Category: HISTORY NUGGETS

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

History Nugget #10: March 2019

“Remember the days of old,

consider the years long past;

ask your father, and he will inform you;

your elders, and they will tell you.”

 

Deuteronomy 32:7 NRSV

History Nugget #9: March 2019

“The omission of such events as the Mexican War from the American consciousness does history injustice.”

“The cost in American lives was staggering. Of the 104,556 men who served in the army, both regulars and volunteers, 13,768 men died, the highest death rate of any war in our history. The period between 1844 and 1848 was a significant time, not something to be regulated to the attic of memory.”

Eisenhower, John S.D. So Far From God: The U.S. War With Mexico 1846- 1848. (New York: Random House, 1989). p. xviii

History Nugget #8: February 2019

“Nor were they just like we are. Their present was part of a different time, and because of that, they were different from us. We have to take into consideration, for example, all they had to contend with that we don’t even have to think about- all the inconveniences, discomforts, and fears. And the hard, hard work.”

McCullough, David. The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017). p. 87.