Lot 54 of 96:
Mexico´s first colonization decree, 1823  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,437.50
$4,000 - $6,000

[Decree of the Junta Nacional Instituyente passed January 3, 1823, approved by Iturbide on January 4, and promulgated the same day by Jose Manuel de Herrera; a general colonization law]

Iturbide, Agustin de / Jose Manuel de Herrera





4 pp. Single folded sheet. Headed at top left of 1st page: "Primera Secretaria de Estado, Seccion de Gobierno"; signed "Herrera" in type at end. 30x21.5 cm (11¾x8¼"). Housed in custom modern leather folder tooled in blind and lettered in gilt.

Rare printing of Mexico´s first colonization decree: The Imperial Colonization Law. It is considered by Streeter (694) to be "one of the fundamental laws relating to Texas." Acting under its directive, Iturbide granted Austin's petition to establish a colony in Texas (February 18, 1823). Although Iturbide was later overthrown, the subsequent Congress confirmed Austin's colonization claim on April 11, 1823. 

When Mexico became independent in 1821, the provisional government failed to recognize Austin’s empresario grant, and it chose to settle terms of colonization and immigration by general law. In the summer of 1822 Emperor Iturbide and the Mexican Congress were at odds, so much so that with little warning, Iturbide dissolved the body on October 31. A few days later he assembled the Junta Nacional Instituyente, consisting of 45 members of the old congress that were loyal to Iturbide. It was this reformed congress that passed the colonization bill that was ultimately signed into law of January 4, 1823. 
We could find only a microform version at Texas A&M San Antonio in OCLC.
This copy with six-line ink inscription in Spanish at the end, signed Feb. 1 de 1820, Luis Antonio Garcia, with rubric; another signature below.
Mexico´s first colonization decree: The Imperial Colonization Law. 
 All legislative bodies of the provisional and regular governments appointed committees to frame a colonization law, but the first such law was that passed by the Junta Instituyente, Emperor Agustín de Iturbide's rump congress, on January 3, 1823. This law invited Catholic immigrants to settle in Mexico; provided for the employment of agents, called empresarios, to introduce families in units of 200; defined the land measurement in terms of labores (177 acres each), leagues or sitios (4,428 acres), and haciendas (five leagues each); and defined the privileges and certain limitations of immigrants and empresarios. Families who farmed were promised at least a labor of land, those who raised cattle, a league, those who both farmed and raised cattle, a labor and a league. Settlers were free of tithes and other taxes for six years and subject only to half payments for another six years; families might import "merchandise" free of duty and tools and materials for their own use to the value of $2,000; and settlers became automatically naturalized citizens upon residence of three years, if married and self-supporting. An empresario might receive premium lands to the amount of three haciendas and two labors (roughly 66,774 acres) for settling 200 families. Total premiums and permanent holdings of empresarios were limited. Article 30 of the law, by inference, permitted immigrants to bring slaves into the empire but declared children of slaves born in Mexican territory free at the age of fourteen and prohibited domestic slave trading, a limitation that was sometimes evaded. The law provided for settlement by the local governments of immigrants not introduced by empresarios. The law was annulled by the abdication of the emperor in March 1823, but the provisional government that succeeded Iturbide applied its terms by special decree to Austin's first colony in April 1823. 

Lot Amendments

Some foxing and minor wear, old folds, the inscriptions on p.4 bleeding through to p.3 a bit; very good

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