forces under Col. Perez from San Antonio used deception that they or a part of their force were sympathizers with the Republican forces of Mexico and captured him and his men. After being marched to San Antonio as prisoners, they were transferred to Laredo and then Monterrey and then escorted to Mexico City after signing of the Treaty of Cordova and as Iturbide assumed control of the government of Mexico.

There Long and associates were honored by some as patriots and met Trespalacios, Milam and Christy. Long's counsel and advice was listened to until the appointment of Trespalacios as governor of Texas whereupon the interaction between Long and the new governor cooled considerably. Long died in Mexico City where he was shot and killed by a Mexican soldier under mysterious circumstances. He is said to have been shot by a soldier in a small squad while removing his passport from a pocket. Some accounts assume an accident. Author Stuart Henry Foote in his Texas and Texans, 1841, who claimed to have in hand Long’s personal notebooks, say that Long was in Mexico City by invitation of the Iturbide regime as a champion of Mexican liberty. He came under the suspicion of the Iturbide people and was assassinated on secret orders. Other accounts theorize that his death was directed by associates of Trespalacios with whose political advancement Long was a competitor and threat. Rumors suggested that Long was also a candidate for the appointment by Emperor Iturbide for whom Gen. Wilkinson became a close associate and advisor. After the death of Long, Milam, Austin, Christy and other Long sympathizers left Mexico City for Monterrey and vowed to avenge his death. They plotted to intercept Trespalacios on his way to Texas to assume his office, but were betrayed by companions Wilson and Miller who alerted Trespalacios near Saltillo. All three were arrested and escorted back to Mexico City via Saltillo, San Luis Potisi and Queretaro. In Mexico, they were imprisoned for ten months along with some other members of the Long Expedition.

In May 1822, President Monroe of the USA recognized the independent Republic of Mexico. Monroe's ambassador to Chili, Poinsett of SC, passing through Mexico was able to secure the release of the imprisoned Anglos in Dec 1822 and they were transported on the US warship John Adams via Havana to Norfolk, VA. Poinsett was appointed American ambassador to the Republic of Mexico where he presented his credentials to first President Guadalupe Victoria in May 1825.

Participants in Long's Force at Goliad

Commander James Long
Major Burns (England)
Captain John Austin
Captain Johnson
Captain Williams (Kentucky)
Lt. Chase (Massachusetts)
Lt. Egan ( New York, died at La Bahia)
Lt. Robertson (Tennessee)
Lt. Elliot (England)
Lt. Rosenberg (Germany)
and Toby (Massachusetts)
Sergeant Robertson (Scotland, a traitor)
Dr. Allen (Ireland, ex-surgeon in the British navy)
Aid-de-Camp E. Stanley Williams (Connecticut & Virginia)

Privates
Black (Louisiana), Bliker (Russia, traitor), Captain Browne (Sweden, training for naval officer), George Early (Pennsylvania), Hamstein (German, traitor), John McHenry (Ireland), Frank Kellar (Massachusetts), Ebenezer Lathrop (Massachusetts, killed at La Bahia by accident), Lincoln (Massachusetts), McDonald (Maryland), Henry Nall (England, Smith, Big and Little Patrick (Ireland father and son, blacksmiths and traitors), Patton (died at La Bahia), Smith (jeweler), White (Old Blanco, killed at Mesquite Landing), James Wilson (Tennessee, a traitor), John Wyatt (Pennsylvania), ten more individuals.

(Traitors either joined or informed on their colleagues to Spanish royalists for favors and/or clemency at La Bahia or Trespalacios and associates at Monterrey)

(Participants compiled from History of Texas by John Henry Brown, 1893.  Brown footnotes that he obtained the Long Expedition story first hand from his neighbor at Indianola, Captain John McHenry in 1853.   Brown first wrote what McHenry told him for his review and published it in De Bow's New Orleans Review, 1853)

A document in Spanish from the Nacogdoches Archives lists the names, rank (or occupation), country of origin and religion of those captured at La Bahia.  The transcription of names (Nombres), occupation or rank (Empleos), country (Patria) below are as transcribed without editing.  The original document also listed the prisoner's religion (catholic or protestant).

Lista delos Yndividuos Aprehendidos en la Plaza de la Bahia q. se rindieron a discrecion despues de veinte y quatro horas de fuego a las 11 del dia 9 de Octubre de 1821.  y se remiten presos a la comandancia Gral. con el Alf’z D’n Joaquin Saenz.

Nombres Empleos Patria
Xayme Long General Americano
Simon Bourne Mayor Yngles
Guillermo Johnson Capitan Sueco
Juan Austin Capitan Americano
Carlos Drennen Capitan Americano
Jose Alexandro Tschitscherin id Polaco
Alexandro Williams 1’er Ten’te de M’a Americano
Cs. Williams id id
Juan W. Smith id id
Juan C. Smith id id
Nathaniel Tobey id id
Tomas Chase id id
George Midkiff id escoces
Carlos Ellioth id Yngles
Daniel Dubal id Americano
Samuel Allen Medico Yrlandes
Euardo Haustein soldado Prusiano
Jose Dirksen id id
Anatasio Varon de Rosenberg id id
Guillermo Miller id id
Agustin Blaccher id Annoveriano
Miguel Kellyy id Yrlandes
Carlos Evans Marinero Prusiano
Guillermo Thompson id escoces
Enrrique Wals id Yngles
Guillermo Willson soldado Americano
Juan Smith Yrlandes
Juan C. Keller Marinero Americano
Alen White id
Juan Keys id
Teeke F. Gebbes marinero olandes
Patricio Hurley soldado Yrlandes
Andres Anderson marinero ruso
Gasper Porton marinero Aleman
Juan Wieatt Americano
Black (Ysack) id
Guillermo Lincoln soldado id
David Slater Yrlandes
Guillermo Pegan soldado Americano
Juan McKendry Yrlandes
Juan Robinsons soldado escoses
Antonio Miller id id
Patricio McDermitt id Yrlandes
Guillermo Mcdonald id Americano
Juan Sands id Americano
Guillermo Patten id escoces
Gregorio Carley id Americano
Jose O. Mitchill id
Carolos F. Brown sueco
Pedro Moran presentado Frances
Juan Franco. Dorblet id id
Antonio Ortiz Alias Brincakhargtos espanol
Thorp Robertson Ten’te Americano

Mrs. Jane Long is the subject of many stories in her own right of how she survived on Bolivar Peninsula alone with her loyal servant girl and a newborn daughter (married James S. Sullivan) while Dr. Long was in the field. In Apr 1822, Randall and James Jones arrived to inform her of her husband's death. She traveled to San Antonio and Natchez, visited Long's assassination site in Mexico and returned to reside in San Felipe, Brazoria and then to Richmond where she died 30 Dec 1880 at the age of 82. She is buried in Richmond and her gravesite is marked with a monument.

Moses Austin (Missouri Historical Society)Legal and Controlled Immigration Through Contract--Moses and Stephen F. Austin 1820-1821. Among those who began to look toward Texas with the signing of the Adams-Onís Treaty as early as 1819 with some knowledge of the liberal reforms going on in Spain and the Republican independence movements within Mexico was former Spanish subject Moses Austin (photo) of Missouri and his son Stephen F. Austin. Motivated by depression, personal financial loss and increasingly difficult land policies in Virginia, Missouri and Arkansas, Moses Austin arrived from Little Rock, AR with his Spanish passport of 1797 in San Antonio de Bexar on 23 Dec 1820 with his black servant Richmond. Jacob Kirkham, who was searching for runaway slaves, and Jacob Forsythe of VA, also investigating opportunities in Texas accompanied him. Austin apparently had met both men in Natchitoches. Royal authorities extensively examined him and at first he was ordered to leave Bexar immediately by governor Martinez. However, he met Baron de Bastrop on the streets of Bexar who he had known in Louisiana. Bastrop intervened with Gov. Martinez, Austin was given a second interview and, after approval of the ayuntamiento, Martinez approved and sent the application to Commandante of the Provincias Joaquin Arredondo. Moses Austin declared he was a 55-year-old subject of the King of Spain as shown by his passport of 1797, a Catholic and that he carried no goods to be traded, only articles and supplies for his own use on the trip. He stated that he was moved by the reinstatement of the liberal constitution of Spain and desired to request permission, along with 300 other families, to settle in the empire in fulfillment of his King’s desire at the time of the Louisiana Purchase to allow his subjects freedom of movement between provinces.

[The Moses Austin Photo:  According to contemporaries Moses Austin was of short stature, corpulent, had beautiful teeth and a charming smile.  In the 1890's an elderly woman wrote Austin's grandson Guy M. Bryan that she had a portrait of Moses Austin, commissioned by her husband, a steamboat captain who hauled lead for Austin.  The Bryan and Perry families declined to purchase it.  In 1904 Texas historian James T. Shields sold the portrait here to the Missouri Historical Society, but he could not prove its provenance.  The authenticity of the portrait was and is controversial, even within the Austin family of the period.  The Missouri Historical Society withdrew the portrait from public display as Moses Austin.  In addition to the man who initiated colonization contracts from the United States of the North in Texas, the father of the "Father of Texas," Austin is also credited with being a founder of the lead industry in North America (information from Gracy, Moses Austin: His Life 1987)]

Examination of Moses Austin in Spanish Bexar 23 Dec 1820
At the City of San Fernando de Bexar, the 23d day of December, A D 1820 the Governor of the Province of Texas, Colonel Don Antonio Martinez, in order to obtain detailed information about the condition of affairs and movements on the frontier of the United States, and the assembly of men in Galveston Island, summoned to appear at this office the foreigner Moses Austin, who arrived to-day in this city, with two other persons. Said Moses Austin being present was required through the Baron de Bastrop who had promised well and truly to discharge the duty of Interpreter, to make true answers to such questions as might be propounded to him, answered as follows.

Questioned as to his name, native country and residence---Answered: That he is a native of the State of Connecticut, actually a resident of Missouri, is a catholic, a merchant and dealer in lead ore.
Asked:---Whence he came, who accompanied him, and what is his object in entering this Province? Answered: That he came from Missouri through Nachitotches, that he had been accompanied by a negro boy belonging to him, and two other Americans; that he came to this Province for the purpose of applying to the Government for authorization to settle himself in it with his family, inasmuch as he had already been a subject of the Government of Spain, as is proved by a passport, which he presented, signed by Don Carlos Martinez de Irujo, Minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty, signed at Philadelphia, the 13th July, 1797; and that it is his intention to provide for his subsistance by raising sugar and Cotton.
Asked: what observations he made on his way from Missouri; if he knows anything about the movements of the banditti on the frontier of the United States, if he has seen, or heard, anything of the state of affairs in Galveston Island, and to state whatever incident may have called his attention.---Answered: That he has observed nothing on his way from Missouri; that be had only heard it said at Natchitoches that Long has been abandoned by his men, 20 or 30 men only still remaining with him; that Lafitte has abandoned Galveston Island, after having been attacked by an American frigate, and that the President of the Congress had promised a reward of 500 Dollars for the apprehension of Long [Lafitte] That Lafitte repaired to South America, but that, on his departure from Galveston, be captured an American ship, and put to death all her crew, except two men who made good their escape; and finally, that he has read in the American newspapers a treaty made by Don Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister, with the American Congress, which treaty was already signed by the King and approved by the Sovereign Congress of the Cortes
Asked; How, having obtained in 1797, a passport from the Spanish Minister, he has not applied sooner for the Settlement he intends to make in this Province?---Answered---that, since the year above mentioned, he went to reside at Saint Louis (Missouri) which territory belonged, then to Spain; he had there lead mines, the produce of which he exported to Havana, until the year 1800 [sic], when the American Government having prohibited the working of mines by private enterprise, he lost all the benefit of his labor; but now, in view of the new system of Government adopted by Spain he resolved upon aplying for authorization to settle in this Province
Asked; If he, or his associates have with them any merchandize, to declare the same in which case it should be sequestered and returned to them previous to their leaving this territory, or otherwise, it should be seized upon as unlawful?---Answered, that all the property he has with him, is an escopet, a pistol, two horses, some clothing for his personal use, and the necessary amount of money for his traveling expences; that, those who accompany him are not under his control, and joined him at about six leagues from Natchitoches; Still, he is satisfied that they have no goods of illicit trade.
Asked: If he has any further statements to make; Answered in the negative, He, further, ratified the foregoing answers, and declared himself to be 53 years of age; Whereupon, be signed these presents, with me and assisting witnesses---Moses Austin---Antonio Martinez---Baron de Bastrop---Francisco Montes---Ylario de la Garza

Moses Austin's Application for Colonization [December 26, 1820
Señor Govor--Xefe Politico Dn Moses Austin, natural de La Prova de Conecticut en los Estados Unidos de America y residente en La del Misuri con todo respecto ante V S representa y dice, Que siendo vasallo de S M C quando La Prova de La Luisiana se enageno a La Nacion Francesa, y de esta despues a Los Estados Unidos, como acreditan los documentos credenciales qe a V S ha presentado, se vio el qe expone precisado a permanecer a ella, sin intentar su emigracioir por no separarse de sus intereses, y propriedades, qe unidos al amor de su familia lo detubieron; pero qe al saver el establecimiento de la Constitucion politica de la Monarquia Española y qe por ella no se priva la trasladacion de familias emigradas se ha resuelto a venir con objeto de Solicitar el correspondiente permiso para domiciliarse en esta Provincia del mando de V S Y en el punto mas adequado para la cultura de algodon trigo asucar maises etc., por cuya causa necesita en tal caso elegir sitio aproposito segun sus conoscimientos Asi mismo trae encargo de tres cientas familias qe con el mismo objeto estan deseosas de ver cumplida la intencion de Su M el rey de España permitiendo al tiempo de transferir la referida Provincla qe todos los vasallos qe voluntariamente, quisieren pudiesen pasar a establecerse a cualquiera parte de sus dominios: como asi lo intentaron infinitas familias por entonces y repetidas veces, entre ellas el qe reprela [representa] sin haverse podido conseguir por impidimiento de los Xefes de estas Provas. En concepto de qe las indicadas familias qe solicitan por conducto del qe habla su translacion, se comprometen a traer credenciales y testimonios sertificantes De Su porte y conducta: qe todos ó la mayor parte son Personas de proporciones y el qe caresce de ellas es hombre de industria Y qe se objeto estan deseosas de ver cumplida la intencion de Su M el rey en defensa del govierno Español ó contra Indios ó adventureros ó otra clase de enemigos qe intentan hostilisar accudiendo al llamado y obedeciendo las Leyes y estatutos qe se les prevengan por todo lo qual A V S respectuosamente Suplica se digne providenciarlo asi, si lo estimare justo y se halla con facultades necesarias; y de no dar el correspondiente curso a donde convenga con el informe qe halla pr conveniente cuya merced agradecera. Bexar

Experiencing extreme hardship and having to deal along the way with the treachery of companion Kirkham, whose interest was illegal trade in collaboration with local Spaniards, Austin returned to the USA and worked feverishly to put his affairs in order and prepare for fulfillment of his proposal even before it was approved. In mid-May 1821, he received word that Arredondo had approved his application on 17 Jan 1821. By the 10 of June, Moses Austin was stricken dead with pneumonia that many attribute to his return trip and feverish preparations for return to Texas. His dying request was that son Stephen F. Austin continue his vision and mission. On 18 Jun, son Stephen F. Austin arrived in Natchitoches with a party of about ten and met emissaries of Texas Gov. Martinez. Included in the group were Josef Erasmo Seguin, J.M. Verramendi and others who were probably on personal trading missions in Louisiana in addition to representing the governor. The Bexareños escorted Austin overland to San Antonio via McGuffins Station between Natchitoches and the Sabine River and Camp Ripley on the Sabine and Nacogdoches. In San Antonio, Austin was received cordially by former Gov. Martinez of Spanish Texas and now Gov. Martinez of Texas, Republic of Mexico, on 12 or 13 Aug 1821 where the details of establishment of his plan were worked out with Bastrop and Seguin.

Peaceful Transition into the Republic of Mexico under Governor Antonio María Martinez. On the morning of 19 Jul 1821, Gov. Martinez officially replaced the Spanish Cross of Burgundy banner with the Mexican tricolor on the civil plaza in San Antonio de Bexar, four months after Iturbide had proclaimed the independence of Mexico under the Plan of Iguala and one month before Gen. Juan O’Donoju, representing Spain, ratified the Treaty of Cordova on 24 Aug in Mexico City. The transition was hardly noticed by residents of the area, but perceptive and visionary residents of San Antonio along with Gov. Martinez were prepared to move quickly to proceed with development and recovery of Texas from Spanish rule.

Despite renewed definition of the borders of Spanish Texas in 1819 and de novo transfer of Texas to Mexico in 1821 by the Treaty of Cordova, security and stability of the territory meant little without solid and productive land-owning citizens comprising an economy in an atmosphere of security. Texas was decimated during the death throes of the royal government and its successful attempts to repel illegal immigration, filibustering and independence movements. In no small measure, some of the destruction was also wrought by those attempting to separate Texas and Mexico from Spain which often compromised the idealism behind their efforts. Gov. Martinez stated in his own words "the king’s soldiers had drained the resources of the country, and laid their hands on everything that could sustain human life…..the province advanced at an amazing rate toward ruin and destruction." According to Gov. Martinez, Texas had no more than 2516 souls in 1822 down from the 3103 recorded in the census of 1777. It had only two villages, San Antonio de Bexar and La Bahia. In 1821 Nacogdoches which had up to 1000 inhabitants in 1812 prior to revolution and filibustering, was essentially non-existent as a viable community. Jose Erasmos Seguin, during escort of Stephen F. Austin to San Antonio, gathered what few hardy stragglers and squatters were in the area in summer 1821 and, as Gov. Martinez’s representative, charged them to organize as part of the imminent Republic of Mexico. Three of the four San Antonio missions were unoccupied and near a state of ruin. There was a meager garrison at La Bahia and a few families and the strongest in San Antonio that was pitifully equipped and thievery and corruption for survival was a problem. Ironically, it was probably Gov. Martinez’s willingness to turn his back on illegal trade by the letter of the law that allowed the village to survive the period. Gov. Martinez and obviously both realistic conservatives and liberal visionaries in the new Republic of Mexico became convinced that legal and controlled immigration was the inevitable means to secure Texas as the continuing buffer zone against USA expansion and to develop Texas economically, culturally and politically.

Mexican Independence Movements and Separation from Spain.


New Spain-Index
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2009, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved