OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2000, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Juan Joseph Manuel Vicente Zambrano (1772-abt 1825)
Removal by Gov. Salcedo
Proclamation from the Nacogdoches Archives
Letter to Jose Mariano Ximenes
Letter to Commandante of the Provincias Internas
Recommendation by the Bishop of Nuevo Leon
Petition for Position to the King of Spain
Juan Zambrano was a politically active, obviously impetuous, if not violent, individual, part of one of the earliest peninsulare families of San Fernando de Bexar. Records indicate he was born 1772, probably in Spain, and a subdeacon of the church in 1803. His aggressive use of church rules for personal advantage and unpriestly behavior (business ethics, gambling, drinking, etc.) in the eyes of some factions precipitated a petition to authorities by locals to restrain his aggressiveness. He was often at odds with Texas governor Manuel Salcedo who was generally at odds with hypocritical church officials who exercised their power too liberally without his blessing and the governor exiled Zambrano to Mexico City in 1807. The decision was reversed by the audencia of Guadalajara and when Zambrano reappeared in the province of Texas, he was arrested by Gov. Salcedo. The bishop of Nuevo Leon promptly ex-communicated the governor giving Salcedo 30 days to make restitution and in which time the governor threatened to resign. Somehow the conflict was resolved, most likely by the low priority of it in relation to bigger emergent political crises.
Ironically, Zambrano turned out to be a staunch royalist and ally of the governor in subsequent events. Zambrano was instrumental in and assumed the royal governorship in the counterrevolutionary move against Juan Bautista de las Casas which resulted in the release of Gov. Salcedo and the capture and eventual execution of leaders in the Hidalgo independence movement at the Wells of Bajan. Zambrano organized a governing royal junta which is described in a proclamation in the Nacogdoches archives, letter to Lt. Gen. Jose Mariano Ximenes, letter to commandant of the Provincias Internas, letter from the Bishop of Nuevo Leon and a petition for support and a position in the royal government or church.
Zambrano is credited with trying to establish a school system while head of the temporary royal junta. According to Chabot in Makers of San Antonio, he gained the confidence of Bexareños to support the royal peninsulares by pretending to correct faults and excesses of the Las Casas junta and playing on the fear that agents of the insurgents further south were merely French emisaries planning to sell Texas to the United States.
Zambrano was the son of Joseph Macario Zambrano and Juana de Ocon y Trillo (b. 1740, daughter of Pedro and Juana? Urrutia). Joseph Zambrano appears in San Antonio records as early as 1779 when he bought a house from Santiago Seguin. Juan Manuel Zambrano was a businessman as well as lay cleric of the period and large-scale sheep rancher moving goods between San Antonio and Nacogdoches. He was fierce against outlaws and thieves to excess. He was granted four sitios of land near Mission Espada in 1809 and was politically active as early as 1793. In a census ca. 1810 in the Bexar Archives, Zambrano is listed as living on his ranch at La Laguna de las Animas, 38 years old with 32 servants and two slaves who were natives of Nacogdoches. He held 80 horses, 24 mares, 1 stallion jackass, 2 burros, 24 mules, 450 cows, 220 steers, 110 bulls, 230 beserros, 4600 sheep and goats, 15 yoke of oxen and 3 carts. In 1814, Zambrano was ordered exiled from Texas for thrashing the alcalde of San Antonio over a gambling dispute, but was never forced to leave. According to Chabot in With the Makers of San Antonio, Zambrano in 1812 "being a man who owned a great many sheep, having 77,000 sheep; determined to put four droves of mules loaded with wool on the road to Nacogdoches," arrived there and learned of the force assembled by Gutiérrez and Manchaca who intended to kill him. Losing his wool, he fled to Bexar to inform Gov. Salcedo of the situation. Zambrano is believed to have died in 1824 or 1825 based on letters appointing his brother Jose Zambrano administrator of his estate and a letter of Erasmo Seguin informing his wife that she need not fear beatings from Father Zambrano because of his death.
Zambrano's Removal by Gov. Salcedo and Reinstatement
Subdeacon Sambrano was accused of such licentious conduct and such insolent manner that the Commandant General decreed his removal from San Fernando de Béxar. This order was suspended however, with the understanding that effective steps would be taken by the ecclesiastical court of the bishopric to prevent a recurrence of his disturbance of the peace of the settlement. On June 16, 1807, Commandant General Salcedo forwarded the Bishop of Nuevo Leon a communication from Governor Cordero regarding the continued licentious conduct of Sambrano, requesting at the same time, that he be obliged to change his domicile in order to avoid the inconvenience created by his residence in San Antonio de Béxar. On July 8, 1807, the bishop requested Cordero to complete the case and forward it to him without delay, and have Sambrano leave the town at once. From available records, it would seem this "at once" meant 1809. Late in 1810 the governor of Texas was still communicating with regard to Sambrano; but with delay in delivery of mail, and Sambrano's usual prompt activity, again, it was too late. Sambrano had left Guadalajara for Texas. The Royal Audiencia subsequently reported that his conduct in connection with the counterrevolution made him deserving of every consideration. Sambrano was recommended as prudent and zealous, and justified in what he did.
Later, in 1819, the Commandant General ordered the lieutenant colonel placed under arrest and marched to Monclova. Governor Martinez reported on July 8, that as soon as he was able, he would comply with order of June 13, received by extraordinary courier; the flood of July 5, 1819 was taking all his attention at the time. Sambrano's way of acting, observed the governor, showed clearly his proud character and insubordination, which was, indeed, insulting.
JUAN MANUEL SAMBRANO, TO HIS BROTHER JOSE MARIA SAMBRANO 1809.
Validated for the reign of Fernando VII. SALCEDO, [Rubric]
Villa of San Fernando de Bexar, December 1st 1809. On this date, the subdeacon Juan Manuel Sambrano presented a petition for a power of attorney, which document is of the following tenor: To the Alcalde of First Vote: I, Juan Manuel Sambrano, subdeacon clergyman and a resident of Bexar, with due respect, declare:
That having been arrested by order of the Governor, Manuel Salcedo, I am unable to appear in person in order to draft a power-of -attorney which I desire to give my brother José Maria Sambrano, in order that he may administer my property without any limitation whatsoever. For this purpose I, therefore apply to Your Honor so that after considering this petition you may kindly authorize the execution of this power, with ample and general authority to manage all my affairs, in order that my brother map be free to act as I could do as lawful owner, with the further condition that I grant my said brother general power to buy and sell in any transactions he may negotiate and receive legal papers in his own name without responsibility to me for anything. Furthermore he may look after any of my business transactions for this is my intention. Therefore: I beg Your Honor to decree as I pray so far as the law permits. I swear that this my petition is not filed with malice but of necessity. JUAN MANUEL SAMBRANO, [Rubric] City of San Fernando de Bexar, December 1, 1809.
The above petition is accepted as presented insofar as it has legal value and in view of the petitioner's allegations I hereby command that this power be prepared in the terms he requests. Thus I, Manuel Barrera, Alcalde of first vote of this city, decreed and signed with the witnesses to my proceedings with whom I act for lack of any notary. All of which I certify. MANUEL BARRERA, [Rubric] Witness: FRANCISCO BARRERA, (Rubric] Witness: MIGUEL URAGA, [Rubric]
In the City of San Fernando de Bexar, December 1, 1809, before me Manuel Barrera, Alcalde of first vote of the above city, appeared the subdeacon Juan Manuel Sambrano who is well known to me and declared:
That he executes and grants to his brother José Maria Sambrano, [died December, 1835, aged 75 years] also a resident of this said city, a power-of -attorney as complete and ample as may be necessary and required by law, to conduct lawsuits, defend them and transact the business affairs of the grantor which may be pending or may arise in the future: he may file demands and defend claims, pursuing the cases and concluding them through all pleadings, petitions and final judgments; To exercise the powers hereby granted for any transactions or lawsuits now pending or that may be conducted in the future, whether acting as plaintiff or as defendant, the said grantee may press them to conclusion or follow them while pending at all stages of the pleadings, file petitions, and take judgments; and thus my said attorney may appear in the courts of our Lord, the King (whom God preserve), in the Royal Tribunals of this kingdom, and any other Courts, either special or general, ecclesiastical or secular as the law may require: He may file claims, petitions, demands, citations, protests, pleas, denials, proceedings in bar, accusations, warrants of arrest, releases, attachments, release attachments of goods, make sales, issue executions, place goods at auction, take possession, file appeals and challenges; He may file documents, prepare documents, obtain copies, examine witnesses, offer evidence, and produce any other papers and documents that may be necessary under this power of attorney, accept payments due and cancel and deny those that are not due, agree to anything of advantage and appeal or file writs against anything prejudicial; My said attorney may follow proceedings, demand Royal decrees, commands, letters and other writs that may affect the transactions; he may demand performance, the conclusion of proceedings and final judgment; He may demand and offer sworn statements of fact, or denials of facts and do any other act to his advantage under this power. Furthermore he may make use of all properties recognized to be his own, sell or buy property, he may grant deeds in his own name without consulting the grantor. In testimony whereof the grantor signed this power-of -attorney with me, the said alcalde and the witnesses to my proceedings with whom I act for lack of a notary, to which I bear witness. MANUEL BARRERA, JUAN MANUEL SAMBRANO, [Rubric] [Rubric] Witness: Witness: FRANCISCO, BARRERA, MIGUEL URAGA, [Rubric] [Rubric]
LIST OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE ESTATE OF JUAN MANUEL SAMBRANO
"The subdeacon Lt. Col. Juan Manuel Sambrano died in the City of Purisima Concepción de Mier in the State of Tamaulipas, November 7, 1824," according to the statement of Juan A. Sambrano and his minor brother, José Isaac Sambrano, in their petition to the Probate Court of Bexar County to have excutors file an account of the estate and make deliveries of the property of Juan Manuel Sambrano. Notice was given on December 6, 1837 for a Special term of the Probate Court on Tuesday, December 19, 1837, for the disposition of the estates of Juan Manuel Sambrano, Baron de Bastrop, Guadalupe de la Garza, Anastasia Sambrano, and Josd Antonio Saucedo, numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, respectively. Erasmo Seguin was Chief Justice, John W. Smith, Clerk, and John W. Small, Deputy Sheriff, at the time. Owing to the death of José María Sambrano, former executor of the Juan Manuel Sambrano estate, Cornelius Van Ness, District Attorney for the 4th Judicial district, was appointed administrator. The Sambrano property was sold by order of the Probate Court of the September term, 1836. [A list of property and further documents into the 1840's disposing of Zambrano's properties are in the Bexar Archives]
Zambrano Proclamation from the Nacogdoches Archives
North America has just given us examples of monstrous treason and disorder. But is it necessary to confess that it has also given us multiplied examples of the most gallant loyalty and love for social welfare. These are but the fruits of the inexorable power of justice for whose defense champions were not lacking nor ever will be. The Province of Texas offers us a clear example of both. January 22, last, the perfidious Captain of Militia, Juan Bautista de las Casas, ambitious to enter into favor with the execrable Hidalgo, raised the standard of rebellion in the Capital of Béxar, took the armed forces, imprisoned its governor, Lt. Col. Manuel Salcedo, the Commander of Auxiliary Militia, Lt. Col. Simón de Herrera, with various officers, Europeans as well as Americans, partisans of the just cause. What happened to the Europeans and their properties is already known. The example of the capital was immediately followed with disorganization throughout the province, the people expecting happiness as a consequence, when they only received misfortunes. Those natives soon experienced this truth. Casas and his followers were the only ones who got the flitting fruit of his perfidy, in military ranks, and in the despotic management of the public fortune, while anarchy and justice reigned in all branches of the administration. The good groaned and even those seduced groaned. Force prevented them from establishing the legitimate government. This noble project conceived among some of them, though surrounded by enemies, and with no other news of the viceroy, or the commandant general than those disheartening ones spread by the evil, they called the subdeacon, Juan Manuel Sambrano from the retreat to which he had been condemned, placing all their hopes in the daring and patriotism of the deserving ecclesiastic. With him in the capital the first steps were taken toward the execution of the plan, which was made difficult by the party organized by Casas, and which demanded the consummate skill of Sambrano. Thus it was that the plotters confiding frankly in those who were deserving of confidence of such importance, took with others action to let it be known that their designs were only against the despotism of Casas, and against the disorders of his government; hence, they were able to draw many away from the partisans of the insurrection.
There arrived at Béxar the insurgent Marshal Lic. Aldama with a brilliant retinue, and more than 100 bars of silver, and a quantity of money, coming as ambassador to the United States to solicit arms, and thirty thousand auxiliaries, to accomplish the conquest of the kingdom, if indeed his mission was nothing more than to seek refuge in those states, and there insolently triumph at the cost of the treasury of New Spain, and the careless credulity of its people. Here Sambrano and his confidants played clever politics, making it appear that the ambassador was an emissary of Napoleon, because of the cordon which he wore, and pointing out that his followers would now realize their long contemplated designs on the beautiful Province of Texas. These insinuations skilfully sown, served perfectly to consolidate the plan of the patriots. The night of March 1st, was when five of those compromised met alone in the house of Sambrano. They decided upon a coup d'etat for that same night. It was accomplished as soon as decided upon; they went rapidly to the barracks and took possession of them without great difficulty, because of the attachment of the troops to them, and because of the efficiency of Sambrano's knowledge of how to persuade. Immediately they agreed to hold a meeting of the principal inhabitants for the purpose of appointing a Governing Junta, with majority vote, and in a few moments it was formed with eleven individuals under the presidency of the said Sambrano. In the same act all members took solemn oath, to defend at any price, the rights of Ferdinand VII, and the Dynasty of the House of Bourbon, the others promising to obey the Junta.
At dawn on the 2nd, the traitor Casas was already imprisoned. Shortly afterwards the spurious ambassador with his secretary, the apostate Salazar, were arrested in their lodging, together with their followers, under pretext that their passports were not sufficient for an ambassador. Any further demonstrations were withheld for the time being, so as not to raise the veil of mystery which still covered these operations. Finally when well recognized and confirmed in command, the Junta rent asunder the veil, and this done, they did not forget for an instant to follow their rightful duties. They sent dispatches and orders to the towns and military posts of the province, and were obeyed; organized troops, arrested Aldama and his committee, stamped out conspiracy, arrested and tried various traitors, persuaded others, demoting some from the ranks and employment granted by Casas, reinstated those demoted, set at liberty the Europeans and Americans imprisoned, and scrupulously restored to them their properties; they bestirred themselves to cause the news to reach the legitimate governor, ignominiously expelled from the province, the Sub-Inspector, Cristóbal Dominguez, who was fortunate enough to save himself in neutral territory, the Commandant General, and also the Viceroy, for the different purposes each had to serve. Finally, they took every step to reestablish and maintain order, and tranquility within the province; at the same time that they led an army of five hundred men to repulse any attack of the rebels who surrounded the province, without losing sight in this movement, of giving heat to the counter-revolution in Coahuila already begun in that province.
In fact, from the 26th, when they began the march with that force, and located in Laredo as the most advantageous point for their purpose, they remained there until advised of the celebrated surprise at Baján, and then not having to fear the rebels, returned to Béxar to continue their patriotic work, until the governor, immediately called by the Junta, as soon as they learned of his liberation, should come to take over the government. Something more should still be added to this abbreviated sketch, regarding the wisdom with which the Junta of Bexar conducted itself under such difficult circumstances. Isolated as they were, and with scanty resources, they were conscious of the instability of what had just been accomplished, cut off from aid from the Commandant General and Viceroy, in case the rebels, victorious or triumphant, penetrated this province. What ingenuity they displayed in soliciting aid with all communications cut off or intercepted! The Junta commissioned for this arduous enterprise, Captains José Muñoz and Luis Galán, who were in any event to contact any leader of the Royalists, but as these deputies had to cover great distances through a country in insurrection, it was decided to give them verbal instructions, after they had taken oath to religiously observe them, and authorize them in appearance, with simultaneous powers as deputies to the leader of the rebels, Ximénes, who occupied the Villa de Saltillo, strategy which it was believed would see them to the end of their voyage, for the accomplishment of their mission. Thus accredited, Muñoz and Galán departed on the 8th, taking the road to Monclova, it being understood that they would promote a movement similar to the one in Bexar among friends and acquaintances as they passed through Coahuila, which would be as useful to the general welfare of America as to the security of both provinces.
In truth, such an opportune and just idea was to the best Interest, but when these two officials revealed the project of the good citizens of Bexar to Lt. Col. Ignacio Elizondo, they found that this deserving patriot, with the Administrator of Royal Revenues, Tomés de Flores, and Capt. José Rábago, had so far advanced the counter-revolution of the Province of Coahuila, that the Texas deputies had the glorious satisfaction of personally participating in the happy and memorable day of Baján, which they communicated to the Junta on which they depended. From this moment on the most urgent care ceased for the inhabitants of Béxar and Coahuila. They alone seemed to deserve mention in this brief summary of how order was restored in that remote province. They have distinguished themselves by rendering signal service; to Religion, the Country, and the King. Subdeacon Juan Manuel Sambrano has certainly acquired incontestable rights to national recognition, and his name is deserving of being transmitted to posterity associated with those of his brothers, Presbiter José Dario, and José Maria, Ignacio Pérez, Erasmo Seguin, Juan Beramendi, Francisco Ruiz, Miguel Muzquiz, Luis Galán, José Muñoz, Miguel Navarro, Antonio Saenz, Gavino Delgado, Manuel Barrera, Miguel Diaz de Luna, José Saucedo, Francisco Flores, Francisco Montes, Pedro Fuentes, Sgt. Patricio Rodriguez, Cadet José Abal, Cabos Francisco Vasquez, and José Castro, Juan Caso, Santiago Tixerina, Luciano García, Vicente Gortari, and those of others, who have made manifest their honesty and patriotism in the support of this enterprise from its beginning.
Letter from Governing Junta of Texas & President Juan Manuel Zambrano to Jose Mariano Ximenes
The Field Marshal [Ignacio Aldama] arrived on the 27, Ult. His mission, he said, was to go to the United States of America to treat on matters which were not to be disclosed; that anyway, this settlement has always pretended to unite this province with the States and has presented some suggestions for this purpose all of which makes them untrustworthy. This fact is proved by the aid requested by the comandancia general of the viceroy in 1805, for militia troops to come from Nuevo Leon and Nuevo Santander to garrison this frontier. This actually took place and the aid is still here. To prevent a repetition of Baton Rouge and Mobile, to start a rebellion some good patriots consulted others and held meetings to celebrate a Junta. Thus things were carried out even in the Militia Headquarters in which took part, officers of the corps, and various inhabitants. Congregated in this manner they began to discuss the best way possible to calm the people and troops and give them pleasure. As a result it was decided to form a governing junta composed of a President, eleven members and a Secretary; this was to be done in due form. In order to avoid any dissatisfaction it was decided that each one, beginning with the President and following in sequence to the Secretary, be chosen by lot. In the same way they appointed a Sergeant Major of Veterans, and another of the Militia and at once created a new cabildo, with two ordinary alcaldes, a regidor decano, an alguacil mayor, five regidores, and a procurador.
With the plan of government formed as we have indicated to Y. E., it was decided by common assent, to remove Brig. Juan Bta. Casas from command, as was done on the morning of the 2nd day of this month, keeping him under arrest in a manner becoming to his character. With the former government done away with as explained, the Junta began to give its orders and to take into consideration what was convenient for the good of the Province. Among the matters treated, it was agreed that the arrival of the Field Marshal in this capital and the continuation of his voyage to the U. S. should be legalized with ample powers of the Nation and safe conduct from the serene Generalissimo, who accredited the said Field Marshal as such an ambassador to proceed to foreign dominions. These powers and faculties should, for definite reason, be shown and made known to the public by the government as was indispensable for its entire satisfaction, to dispel the doubts and suspicions that existed. But as nothing of the kind was done, it seemed excellent Sir, that to calm the agitation already aroused, it was necessary to act as we did, and not give place to dire consequences ... There were various rumors regarding the Marshal. Some said he was a fugitive; others, that his decorations showed him to be connected with the French, our common enemy, and the aid he said he would receive, was to, serve against us ourselves. You will therefore not be surprised that the Junta made him a prisoner of war, as he could not show true and sure credentials for his mission. The Junta proceded to his lodging, and the individual appointed to speak with him, explained to him the doubts and suspicions in question, and asked him for his papers; among them were only two passports, one given by Capt. Gen. Allende, and the other by Y. E. Nothing showed him accredited to acquire arms, etc. He was therefore made a prisoner of war, on the word of honor of the officer who spoke to him, and approved by this Junta with security to his person, until we should hear from Y. E. as to the following points:
1, and principal one: If the conquest accomplished is just and if our sacred Religion, and our much beloved King, Ferdinand VII will be supported, and this precious pearl of the north, our .country will be kept for the Bourbon dynasty, the only one with right to it.
2. If the inhabitants of this Province, military and others, will be treated under the same regulations and laws that have ruled.
3. If the properties possessed, shall have any change prejudicial to the legitimate owners.
4. If the paternal attention is to be guarded and carried out in harmony.
5. If this Province is to be looked upon as an essential part of the Kingdom, and granted funds for its troops, and administered the aid requested in case of invasion by the enemy.
6. If the nation is to continue supplying funds for the support and food for the infinite number of Indians of distinct tribes who are accustomed to receive gifts from us and who are devoted to us.
7, lastly: That these points be guaranteed us with legal and properly signed documents, from the treasurer, José María Gomes, Lic. José Viveno and the curate of Saltillo, Pedro Fuentes, who are subjects of known virtue.
For the better security in the preliminaries of these matters, the Junta sends as envoy, Capt. José María Muñoz and Luis Galán, one of the members, with ample power to treat. San Fernando de Béjar, March 5, 1811. Juan Manuel Sambrano, President. Antonio Saenz, Ignacio Pérez, Miguel de Músquiz, Luciano Garcia, absent, José Santiago Tixerina, José Erasmo Seguin, Luis Galán, Manuel Barrera, Juan José Sambrano, absent, Gabino Delgado, Vicente Gortari, José Antonio Saucedo, Secretary. Exmo. Lt. Gen. José Mariano Ximenes.
Letter from Governing Junta of Texas & President Juan Manuel Zambrano to Commandante of the Provincias Internas
Laredo, April 3, 1811
The morning of January 22, just passed, was when Captain of Militia Juan Bautista Casas, accompanying the auxiliary troops of Nuevo Santander, took the command from our governor, Lt. Col. Manuel de Salcedo, also taking prisoners, the commander of said bodies, Lt. Col. Simon de Herrera; and Captains Ger6nimo de Herrera, Martin Echavarria, José Goceascoechea, Miguel de Arcos, Juan Ignacio Arrambide, José Joaquin Ugarte, Lieutenants Juan José Elguezábal, Bernardino Montero and Gregorio Amador, and other Europeans who had their residence in Bexar, generally confiscating all their properties and treating them as prisoners in the most execrable manner, and abrogating the authority of the government of the province, submitting it to the Captain General of the insurgents in Saltillo, Mariano Ximénez, taking all the arms, munitions, and artillery. Thus, they prevented the loyalists from taking any action; but with their combinations, they decided on the night of March 1, to address themselves to Subdeacon Juan Manuel Sambrano, Ignacio Pérez, José Antonio Saucedo, Erasmo Seguin, Martin Beramendi, Francisco Ruiz, Lt. Miguel Múzquiz, Luis Galán, José María Sambrano, José Angel Navarro, Gabino Delgado, and others, who in greatest secrecy, proceeded to the headquarters of the militia, where all the forces of the troop and artillery were deposited and immediately took possession of them, arresting the principal followers of the insurrection, persuading them with the most lively and efficacious reasons to desert the iniquitous party which they had embraced. Finally, in one way or another, we managed to install a governing junta, as reported under separate cover. As soon as we entered the Capital of Béxar, we let it be known that the president of the governing junta was now the subdeacon Juan Manuel Sambrano; presenting the names of the members of the Junta by seniority, the undersigners, with the exception of two Capt. Luciano Garcia and Juan José Sambrano, who took oath on March 11 and 22, respectively who were absent. Their secretary was Antonio Saucedo.
In this way winning the confidence of the majority of voters, who were submerged in the inky darkness of the insurrection, they authorized us to arrest them, unwittingly thinking perhaps that the purpose of the movement was directed to extinguish forever the legitimate authorities. Under this erroneous impression they continued for some time as did some members of the junta. After each had voted, oath was taken, with greatest formality, to remain faithful to Religion and Patriotism, and to put into effective and immediate effect the measures dictated by the said Junta, the president of it, In the presence of the troop, and the same was done from the first member to the secretary, and at day break, at the head of about four hundred armed troops, the inhabitants gathered, and all went to the Government House to take the command from the said Casas, keeping his person under good custody, and sure imprisonment. From that moment on, steps were taken for good government, tranquility and public peace, and for the reestablishing of the old order. Great changes had taken place, a continued movement and agitation, into which we had all been thrown. We were now liberated from the evil influences of those discontented perverts, and enjoyed just government, which was established and lasted in Béxar until the 25th of March, the eve of our march from the Villa de Laredo, at the head of 400 men, the Governing Junta taking along with them those under suspicion, to prevent their interrupting good order, which had already been established by our government; and so our country was rid of them and the security of our prisoners assured, as reported under separate cover. The desires of this Governing Junta never have been and never shall be other than those to render distinguished service to God, the King, and the Country, without overlooking the subjection due their immediate superior Chief the Commandant General of these Provinces, Brig. Nemecio Salcedo, or any other legitimate authority who might succeed him, whose superior orders we hold inviolate, as the sole Chief we recognize, without the misfortune of incurring the infamous charge of neglect. The delay in communicating with you in regard to these decisions is not criminal in view of the fact that all communication was intercepted and the distance that separates our country afforded us no concrete news of the whereabouts of Your Excellency. May God preserve you many years. Villa de Laredo, April 3, 1811. Juan Manuel Sambrano, President, Antonio Saerri [sic], Ignacio Pérez, Miguel de Músquiz, Luciano Garcia, Santiago Tixerina, Pedro Prieto, absent, Manuel Barrera, Juan José Sambrano, Vizente Gortari, absent, Gavino Delgado, José Antonio Saucedo, Secretary.
Recommendation of Juan Zambrano by the Bishop of Nuevo Leon
No. 6. Don Primo Feliciano Marin de Porras, by the Grace of God and of the Holy Apostolic See, Bishop of Nuevo Leon, Chaplain of Honor to H. M., Preacher and Counselor of H. M., etc. Subdeacon and Lt. Col. Juan Manuel Sambrano, native and inhabitant of the City of San Antonio de Béjar, Capital of the Province of Texas, of this our bishopric, having made application with us, in use of my right and the solicitude of his pretentions and progress and to express them in due form before H. M., and the respective Tribunals, we give the corresponding testimony, recommending him for his loyalty, zeal, activity, and force manifested and displayed in the liberalization of that Province from the rapacity and the arms of the insurgents who had taken it, sacrificing the blood of faithful royalists, sacked and oppressed with rabid fury. We must declare and do hereby declare that in addition to other services to his country, he has promoted agriculture and produced corn in quantities unknown before in that capital; introduced wheat, entirely unknown until this time; constructed mills never before seen in that country, and supplied clean flour to the troops and inhabitants at lower prices than those brought from other provinces, with notorious benefit to all of them. In this he has given new proof of his patriotism, efficaciously defeating the rebellion at its inception. The instant that he observed the animosities that stirred the numerous party of the insurrection in Saltillo, also of my bishopric, he returned to his country, Béjar, only to find the principal part of the inhabitants likewise in rebellion. To avoid suspicion he abandoned that place in company with his brothers and took refuge in one of the ranches of his hacienda where he remained until his misguided countrymen rebelled, took the government, arrested the governor, and turned over the province to another party. It was then that Sambrano, filled with patriotic zeal, returned to present himself to his country, to free them from the fear and injustice that had taken hold of them, to make them turn from the insurgents to convert them into loyal royalists. With their aid he imprisoned the intruding governor, and sent reports of what had happened to the comandancia general in Chihuahua, as well as to the Viceroy, requesting aid and support. This was a daring operation of great benefit to the interests of the King. To avoid all popular excitement in the government of that province, he continued in office for six months, releasing the Europeans and Creoles from prison where they had suffered, scrupulously restoring to them with the greatest impartiality, the property usurped by the insurgents. Shortly thereafter some of his countrymen took refuge with the Americans, whom they joined to invade that province. In fact, they formed a respectable army on the banks of the Medina River, where they were finally completely defeated by our forces. The subdeacon, Sambrano, participated in this campaign, giving encouragement to our troops by his bravery and intrepidity, until he was wounded by a ball that struck his left arm and incapacitated him from active service. If this had not happened he would have continued to display his patriotism and zeal in the service of the King, whose thanks, we believe, he deserves. In order that he may know our appreciation and make known his services wherever it may please him, we grant him the present recommendation, signed by us with the small seal of our arms, and by our Secretary of the Chamber, in the City of Monterrey, this 17th day of October, 1815. PRIMO, Bishop of Nuevo Leon. By command of his most illustrious Lordship, the Bishop, My Lord, LIC. JOSE DIAZ DE MENDIVIL, Secretary. Sealed with the seal of the arms of his most illustrious lordship.
Juan Zambrano's Petition for Position to the King of Spain
Lt. Col. Juan Manuel Sambrano, cleric, subdeacon of Nuevo Leon, and resident of the capital of Texas, humbly beseaches Your Majesty, and says that in the year 1810, when insurrection first broke out in New Spain, he, with the aid of the Almighty, kept from joining the rebels. When the greater part of the province was under the party of the execrable Hidalgo, the petitioner was in San Antonio de Bexar, where some of his countrymen and officers in the garrison had already joined the iniquitous party. There were some who wished to put him at the head of the revolution, moved, as they said, by their faith in his daring and his leadership. But the suppliant, whose ideas were different, declined the invitation, and wishing to be far from them, he retired to his hacienda in the country, twenty leagues distant from the capital. Although they repeatedly asked him to lead them, he consistently refused the request. Because of his obstinacy the perfidious captain of militia, Juan Bautista Casas seized the opportunity and put himself at the head of the discontented wretches and imprisoned the legitimate authorities. This resulted in the disorganization of the entire province. The good were placed in prison, European Spaniards and Americans alike, if they were attached to the interests of the King, and their property was confiscated as is the custom in all such revolutions. In spite of such unjust proceedings it was impossible to arrest the evil of such a blow immediately. But those miserable wretches deserve the thanks of those who remained loyal to Your Majesty to whom they gave an opportunity to prove their attachment to win thereby the confidence of the leaders in the interior of the kingdom, who joining forces, enabled the loyalists to arrest all the insurgents, as was happily done.
In Bexar there were some who through the revolt remained loyal to Your Majesty. Soon these were joined by others who, disgusted with the misconduct of affairs by Casas and his followers, longed for the reestablishment of the former legitimate government. There were likewise a few who still preferred to chose arbitrarily a leader who would pamper their irresponsible whims. These circumstances enabled the petitioner to exercise his limited talents, although the enterprise still seemed difficult, with all communications with Your Majesty's Commandant General of the Internal Provinces, Nemecio de Salcedo, cut off, as well as with Viceroy Francisco Xavier Venegas, and the other chiefs of Your Majesty's army, Divine Providence almost visible prompted him to take the steps described in the Gaceta of Mexico, of October 15, 1811. The petitioner attaches the original issue as enclosure No. 1. Although this account does not set forth all the details of the incident, it will serve to acquaint Your Majesty with the type of service rendered by him to Religion, Your Majesty, and the Country. The petitioner refrains from giving a more detailed report of his services in order not to tax Your Majesty's attention.
Four months and twenty-two days the petitioner was in command of the Province of Texas, and in this short time he had the satisfaction of returning to the loyalty of Your Majesty not only Texas, but Coahuila, Nuevo Santander and Nuevo Leon, which had been overrun by the insurgents, contributing at the same time to the arrest of Hidalgo, Allende, and the other principal leaders who started the insurrection. Order was reestablished in all four provinces and the Commandant General of the Internal Provinces placed in command of the Province of Texas Your Majesty's colonel, Simon de Herrera. At the very time the petitioner prepared to deliver the province to the new commander, news was received that a force of insurgents and Anglo-Americans were on the frontier. The said commandant, Herrera, thought the presence of the petitioner on the frontier might be advantageous. He accordingly ordered him to quiet the disturbing rumors, which the petitioner did. Governor Herrera, as well as Your Majesty"s Commandant General Nemecio de Salcedo, officially thanked the petitioner for the services rendered. The two letters are attached as enclosure No. 2.
It also seems advisable to the petitioner to present copies of two communications to Your Majesty, both by Your Majesty's Commandant General Nemecio de Salcedo ' who was kind enough to address them, one to Your Majesty's Provisional Junta of Texas, and one to the petitioner, the governor ad interim of the province at the time, attached herewith as enclosure No. 3.
For all these services, Your Majesty's Commandant General of the Internal Provinces, Nemecio de Salcedo, generously conferred on the petitioner the rank of lieutenant colonel of provincial militia of cavalry, to the great satisfaction of the recipient. Copy of this document is attached as No. 4.
After one year and four months of calm, the petitioner had to go to Nacogdoches on private business. It was at this time that a new group of bandits led by the notorious Gutiérrez were having clandestine meetings. These Spanish Americans succeeded in attracting emigrants from the United States and with the aid of the Anglo-Americans initiated a revolution and planned to attack the small force in Nacogdoches. When the commander of the post informed the petitioner his troops were without mounts, he offered the officer two hundred horses and forty mules, a service which was of great importance at the time. The offer was accepted. The petitioner also tendered his services and those of thirty servants who were in his company. But in spite of the measures taken by the commander, the insurgents beguiled the people and the garrison of Nacogdoches, placing the petitioner and the remaining loyal subjects in great peril of their lives. In the ensuing escape and retreat to Bexar there were only fifteen of the petitioner's servants, the commander Bernardino Monteros, and two officers. The governor of the province, Manuel de Salcedo, was good enough to thank the petitioner formally. Copy of this document is included as enclosure No. 5.
Subsequently the insurgent Gutiérrez with his division of Spaniards and Anglo-Americans, entered and took possession of the Province of Texas. The petitioner was obliged to flee and make his way on foot, with incredible hardships, in company of four brothers, across a desert of more than eighty leagues until he joined the division of Joaquin de Arredondo, Your Majesty's Commandant General of the Internal Provinces of the East, who accepted his services. When the infamous Toledo met the royal forces in the battle that took place on the Medina River, Your Majesty's arms obtained a brilliant victory over the canaille. The petitioner had the misfortune of being struck by a gunshot that broke his left arm as proved by the two certificates attached as enclosure No. 6.
Your Majesty's arms had the honor of recovering the Province of Texas, but the petitioner had the misfortune not only of losing the use of his left arm, but of all his.property from which he received a competence that enabled him to live in modest circumstances without having to appeal to Your Majesty and satisfied with the honor of the appointment to the rank of lieutenant colonel. But as enclosure No. 7 shows, he finds himself in a deplorable condition which obliges him to appeal to the generosity of Your Majesty in soliciting appointment to a cannonship in the Holy Church of Mexico, a grace to which he hopes his services herein detailed may entitle him. If this be not possible the petitioner humbly implores the assignment of a captain's salary which will enable him to live comfortably during such years as God Our Lord may in His mercy grant him. All of this is humbly presented to Your Majesty through the Captaincy General, actually governed by H. E. the Viceroy, Felix Maria Calleja, an eye witness of the services rendered by the petitioner. May God preserve the important life of Your Majesty many years. Mexico, May 31, 1816. JUAN MANUEL SAMBRANO.
Sambrano was showered with thanks for his services. Even in 1812, Governor Manuel Salcedo. thanked him for the aid contributed in men and in beasts of burden for the frontier garrison on the Loma del Fuerte. In July, 1815, Second Alcalde José Antonio de la Garza certified to his loss of many animals, farms, etc., and explained how he had been reduced to poverty. Arredondo certified that Sambrano had been forced to flee to Coahuila when the second revolution broke out, and declared he had him in Laredo with his three brothers. He verified the statement that he had been wounded in the battle of Medina, while serving in the royalist army. In May, 1816, Sambrano went to Mexico City to solicit the assignment of a captain's salary, while he waited for a royal decision in regard to his petition. He was obliged to sell his gun and pistols for living expenses while waiting, and he admits he had little cash left. After a long wait his faith and patience were rewarded and he finally received his appointment as cannon of the Cathedral of Mexico.
OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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