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would be well that they should now seriously turn their attention to a matter so deeply important.
“ There are three common schools in this department; one in Nacogdoches, very badly supported, another at San Augustine, and the third at Johnsburg. Texas wants a good establishment for public instruction, where the Spanish language may be taught; otherwise the language will be lost: even at present, English is almost the only language spoken in this section of the Republic.
“ The trade of this Department amounts for the year to 470,000 dollars. The exports consist of cotton, skins of the deer, otter, beaver, &c., Indian corn, and cattle. There will be exported during this year about 2,000 bales of cotton, 90,000 skins, and 5,000 head of cattle, equal in value to 205,000 dollars. The imports are estimated at 265,000 dollars; the excess in the amount of imports is occasioned by the stock which remains on hand in the stores of the dealers.
“ There are about 50,000 head of cattle in the whole Department, and prices are on a level with those in the Brazos. There are no sheep, nor pasturage adapted to them. There are above 60,000 head of swine, which will soon form another article of export.
“ There are machines for cleaning and pressing cotton in the Departments of Nacogdoches and the Brazos. There are also a number of saw-mills. A steam-boat is plying on the Brazos river, and the arrival of two more is expected ; one for the Neches, the other for the Trinity.
“ The amount of the whole trade of Texas for the year 1834 may be estimated at 1,400,000 dollars.
20,000 Brazos 325,000
275,000 Nacogdoches 265,000
205,000 Approximate valuation of contraband trade with the
interior, through the ports of Brazoria, Matagorda, and Copano
60,000 600,000 470,000
Money is very scarce in Texas ; not one in ten sales are made for cash. Purchases are made on credit, or by barter ; which gives the country, in its trading relations, the appearance of a continued fair. Trade is daily increasing, owing to the large crops of cotton, and the internal consumption, caused by the constant influx of emigrants from the United States."*
The Commissioner, in a tabular return, estimates the whole population of Texas Proper at 36,300 ; of which 21,000 are civilised inhabitants, and 15,300 Indians. The number of hostile Indians is estimated at 10,800, and of friendly tribes 4,500; of the former, 9,900 are appropriated to the Department of Bexar, and the remaining 600 to the Brazos.f The Northern Indians in the Department
In a new and fertile country, settled by industrious agriculturists, the high price of provisions is a symptom of prosperity, the consumption being occasioned by the increase of population. Apart from exports, the demand for Indian corn and other produce to meet the wants of immigrants, brings large returns to the farmers of Texas. The settler who pays high prices this year may be enabled to exact them the next.
† Although the Anglo-Texans had suffered grievously from
of Nacogdoches are described “as generally attached to the Mexican Government.” They had applied to the President of Mexico for a grant of land. “ The statement accompanying the petition,” says the Commissioner, “ will show who are friends and who are in arms against us in Texas.”
Beyond the foregoing facts, Colonel Almonte's Report supplies no information calculated to throw light on the social condition of Texas in 1834. The meagre character of the publication is admitted by the Commissioner himself, who, in apologising for an important omission, makes a revelation more curious than creditable, as regards the state of the arts in Mexico. “I had proposed,” he says,
adding to this notice a map of Texas which is in my possession, that the reader might judge at a glance of the extent of its immense territory, but finding that impossible, from the difficulty attending engraviny or lithography in our country, I shall content myself with recommending him to procure one of the maps published in New York, and usually found in the libraries of that capital.”
According to the Gazette of Coahuila and Texas, published at Monclova, Colonel Almonte had arrived in that city on the 24th of September, 1834, after executing the duties assigned him by the General Government. His next visit to a country cholera in 1833, their numerical strength is evidently underrated. The scattered settlements rendered it extremely difficult to number the colonists with accuracy, and it did not accord with the policy of the Mexican Government to represent them as formidable in any respect. They probably amounted to about 30,000, exclusive of the 2,000 negroes.
* Noticia Estadisticu Sobre Tejas, p. 89.'
of which he spoke in most eulogistic terms, was in a very different capacity.
Brief and superficial as is the Report of the Mexican Commissioner, it has afforded
seasonable aid at this stage of my narrative. It has described, in the cold phraseology of official inquiry, the change effected in ten years by the Northern Colonists, in the solitudes of a land neglected and abandoned by its rulers. The statistics of Almonte form the proudest testimonial to the labours of those fearless and persevering spirits who first rendered the golden glebe of Texas tributary to the enjoyments of civilised man, and supply a conclusive answer to the charges brought against the Texans by persons who, in the fervour of a philanthropic enthusiasm in behalf of the Indian and the Negro, are ready to sacrifice not only time and money,
but the solemn obligations of truth and justice.
Innovations of the Mexican Centralists-Unprincipled Sale of
Texan Lands—Constitutional Exposition of the Legislature of Coahuila and Texas-Fall of Zacatecas-Dispersion of the Legislature of Coahuila and Texas, and Arrest of the Governor -Agitation in Texas-Lorenzo de Zavala-Return of Stephen Austin-His Speech at Brazoria-Military preparations against Texas and organization of the People-Defeat of the Mexicans near Gonzalez-Subversion of the Federal Constitution of 1824 and establishment of a Central Government in Mexico.
The new Congress, convoked under the auspices of Santa Anna and the Centralists, assembled in the city of Mexico in the month of January, 1835. Petitions and declarations in favour of a Central Republic were poured in by the military and clergy, while protests and remonstrances on behalf of the Federal Constitution were presented by some of the State legislatures and the people. The latter were disregarded, and their supporters persecuted and imprisoned. Emboldened by party co-operation, the Congress assumed extraordinary powers and deposed the Vice-President, Gomez Farias, without impeachment or trial, electing in his stead General Barragan, a leading Centralist. Among the first acts of the Congress was a decree for reducing the militia of the several States to one for every five hundred souls, and disarming the remainder, which amounted to the annihilation of that constitutional force. Every successive step evinced a settled purpose to establish a Central Republic on the ruins of