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From Mexico and Her Military Chieftains by Fay Robinson, published 1847 (continued)

Santa Anna[Image from Durham's Santa Anna:   Prisoner of War in Texas, 1986]  During the administration of Bustamente, Mexico became involved in a serious difficulty with France, arising from outrages on the persons and property of French citizens, at different periods since the revolutions. In the spring of 1838, the French government, wearied with making ineffectual demands for reparation, proposed the following ultimata, which were placed in the hands of Admiral Baudin: The government of France required pecuniary reparation for all losses incurred by Frenchmen, the dismissal of certain obnoxious functionaries, a concession that henceforth Frenchmen should enjoy the privileges of the most favored nations, and the restoration of the right of carrying on the retail trade. After some months spent in negotiation, the French admiral, on the 27th November, 1838, made an attack on the Castle of St. John de Uloa. In 1582, sixty-one years after they had set foot on Aztec soil, the Spaniards began this fortress, in order to confirm their power. The centre of the space which it occupies, is a small island, where the Spaniard, Juan de Grijalva, arrived one year before Cortes reached the Mexican continent. Having found the remains of two human victims there, they asked the natives why they sacrificed men to their idols, and receiving for answer, that it was by orders of the kings of Acolhua, the Spaniards gave the island the name of Ulua, by a natural corruption of that word.

It is pretended that the fortress cost four million and though this immense sum is no doubt an exaggeration, the expense must have been very great, when we consider that its foundations are below the water, and that for nearly three centuries it has resisted all the force of the stormy waves that continually beat against it. Many improvements and additions were gradually made to the castle; and, in the time of the viceroys, a first rate engineer paid it an annual visit, to ascertain its condition and to consider its best mode of defence, in case of an attack. In 1603, however, Vera Cruz was sacked by the English corsair, Nicholas Agramont, incited by one Lorencillo, who had been condemned to death for murder in Vera Cruz, and had escaped to Jamaica. Seven millions of dollars were carried off, besides three hundred persons of both sexes, whom the pirates abandoned in the Island of Sacrificios, when they re-embarked. In 1771, the viceroy, then the Marquis de la Croix, remitted a million and a half of dollars to the governor, in order that he might put the castle in a state of defence; and the strong bulwarks which still remain, attest the labor that has been bestowed upon it. The outer polygon, which looks towards Vera Cruz, is three hundred yards in extent; to the north it is defended by another of two hundred yards, whilst a low battery is situated as a rear guard in the bastion of Santiago; and on the opposite front is the battery of San Miguel. The whole fortress is composed of a stone which abounds in the neighboring island, a species of coral, excellent for building, piedra mucara.

In 1822, no stronghold of Spanish power remained but this castle, whose garrison was frequently reinforced by troops from Havana. Vera Cruz itself was then inhabited by wealthy and influential Spaniards. Santa Anna then commanded in the province, under the orders of Echavarri, the captain-general, and with instructions from Iturbide, relative to the taking of the castle. The commandant was the Spanish general Don Jose Davila. It was not, however, till the following year, when Lemaur succeeded Davila in the command of the citadel, that hostilities were begun by bombarding Vera Cruz. Men, women and children, then abandoned the city. The merchants went to Alvarado, twelve leagues off, whilst those who were driven from their houses by a shower of balls, sought a miserable asylum amongst the burning plains and miserable huts in the environs. Some made their way to Jalapa, thirty leagues off; others to Cordova and Orizava, equally distant. With some interruptions, hostilities lasted two years, during which there was nearly a constant firing from the city to the castle, and from the castle to the city. The object of General Barragan, now commander-in-chief, was to cut off all communication between the garrison of the castle and the coasts, and to reduce them to live solely upon salt provisions, fatal in this warm and unhealthy country. In 1824, the garrison, diminished to a mere handful, was replaced by five hundred men from the peninsula; and very soon these soldiers, shut up on the barren rocks, surrounded by water, and exposed to the dangers of the climate, without provisions and without assistance, were reduced to the most miserable condition. The next year, Don Jose Copinger succeeded Lemaur, and continued hostilities with fresh vigor.  sdct

This brave general, with his valiant troops, surrounded by the sick and the dying, provisions growing scarcer every day, and those that remained corrupt and unfit to eat, yet resolved to do his duty, and hold out to the last. No assistance arrived from Spain. A Mexican fleet was stationed off the Island of Sacrificios and other points, to attack any squadron that might come from thence; while the north winds blew with violence, keeping back all ships that might approach the coasts. 

"Gods and men," says a zealous republican (Zavala), "the Spaniards had to contend with; having against them, hunger, sickness, the fire and balls of the enemies, a furious sea covered with reefs, a burning atmosphere, and above all, being totally ignorant as to whether they should receive any assistance." 

The minister of the treasury, Estevan, then came from Mexico, and proposed a capitulation; and the Spanish general agreed that should no assistance arrive within a certain time, he would give up the fortress; evacuating it with his whole garrison, and with the suitable honors. The Spanish succors arrived a few days before the term was expired, but the commander of the squadron, seeing the superiority in point of numbers of the Mexican fleet, judged it prudent to return to Havana to augment his forces. But it was too late. On the 15th of September, the brave General Copinger, with the few troops that remained to him, marched out of the fortress, terminating the final struggle against the progress of revolution, but upholding to the last the character for constancy and valor which distinguished the sons of ancient Spain. Of its last assault by the French squadron in 1838, there is no need to say anything. Every newspaper gave an account of the capitulation of what the French gazettes called San Juan de Ulua, the St. Jean d'Acre of the new world, which sailors of the gulf saluted as the Queen of the Seas and bulwark of Mexico.

For two years after his return from the United States, Santa Anna was apparently forgetful and forgotten at Mango de Clavo, during all that had been taking place, but was aroused by the echoes of the French artillery, then directed against the previously impregnable fortress of San Juan de Ulloa. He hurried to Vera Cruz, where he found an appointment of military commander, from the authorities at Mexico, already awaited him. He was unable to prevent the capture of the castle, which was, it has been stated, almost in a dismantled condition, but was far more successful on the mainland. The French admiral, Baudin, having possessed himself of the former, resolved to make a dernonstration against Vera Cruz, and at five o'clock in the morning despatched an expedition, in which the Prince de Joinville participated, to the city. The day chanced to be foggy and damp, so that it was impossible for the boats from the vessels to keep together, and also for the, people of the town to discover them, two circumstances which compensated, the one for the other. The French landed; but Santa Anna, who was in bed, soon, rallied a force sufficient to beat back the invaders. During the retreat, however, hotly pursued as they were, a sailor discharged a cannon which chanced to point towards the Mexicans, by which Santa Anna was unfortunate enough to lose his leg. This attempt on the city was sufficient to satisfy the admiral, that if he had stumbled on success in his attack on the castle, his force was far too feeble to make any impression even on Vera Cruz.

Both parties, however, had now seen enough of the "horrors of war," to give great attention to the mediation proposed by Mr. Packenham, who most opportunely arrived with an English fleet; by whose influence or the persuasive effect of the British guns, France was induced to lower her demands nearly two hundred thousand dollars, and did not longer insist on the retail trade being allowed to her citizens. In the events of this war, a conspicuous part was borne by the Prince de Joinville, a younger son of Louis Phillippe, who was the nominal commander of one of the French vessels employed in the attack. On this part of the history, it is scarcely necessary to dwell, as the events are so recent as to be remembered by all. It is one of the evils attendant on the exercise of authority in countries like Mexico, that all the mischances of war are attributed to the mis-government of the chief authorities, and President Bustamente, was heavily visited for this attack dictated by the French king's cupidity and desire of pandering to the false ambition of his subjects. Santa Anna subsequently remained at his estate, and Bustamente occupied the executive chair, without, however, being unaware that there were around him elements of contention, which, sooner or later, must break out. On the 15th of July, 1840, a revolution arose in the city of Mexico, which was forcibly taken possession of by the federalists. General Urrea, who had been imprisoned by the government, was released by his adherents, headed by Gomez Farias, who surprised the palace and imprisoned the president. After a fight of twelve days, in which three hundred men were killed and wounded in the streets of the capital, the insurgents were forced to yield to Governor Valencia, who arrived with a reinforcement of troops; and on the 27th of July, they capitulated, on condition, among other things, that Valencia would use his influence to bring about a reform in the constitution, and that all acts of the malcontents should be buried in oblivion. The outbreak was not attended with any unusual degree of excess, property having been on both sides respected. General Bustamente again resumed the direction of affairs, and Santa Anna, who had been recalled from Perote, quietly returned thither. While, however, at Mexico he managed to arrange his various schemes, so that on the 31st of August another revolution broke out. Valencia, who but two months before had opposed the insurrection of Farias and Urrea, now pronounced against Bustamente, whom he had till then defended in the most positive manner. As all the subsequent history of Mexico hinges on this revolution, if that title can be applied to the substitution of one chieftain for another, it may not be improper to reproduce the various documents, which we take from the admirable letters generally attributed to Madame Calderon de la Barca, whose husband, then in the capital, was the first Spanish ambassador ever sent to Mexico, Spain having for a series of years most strenuously refused to acknowledge the independence of that tributary which had so long acknowledged the authority of her kings.

"Soldiers! The despotism of the Mexican government, the innumerable evils which the nation suffers, the unceasing remonstrances which have been made against these evils, and which have met with no attention, have forced us to take a step this evening, which is not one of rebellion, but is the energetic expression of our resolution to sacrifice everything to the common good and interest. The cause which we selected is that of all Mexicans; of the rich as of the poor; of the soldier as of the civilian. We want a country, a government, the felicity of our homes, and respect from without; and we shall obtain all; let us not doubt it. The nation will be moved by our example. The arms which our country has given us for her defence, we shall know how to employ in restoring her honor---an honor which the government has stained by not acknowledging the total absence of morality and energy in the actual authorities. The army which made her independent shall also render her powerful and free. The illustrious General Santa Anna today marches to Puebla, at the head of our heroic companions of Vera Cruz, while upon Queretaro, already united to the valiant General Paredes, the brave General Cortazar now begins his operations.

In a few days we shall see the other forces of the republic in motion, all co-operating to the same end. The triumph is secure, my friends, and the cause which we proclaim is so noble, that, conquerors, we shall be covered with glory; and, happen what may, we shall be honored by our fellow-citizens."

This proclamation was signed by General Valencia. The secret of this was, that events had been so arranged by Santa Anna that the revolution must occur, and Valencia having become aware of this, determined to take such a stand that he would be like the occupant of a manor in dispute, in possession, and force two other litigants to bid for the key, that the ejectment might be brought against, not by him. In Mexico, as well as elsewhere, possession is nine points of the law, and the importance of Valencia's movement will therefore be understood at once. Paredes, in the interim, marched from Guadalajara upon Guanajuato, and there General Cortazar, just promoted by Bustamente for his courage in resisting Farias and Urrea, proved traitor and sided with Paredes. The two united, advanced on Queretaro, where Juvera sided with them, having previously pronounced by accident, just before they received orders to march to assist the president. The united forces of the three now advanced towards Mexico, where Valencia was still persisting that he asked nothing for himself but only the good of the country, and required the deposition of Bustamente.

Santa Anna still remained at Perote, and Bustamente was in the city with Canalizo and Almonte, making head against the revolters. An intelligent Frenchman who was in Mexico during this scene, and subsequently traveled in the United States, thus explained this game of cross purposes. Santa Anna, while in Mexico in July, corrupted all these generals. Almonte, one of his intimates, who has been said to be a relation, was gefe del Plano mayor, or general staff of the president, and thus it occurred that all things contributed to the fall of Bustamente. After several days of threats, and marchings and counter-marchings in the capital, Santa Anna wrote that Bustamente had repeatedly violated the constitution, and that he would therefore come immediately to Mexico. The people generally began to desire his presence, as shells passing from the quarters of Valencia to the national palace, were destroying the most beautiful part of the city. On the 19th of September, however, Torrejon, who had kept Santa Anna in check, was ordered to the city, and Bustamente placed himself at the head of the forces thus obtained and those commanded by Canalizo and Almonte, consequently leaving Echavarri at the head of the government. Santa Anna immediately set out for Mexico, taking possession on the way of Puebla; he received large reinforcements on the march, so, that his ragamuffins bad increased into an army of respectable size. It was then evident that danger to the government was to be expected not from him alone, but from Paredes. Strangely enough, however, the president a the head of his troops, with Canalizo and Norriega, had marched to meet Paredes, leaving Almonte and Echavarri in Mexico, to act in his stead. After some delay the president met Paredes, and after an interview, left him for the seat of government, in which direction Paredes also moved on the 27th.

Santa Anna was not, during the last four or five days idle. He too had been marching, and after an interview with the commissioners from the president, met Almonte on the 27th. What transpired between the two is a mystery, except when the latter left, Santa Anna said simply, "Es bueno muchacho"---he is a good boy. On the 28th, Paredes, Valencia, and Santa Anna met at the palace of the archbishop at Tacubaya, the result of which conference the following plan formed on the 29th, consisting of thirteen articles, by which are established the following pacts, not one of them seeming to look to a principle.   sdct

The first declared---It is the will of the nation that the supreme powers established by the constitution of 1836 have ceased, excepting the judicial, which will be limited in its functions to matters purely judicial, conformably to the existing laws.

The second---A Junta is to be named, composed of two deputies from each department, elected by his excellency the commander-in-chief of the Mexican army Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, in order that they may be entirely free to point out the person who is to hold the executive power, provisionally.

The third---This person is immediately to assume the executive power, taking an oath in the presence of the junta, to act for the welfare of the nation.

The fourth---The provisional executive power shall in two months evoke a new congress, which, with ample powers, shall engage to re-constitute the nation, as appears most suitable to them.

The fifth---This congress extraordinary shall reunite in six months after it is convened, and shall solely occupy itself in forming the constitution.

The sixth---The provisional executive shall answer for its acts, before the first constitutional congress.

The seventh---The provisional executive shall have all the powers necessary for the organization of all the branches of the public administration.

The eighth---Four ministers shall be named; of foreign and home relations ; of public instruction and industry ; of treasury ; and of war and marine.

The ninth---Each department is to have two trustworthy individuals to form a council, which shall give judgment in all matters on which they may be consulted by the executive.

The tenth---Till this council is named, the junta will fulfil its functions.

The eleventh---Till the republic is organized, the authorities in the departments which have not opposed, and will not oppose the national will, shall continue.

The twelfth---The general-in-chief and all the other generals, promise to forget all the political conduct of military men or citizens during the present crisis.

The thirteenth---When three days have passed after the expiration of the present truce, the general-in-chief of the government does not adopt these bases, their accomplishment will be proceeded with; and they declare in the name of the nation, that this general and all the troops who follow him, and all the so-called authorities which counteract this national will, shall be held responsible for all the Mexican blood that may be uselessly shed; and which shall be upon their heads.

Strange as had been the scenes of this drama, the denouement was yet stranger, Bustamente pronouncing on the 30th in favor of the federal systern. During four months the Mexican republic had undergone two revolutions, and at the end of that time found itself under a military dictatorship; in relation to which we can but say, what all must confess, that a people who will submit to such a state of things, deserve no better. Canalizo and Almonte soon followed the example of Bustamente, and left Santa Anna uncontrolled. After seven days of perpetual cannonading, the president did what he should have done, when he pronounced for federation, resigned, and Santa Anna entered Mexico. The people who had not sustained the president were, however, too obstinate to welcome their conqueror; and Madame Calderon says, he entered the city sternly and silently, and after a Te Deum, at which the archbishop officiated, retired to the palace of that dignitary.at Tacubaya, which he preferred to the national palace at Mexico. Perhaps in this he was prudent; a new revolution might have unseated him; and a president in Mexico is always formidable as long as he is unchecked by bolts and bars. A conviction of this probably induced Alaman to shoot the brave Guerrero.

Etching of Santa Anna[Image:  From L.T. Pease's History of South America and Mexico with Geography and Historical View of Texas and Texian Revolution. 1839] Valencia and Paredes had each governments offered them, but the former refused to leave his division, which had enabled him to play the part, on a small scale, of the Warwick king-makers. The new ministry were: Gomez Pedraza, for foreign and home relations; Castillo, for public instruction; Tornel, for war and marine; and Dufoo, for the treasury Paredes, too, insisted on keeping his command, and the only person who seems to have reaped any advantage was Santa Anna. All who know Mexico, however, say that on account of this revolution various indemnities were not paid, and Mexican bonds were far below par in London and New York. Soon after this revolution Mr. Thompson arrived in Mexico, and states that he heard from all, that Bustamente was one of the purest men who as yet had occupied the Mexican executive chair. If so, why was he not able to retain his power? The Mexican people were opposed to him because they were unworthy of him, and Santa Anna was his enemy because he could not make him his instrument. General Bustamente retired at once to Guadalupe, and soon after left Mexico.  Santa Anna was now dictator. How completely he had possession of Mexico the following extract from a letter published in a Boston paper in November 1842, will show

"Mexico, Sept. 28th.---Yesterday was buried, with great pomp and solemnity, in the cemetery of St. Paul, the foot which his excellency, President Santa Anna, lost in the action of the 5th of December, 1838. It was deposited in a monument erected for the purpose, Don Ignacio Sierra y Roza having pronounced a funeral discourse appropriate to the subject."

[Santa Anna was, during this time, dictator in the fullest sense of the term; a power conferred on him by a vote. Afterwards, when Santa Anna was exiled, this honored member was exhumed, and dragged through the sreets with shouts of derision by the leperos.]

Santa Anna was during this time dictator in the fullest sense of the term; a power conferred on him by a vote of the congress of Mexico, until a constitution had been formed. For the first time in the history of the world, the people requested him to terminate the legislative sessions of that congress which was the guarantee of their rights. In the December of the same year, the president complied with their requests, and convened, in the place of the congress, a junta of notables, to prepare a new constitution. The result of their deliberations was, not a new constitution, for they dared not apply that name to their monster generation, but the Bases of the political organization of the Mexican Republic, proclaimed June 13, 1843. The following were some of the provisions of this instrument:

Slavery is forever prohibited. The liberty of the press is guaranteed; a guarantee, however, purely theoretical: [it is no more free than in France, nor as free.] Equally theoretical is the provision that no one shall be arrested but by the authority of law. No taxes to be imposed but by the legislative authority. Private property not to be taken for public uses but with just, compensation. Mexicans to be preferred for public offices to strangers, if their qualifications are equal. Persons who have attained the age of eighteen years are, entitled to the rights of citizens, if married; if unmarried, twenty-one years; and who have an annual income of two hundred dollars, either from labor or the profits of capital. After the year 1850, those only are to exercise the privileges of a citizen who can read and write. By becoming a domestic servant, the privileges of a citizen are suspended: so, also, pending a criminal prosecution, being a habitual drunkard or gambler, a vagrant, or keeping a gaming-house. The rights of citizenship are lost by conviction of an infamous crime, or for fraudulent bankruptcy, or by malversation in any public office.

The legislative power is composed of a house of deputies and a senate; one deputy for every seventy thousand inhabitants. A supernumerary deputy shall be elected in all cases to serve in the absence of the regular deputy. The age prescribed for members of congress is thirty years. They must have an annual income of twelve hundred dollars. One-half of the members to be reelected every two years. The senate is composed of sixty-three members, two thirds of whom are to be elected by the departmental assemblies; the other third by the house of deputies, the president of the republic, and the supreme court; each department to vote for forty-three persons, and those having the highest number of votes of the aggregate of all the departmental assemblies are elected senators. The judges of the supreme court and the president shall vote in like manner for the remaining third; and out of the names thus voted for by each of those departments of the government, the house of deputies selects the proper number (twenty-one). The first selection of this third of the senators to be made by the president (Santa Anna) alone.

The president of the republic and judges of the supreme court are required, to vote only for such persons as have distinguished themselves by important public services, civil, military, or ecclesiastical. Amongst others disqualified from being elected members of the house of deputies are the archbishops, bishops, and other high ecclesiastical officers. The senators elected by the departments are required to be five agriculturists, and the same number of each of the following occupations---miners, merchants, and manufacturers: the remainder to be elected from persons who have filled the office of president, minister of state, foreign minister, governor of a department, senator, deputy, bishop, or general of division. The age of a senator is thirty-five years, and an annual income of two thousand dollars is required. One-third of the senate to be renewed every three years. All laws must originate in the house of deputies. All treaties must be approved by both houses of congress. Congress has a veto upon all the decrees of the departmental assemblies which are opposed to the constitution or the laws of congress.  sdct

Congress are forbidden to alter the laws laying duties on imports which are intended for the protection of domestic industry. No retrospective law or laws impairing the obligation of contracts to be passed. The senate to approve the president's nomination of foreign ministers, consuls, and of officers in the army above the rank of colonel. Members of congress not to receive executive appointments except with certain limitations, amongst which is the consent of the body to which they belong.  The other powers of congress are nearly the same as in our own or other popular constitutions. The president must be a native of the country, and a layman, and holds his office for the term of five years. It is made his duty to supervise the courts of justice, and he may prescribe the order in which cases shall be tried. He may impose fines, not exceeding five hundred dollars, upon those who disobey his lawful commands. Certain large powers are conferred upon him in relation to concordats, bulls, decrees, and other ecclesiastical matters. He possesses a very qualified veto upon the acts of congress. He may call an extra session of congress, and prescribe the only subjects to be considered. The president not to exercise any military command without the consent of congress. Not to leave the republic during, his term of office, nor for one year after its expiration, but with the consent of congress, nor to go more than six leagues from the capital, without the like permission. He shall in no case alienate, exchange, or mortgage any portion of the territory of the, republic. All his acts must be approved by the secretary of the department to which it properly belongs. He cannot be prosecuted criminally, except for treason against the national independence, or the form of government established by the constitution during his term of office, nor for one year afterwards.

During the temporary absence of the president, his functions devolve upon the president of the senate; if his absence continues longer than fifteen days, a president ad interim shall be elected by the senate. The other grants of power to the executive seem to be pretty much copied from our own constitution. The different secretaries may attend the sessions of either branch of congress, whenever required by them, or so ordered by the president, to give any explanations which may be desired. The secretaries are responsible for all acts of the president in violation of the constitution and laws which they may have approved. The council of the president consists of seventeen members, selected by himself. These councillors must be thirty-five years old, and have served at least ten years, without intermission, in some public station. The judges of the supreme court must be forty years old. The government may be impleaded in this court by any individual (I think a wise and just provision); as may also the archbishops and bishops in particular cases. A permanent court-martial is also organized, composed of generals and lawyers, appointed by the president. Each department has an assembly of not more than eleven, nor less than seven members. Their powers are to impose taxes for the use of the department; establish schools and charitable institutions; make roads and keep them in order; arrange the mode of raising troops which may be required of the department; establish corporations, superintend the police, and encourage agriculture; propose laws to the congress, and fit persons to the president for the office of governor of the department (from the persons thus recommended, the president, except in extra ordinary cases, must make the selection) ; establish judicial tribunals for their departments, with many other powers of a similar character; and constituting the assembly a sort of state legislature, with jurisdiction of matters appertaining strictly to the department. The whole republic is divided into sections of five hundred inhabitants. Each of these sections selects by ballot one elector. These electors in turn elect others, in the ratio of one for every twenty of the electors thus primarily elected. These last constitute the electoral college of the department, which again elect the deputies of the general congress, and the members of the departmental assembly. All persons who have attained the age of twenty-five years, are eligible as primary electors. The secondary electors must also have an income of five hundred dollars a year. On the first of November preceding the expiration of the term of office of the president, each of the departmental assemblies is required to meet and cast their votes for his successor. A majority of the votes of this assembly decides the vote of the department. On the second (lay of January, both houses of congress assemble together and declare the election. If no one has received the votes of a majority of the departments, the two houses of congress make the election from the two who have received the greatest number of votes. If more than two have an equal number of votes, the election is made from those who have received such equal number. If one has received a higher number, and two others have received a less and equal number of votes, congress selects, by ballot, one of these last to compete with him who has received a higher number. This election is required to be finished in a single session. In cases of a tie a second time in these elections, the choice is to be made by lot. Punishments shall in no case extend to confiscation of property, or to attainder. No cruel punishinent shall be inflicted in capital cases, only such as are necessary to take life.

The judges are responsible for any irregularities or mistakes in their official proceedings. They hold their offices for life. Amendments of the constitution to be made by a vote of two-thirds of both branches of congress. The Catholic religion is established to the exclusion of all others. Most of the other provisions of the constitution seem to be almost exactly copied from that of the United States.  Santa Anna was inaugurated under this instrument, January 1, 1841. This is by no means a constitution, but is calculated to give an idea of Mexico far more exalted than any generally entertained. It could scarcely be expected that a people just emerged from civil war would be able to provide for all things, and foresee all difficulties; but it will appear that most of the requisitions of society have at least been remembered. This may be considered as the realization of the schemes of which Santa Anna sketched the outlines when he achieved the revolution which deposed Bustamente. Thus again did this chieftain succeed in fastening on the people the central system, which revolution after revolution had each time seemed to throw off. It was his work only, and he only is responsible for its effects. The people, however, seemed satisfied with it; and the reason is, that the people in Mexico are few in numbers, while the populace is immense; and that all power was collected in the hands of a very small number of that people. No one, we fancy, will call Mexico a republic, or Santa Anna a patriot, as Mr. Thompson says he is not a model man, but he is a great one. He has outlived all his early associates, while every man who began life with him is either dead or in exile. He rides above the storm, the very heavings of which he fashions to his will.

The condition of Mexico at the present day recalls a passage of one of the letters of Jacopo Ortiz, in relation to his own Italy, at the commencement of the present century:

"Italy," says he, "has soldiers, but they are not her defenders; she has friars and monks, who are not priests; she has counts and marquises, but no nobility, and a populace, but not a people."

To create this was the mission of the Italian patriots, who failed in driving, the strangers from her soil; which the Mexicans have already achieved for themselves. The world has hopes of Italy, which yet writhes beneath the heel of the Austrian; why should it not be hopeful of Mexico, on the soil of which the Spaniard has not for twenty years?  Canalizo, it will be remembered, was the confidant of Bustamente when Paredes went over to Valencia on his attacking the president, to whom he had made such professions of attachment in July, 1842. Even after the resignation of Bustamente, Canalizo held out for some time with but three hundred men, and by his valor won the name of "El Lion de Mexico." As soon as all was settled, Santa Anna determined, Richelieu-like, to blot him from the list of his enemies by favors, and appointed him in his absence president ad interim; an exhibition of shrewdness which subsequent events have proved prudent. With Valencia he soon quarrelled, and stripped him of his command, and caused Paredes to be arrested at Tula. Paredes was a resident of Guadalajara, a district represented as the best in Mexico in point of wealth, the cultivation of its lands, and information of its inhabitants; and having been permitted to return thither, he set about the organization of his friends, so that it became obvious he was about to pronounce on the first opportunity. Santa Anna too, it is probable, became aware of this, and, anxious to remove him from the scene of his influence, called him to Mexico, and in terms of the greatest conciliation appointed him to the government of Sonora and Sinaloa. On passing through Guadalajara, the friends of Paredes flew to arms, and a pronunciamento was made, which resulted in the downfall of Santa Anna. The affair at the very beginning looked so dangerous that Santa Anna, contrary to one of the provisions of the Organic Bases, placed himself at the head of the troops in the capital, leaving Canalizo to manage the government, and marched to suppress the outbreak. Before, however, he had advanced far on the route, the provinces near the capital also pronounced, and he was forced to return to the city, where Canalizo was altogether unable to manage his numerous opponents. The pronunciamento of Paredes complained of the disorganization of the army, the dilapidation of the finances, entire disorder in all departments of the government, and the failure of the various expeditions against Texas, solely on account of the incompetency or neglect of the president. He concluded this manifesto with a demand that all acts of Santa Anna between the 16th of October, 1840, and the end of 1843, should be submitted to the approval of the supreme congress, and the president, in the meantime, be suspended from his glorious functions of Chief Magistrate of Mexico. Santa Anna has always handled the pen as readily as the sword, and addressed a proclamation to his army, in which he appealed to their sense of duty, and called on them to support him. The civil war spread through Jalisco, Aguas-calientes, Queretaro, San Luis de Potosi, and Zacatecas, all of which openly declared against Santa Anna. Nor was this all. General Alvarez, who commanded in the southern departments, also pronounced, and the disaffection became general. The first act of Paredes was to suspend the imposts levied for the ostensible purpose of invading Texas, which had long been very obnoxious. Vera Cruz finally began to show signs of revolt, which, however, were suppressed by General Quixano.  sdct

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