The Mexican Citizen, successor to the Texas Gazette, was a weekly newspaper published at San Felipe de Austin in 1831 by Robert M. Williamson and John Aitken. Williamson, who had edited the Gazette under Godwin Brown Cotten from January to May 1830, purchased the paper from Cotten in January 1831. His partner, printer John Aitken, described as "an excellent workman," had traveled to Texas from Pensacola, Florida, where he had been publisher of the Pensacola Gazette. Though only four issues of the Mexican Citizen have survived, Williamson seems to have carried on in the easy, colloquial style of his predecessor, Cotten. Stephen F. Austin, who believed that the "best way the people of Texas could give proof of their fidelity" to Mexico was through their newspapers, may have played some role in selecting the paper's title. He expressed hope that the paper might become what its name suggested-a voice of Mexican citizenship defending everything Mexican-and might well adopt as its motto, "México es mi patria." Williamson, who became síndico procurador of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin in 1831 and subsequently played a prominent part in the political turmoil leading to the Texas Revolution, may have chafed under Austin's policy of appeasing Mexican authorities. In any event, sometime in late 1831 he ceased publication, sold the paper back to Cotten, and retired from newspaper work.
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Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, "Notes on Early Texas Newspapers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (October 1917). Duncan W. Robinson, Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1948).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Charles Christopher Jackson,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 14, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 8, 2020