Opinion of Lorenzo de Zavala to the Citizens of Lynchburg

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Zavala Declaration

English Translation

Having been invited to attend the meeting of citizens to
be held on the 8th inst. to take into consideration the
important subjects which produce the present
excitement, I regret that I am prevented from
attending in person by an attack of the intermittent

But as I consider that a simple manifestation of my
opinions on the subject might be of much service in
establishing those of the citizens, a majority of whom
must declare the fate of the country, I submit to the
examination of the meeting the following reflections.

In the first place, I must say of myself that in this I have
no individual view or motion--that I have occupied in
the Mexican nation the most honorable stations; that I
have written a history of the revolutions of the country
with such impartiality that even my enemies have
acknowleged it the only monument of the kind worthy
of attention.

In the second place, that, having received from General
Santa Anna the appointment of minister pleni-
potentiary to the court of his majesty the king of
France, I resigned this charge as soon as I learned that
he had dissolved the congress and taken all authority
into his own hands. Third, that having resigned this
station, I have come to Texas to establish myself
among free citizens, to cultive the lands which I had
previously purchased.

Having made these preliminary remarks, I proceed to
express my opinions respecting the nominal Mexican

First. The regulating power in Mexico is the military.
Certain generals, at the head of whom Santa Anna
happens now to be placed, and who have under their
control from fifteen to twenty thousand hireling
soldiers, have destroyed the federal constitution, of
which General Santa Anna, in order to be promoted to
the presidency of the republic, pretended to be the
defender when with a show of patriotism, he alleged
that it was attacked by General Bustamante.

Second. The present situation of the Mexican nation is
that of the greatest confusion and disorder, because,
all the constitutional authorities having ceased, their
places have been supplied by military chiefs, who know
no other law than that of the sword and of violence, by
which they have put down the civil authorities. The
consternation which this had produced among the
Mexican citizens has reduced them to a momentary
silence, and this silence the military chiefs of Mexico
call tranquility, peace and order in the republic.

Third. To pass over the acts of usurpation committed
by General Santa Anna, such as the dissolution of the
congress and council--the unconstitutional and violent
disposition of the vice-president, Farias--the extension
of the powers given to the electors to reform the
constitution--the destruction of the civic militia--and
others of equal magnitude which in the United States
of the North would be sufficient to convict the
president of treason--the final blow aimed at the
institutions in the capital on the 12th day of June, the
day on which was declared the destructions of all state
legislatures, an act committed under the auspices and
protection of the president, Santa Anna, and of the
vice-president Barragan, would be sufficient to destroy
all claims to obedience which exist, and which can only
continue in virtue of the federal compacts.

Fourth. While in the capital they were thus destroying
the institutions and issuing orders to the military
commanders of the states that others should be
established, the latter published official notes,
swearing in their usual manner that they would sustain
the constitution and laws, and that their own object
was to punish certain functionaries who had
transgressed them, thus availing themselves of the
power of destroying the constitution under the pretext
of punishing delinquents. This may be seen from the
official notes of General Cos and Colonel Ugartechea,
in which they seize upon the inexplicable sale of lands
as a pretext to justify the imprisonment of the
governor of this state, Viesca, proceeding immediately
to put down the legislature and other authorities of the
state, which the exception of those only established in
San Felipe and Nacogdoches, which were out of the
reach of their power. To make up for this, General Cos
thought proper to make these authorities dependent
on himself, and thus making those of popular origin
subservient to the military.

Such is the actual relation in which Texas stands to the
Mexican republic, I might make conjectures as to the
development of this political labyrinth; but I propose to
myself to speak only of facts.

The fundamental compact having been dissolved, and
all the guarantees of the civil and political rights of
citizens having been destroyed, it is inevitable that all
the states of the confederation are left at liberty to act
for themselves, and require Coahuila and Texas to
provide for their security and preservation as
circumstances may require. Coahuila and Texas formed
a state of the republic, and as one part of this is
occupied by an invading force, the free part of it should
proceed to organize a power which would restore
harmony, and establish order and uniformity in all
branches of the public administration, which would be
a rallying point for the citizens, whose hearts now
tremble for liberty! But as this power can be organized
only by means of a convention, which would represent
the free will of the citizens of Texas, it is my opinion
that this step should be taken, and I suggest the 15th
day of October as a time sufficient to allow all the
departments to send their representatives.

[To the colonists at Lynch's] [Lorenzo de Zavala]

[P.S.] As among the grounds on which the Mexican
officers require the obedience of the inhabitants of
Texas, there is one which might influence some by the
gratitude occasioned by the recollection of the act, I
cannot pass over it in silence. It is said that the
inhabitants of Texas are indebted to the supreme
government of Mexico and to those of the state for the
laws given them the land which they cultivate. This is
true: but it must be remembered that those
governments were formed of the same men who are
now persecuted, among whom I have the honor to
count myself one. A party composed of the military,
eccesiastics, and Spaniards, would never have thrown
open their country to foreigners.

Page last modified: April 12, 2016