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October 26, 2007

Last-Ditch Diplomacy Before the Texas Revolution

192. MEXICO (Republic). LAWS (May 23, 1835). [Decree of the Congreso general, approved by Miguel Barragán, President ad interim, on May 23, 1835, and promulgated the same day by José Maria Gutierrez de Estrada, continuing Santa-Anna’s decree of December 2, 1834, regarding the restoration of order in Coahuila and Texas]. [Signed and dated in type at end] México Mayo 23 de 1835. Gutierrez Estrada. [Mexico, 1835]. 4 pp. folder printed on p. 1, laid paper with watermark “Guise. Testa 1832 | Al Masso.” Folio (30 x 35 cm). Very fine. Preserved in chemise and black morocco and red cloth slipcase.

            First edition. Eberstadt, Texas 162:369: “The strife between Monclova and Leona Vicario still smoldered, and this evidently was Santa Anna’s way of telling them he had quelled it, and that was that!” Streeter 834 (locating copies at Yale, his own copy, and AGE at San Luis Potosí). Harper (Texas, Mexico, and the Southwest: Catalogue 12 83) lists the Federal District issue. At times some of the decrees in Streeter seem somewhat obscure and more related to local brouhahas farther south than Austin’s Texas colonies. In the case of the present decree, this is certainly not so. Some indication of the impact of this decree may be inferred by Stephen F. Austin’s discussion of the decree, in a letter he wrote to Thomas F. McKinney from prison in Mexico City, on December 2, 1834 (Austin Papers, Vol. III, pp. 30-31):

Don Ramos Arispe and D. Victor Blanco visited me this day and informed me that the difficulties between Monclova and Saltillo had been terminated by the decission [sic] of the President Genl. Santana to whom the subject was referred by the treaty between the contending parties. By this decision of the President the seat of Government of the States is to remain at Monclova in conformity with the law fixing it there.... A new election is to be ordered for the whole state.... I am informed that the President considered this last clause to be necessary for a final and amicable termination of this entangled business, by refering [sic] it directly to the source and original of power, the people so as to give a voice to the department of Saltillo which it had not in the September election.

The object of the President is to terminate all the local disputes and give to every part of the State an unembarased [sic] voice in the election of all the public functionaries. This is certainly a most important and desirable object, and the means which have been adopted to attain it are probably the best if not the only ones that the confused State of the circumstances will admit.

Under this view I recommend that the people of Texas unanimously sustain the decission [sic] of the President and proceed without any hesitation or doubt to hold new elections in conformity with the orders that are to be circulated.... It will be an honourable evidence of the disposition of those people to promote harmony and union with the other parts of the state....

I wish you to show this letter to my friends and make use of it as you think best for the attainment of the object which is harmony and union between all parts of the State and union in sustaining the measures of the President as to the new elections.


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $293.75

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