Friday, January 29, 2010

The Conventions of 1832 & 1833 and The Consultation

With the Ayuntamiento being the local official government, the Texas settlers found themselves to be relatively without effective representation to the ruling Mexican government in Mexico City. Accordingly, they chose to hold a large formal deliberate meeting of mandated delegates to address their particular issues of dissatisfaction and to develop a means of directly and personally communicating those needed reforms to the government in Mexico City.

Thomas Gazley’s highly respected reputation in his home area, his frequent travels to San Felipe, his part time residency at the seat of prevailing government, and his established political connections there, all made him an outstanding choice to be a peoples representative, or delegate, to this type of assembly.

Accordingly, he was chosen to be a Delegate from the District of Mina to the 1832 Convention in San Felipe. The Convention met in October for the purpose of drafting resolutions which would inform the Mexican government of the needs of the Texans, particularly regarding tariff relief, more liberal immigration laws, separation from the state of Coahuila, and statehood for Texas. Unfortunately, for mixed reasons, these resolutions were not formally presented to the Mexican government. However, one important outcome of the 1832 Convention was the creation of the Sub-Committee on Vigilance, Safety, and Communication which was composed of Dr. Gazley, a surveyor named Bartlett Sims, and an Indian fighter and frontiersman named Richard Andrews. Their assignment was to strive for safety through vigilance and to communicate needs to the Convention.

Following closely on the heels of the 1832 Convention, Thomas Gazley was called on to be a Bastrop Delegate to the Convention of 1833 in San Felipe, along with Edward Burleson and Bartlett Sims. During this important session, meeting on April first, they took up the same resolutions as before; and they went even further by framing the draft of a constitution for the proposed state of Texas.

In July of 1833, Stephen F. Austin took the resolutions of the convention to Mexico City and personally presented them to the ruling government. Soon thereafter, as he was in route through Saltillo on his way back to Texas, he was arrested without specific charges and detained in various Mexican prisons until December of 1834, at which time he was released on a bond which restricted his travels to within the Mexico Federal District. Then, under the General Amnesty Law of 1835 he was freed and allowed to return to Texas in August of that year.

This period of imprisonment contributed to worsening conditions for the Texas settlers, and their dissatisfaction and unrest led them to call for a Consultation on October15th. They actually met on November 1, 1835, in (West) Columbia. While meeting, they set forth the purpose of a War for Independence, laid out the power and structure of a new Provisional Government for Texas, planned for a Declaration of Independence, and established a Regular Texas Army.

Concurrently during this time period, the Mexican Army had further imposed Santa Anna’s dictatorial will of repression upon the settlers; and the settlers had been forced to take up arms to protect themselves from the overpowering Mexican Army. The Texas Revolution had begun, and the War for Texas Independence was about to begin.


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