Constitution of the Republic of Texas 1836

[SENATE DISTRICTS: “free population (free negroes and Indians excepted).]

ARTICLE I. [The Legislative Branch]

Section 7. The senators shall be chosen by districts, as nearly equal in free population (free negros and Indians excepted) as practicable….

[ORGANIZATION OF COUNTIES: “free male inhabitants.”]

ARTICLE IV. [The Judicial Branch]

Sec. 11. The republic shall be divided into convenient counties, but no new county shall be established unless it be done on the petition of one hundred free male inhabitants of the territory sought to be laid off and established…

[SUFFRAGE: “Every citizen of the republic” (?! no “male?”)]

ARTICLE VI. [Presidential Qualifications, Powers, and the Franchise]

Sec. 11. Every citizen of the republic who has attained the age of twenty-one years and shall have resided six months within the district or county where the election is held, shall be entitled to vote for members of the general congress.

[OFFICE HOLDING: “Every male citizen who is by this constitution a citizen”]

SECHEDULE

Sec. 3. Every male citizen who is by this constitution a citizen and shall be otherwise qualified shall be entitled to hold any office or place of honor, trust, or profit under the republic, anything in this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.

[CITIZENSHIP BY EMIGRATION AND OATH: “free white persons”]

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 6. All free white persons who shall emigrate to this republic, and who shall, after a residence of six months, make oath before some competent authority that he intends to reside permanently in the same, and shall swear to support this constitution, and that he will bear true allegiance to the republic of Texas, shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizenship.

[LOYALTY AND TREASON: “All persons who shall … [evade] a participation in the present struggle”]

Sec. 8. All persons who shall leave the country for the purpose of evading a participation in the present struggle, or shall refuse to participate in it, or shall give aid or assistance to the present enemy, shall forfeit all rights of citizenship, and such lands as they may hold in the republic.

[SLAVERY AND COLOR: “All persons of color who were slaves for life” / “No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part” / “of Africans or negroes”]

Sec. 9. All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servitude […]

No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the republic without the consent of congress; and the importation or admission of Africans or negroes into this republic, excepting from the United States of America, is forever prohibited, and declared to be piracy.

[ORIGINAL CITIZENSHIP & HEADRIGHT. “All persons (Africans, the descendents of Africans, and Indians excepted … residing in Texas on the day…” / “No alien”]

Sec. 10. All persons Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted) who were residing in Texas on the day of the declaration of independence shall be considered citizens of the republic, and entitled to all the privileges of such.

[…] No alien shall hold land in Texas except by titles emanating directly from the government of this republic.

[EQUALITY OF RIGHTS: “All men”]

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.

1st. All men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no men or set of men are entitled to exclusive public privileges or emoulments from the community.

[FAIR TRIAL: “No freeman”]

6th. […] And no freeman shall be holden to answer for any criminal charge but on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in the land and naval forces […]

[DUE PROCESS: “No citizen”]

7th. No citizen shall be deprived of privileges, outlawed, exiled, or in any manner disenfranchised, except by due course of the law of the land.

[DOUBLE JEOPARDY AND TRIAL BY JURY: “No person”]

9th. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limbs. And the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

[JUST COMPENSATION: “No person”]

13th. No person’s particular services shall be demanded, nor property taken or applied to public uses, unless by the consent of himself or his representative, without just compensation being made therefor according to law.

[RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS: “Every citizen”]

14th. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in defence of himself and the republic.

Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers, closing chapters.

[Lisboa, 30 junho 2016]

Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers, closing chapters.

Violence as core factor shaping Anglo/Tejano relation — lynch law, rinches, and communal riots

Identification of Tejanos as appropriate targets through Leyendas Negras; organized reiterated use of violence

Arnoldo de Leon, They Called Them Greasers, Ch. 4, “Defective Morality”

[Lisboa, 29. junho 2016]

  • Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers, Ch. 4, “Defective Morality.”

Images of Mexicans as dissolute, not self-controlled; occasional exceptions (usually only partial) for “dark-haired señoritas” vs. Mexican men; gaming, dancing, unabashed nudity, sexual license or impropriety. Similarities and differences from portrayal of black men and women.

=> In general this book needs conscious effort to address tensions within dominant view and tease out separate strands of Anglo views, either within one sector or across different sectors. (Is e.g. (a) the view of non-Texan travel writers and local colorists significantly different from that of Anglo-Texans? (b) Or do Anglo-Texans adopt a view typical of American whites more broadly? DeLeón clearly wants to lean on (b) but this claim needs stating, exposing for testing and any necessary qualification.

=> In view of diverging strands the discussion of views and practices on interracial sex and mixed marriage is one of the better explorations so far in the book. — Because it tacitly and sometimes explicitly draws this out. (“Shit’s complicated!”?) — DeLeón starts some good discussion explicitly of:

  • Mexicans as ‘intermediate’ positionally in a system of color between white and {black, red}. Prev. discussion of how racial spectrum and class — isleña and criollo vs. mestizo vs. indio, etc. cut through and structure mobility within intermediate area, acceptability of “señoritas” as sexual, romantic, or marriage partners
  • Stratifying vs. flattening — there is some tacit exploration which I wish were more explicit, sustained, systematic of how intermediate position often unstable position and hence tensions in view often come from pulling in opposite directions from flattening views of Mexicanidad, “greasers,” etc. vs. stratifying views of a spectrum of Mexicanidades, some whiter than others, some more respectable o más sucia que otras, more alluring or less, more marriagable or less (this latter two NOT identical or unidimensional AT ALL, due to gender stuff &c.)
  • Divergence lacking somewhat in exploring this instability — needs but doesn’t have much discussion of regional differences within Texas (is Bexareño or Brownsville view on mixed marriage &c. noticeably different from more culturally Deep South regions like Piney Woods, Brazoria or Gulf Coast? What about Plains / Panhandle? What about Hill Country / Europa”ische Tex.? Do these diverge or converge or run parallel over time? Do we know?)
  • Mexican man-Anglo woman mixed marriages. — These are mentioned in only the briefest footnote passage (n. 48, último frase). But these obviously need an almost entirely different framework of discussion from A-man/M-woman relationships — DeLeón has been hablando all this time sobre la fantasía de la señorita de ojos negros &c. and the Anglo male gaze. Are M-man/A-woman marriages
    • more/less common?
    • more/less approved?
    • differently framed in terms of desire, agency, mutuality, morality?
    • What?

Arnoldo de Leon, They Called Them Greasers, Ch. 3 “An Indolent People.”

[Lisboa, Terca-feira, 28 junho 2016.]

* Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes Towards Mexicans in Texas, 1821-1900.

Ch. 3, “An Indolent People.”

(Here as elsewhere in American attitudes towards ‘alien’ racialized immigrant workers, over and over again we see attacks on Tejano/as for subsisting on little food and ramshackle housing–violation of rights of property and free enterprise for the poor, and disrespect for the livelihood and subsistence of the poor, allegedly in the name of thrift and enterprise (?!) but actually in the defense of bourgeois habit — cf. Scratching By.)

Discrimination against the Latin-American has been most evident in three ways

Open conflicts between Latin-Americans and the Anglo-Saxons who settled in Texas during the nineteenth century made for strained relationships early in the history of the state. As time went on, the “Anglo” group became dominant; by far the great majority of the Latin-Americans never gained a firm foothold on the socio-economic ladder of Texas life. By the 1920’s, the Latin group was clearly relegated to a [2] position comparable almost to that of the Negro population of the state.

Discrimination against the Latin-American has been most evident in three ways. First, they have not enjoyed equality of status in such public places as theatres, hotels, restaurants, or barber shops. Secondly, they have for the most part been forced to accept the lowest paid jobs in the Texas economy; few are in key business positions or in the professional class. Thirdly, by far the great majority of Latin-American children drop out of school after the fourth grade, and until 1943 those who did attend were generally segregated from “Anglo” students.

From Everett Ross Clinchy, Jr. , Equality of Opportunity for Latin-Americans in Texas: A study of the economic, social, and educational discrimination against Latin-Americans in Texas, and of the efforts of the state government on their behalf. Dissertation, Columbia University. 1954. Reprint edition 1974 by Arno Press, Inc. First and second page of Abstract.

 

Declining Social Acceptance of Anglo-Mexican intermarriage in 1850s Texas

From Martha Menchaca, “The Anti-Miscegenation History of the American Southwest, 1837 to 1970: Transforming Racial Ideology into Law,” Cultural Dynamics 20, no. 3 (2008), 287.

As the Mexicans’ social status declined so did intermarriage. Mexican women were no longer sought after as marriage partners by Anglo American men, a practice that had been common in San Antonio and Laredo, two cities with a majority Mexican population. In 1855, Texan land investor John Donelson Coffee noted in a letter to his cousin that Mexicans were no longer accepted in Anglo American social circles (Boom, 1966: 283). According to Donelson, in San Antonio Anglo Americans socialized with four or five Mexican families and only considered the single women of these families acceptable marriage partners. These women were described as light complexioned, unlike the rest of the Mexican women who Donelson derogatorily called “greaser” and characterized them to be dark like mulattas (Boom, 1966: 283). Corroborating Donelson’s observations are the marriage records from San Antonio. By the late 1840s, only a handful of Mexican women married Anglo American men and, in 1850, out of 60 Anglo American marriages only 4 involved Mexican brides, a pattern that continued into the 1860s (Bean and Bradshaw, 1970: 394; Dysart, 1976: 369).

Anglo-Mexican Class Structure in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley

From David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986, pp. 34-36.

Although the American presence generally represented a new class in an old Mexican society, it did not completely transform the traditional authority structure. On the contrary, the American merchants and lawyers merely affixed themselves atop the Mexican hierarchy. In some cases they intermarried and became an extension of the old elite. For individual families of the Mexican elite, intermarriage was a convenient way of containing the effects of Anglo military victory on their status, authority, and class position. For the ambitious Anglo [35] merchant and soldier with little capital, it was an easy way of acquiring land. The social basis for postwar governance, in other words, rested on the class character of the Mexican settlements.

These settlements were essentially a three-tiered society composed of landed elite, small land owners (rancheros) and peones. San Antonio in the 1830s, for example, was a highly structured class society. At the top were the prominent landed families, who lived in spacious flat-roofed stone houses; below them were the rancheros, who spent the greater part of their days working their cattle and horses and whose small adobe homes usually consisted of one sparsely furnished room; and at the bottom tier of the class order were the laborers, or jornaleros, who lived in jacales, which were nothing more than mud houses with thatched roofs.[34] A prominent contemporary of the period, José María Rodríguez, described the “great distinction between the east and west side of the [San Antonio] river” in the following manner: “The west side of the river was supposed to be the residence of the first families here, and the descendants of the Indians and Spanish soldiers settled on the east side of the river. . . . Most of the Canary Islanders who lived on this [west] side took great pride in preventing any marriage with mixed races and when one did mix he lost his caste with the rest.”[35] Although frontier conditions made this caste system somewhat fluid, and families could in generations pass from one caste to another, the lines themselves were quickly drawn. Moreover, they were distinctions that the American pioneers were quick to recognize and accept. Ample evidence points to an early accommodation between old and new elites. Although initially outside this Spanish-Mexican structure, the Anglo-Saxon pioneers were accepted–depending on their class, of course–as equals by the “Spanish” elite.[36] By 1842, however, only six years after independence, the peaceful accommodation that had characterized Mexican-Anglo relations collapsed. The loss of land, the flight of the Mexican elite, and the Mexican War a few years later quickly eroded the influence of Mexicans.

In spite of this, San Antonio after the Civil War still had appearances, according to one resident, of a village “typical of Mexico then.” The “early Americans” had become acclimated, had intermarried in many instances, “and in turn kept up many of the customs of this quaint old Spanish town.” The town of about ten or twelve thousand inhabitants had a mingling of American, German, and French colonists with a large Mexican population. In the plaza could be heard “a babble of voices from three or four languages” but “almost everyone spoke Spanish and most of the business was conducted in this common language.” The resident observer concluded [36] that “the political border was at the Rio Grande, but Military Plaza was the commercial and social border between the countries.”[37]

The Rio Grande settlements south and west of San Antonio differed little in their social structure. . . .

 

  1. [34] Caroline Remy, “Hispanic-Mexican San Antonio: 1836-1861,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 71, no. 4 (April 1968): 567.
  2. [35] Rodríguez, Memoirs of Early Texas, p. 37.
  3. [36] Chabot, With the Makers; Remy, “Hispanic-Mexican San Antonio,”pp. 566-567; William Bollaert, William Bollaert’s Texas, ed. W. Eugene Hollon and Ruth Lapham Butler.
  4. [37] William J. Knox, The Economic Status of the Mexican Immigrant in San Antonio, Texas, pp. 3-5.

Sometimes/sometimes/sometimes

sometimes being subjected by Anglo governments to forms of disenfranchisement and segregation parallel to those inflicted on African-American populations, sometimes being integrated by law or custom into “white” society, sometimes being divided among “white” and “colored” subgroups along lines of socioeconomic class or degree of cultural assimilation, and sometimes being .

sometimes by adopting assimilationist strategies of identifying themselves emphatically as Caucasians, and at other times by adopting integrationist strategies….

My project will study the roots and development of the racial classification of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the social and legal environment of Anglo-American settlement of Texas.

My project will study the roots and development of the racial classification of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the social and legal environment of Anglo-American settlement of Texas.