Viesca, Agustín (1790–1845)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 6, 2020

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Agustín (Augustín) Viesca, Mexican minister of relations under Vicente Ramón Guerrero, was born on May 5, 1790. He was elected governor of Coahuila and Texas on September 9, 1834, but the election was questioned by Juan José Elguézabal, incumbent governor. The election was confirmed and Viesca took office on April 14, 1835, at the time of the controversy between Saltillo and Monclova over location of the capital. Viesca assembled the militia to quell a revolt in Saltillo but was ordered to disband the force by Martín Perfecto de Cos, who supported claims of Saltillo to the capital. On April 21, 1835 the state legislature disbanded and authorized the governor to move the seat of government to any site he might select. Viesca decided to move the capital to Bexar and urged the Texans to rise against the anti-Republican movement. On May 25 he left Monclova with the archives but at the Hacienda de Hermanas learned of orders not to cross into Texas; therefore, he returned to Monclova and disbanded the militia. Later, with other state officials, Benjamin R. Milam, and John Cameron, he attempted a secret escape to Texas but was captured on June 8 and sent as a prisoner to Monterrey. He escaped his guards and by November 11, 1835, arrived at Goliad in company with Dr. James Grant and José María Gonzales, a cavalry officer from Bexar. By that time anti-Mexican sentiment was so strong that the officials at Goliad preferred a declaration of Texas independence (see GOLIAD DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE) to asserting loyalty to the Mexican Constitution of 1824, and Viesca was not acknowledged as governor, a point on which he protested to Stephen F. Austin. Viesca arrived in Nacogdoches on January 5, 1836, and was well received there. He died on November 24, 1845.

Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la época colonial (Mexico City: Editorial Cultura, 1938; 2d ed., Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1978). Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols., San Francisco: History Company, 1886, 1889). Eugene C. Barker, "General Austin's Order Book for the Campaign of 1835," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 11 (July 1907). 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). Nettie Lee Benson, The Provincial Deputation in Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Anonymous, “Viesca, Agustín,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 21, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 6, 2020

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