Category: HISTORY NUGGETS

History Nugget #19: October 2019

UNANIMOUS
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
BY THE
DELEGATES OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS,
IN GENERAL CONVENTION,
AT THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON,
ON THE SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1836

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted; and so far from being a guarantee for their inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression. When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted Federative Republic, composed of Sovereign States, to a consolidated Central Military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836” History Now, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-now/spotlight-primary-source/texas-declaration-independence-1836, Accessed Oct. 26, 2019.

History Nugget #18: September 2019

Colonization Law State of Coahuila and Texas 1825

Article 1. All Foreigners, who in virtue of the general law, of the 18th August, 1824, which guarantees the security or their persons and property, in the territory of the Mexican Nation, wish to remove to any of the settlements of the state of Coahuila and Texas, are at liberty to do so; and the said State invites and calls them.

Article 2. Those who do so, instead of being incommoded, shall be admitted by the local authorities of said settlements, who shall freely permit them to pursue any branch, of industry that they may think proper, provided they respect the general laws of the nation, and those of the state.

Article 3. Any foreigner, already in the limits of the state or Coahuila and Texas who wishes to settle himself in it, shall make a declaration to that effect, before the Ayuntamiento of the place, which he selects as his residence; the Ayuntamiento in such case, shall administer to him the oath which he must take to obey the federal and state constitutions, and to observe the religion which the former prescribes; the name of the person, and his family if he has any, shall then be registered in a book kept for that purpose, with a statement of where he was born, and whence from, his age, whether married, occupation, and that he has taken the oath prescribed, and considering him from that time and not before, as domiciled.

Article 4. From the day in which any foreigner has been enrolled, as an inhabitant, in conformity with the foregoing article, he is at liberty to designate any vacant land, and the respective political authority will grant it to him in the same manner, as to a native of the country, in conformity with the existing laws of the nation, under the condition that the proceedings, shall be passed to the government for its approbation.

Article 5. Foreigners of any nation, or a native of any of the Mexican states, can project the formation of any towns on any lands entirely vacant, or even on those of an individual, in the case mentioned in 35th article; but the now settlers who present themselves for admission, must prove their Christianity, morality and good habits, by a certificate from the authorities where they formerly resided.

Article 6. Foreigners who emigrate at the time in which the general sovereign congress may have prohibited their entrance, for the purpose of colonizing, as they have the power to do, after the year 1840, or previous to that time, as respects those of any particular nation, shall not then be admitted; and those who apply in proper time, shall always subject themselves to such precautionary measures (if national security, which the supreme government, without prejudicing the object of this law, may think proper to adopt relative to them.

Source:

McKeehan, Wallace L. Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas, 2015, Coahuila y Texas Index, Colonization Laws: http://www.sonsofdewittcolony.org/cololaws.htm#coahuila

History Nugget #17: September 2019

Emperor Agustin’s Colonization Law Decree of 1823: Articles 1-4

Article 1. The government of the Mexican nation will protect the liberty, property, and civil rights of all foreigners, who profess the Roman Catholic apostolic religion, the established religion or the empire.
Article 2. To facilitate their establishment, the executive will distribute lands to them, under the conditions and terms herein expressed.
Article 3. The empresarios, by whom is understood those who introduce at least two hundred families, shall previously contract with the executive, and inform it what branch of industry they propose to follow, the property or resources they intend to introduce For that purpose; and any other particulars they may deem necessary, in order that with this necessary information, the executive may designate the province to which they must direct themselves; the lands which they can occupy with the right of property, and the other circumstances which may be considered necessary.
Article 4. Families who emigrate, not included in a contract, shall immediately present themselves to the Ayuntamiento of the place where they wish to settle, in order that this body, in conformity with the instructions of the executive, may designate the lands corresponding to them, agreeably to the industry which they may establish.

Source:

McKeehan, Wallace L. Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas, 2015, Coahuila y Texas Index, Colonization Laws: http://www.sonsofdewittcolony.org/cololaws.htm

History Nugget #16: August 2019

“It would be an idle waste of time to set about refuting the various attacks which have been circulated against me; they are framed in terms well calculated to reflect disgrace upon their authors”: they seem to be inspired by the furies; they breathe only of vengeance and of blood;—and those who wrote them, having been actuated only by the basest passions- were incapable of reflecting on the inconsistencies with which they abound. Unhappy beings! their vituperation is my eulogy. Where has been the man of virtue who has laboured for the welfare of his country, and who has not been persecuted by envious enemies?”

Agustin de Iturbide, The Memoirs of Agustin De Iturbide: Chiefly Concerning The Late Revolution In Mexico, (London: John Murray, 1824), pp 2- 3.

History Nugget #15: August 2019

“the evils I have caused America, now that the dream has been removed from my eyes and my penitence has left me prostrate in bed: from here I can see, far off, the gallows upon which I shall be executed, and with each moment I breathe out pieces of my soul and feel that, before I die once and for all, I shall die a thousand times of shame for my excesses.”

Father Miguel Hidalgo at his trial.

Henderson, Timothy J. The Mexican Wars for Independence. New York: Hill and Wang, 2009, p. 104.

History Nugget #13: June 2019

“Something was said which drew from General Taylor the expression of views which greatly surprised me. They were to the effect that California and Oregon were too distant to become members of the Union, and it would be better for them to be an independent government. He said that our people would inhabit them and repeated that it would be better for them to form an independent government for themselves. These are alarming opinions to be entertained by the President of the United States.”

An excerpt from James K. Polk’s diary entry of Monday, March 5, 1849. Polk is relating a conversation between himself, President Zachary Taylor, W.W. Seaton (the Mayor of Washington D.C.), and Robert Winthrop (former Speaker of the House of Representatives) conducted during a carriage ride after Taylor’s inauguration.

Nevins, Allan (ed). Polk: The Diary of a President 1845-1849. New York: Capricorn Books, 1968. p 389.

History Nugget #12: April 2019

“The drama, indeed the tragedy, of history comes from our understanding of the tension that existed between the conscience wills and intentions of the participants in the past and the underlying conditions that constrained their actions and shaped their future.”

Wood, Gordon S. The Purpose of The Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008).p.11

History Nugget #11: April 2019

“Rather than trying to understand the past on its own terms, these historians want the past to be immediately relevant and useful; they want to use history to empower people in the present, to help them develop self-identity, or to enable them to break free of that past.”

“In their well-intentioned but often crude efforts to make the past immediately usable, these scholars undermine the integrity and the pastness of the past.”

Gordon S. Wood on many cultural historians from:

Wood, Gordon S. The Purpose of The Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008).p8