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Spanish governor issues ordinance on cattle branding

July
10
1783

On this day in 1783, Domingo Cabello y Robles, Spanish governor of Texas, issued a bando, or ordinance, imposing strict guidelines for the roundup, branding, and export of unbranded cattle. At the time, the province was in the midst of a protracted livestock controversy. Cattle rustling between vecinos and missions, depletion of cattle through wasteful slaughter and excessive exports, and noncompliance with an ordinance of January 1778 were holdovers from the administration of Cabello's predecessor, Juan María de Ripperdá. Enforcing existing regulations and preventing illegal exports became Cabello's major concerns. Cabello's enforcement of livestock regulations resulted in much animosity from ranchers. Soon after his departure from the province in 1787, the ranchers filed a memorial against Cabello charging him with arbitrary and unjust decrees and misrepresentations that denied them rights to unbranded cattle. The case did not adversely affect his career, for by 1797 Cabello had reached the rank of field marshall.

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