Extract from The Courier, London, England, Monday, October 18, 1819 INDEPENDENCE OF TEXAS Declaration by the Supreme Council of the Province of Texas.
As all Governments were originally established by the will of the people for the benefit of society, whenever the existing Government, in any community, fails to effect the purposes for which it was instituted, it is competent to the community at large to rescind its express or tacit allegiance to the ruling power, and to organize a new constitution and form of government, more consistent with its interests, and more consonant with its feelings. In exercising this unquestionable right, an independent people have only to consult their own discretion. But, though amenable to no tribunal for its municipal acts, a free state, in claiming admission to the immunity of nations, owes of itself an exposition of the motives which have prompted it to the assertion of its rights, as well as of the principles which it assumes to vindicate. The citizens of Texas have long indulged the hope, that in the adjustment of the boundaries of the Spanish possessions in America, and of the territories of the United States, that they should be included within the limits of the latter. The claims of the United States, long and strenuously urged, encouraged the hope. An expectation so flattering prevented any effectual effort to throw off the yoke of Spanish authority, though it could not restrain some ineffectual rebellions against an odious tyranny. The recent treaty between Spain and the United States of America has dissipated an illusion too long fondly cherished, and has roused the citizens of Texas from [the] torpor to which a fancied security had lulled them. They have seen themselves, by a convention to which they were no party, literally abandoned to the dominion of the crown of Spain and left a prey not only to impositions already intolerable, but to all those exactions which Spanish rapacity is fertile in devising. The citizens of Texas would have proved themselves unworthy of the age in which they live, unworthy of their ancestry, of the kindred of the republics of the American continent, could they have hesitated in this emergency what course to pursue. Spurning the fetters of colonial vassalage, disdaining to submit to the most atrocious despotism that ever disgraced the annals of Europe, they have resolved under the blessing of God to be free. By this magnanimous resolution, the maintenance of which their lives and fortunes are pledged, they secure to themselves an elective and representative government, equal laws and the faithful administration of justice, the rights of conscience, and religious liberty, the freedom of the press, the advantage of liberal education, and unrestricted commercial intercourse with all the world. Animated by a just confidence in the goodness of their cause, and stimulated by the high object to be obtained by the contest, they have prepared themselves unshrinkingly to meet and firmly to sustain any conflict in which this declaration may involve them. Done at Nacogdoches, the 23rd day of June, in the year of our Lord 1819.
James Long, President of the Supreme Council
Bis[en]te [sic] Tarin, Secretary
Source: The R.B. Blake Special Collection, Volume LVIII, pp. 175 & 176, Stephen F. Austin University Library, Nacogdoches, Texas.