LAW OF APRIL 6, 1830
LAW OF APRIL 6, 1830. The Law of April 6, 1830, said to be the same type of stimulus to the Texas Revolution that the Stamp Act was to the American Revolution, was initiated by Lucas Alamán y Escalada, Mexican minister of foreign relations, and was designed to stop the flood of immigration from the United States to Texas. The law came as a result of the warning and communications of Manuel de Mier y Terán, who made fourteen recommendations directed toward stimulating counter-colonization of Texas by Mexicans and Europeans, encouraging military occupation, and stimulating coastal trade. The law, reasonable from the Mexican point of view, authorized a loan to finance the cost of transporting colonists to Texas, opened the coastal trade to foreigners for four years, provided for a federal commissioner of colonization to supervise empresario contracts in conformity with the general colonization law, forbade the further introduction of slaves into Mexico, and apparently was intended to suspend existing empresario contracts. Article 11, the one most objectionable from the Texan viewpoint, not proposed by Mier y Terán but by Alamán, was intended to prohibit or limit immigration from the United States. Mier y Terán became federal commissioner of colonization despite his doubts concerning the wisdom of Article 11 and of the articles concerning slavery and passports. Texas colonists were greatly disturbed by news of the law; Stephen F. Austin tried to allay popular excitement but protested the law to Mier y Terán and to President Anastasio Bustamante. By his manipulation of the interpretation of articles 10 and 11, Austin secured exemption from the operation of the law for his contract and for that of Green DeWitt, but the measure shook his belief in the good will of the Mexican government. Subsequently he was able to secure the repeal of Article 11. Application of the law slowed immigration, voided contracts that had been awarded but not carried toward fulfillment, and suspended two active enterprises: the Nashville or Robertson's colony and the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company. Enforcement of the provisions of the law concerning establishment of customhouses resulted directly in the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832 and indirectly in the battle of Velasco, the conventions of 1832 and 1833,qqv and the accumulation of grievances that helped lead to the revolution.
Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin (Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 1925; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1949; New York: AMS Press, 1970). Ohland Morton, Terán and Texas: A Chapter in Texas Mexican Relations (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1948).