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Garrison at Goliad declares independence

December
20
1835

On this day in 1835, the garrison at Goliad declared its independence from Mexico. The community of Goliad originated as one of the oldest Spanish colonial municipalities in the state, dating back to 1749. Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio, the fort at Goliad, supplied Spanish soldiers to the army of Bernardo de Gálvez during the American Revolution, garrisoned Spanish troops during the Mexican war of independence, and after 1812 saw four separate attempts to establish Texas independence. Goliad's role in the Texas Revolution began in October 1835 when Texans under Benjamin R. Milam and George Collinsworth captured the fort and its stores of arms and ammunition from the twenty-four-man Mexican garrison. On December 20 Goliad citizens and South Texas colonists met in the presidio chapel to sign a document known as the Goliad Declaration of Independence, written by Ira Ingram and the first such declaration for Texas, and afterwards hoisted the first flag of independence, designed by Capt. Philip Dimmitt, above the walls. The document had ninety-one signatures, the signers including José Miguel Aldrete and José María Jesús Carbajal, Texans of Mexican descent.

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