Artifact of the Month — December 2018

by Ernesto Rodriguez, Alamo Associate Curator

Among the documents in the Alamo Collection is a circular sent by Stephen F. Austin to Gail Borden Jr., on the eve of revolution.

Dated September 19, 1835, the circular penned by the empresario, warned the people of Texas about General Martin Perfecto de Cos’ plan to march into the colonies. Austin urged the citizens of Texas to demand their rights under the Constitution of 1824, and outlined steps that needed to be taken. Committees of Safety should aid Texas by preparing for war.

Colonists should send representatives to a ‘consultation,” a meeting where the current emergency could be discussed. Additionally, Austin advised the colonists to form companies of volunteers in preparation for the coming campaign.

In a break from his earlier instructions to remain loyal to the government in Mexico City, Austin belligerently stated, “War is our only resource.”

This document is important because it helps explain the state of mind in the colonies as a reaction to the Centralist effort to suppress Federalist dissent throughout Mexico.