Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

A comisario, under Spanish and Mexican law, was an elected official who served in districts or precincts of around 500 inhabitants. The term of office was one year, and though a comisario might be reelected, he could not be compelled to serve more than one year in three. The comisario was subject to the ayuntamiento and might attend its sessions voluntarily or on summons; he had a voice but no vote in its deliberations. Duties of the comisario were to take the census of the precinct, keep a record of families moving into it and of the places from which they came, assist tax collectors, execute the orders of his superiors, arrest disturbers of the peace, and report undesirable persons to the alcalde. In addition, the comisario was invested with minor judicial authority similar to that of the alcalde.

Eugene C. Barker, "The Government of Austin's Colony, 1821–1831," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (January 1918). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). Henry Smith, "Reminiscences of Henry Smith," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 14 (July 1910).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Spanish Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Comisario,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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