SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2010, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Coahuila y Tejas-Index

 

Documents Attached to the Manifesto of General Santa Anna, 1837

No. 1.  MINISTRY OF FINANCE. First Section
His Excellency, the President ad interim of the Mexican Republic has transmitted to me the following decree:
The President ad interim of the Mexican Republic to its inhabitants, know that Congress has passed the following decree:
"The government is authorized to raise as much as five hundred thousand pesos in cash by the least burdensome means, this sum to be used exclusively for the expense of the war.---José M. del Castillo, President---José de Jesús D. y Prieto, Secretario---José Rafael Olaguíbel, Secretario."
I command, therefore that it be printed, published and circulated for its due observance.---National Palace of México, November 23rd., 1835.
I transmit it to, you for your information and guidance.
GOD AND LIBERTY
VALLEJO
Mexico, November 23, 1835.sdct

No. 2.  MINISTRY OF FINANCE. First Section
Proposals made by the undersigned to His Excellency, General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President, to relieve the needs of the Army of Operations under his command:
1st I will deliver in cash……….200,000 pesos
Likewise in printed bonds…….200,000 "
400,000 pesos
2nd. As payment for this amount there shall be delivered to me:
First. The total proceeds from the forced loans of the departments of San Luis, Zacatecas, Guanajuato and Guadalajara.
Second. The war subsidy of the four said departments.
Third. This loan shall be liquidated four months from date, the certificates of the commissaries of the four departments showing the amounts received, and the balance still due to be considered as cash, allowing me an equal amount on the printed bonds. The total amount due me shall be made up by warrants on the maritime customs houses of Tampico, Veracruz and Matamoros, to be taken as specie and in full payment of all kinds of duties without requiring any cash. The bonds of which, I speak in the first proposal will be delivered to the sub-commissary in this city before the expiration of the said four months.
Fourth. Of the one hundred and forty-seven thousand pesos which I am presenting in sworn warrants issued arbitrarily by the officials of the customs house of Matamoros before the arrival of the order of the government on the subject, evident from the warrants themselves, the said customs house shall credit the firm of Messrs. Rubio Brothers and Company to the amount of forty-seven thousand pesos cash. San Luis Potosí, December 15, 1835. Joaquín M. Errazu.
General Headquarters at San Luis Potosí, December 16, 1835.
Accept the present proposals. Inform the supreme government through the Minister of Finance for its approval. Issue instructions to the commissaries of the four departments for the fulfillment of their part of the contract. Senor Errazu may deliver without delay the two hundred thousand pesos which he offers to the subcommissary of this city.---Antonio López de Santa Anna. sdct
This is a copy of the original.
México, May 8, 1837.
DOMINGO DUFFO

No. 3.  MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Most Excellent Sir:
His Excellency, the President ad interim, apprised by your communication of the 19th last and the copies inclosed of the contract celebrated with D. Joaquín María Errazu, agreeable to which Senor Errazu is to deliver two hundred thousand pesos in cash and an equal amount in printed bonds, subject to the terms and conditions expressed; and aware of the orders which you have issued on the subject, he has seen proper to approve the said contract and to reissue the corresponding instructions to the commissioners of Zacatecas, Guadalajara, Guanajuato and San Luis that they may hold the amounts collected as a result of the forced loans and the special war subsidy at the disposal of those designated by Your Excellency without using them for any other purpose. The officials of the maritime customs houses of Veracruz, Tampico and Matamoros have been likewise instructed to honor ail orders that may be drawn upon them agreeable to the contract. The officials of the last customs house named have already been instructed to honor to the amount of forty-seven thousand pesos, the one hundred and forty-seven thousand issued as sworn warrants by that office without demanding cash. I have the honor of having replied to your mentioned note restating the sincere expression of my respect.
GOD AND LIBERTY
VALLEJO
México, December 31, 1835.
To His Excellency, President of the Republic, the General-in-Chief of the Army of Operations. (This was transmitted to Sr. Rubio, Jan. 15) sdct

No. 4.  Commissary of War of the Army of Operations
Most Excellent Sir:
Upon my arrival, last year, in San Antonio de Béxar, on the 10th of March, Your Excellency immediately instructed me to make an inventory of the goods that had been taken from the colonists when the army occupied that city and which were deposited in the house adjoining that of Your Excellency, in order to determine their value and place them on sale, the proceeds to be applied to the needs of the commissary general of the army. I informed Your Excellency that, since my illness prevented me from carrying out your instructions, I would have to commission the clerk, D. José Robelo, to execute your orders. At the same time I asked Your Excellency to have this act legalized by the presence of a person of your confidence who should witness the inventory in order that detractors might have no occasion at any time to mar the good reputation I have earned in the public service.
Your Excellency acceded to this just request, appointing your secretary, D. Ramon Martinez Caro, for the purpose; and completely satisfied all my desires by witnessing the inventory personally and helping to appraise the above mentioned goods. These amounted in all to three thousand five hundred ninety-four pesos and six reales, including a barrel and a half of pecans as shown in the corresponding balance sheet.
The prices fixed on some of the goods being too high, Your Excellency later ordered verbally that the corresponding reductions be made. These were specified in the new inventory which D. Nicolis Arredondo made before he left. He was appointed by Your Excellency together with D. José Terroba to sell the said goods. The lack of time, the detailed character of the inventories and the desire not to delay my reply prevent me at this time from enclosing a copy of them, but I offer to send one as soon as possible. You may rest assured that any charge that may be brought against Your Excellency on account of this matter is dissipated before hand, for in compliance with one of the duties of my office, I transmitted the monthly balance sheets of the commissary department of the army to the Minister of Finance made the following notation on the one corresponding to March last: "Informed by D. José Terroba of the goods taken from the enemy at this (that) place, sold by order of His Excellency, the President, and the proceeds having been applied to the expenses of the army, due credit has been entered for one thousand nine hundred fourteen pesos, one real, nine grains."
I took charge of the balance, amounting to one thousand six hundred eighty pesos, four reales, and three grains, which came in the following April, and Your Excellency will see how they were spent and by what branches of the army in the general reports which I am preparing agreeable to an order of the supreme government. I shall have the honor of transmitting a copy of these reports to you in compliance with your letter of the 11th of March last which you ask me to give you an account of the expenses of the army from the time Your Excellency took charge of it at San Luis Potosí until the engagement of San Jacinto. To prove the legal expenditure of the public money will be an added pleasure to me, for I flatter myself that no fault will be found in any of the items listed, down to the smallest of them.
As to whether General Castrillon and Colonel Batres, deceased, paid into the commissary general of the army certain sums that were to bear four percent interest monthly, and if so, why, I trust inform Your Excellency that Senor Batres did not make any such deposit; but Senor Castrillon paid in a thousand dollars; of his own, agreeable to an order of Your Excellency of January 1st of last year, dated in the capital of the department of San Luis Potosí. This payment was in the character of a load, with a monthly premium of four percent for a period of four months in conformity with the law of November 5th, 1835, and it had a special mortgage on the share of the government in the Fresnillo transaction and on other securities listed in the general provisions stated by the second article of the said law, all subject to the approval of the Supreme Government whom I notified on the 2nd of the said month. On the 9th it was approved by the Government as shown by the communication sent to me the Minister of Finance.
Subject to the same terms, on the same date, and by previous order of Your Excellency, D. Juan María Errazu, a merchant of San Luis Potosí, turned in six thousand pesos, the transaction receiving a similar approval from the Executive. This amount also belonged to General Castrillbn, deceased, as shown by the letter which he delivered to me before he left Béxar with Your Excellency. In this letter Senor Errazu declares that the money and its interest belong to the above mentioned general for which reason I gave him a receipt on the 30th of March last in order that he might try to collect both of these sums and their interest from the government, since the commissary of the army was unable to pay them because of its notorious lack of funds.
I have replied to your esteemed note of the 26th of March last with all due consideration and respect.
GOD AND LIBERTY
México, April 5; 1837. José Reyes López
To His Excellency General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President and Benefactor of his Country.  sdct

No. 5. MINISTRY OF WAR AND MARINE. Central Section. Desk No. 1. Circular
Most Excellent Sir:  Under this date I have notified all commandants-general and the principal governors and political chiefs of departments and territories as follows:
"The supreme government has positive information that in the United States of the North public meetings are being held with the avowed purpose of arming expeditions against the Mexican nation, of helping those who have rebelled against this government, of encouraging civil war, and of bringing upon our territory all those evils attendant upon civil war. Some expeditions have already been organized in that republic---our former friend---such as the one conducted by the traitor José Antonio Mejia to Santa Anna [small town in Tamaulipas, located near the coast--C.C.] and others on their way to the coast of Texas. All kinds of war supplies have been sent to the said coast; and due to this censurable procedure, the rebellious colonists have been able to carry on a war against the nation that has showered so many favors upon them. The supreme government has the most positive assurance that these acts, censured by the wise laws of the United States of the North, have merited the consequent disapproval of that government with which we maintain the best understanding and an unalterable harmony. The speculators and adventurers have succeeded in evading the punishment that awaited them in that republic, but we hope that it will still overtake them. His Excellency, the President ad interim, who cannot see with indifference these aggressions that attack the sovereignty of the Mexican nation, has seen proper to command that the following articles be observed with regard to them.

1st All foreigners who may land in any port of the republic or who enter it armed and for the purpose of attacking our territory shall be treated and punished as pirates, since they are not subjects of any nation at war with the republic nor do they militate under any recognized flag.

2nd. Foreigners who introduce arms and munitions by land or by sea at any point of the territory now in rebellion against the government of the nation for the purpose of placing such supplies in the hands of its enemies stall be treated and punished likewise. I have the honor of transmitting these instructions to you for their publication and observance.

I have the honor of transmitting the foregoing circular to Your Excellency for your information, assuring you of my sincere affection.
GOD AND LIBERTY. José María Tornel
México, December 30, 1835.
To His Excellency, the President, General-in-Chief of the Army of Operations, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Benefactor of his Country.  sdct

No. 6. General José Urrea's Report of the Battle of Coleto Creek (La Batalla Encinal del Perdido)

COLONEL FANNIN'S CAPITULATION ON THE COLETO.  March 20th, 1836.

No. 7.  To Ministry of War and Marine on a Goliad capitulation.
Most Excellent Sir:  One of the strongest causes for the resentment, whose fatal effects I was on the point of suffering in my captivity while a prisoner of the Texans, was the assertion that a capitulation had been drawn up before the surrender of Fannin and his men at Goliad and that in violation of its terms they had been executed. This assertion was common not only among the Texans but in many papers of the United States and even in some of the capital. Although the official report of General José Urrea, published and printed in various papers, belies such a statement, I shall deem it a great favor for the supreme government to order Colonels Juan Morales and Mariano Salas and Lieut. Col. Juan José Holzinger to declare and explain before the competent authorities everything that happened, giving testimony in due form, since they were the mediators in the surrender. In case that from their declarations it should appear that some agreement guaranteeing the life of the prisoners was signed, let them declare whether, officially or unofficially, I was ever informed of it. If I had heard of such an agreement at the time it would have been scrupulously investigated; and if its existence had been proven, even though celebrated without authority, I would have explained the circumstances to Congress and obtained, perhaps, a pardon for those unfortunate wretches. sdct

Likewise it is said that the execution of those prisoners was carried out in an inhumane and cruel manner, shooting them without order or concert, in such a way that some were able to escape. These formed part of the guard that kept watch over me for many days. The commandant at Goliad, Lieut. Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla, is responsible for the cruel and inhumane manner of carrying out the execution to the nation, to the world, and to God. I do not doubt that, since its own honor is involved, the supreme government will also order an investigation of his acts, advising me as to the findings.  I have made war like a soldier. My pride is founded on my never having soiled victory with murder, and my having been always adjudged humane and just, as I am in fact. If during the last campaign, one in which we were not fighting against'a recognized nation, I was forced by law and by the strict orders of the supreme government to apply to the delinquents a penalty which though severe was legal and from whose application I could not excuse myself, I am none the less sensitive to the attacks made upon my good reputation, one that I believe I deserve. I flatter myself that the president will accede to my petition out of consideration for me, for the army, and for the nation in order to help me clear myself of this accusation, and to blot out a stain that involves the whole nation. I, therefore, beg Your Lordship to communicate this petition to His Excellency.  I reiterate the assurances of my esteem.  GOD AND LIBERTY   ANTONIO LÓPEZ DE SANTA ANNA MANGA DE CLAVO, May, 1837.   To His Excellency, the Minister of War and Marine.

[This debated question has caused much hard feeling and misunderstanding. The truth of the matter seems to be that Fannin and his men proposed to surrender on terms; that these were not accepted by Urrea, who nullified all the proposals by his note added at the end of the said terms; and that, due to the fact that an the negotiations were conducted through an interpreter, many were left under the impression that the surrender had been on terms, and not unconditionally.--C.C.] sdct

No. 8.  Request to Congress for policy statement on Texas
MINISTRY OF WAR AND MARINE Army of Operations Most Excellent Sir:  The army of operations under my command being already on its march to Béxar, which I expect to occupy before fifteen days, I am going to find myself embarrassed if the supreme government does not send me opportunely the necessary instructions as to the policy that I am to observe in dealing with the colonies after order has been restored. I believe, therefore, that it is necessary for the executive, together with the legislative body, to give its attention to the reorganization of the government of those colonies without delay; and that the instructions sent to me ought to be definite, clear and ample in order that when the time comes I may act in the most convenient manner for our national interests. Otherwise we will have gained but little by the painful march which our army has undertaken; and the large sums that have been spent, and must be spent, will go for nothing if we fail to take this splendid opportunity presented to us to insure the integrity of the territory of the republic, unfortunately neglected for such a long time that today its conservation is costing us ten times more than if we had looked after it more opportunely. With these considerations in view and moved by the deepest concern for the propriety of the measures that may be adopted I will proceed to explain briefly the points I believe ought to be kept in mind in view of the experience I have acquired concerning this country.

The campaign being over, it is but natural that the causes that gave rise to it be analyzed. As it is evident from these that it was the colonists who unjustly provoked it, and it is a known fact, on the other hand, that in war the aggressor is responsible for the consequences, it seems certain that the rebels of Texas will have to pay the expenses incurred by the march of the army to the frontier. How, then, must the payment of this debt due necessarily to the nation, be met? Upon this point it is necessary that I be given a definite answer. The next question that arises is what shall be done with the prisoners, Mexicans or Texans, who are taken either in action or by capitulation or by unconditional surrender? What shall be done with the property of these and that of their families? What shall be the fate of those colonists, Anglo-Americans or Europeans, who have not taken an active part in the revolution? Will they be left on the frontier and on the coast, or will their property be appraised and other vacant lands or money given them as compensation? There are also many foreigners who have introduced themselves without passports or permission from the constituted authorities of the republic, and these, in my opinion, should be treated as invaders, or at least, they should be immediately expelled from Mexican territory. sdct

There is a considerable number of slaves in Texas also, who have been introduced by their masters under cover of certain questionable contracts, but who according to our laws should be free. Shall we permit those wretches to moan in chains any longer in a country whose kind laws protect the liberty of man without distinction of cast or color? Here are some points that it is important to solve beforehand and upon which I wish definite instructions to be dictated in order not to fall again in error as when the Anglo-Americans were permitted to colonize in Texas. In my judgment, those lands have a recognized value both in America and in Europe and there is no need of giving them to foreigners when we ourselves are capable of settling them. Military colonies such as those established by Russia in Siberia, by England in East India, and even by Spain itself in this country would be the most convenient for Texas, in my opinion. It would also be opportune for the national Congress to occupy itself in forming a plan, instead of drawing up a new colonization law, by which the salaries of both civil and military employees might be capitalized by those who chose to do so, each one receiving two-thirds in land and one-third in silver to encourage the establishment of settlements. It is understood that the government will take proper steps to counteract any abuses and to promote the desired end.

From such a plan the nation would reap many advantages, it seems to me, the first one being a decrease of the annual budget; the second, the population of Texas by Mexicans; and the third (perhaps the most important) the preservation of the integrity of our territory. Let it not be said that there would be no industrious Mexicans capable of establishing themselves in the confines of our frontier, for while on my way from Mexico to this place I have observed in all the country states and cattle ranches the greatest desire to go to the frontier on the part of the poor and hard-working people who are, to a great extent, mostly farmers and herders. The riffraff of our great cities would, of course, be incapable of undertaking such an enterprise both because they are accustomed to a different life and because, unfortunately, they are too demoralized. I do not believe that this class, in spite of its poverty, can be used for anything but the establishment of manufacturing enterprises in the future.  If both civil and military officials who capitalize their salaries according to the proposed plan are obliged, therefore, to settle their land with Mexicans, the result will be that every official and his family who goes to Texas will bring with him a multitude of industrious and useful settlers. Otherwise, if Texas is settled entirely by Europeans, or if it is left unpopulated, it will be necessary to maintain a large number of troops there, constantly exposed in the first case to continuous plottings, for after all foreigners, whatever be their nationality, more readily take on the customs and interests of the neighboring nation than ours, especially when they find themselves such a long distance from the government of their new allegiance. In the second place, our troops would find themselves without the necessary food supplies as a result of the want of settlers. In any case, I am firmly convinced that we ought not to risk allowing either Anglo-American or European colonists to remain on the frontier, much less along our coastline. Even if some of those settled there did not take part in the present Texas revolution, a rare coincidence indeed, prudence warns that they be removed to the interior of the republic in order not to expose ourselves, as at present, to the sad experiences of our inadvertence, a lesson that is costing us so dearly. It should be added to this that the wars waged by the savage tribes in the frontier departments are encouraged by the colonists who buy the stolen booty from the said tribes, giving them in exchange arms and munitions. sdct

In this manner they carry on a trade at the expense of the Mexicans which though wicked is nevertheless very lucrative to them, These are considerations that, in my judgment, the supreme government must present to the legislative body when the definite policy in regard to Texas is formulated. All of them could easily be enlarged upon by the numerous details of our sad experiences. In the future it should be kept in mind that all foreigners admitted into the territory of Texas ought to be required, in addition to their compliance with all other requisites of our laws, to reside for at least ten years in that territory and hold title to welldefined property before they can hold public office. Otherwise, it will not be possible to avoid the introduction of evil foreigners who will contaminate those already established in the country with their revolutionary ideas. The execution of the plan proposed will involve but a small portion of the territory of Texas. What shall be done with the rest of the vacant lands of that Yast and beautiful province? Supposing that the territory adjoining the frontier and that along the coast is settled strictly by Mexicans as I have indicated, I would be of the opinion that the rest of the lands be surveyed in acres or fanegas, a Spanish unit of measure with which we are acquainted and which we understand better. This done, an agency to be known as the land office should be opened, such as that of the United States of America, which constitutes one of the principal sources of income of that republic. In that country, the minimum price per acre, as provided by a decree of Congress, taking it on an average, that is to say, of the best and the poorest, is ten reales. Why, then, could we not sell a fanega, the equivalent of the acre, for a peso, when our lands are known to be superior to theirs in every respect? I am convinced that it could be done; and I believe that, if the sale of those lands was decreed, the nation would not only discover new resources to replenish its exhausted public treasury, but would be able, at the same time, to carry our civilization to those far away places, with which, on the other hand, frequent communication could easily be maintained through the Gulf of Mexico.

If we are to judge by the printed maps and the accounts of some of the travelers who have crossed Texas in different directions, its territory must include at least one billion fanegas. From this fact alone, its importance is evident. But in order to neutralize the influence that Europeans who acquire lands may exercise, disregarding the AngloAmericans who must be entirely excluded, it would be advisable, for example, not to sell to the French settlers more than five million fanegas a similar amount to English settlers, a little more, perhaps, to Germans. No limit need be placed on those nations where our language is spoken, for no Columbian, or Cuban, or Canary Islander, or Spaniard would be very anxious to settle in our country. There is nothing to lose in such a plan, but there is much to gain. Why, then, should we not try to put it into execution? If it answers our purpose, that is to say, if definite advantages result to the nation from its operation, we may apply it to the Californias, New Mexico, Colima, Coatzacoalco, etc., and by these means, at the same time that we would increase our population, we would increase the resources of the nation without giving away its lands or mortgaging still further the strained credit of the country. The plan is feasible, for the lands of Texas already command a definite market value everywhere as evidenced by the last revolution, undertaken in the main for the purpose of speculation with its lands. It is for Congress, therefore, to ponder over such a measure, upon which I do not believe I ought to be more explicit in consideration of the well-known wisdom of its members.

I will now discuss another point, perhaps the most important under the present circumstances. I say under the present circumstances because upon its solution depends, perhaps, the amount of resistance offered by the rebellious Texans, whose interests are involved. I want to refer to the grants made by the legislature of the state to various individuals, both Mexicans and foreigners.  How must these grants be regarded? As forfeited by the rebellion of the grantees, or as annulled by this act? Is there any possible right that legalizes the sale of lands that has been made in the United States and that gives title to the buyer though he has not complied with the requisites of the Colonization law? I do not think so; but at this time, I believe that it is very important for congress to make a declaration on this matter, or at least to give me detailed instructions in order that I may not be embarrassed in reviewing any of these grants. I must also consult the government about several tribes that have migrated from the United States into our territory and that could be advantageously used by the republic if lands were assigned to them. One of these tribes, the Cherokee, rendered important services to the nation in 1827; and it holds, as I understand, the solemn promise of the government to give them lands upon which to establish themselves, a promise that has not been fulfilled up to the present. What shall be done in regard to these tribes? Are they to be left without any definite agreement, exposing ourselves by that very fact to their hostility? Or shall we request them to leave the country? All of this, I repeat, must be solved ahead of time if we are not to walk blindly. On the other hand I will do everything that I can to secure the best possible solution, but without the help of the government and congress I may, perhaps, find myself in an embarrassing situation.sdct

As a tribute to justice, I believe I am duty bound, before finishing this letter, to suggest to the government the convenience and advisability of establishing a land bounty for those officers and soldiers who may voluntarily want to remain in Texas, making such grants only to those that may be deemed advisable. It seems unnecessary for me to emphasize the utility of such a measure, for it is evident on the face of it, that the further removed a military man is from his family and those comforts he has a right to expect, the greater the effort that should be made to keep him pleased. Nothing that may contribute to this end should be omitted for the highest success of the mission intrusted to him depends upon it. I believe that a square league for the staff officers, half a league for other officers and a solar for each soldier would be enough for the purpose. The amount, in my opinion, is unimportant, the thing that matters is that bounties be established. I will not finish this letter without calling the attention of the supreme government very particularly to the conclusion of the treaty of limits with the United States of America which has so often miscarried and which is so important to bring to an early termination. The extraordinary mission which, as I understand, is going to Washington will offer doubtlessly a good opportunity of securing the desired end, in view of the known wisdom of the negotiator that has been chosen. 

The march of the army towards the frontier on the other hand will facilitate the demarcation of the boundary line.  The statement on the part of the president of the United States of America that it will be useless to extend the time limit stipulated at the last negotiation celebrated with Mexico two years ago should not be taken, in my opinion, as an excuse. This is all that occurs to me as worthy of being presented to the supreme government relative to Texas, surrounded as I am by numerous duties. I hope that the points suggested will immediately be taken under consideration and submitted, if necessary, to the legislative body.  I again present to you the assurances of my personal esteem.  GOD AND LIBERTY   ANTONIO LÓPEZ DE SANTA ANNA General headquarters, Villa de Guerrero, February 16, 1836.   To His Excellency, the secretary of War and Marine, General José María Tornel.  This is a copy. Mexico, March 7, 1837.  sdct

No. 9.  Full Report of Defeat and Capture at San Jacinto to Minister of War and Marine, 11 Mar 1837


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2010, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved