A Tejano Favors Anglo Immigration
Digital History ID 3659
Some Tejanos favored immigration from the United States. In this document, the ayuntamiento of San Antonio argues that continued immigration and commercial ties with the United States were necessary to promote the region’s economic development. At least some of these elite proponents of immigration also supported slavery, which they regarded as a way to develop a cotton industry in Texas.
What shall we say of the law of April 6, 1830? It absolutely prohibits immigrants from North American coming into Texas, but there are not enough troops to enforce it; so the result is that desirable immigrants are kept out because they will not violate the law, while the undesirable, having nothing to lose, come in freely. The industrious, honest North American settlers have made great improvements in the past seven or eight years. They have raised cotton and cane and erected gins and sawmills. Their industry has made them comfortable and independent, while the Mexican settlements, depending on the pay of the soldiers among them for money, have lagged far behind. Among the Mexican settlements even the miserable manufacture of blankets, hats and shoes has never been established, and we must buy them either from foreigners or from the interior, 200 or 300 leagues distant. We have had a loom in Béxar for two years, but the inhabitants of Goliad and Nacogdoches know nothing of this ingenious machine, nor even how to make a sombrero.
The advantages of liberal North American immigration are innumerable: (1) The colonists would afford a source of supply for the native inhabitants. (2) They would protect the interior from Indian invasions. (3) They would develop roads and commerce to New Orleans and New Mexico. (4) Moreover, the ideas of government held by North Americans are in general better adapted to those of the Mexicans than are the ideas of European immigrants.
It is unquestionable that the lack of a government which shall feel directly the needs of Texas and understand the means necessary to multiply its population and protect its welfare has been, is, and will continue to be the chief source of our sufferings.
Source: Ayuntamiento of San Antonio, 1832. Translated in Eugene C. Barker, "Native Latin American Contributions to the Colonization and Independence of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46, no. 3 (January 1943): 328-29.
Copyright 2021 Digital History