SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
� 1997-2000, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
DeWitt Colony Government-Index
Official Documents, Laws, Decrees, and Regulations Pertaining to Austin's Colonies
Most of these translations from the original Spanish apparently first appeared in the unpublished manuscript of History of the Island and the City of Galveston by Charles W. Hayes in 1879 and then under a compilation by Guy M. Bryan in Wooten's A Comprehensive History of Texas in 1898.
From its inception until the Gonzales Ayuntamiento was established in 1832, the DeWitt Colony was the District of Gonzales under the jurisdiction of the San Felipe de Austin Ayuntamiento with a temporary alcalde and representatives appointed by Jefe-Politico Saucedo. The following communications, decrees and regulations directed to the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin applied to the DeWitt Colony and are those under which it operated. Most of the documents below were translated from the Spanish originals.
|Arredondo/Martinez to M. Austin Feb 1821
Martinez to S. F. Austin (3) Aug 1821
After Mexican Independence Aug 1821
Decree Congress/Executive Apr 1823
Bastrop's Commission Jul 1823
for San Felipe de Austin Jul 1823
Bastrop to Provisional Alcalde Aug 1823
Instructions Saucedo to Austin Jun 1824
Civil Regulations Jan 1824
Criminal Regulations Jan 1824
Instructions on Land Titles May 1827
Last Days of New Spain
OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION FROM DON ANTONIO MARTINEZ, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS TO MOSES AUSTIN 8 Feb 1821
Under date of the 17th January, last past, the commandant-general and superior political chief of the eastern internal provinces writes to me as follows:
Having thought proper to hear the most excellent provincial deputations on the representations which your lordship (usia) directed to me with your official letter No. 1110 of the 26th December last, I have just received its resolution, to which I have conformed; it is of the following tenor:
It will be very expedient to grant the permission solicited by Moses Austin, that the three hundred families, which he says are desirous to do so, should remove and settle in the province of Texas, but under the conditions indicated in his petition on the subject, presented to the governor of that province, and which your lordship (usia) transmitted to this deputation with your official letter of the 16th instant- Therefore, if to the first and principal requisite of being Catholics, or agreeing to become so, before entering the Spanish territory, they also add that of accrediting their good character and habits, as is offered in said petition, and taking the necessary oath to be obedient in all things to the government, to take up arms in its defence against all kinds of enemies, and to be faithful to the king, and to observe the political Constitution of the Spanish monarchy, the most flattering hopes may be formed that the said province will receive an important augmentation in agriculture, industry, and arts by the new emigrants, who will introduce them; which is all this deputation have to say in reply to your lordships aforementioned official letter.
And I transcribe it to your lordship for your information and corresponding effects, that you may cause the interested person to be informed thereof, by means of a person of your confidence, who you will despatch with an express; and you will at the same time send in by said express some copies of the decree, which I transmitted under date of yesterday, granting a pardon and amnesty to the Spanish refugees who are on the frontier, in order that they may be restored to the bosom of their country.-God preserve your lordship many years. -Monterey, 17th January, 1821-Joaquin de Arredondo.-To the Governor of the Province of Texas.
All of which I transcribe to you for your information and satisfaction, in answer to your petition, for which purpose and in order to inform you of the deliberations of the most excellent reputation of these provinces, I have despatched with this a person of my confidence, who is citizen Don Erasmo Seguin; and, after having arranged for the removal of said families, which you have contracted with me, it will be important for you to direct that, when said families come on, information shall be immediately given of the time of their arrival and the place where they have stopped in this territory; and that you then come on in company with my said commissioner, in order that we may agree as to the place or places where they may wish to establish themselves, so that I may go on there and delineate the town and apportion out the lands, agreeably to the families and species of agriculture they intend to establish, and also to receive from them the before-mentioned oath, in order that they may be from that time considered as members united to the Spanish nation, and enter upon the enjoyment of the benefits which it extends and concedes to its citizens and to Spaniards.
I also expect, from the prudence which your deportment demonstrates, and for your own prosperity and tranquillity, that all the families you introduce shall be honest and industrious, in order that idleness and vice may not pervert the good and meritorious who are worthy of Spanish esteem and of the protection of this government, which will be extended to them in proportion to the moral virtue displayed by each individual. I also inform you, in order that you may communicate it to those who intend to emigrate, that the supreme Spanish government has just opened the port of the Bay of San Bernard for navigation and for introduction into this province, which measure will doubtless be very advantageous to all, and particularly to the new settlers. God preserve you many years. ANTONIO MARTINEZ, Governor. To MR. MOSES AUSTIN, of the New Establishment. BEXAR, 8th February, 1821.
OFFICIAL LETTER FROM GOVERNOR MARTINEZ TO S. F. AUSTIN 14 Aug 1821
Inasmuch as the supreme government of this kingdom granted to your deceased father, Mr. Moses Austin, a permission to introduce three hundred Louisiana families who through him solicited to establish a new settlement in this province under my command, and that in consequence of the death of your father you have come to this capital charged by him with said commission for the benefit of said families: I have to say to you that you can immediately proceed to the river Colorado, and examine the land on its margins which may be best suited for the location of the before-mentioned families, informing me of the place which you may have selected, in order that on the arrival of said families a competent commissioner may be sent to divide out and distribute the lands; and inasmuch as they are permitted to transport their property by land or by sea, it must be landed in the Bay of San Bernard, where a new port has been opened by the superior government; for which purpose, and in consequence of the favorable information which this government has received of you, and in order to facilitate the transportation of property, I grant you permission to sound the river Colorado from the point where the new settlement may be established to its mouth, without extending the sounding any farther; of all of which you will form as correct a map as circumstances will permit, which you will transmit to me.
I have also to apprise you, for the information of the said new settlers, that all provisions for their own use, farming utensils and tools, can be introduced free of duty or charge, but all merchandise for commerce must pay the established duties. Inasmuch as the tranquillity of this province under my command, and even the individual interest of the said families, requires that the emigration which has been granted should be composed of honest, virtuous, tranquil, and industrious persons as your deceased father offered to this government: I expect that you will devote the greatest care and attention to this interesting point, and reject all those who do not possess the qualifications above indicated, or who appear to be idle, unsteady, or turbulent; for you as their head will be responsible to the government for the whole of them, and you will be required to present documents of recommendation for each one of them, all of which I communicate to you for your government. God preserve you many years. ANTONIO MARTINEZ, Governor of Texas. BEXAR, August 14,1821.
GOVERNOR MARTINEZ TO STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 19 Aug 1821
Having seen your representation to this government, and finding it to be conformable with its ideas, I have to inform you that, although I shall render an account of it to the supreme government for its deliberation, still not doubting it will be approved of, you can immediately offer to the new settlers the same terms as contained in your proposals, assuring you that should the superior government make any small variation, I will in due time communicate it to you; with which I answer your aforementioned representation. God preserve you many years. ANTONIO MARTINEZ 19th August, 1821.
MARTINEZ TO S. F. AUSTIN 24 Aug 1821
For the better regulation of the Louisiana families who are to emigrate, and whilst the new settlement is forming, you will cause them all to understand that until the government organizes the authority which has to govern them and administer justice, they must be governed by and be subordinate to you; for which purpose I authorize you, as their representative and relying on your faithful discharge of the duty. You will inform me of whatever may occur, in order that such measures may be adopted as may be necessary. God preserve you many years. ANTONIO MARTINEZ. BEXAR, 24th August, 1821.
After Mexican Independence
The junta Nacional Instituyente of the Mexican empire, being convinced by the urgent recommendations of the government of the necessity and importance of giving to the empire a general law of colonization, have thought proper to decree as follows:
Then follows the imperial colonization law of January 4, 1823, which was afterwards repealed, but under which the decree of the emperor of February 18, 1823, was passed in favor of Stephen F. Austin, settling his first three hundred families. After the passage of the colonization law by the junta instituyente, the memorial which Austin presented to Congress, soon after his arrival in Mexico, was referred to the imperial Council of State, together with all the documents on the subject, who gave their opinion or advice on which the decree of the emperor was issued. It is not considered important to translate the whole of said opinion, for its substance is copied in the emperors decree. The first part of said decree is as follows:
The Council of State, in session on the 14th of January, 1823, has examined the documents relative to the establishment of three hundred Louisiana families in the province of Texas by Don Stephen F. Austin. His memorial on the subject embraces various points; the first is, that the government confirm to the emigrants the quantity of land promised by him to the settlers, and that the limits of the establishment should be fixed as petitioned for in his memorial. The Council are of opinion that Austin was not sufficiently authorized to stipulate with the emigrants the quantity of land which they should receive in the new settlement; and consequently that they are subject to the regulations of the government, agreeably to the law on that point; and, besides, the tenth article of the colonization law prescribes that all matters on this subject which might be pending, although they may have been commenced under the former government, shall be regulated by that law; and the eighth article of said law prescribes, etc. (Here the Council states the substance of the eighth and ninth articles of the said law, and advises the emperor to order the distribution of land to the settlers in conformity thereto)
As regards the limits of the colony, the Council says:
With respect to the demarcation of the limits for the new establishment, described by Austin in his memorial, the Council are of opinion that it need not be granted, because there is not sufficient data to ascertain the extent of territory embraced by said limits, and also because there is no motive or necessity for such demarcation, for the colony will, of course, be composed of the lands granted in full property to the colonists. Having rendered an account to his Majesty of the subject on which the Council has given the foregoing opinion, he has thought proper to resolve in conformity therewith; and consequently declares, in the first place, that Austin was not sufficiently authorized to stipulate with the emigrants what quantity of land they should receive in the new settlement, and therefore they are subject to the regulations of the government, agreeably to the law on that point; and consequently in virtue of said law, there shall be granted to each head of a family one labor or one league, agreeably to the occupation which he may profess, offering to augment the quantity of land for all those who may have a numerous family, or who may merit such augmentation by the establishment of a new species of industry, or by the perfection of those already known, or by other circumstances which may be useful to the province, or to the empire; it being understood that to the colonist who, besides farming, also dedicates himself to raising stock, there may be granted a league and a labor, in conformity with the eighth article of said law. As respects the designation of boundaries for the new settlement, with the limits described by Austin in his memorial, it is declared to be inadmissible for the reasons given by the Council.
In the second place, Austin is authorized, in union with the governor of Texas, or a commissioner appointed by the latter, to proceed to divide and designate land, and put each of the new colonists in possession of the quantity above indicated, and issue to them the titles in the name of the government. A certified copy of which shall be transmitted to the governor for the purpose connected with the subject.
In the third place, all the families over and above the said three hundred, who come to settle in Texas, must establish themselves in the interior of the province, adjacent to the ancient settlements, in the manner prescribed by the colonization law.
In the fourth place, and in conformity with the said colonization law, there is granted to Austin, for the expenses which he has been at, a quantity of land in proportion to his families, agreeably to the provisions of the nineteenth article of said law, and under the conditions contained in said article.
In the fifth place, Austin is authorized to proceed, in conformity with said law, to form a town with the families who have emigrated, or may emigrate, to the number of three hundred of the permission, at the most suitable place in the section of country which they at present occupy, taking care that it shall be as central as possible to the lands distributed to the colonists, who must accredit that they are Roman Apostolic Catholics, and of steady habits. It being understood that the governor of Texas, or his commissioner, in union with Austin, can designate the place and measure out the land for the establishment of said town, selling the building lots at the price to be regulated by appraisers; the other particulars embraced under this head, which were petitioned for by Austin, are granted. The governor of Texas is required to give information of whatever may be necessary for the regulation of the government of said town, and that both it and any others that are founded may be furnished with spiritual pastors.
As regards the citizenship which Austin solicits, he is notified to apply to the junta Nacional Instituyente, whose province it is to grant it.
And, finally, he is authorized to organize the colonists into a body of national militia to preserve tranquillity, rendering an account of all to the governor of Texas, and acting under his orders and those of the captain-general of the province; also, until the government of the settlement is organized, he is charged with the administration of justice, settling all differences which may arise among the inhabitants, and preserving good order and tranquillity, rendering an account to the government of any remarkable event that may occur. ANDRES QUINTANA. Mexico, February 18, 1823.
Copy of the fifth article of the memorial of Stephen F. Austin relative to colonization in the province of Texas, which was granted in the manner stated in the foregoing decree:
That authority be granted him to found one or more towns at such points as he may deem proper within the limits designated, and to take for himself and family sufficient lots for their uses, and with power to grant lots to useful mechanics, gratis; but that all others should pay for them at the price the government may think proper to establish; the proceeds of which shall be applied to the building of a church and other establishments of public utility. I certify the above to be a copy from the original. MIGUEL RIESGO, Official Prim�ro. Mexico, 18th February, 1823.
DECREE OF THE SOVEREIGN CONGRESS. 11 Apr 1823
MOST EXCELLENT SIR---Having seen the reasons which the Empresario S. F. Austin has given in his last representation, praying that the concession made to him by the late government for the establishment of three hundred families in Texas, should be confirmed, the Sovereign Constituent Congress have thought proper to resolve that the said petition should be transmitted to the executive, in order that should it have no objections, it may grant this petition and any others of the same kind; also the Sovereign Congress have determined that hereafter the colonization law passed by the Junta instituyente shall be suspended until a new resolution on the subject. And by order of the Sovereign Congress we communicate this to your Excellency, accompanied by the said petition. God preserve your Excellency many years. FLORENTINO MARTINEZ, Member and Secretary. JOS� MAR�A SANCHEZ, Member and Secretary. TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR RELATIONS. Mexico, 11th April, 1823.
DECREE OF THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE POWER.
Having seen the new representation of Stephen F. Austin, praying for a confirmation of the concession granted to him by the late government by its decree of the 18th February last, relative to colonization in the province of Texas, and finding it to be in conformity with the, law, passed on the subject, by the Junta Nacional Instituyente, the Supreme Executive Power have thought proper to confirm the said concession, and order that the corresponding title should be given to the interested person, and that this resolution should be communicated to the commandant-general of the internal provinces, and to the governor of the province of Texas, for their information and the corresponding effects. JOS� IGNACIO GARCIA ILLUECEA, Minister of Relations.
COMMISSION OF THE BARON DE BASTROP SAN FERNANDO DE BEXAR, 16 Jul 1823
Inasmuch as the more important attentions of government prevent my executing in person the various duties connected with the colonial establishment forming by Stephen F. Austin, and using the power granted to me by the laws, and in obedience of the decree of the commandant-general of these provinces, Brigadier Don Felipe de la Garza, dated 16th June last past: I have thought proper to appoint, and by these presents do appoint, the second alcalde of this city, the Baron de Bastrop, commissioner, giving him all legal powers to proceed to the district of the Colorado and the Brazos, to organize that establishment in conformity with the decrees on the subject, and such instructions as I may communicate; a certified copy of which is hereby delivered to him, in order that in continuation he may proceed to discharge the duties which may be necessary, transmitting a statement of his proceedings, when they are finished, to this government for the purpose which may be necessary. Thus, I, Luciano Garcia, Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry of New Santandar and Governor pro tem of this Province, order and command, signing the present with assenting witnesses for the want of a notary public, as the law requires; to which I give faith. LUCIANO GARCIA. Assisting witnesses JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO. ILARIO DE LA GARZA.
OFFICIAL LETTER FROM GOVERNOR GARCIA TO S. F. AUSTIN ON BARON DE BASTROP 26 Jul 1823
As the more important attentions of the governor prevent my going on personally to organize the colonial establishment forming by you in this province, I have thought proper to commission with all necessary powers the second alcalde of this city, Baron de Bastrop, who has been selected on account of his well-known and superior qualifications, in order that in conformity with the decrees on the subject, and the colonization law, copies of all of which I have delivered to him, and also in conformity with such instructions as may in future be communicated to him, he shall proceed to organize said establishment which I communicate to you for your information, in order that in accord with the said commissioner you may appoint a day for your departure from this place, and inform me thereof, that I may have the escort ready to accompany you. God and Liberty. LUCIANO GARCIA. BEXAR, 26th July, 1823.
OFFICIAL LETTER FROM GOVERNOR GARCIA TO THE COMMISSIONER BASTROP, NAMING THE TOWN OF SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN 26 Jul 1823
Under date of the 22d instant, I reported to the commandant-general of these provinces as follows:
In virtue of your official communication of the 16th ult., transmitting to me the documents relative to the colonial establishment forming in this province by Don Stephen F. Austin of three hundred families, the receipt of which I acknowledged by my letter of the 9th instant, I have commissioned the second alcalde of this city, Baron de Bastrop, on account of his geographical knowledge, and his understanding the English language, to proceed to the organization of said establishment, in conformity with the aforementioned documents on the subject, and with such instructions as it may hereafter be necessary to give him; and also to lay out the town and survey the lands for lots, farms, and stock-farms. The name which I have given to the town, but subject to your determination, is San Felipe de Austin, and for its greater formality, should you deem it necessary, I wish the corresponding approval transmitted to me, in order that the commissioner may proceed to execute what may be necessary.
Which I transcribe to you for your information, accompanied with a copy of the colonization law, in order that in the discharge of your commission you will be governed by it, and by the decrees which I have already communicated to you, as also by such instructions as maybe necessary to give. You will therefore, inform me of the day fixed for your departure, in order that the escort of soldiers, who are to accompany you, may be ready. God and Liberty. LUCIANO GARCIA. BEXAR, 26th July, 1823.
OFFICIAL LETTER OF COMMISSIONER BASTROP TO JAMES CUMMINGS, PROVISIONAL ALCALDE ON THE COLORADO 5 Aug 1823
The governor pro tem of this province, Lieutenant Colonel Don Luciano Garcia, under date of the 16th of the last month, says to me as follows: The commandant-general of these provinces, Brigadier Don Felipe de la Garza, under date of the 16th June last past, says to me as follows :
I transmit to you the documents relative to the colonial establishment which Don Stephen F. Austin is permitted to form in that province in order that, on your part, you give due compliance to the decree of the late government, dated 18th February last past, resanctioned by the present government, on the 14th April, and by me under this date. You will use all possible efforts to complete the organization of said establishment, charging the commissioner, who may be appointed by you, to be expeditious in concluding his duties, and that he make frequent reports of his progress in order that you may do the same to me, and on its conclusion you will inform me thereof.
And I transcribe it to you for your information, and that in virtue of the commission which I have conferred upon you by my decree of this date, you will proceed, in company with said Austin, to organize the colonial establishment which the government has granted to him in this province for three hundred Louisiana families. You will be governed in all things by the decrees and orders contained in the certified copy of them, which I have delivered to you, and by such other instructions as it may be necessary to communicate to you. Until said establishment is organized and ayuntamientos are established at the places where they may be necessary, the said Stephen F. Austin is authorized by the government to administer justice in that district, and to form a regiment of national militia, over which for the present he must be chief, with the rank of lieutenant colonel: all of which you will make known to the inhabitants of said district, in order that they may recognize the said Austin, invested with said powers, and obey whatever he may order relative to the public service of the country, the preservation of good order, and the defence of the nation to which they belong.
And I transcribe it to you for your information and strict compliance on your part; notifying you that on Saturday, the 9th instant, you will collect as many of the inhabitants of the district under your charge as you can at the house of Sylvanus Castleman, that I may communicate to them the superior orders with which I am charged, and that said Don Stephen F. Austin may be recognized by the civil and military authorities dependent on him and by the new colonists who are under his charge. God preserve you many years. EL BARON DE BASTROP. At Castlemans, August 5, 1823.
OFFICIAL LETTER FROM JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO, POLITICAL CHIEF OF TEXAS, TO AUSTIN 23 Jun 1824
Under this date, I have transmitted to the alcaldes of the Colorado and Brazos the following order
The Baron de Bastrop, the commissioner of this government, proceeds to that district to put the inhabitants established in it in possession of their lands, agreeable to law, and to issue to them the corresponding titles for their security, so soon as they pay the fees established by the fee-bill, which I circulated when I was at that point; which I communicate to you for your information, and in order that there may be no delay in the organization of that establishment, you will notify all the inhabitants who wish to settle in it that they must positively assemble on that day, and at the place fixed by said commissioner, to put, them in possession of their lands and issue the titles therefor. And you will make the corresponding report of the receipt and execution of this order. Which I communicate to you for your information and necessary purposes. God and Liberty. JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO. SAN FERNANDO DE BEXAR, 23d June, 1824.
SAUCEDO TO AUSTIN 22 Jun 1824
The great scarcity of public funds under which this province is suffering, and the urgent necessities at this time felt by its representative bodies, has compelled the Baron de Bastrop, sixth member of the most excellent deputation, to undertake the fatiguing journey to that place to collect as much as possible of the fees belonging to the nation, agreeably to the fee-bill, which I left with you, on the lands granted to those inhabitants, and also for the purpose of issuing the titles to them, as the commissioner of this government, in union with yourself. You will in both cases use every possible exertion to carry these measures into due effect, for thus the good of the country requires. God and Liberty. JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO. SAN FERNANDO DE BEXAR, 22d June, 1824.
SAUCEDO TO AUSTIN, RELATIVE TO STAMP-PAPER 22 Jun 1824
I send you a copy of the law relative to stamp-paper, in order that in conformity therewith those inhabitants may make out their petitions for lands on the corresponding stamp, and that the titles may be issued to them on the stamp prescribed by law. And, as there is not a sufficiency of stamps in the depot of this city, I authorize you to stamp as much common paper as may be necessary for those inhabitants, doing it by means of a line at the top of each sheet, with these expressions: Sello 3-0, 4rrs. Habilitado por la Nacion Mexicana para el a�o de 1824, Austin (third-class seal, four bits. Stamped by the Mexican nation for the year 1824, Austin), signing it with your surname only. After which the interested person shall take the same paper to the alcalde of the district, who, as the provincial collector of revenue, shall collect its value, and put on the margin of each sheet the following expression: Pago el inferesado en este jusgado de mi cargo los cualro reales imporle del Sello anterior. (The interested person has paid into this office, under my charge, four bits, the value of the above stamp) Date, and signature of the alcalde. The same will be observed with regard to stamps of the other classes. To avoid mistakes you must keep a circumstantial account of the paper stamped by you, and the alcalde will in like manner keep an account of the amount collected by him, and each one will make a return thereof to the government at the end of the year, without, however, delaying to remit the proceeds as soon as possible by a safe opportunity that may present. God and Libertv. JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO. SAN FERNANDO DE BEXAR, 22d June, 1824.
APPOINTMENT OF GASPAR FLORES AS COMMISSIONER IN THE PLACE OF BARON DE BASTROP 19 Mar 1827
(His Excellency, the lieutenant-governor of this state, under date of 7th February last past, says to me as follows:
It being impossible for Don Felipe Henrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, the former commissioner of the first colony of the empresario, Citizen Stephen F. Austin, to leave this capital to conclude the unfinished business of said colony, as well on account of his station as a member of the legislature, as also because he is dangerously ill, I have thought proper to determine, in consequence of your official representation No. 11 of the 6th January last past, and with the consent of said Bastrop, to authorize Citizen Gaspar Flores, who has been commissioned by the government for the second colony of said empresario, to complete the business which may be unfinished in the said first colony, which you will communicate to said Citizen Gaspar Flores for his information and corresponding effects. And I transmit it to you for the purposes indicated. God and Liberty. JOS� ANTONIO SAUCEDO, Chief of Department. To CITIZEN GASPAR FLORES. NACOGDOCHES, 19th March, 1827.
ORDER RELATIVE TO THE REGISTER OF
TITLES AND DOCUMENTS 31 May 1827
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE OF COAHUILA AND TEXAS
Under this date I have issued the following order to Citizen Gaspar Flores, commissioner of that colony:
Having considered the official representation, dated 5th ultimo, directed to me by Citizen Stephen F. Austin, empresario of Austins colony in that department, relative to the mode of preventing the original documents of his first colony from being lost or destroyed by the lapse of time, I have thought proper to approve of it, and in consequence order that the following articles shall be observed on the subject, which are in addition to the instructions heretofore given to you.
ARTICLE I. -In order to preserve and perpetuate the documents appertaining to the first enterprise of colonization of the empresario, Citizen Stephen F. Austin, in Texas, established in virtue of the supreme decree of the Mexican government dated 18th February, 1823, of which you are appointed commissioner in place of the former commissioner, Baron de Bastrop, all the said documents shall be transcribed, together with the decrees of the government on the subject, and the titles issued in virtue of them to individuals and to said empresario, accompanied with a plot of each tract of land and of the town of San Felipe de Austin, in a large book, well bound and destined for that object.
ART. 2. -At the top of the first page of said book the following words shall be written: Register of the documents and titles, issued in the first enterprise of colonization, of the empresario, Citizen Stephen F. Austin, in Texas which shall be signed by the commissioner, empresario, and alcalde of the town, with assistant witnesses.
ART. 3-At the end of each document and title the following words shall be put: The foregoing instrument of writing is literally copied from its original, which is on file in the archives of this colony. Date and signature of the commissioner, empresario, and alcalde, with assistant witnesses.
ART. 4. -At the end of the register of the whole the following words shall be put: The foregoing register, composed of pages, contains literal and exact copies of all the documents and titles filed in the archives of the first colony of the empresario, Citizen Stephen F. Austin, established in Texas, in virtue of the colonization law of the 4th of January, 1823, and the decree of the supreme government of the Mexican nation of the 18th of February, confirmed by those of the Sovereign Constituent Congress and Supreme Executive Power, dated the 11th and I4th of April of said year 1823, which are copied in this book, and compared with their originals by the commissioner, Gaspar Flores, empresario, Citizen Stephen F. Austin, and the alcalde of this town, in compliance with the instructions of his Excellency, the governor of the state of Coahuila and Texas, dated the 31st of May 1827, for the purpose of preserving and perpetuating said documents in the archives of said colony in a secure form, in order that they may at all times have the-same value and legality in law as their originals; in attestation of all which we, the said commissioner, empresario, and alcalde, sign, etc.
Inasmuch as I am informed that the book destined for this object is already acquired by the empresario, and that the stamp-paper on which the original titles
are extended has been paid for, the said book shall be stamped by the collector of the stamp-duties of the town of San Felipe de Austin, with the stamp of the fourth seal, and he will collect the value of one stamp for each leaf, for which purpose he will put the corresponding certificate on the first and last leaf, expressing in the latter the whole amount of stamps collected, which shall be entered in the accounts of his office. Which I transcribe to you for your intelligence and observance, so far as appertains to you in answer to your official representation of the 5th of last month relative to the matter. God and Liberty. ARISPE, Governor of the State. JUAN ANTONIO PADILLA, Secretary of the State. To CITIZEN STEPHEN F. AUSTIN. SALTILLO, May 31, 1827.
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DeWitt Colony Government-Index