Goliad Declaration of Independence

By: Hobart Huson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: August 2, 2020

The Goliad Declaration of Independence, drafted by Ira Ingram, was read to the citizens of Goliad assembled at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio on December 20, 1835. The document was enthusiastically ratified and received ninety-one signatures, the signers including José Miguel Aldrete and José María Jesús Carbajal, Texans of Mexican descent. Philip Dimmitt was also a strong supporter and major participant in the process, and many in his company of volunteers signed the declaration. The enacting clause resolved that the former department of Texas ought to be a "free, sovereign, and independent State," and the signers pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to sustain the declaration. The meeting struck off several copies of the document to be sent to various parts of Texas, and the copy that reached Brazoria was printed and widely distributed. A committee including John Dunn, William S. Brown, William G. Hill, and Benjamin J. White, carried the original copy to San Felipe and delivered it to the General Council on December 30, 1835. The council referred the declaration to the Committee on State and Judiciary; but the arrival of the document caused some embarrassment because negotiations with José Antonio Mexía and Julian Pedro Miracle were then pending in San Felipe to ascertain whether the true intentions of the Texans were independence or cooperation with the Federalists in northern Mexico. Members of the council warned the Goliad messengers not to circulate the declaration further, and the committee report on the declaration said that it had been inconsiderately adopted. The document was to remain in the files of the secretary without further action. The declaration anticipated by two days Stephen F. Austin's pronouncement favoring independence made at Velasco on December 22 and preceded the Texas Declaration of Independence by seventy-three days. The chief importance of the Goliad Declaration was its alienation from Texas the support of the Federalists of northern Mexico.

DeWitt Clinton Baker, comp., A Texas Scrap-Book (New York: Barnes, 1875; rpt. 1887; facsimile rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). Hobart Huson, Captain Philip Dimmitt's Commandancy of Goliad, 1835–1836 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1974). John J. Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas (New York: Sadlier, 1883; 2d ed., Austin: Steck, 1935; rpt., Austin: State House, 1986). Mary Agnes Mitchell, The First Flag of Texas Independence (Refugio, Texas, 1937). William M. Ryan, Shamrock and Cactus: The Story of the Catholic Heroes of Texas (San Antonio: Southern Literary Institute, 1936).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Hobart Huson, “Goliad Declaration of Independence,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/goliad-declaration-of-independence.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 2, 2020