Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The San Felipe Connection

San Felipe de Austin was founded near the Old San Antonio Road crossing on the west bank of the Brazos River in 1824. It was the postal, social, economic, and political center of the Austin colonies. In 1828 it boasted a population of 200 residents living in about fifty homes. It had three general stores, two taverns, one hotel, one blacksmith, and a ratio of ten men to every woman.

Dr. Gazley’s resupply trips to San Felipe began in1828 and continued for several years. During many of these trips, he was required to wait for the riverboats to arrive with the supplies they were bringing up the Brazos River from the coast. During these respites, he had occasion to obtain land and establish a part-time residence, secure a Mexican license to practice medicine (29April1829), socialize with the city’s business leaders, and ultimately to begin to interact with the prevailing Mexican government (Ayuntamiento) which was strategically based there to be near the center of Austin’s colonists. On April 29, 1829, he became the Secretary to the Town Council and on February 1, 1830, he became the Clerk of the Ayuntamiento. This body functioned much as a town council and was the principal governing body in small municipalities in Mexico; but, it was not a democratic form of government. By July of 1835, Dr. Gazley had been appointed Judge of the First Instance for the Jurisdiction of Mina.

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