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PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

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inhabitants, to a national congress that was to meet March 1, 1822. In the mean time the Spanish laws, courts of justice, and public functionaries were to continue as heretofore. The representatives were to be chosen by the same juntas electorales that had lately, since the restoration of the constitution, elected deputies to the cortes, without excluding, as the constitution did, men of African descent from the rights of full citizenship. The clause giving the last electoral college, with its majority of Valle's partisans, the power to choose the members of the constituent congress, is said to have been inserted in the acta by himself.33

On the 17th Gainza issued a proclamation formally placing before the people the resolutions adopted on the 15th, and enjoining on all the duty of abiding by them, and of respecting the laws and authorities recognized by them. Any attempt, by word or deed, to restore Spanish domination was declared high treason, punishable with death. The powers of the congress would be constituent to adopt a form of government and frame the national constitution. Meantime Gainza held civil and military authority, acting with the advice of a provisional junta consultiva, formed with the diputacion provincial and seven additional members, representing respectively Leon, Comayagua, Costa Rica, Quezaltenango, Sololá, Chimaltenango, Sonsonate, and Ciudad Real.35 Neither

32 The following names appear in the acta: Gavino Gainza, Mariano de Beltranena, José Mariano Calderon, José Matías Delgado, Manuel Antonio Molina, Mariano de Larrave, Antonio de Rivera, José Antonio de Larrave, Isidoro de Valle y Castriciones, Pedro de Arroyave, Mariano de Aycinena. Secretaries, Lorenzo de Romaña, Domingo Dieguez. Pineda de Mont., Recop. Ley. Guat., i. 1-14. The news of this declaration reached Spain, and mention was made of it in the córtes Dec. 15, 1821, by Deputy Navarrete. Córtes, Diario extraord., vi., 1821, Dec. 15, 34; Córtes, Diario, viii., 1822, Feb. 12, 5; Romero, Bosq. Hist., 43-4, 66-130; Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 6-9.

This clause gave rise to much trouble afterward.

34 The authorities were to be apprised of any plots against the new régime by persons becoming aware of them, or the latter would be held as aiders and abettors of treason. Carrying concealed weapons, ringing of bells other than for religious service, and injuring or destroying public or private property, under any pretext, would be severely punished. Méx., Gac. Imp., Dec. 1, 1821, 260-3.

35 The additional members were Miguel de Larreinaga, José del Valle, J.

the people at large nor the meeting of the 15th created such a body. It was the creation of the men who remained behind in the hall, including Valle, who drew up the acta.36 Continuing his double dealing, Gainza had issued his proclamation, on the 16th, for the election of representatives to congress. He spoke therein of the longing for independence since 1810, of the popular love for the cause which had been so forcibly sustained at the meeting of the preceding day, and concluded by inviting the whole people to approve the plan, and to appoint their deputies to complete the work.

Before proceeding further with the political situation at the capital of Guatemala, I will devote a little space to laying before the reader some information on one of its most important sections, namely, Chiapas. The population was computed in 1813 at over 100,000 inhabitants, of whom 70,000 were Indians; the remainder were Spaniards and mixed breeds, with a few negroes.$7

As a reward for good services and generous pecuniary contributions to the nation, the Spanish córtes passed, October 29, 1813, a decree bestowing the title of city on the town of Comitan, and that of villa on those of Tusta, Tonalá, Tapachula, and Palenque.

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Antonio Alvarado, Marqués de Aycinena, José Valdés, José M. Candina, and Antonio Robles. Domingo Dieguez and Mariano Galvez were made the secretaries. Marure, Efemérides, 59.

36 The acta was signed at Gainza's house on the 16th, and the extra members were appointed. Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 6.

gos,

37 Ciudad Real, the capital, had in the city proper 6,000, chiefly Spaniards; the outside districts and suburbs swelled the population to 14,000. MazarieMem. Hist. Chiapa, 51. The canon of Chiapas Mariano Robles Dominguez de Mazariegos, being the deputy from his province in the Spanish cortes in 1813, laid before the chamber an interesting memorial, which was afterward given to the press at Cádiz, in one volume, 18mo, of 71 pages, under the title of Memoria Histórica de la Provincia de Chiapa. He suggested means to develop the commerce of the province on its navigable rivers, and particularly with Guatemala and Vera Cruz. His recommendations were heeded, and several ports and rivers were opened to trade. Id., 33-4, 54-9; Córtes, Diario, 1813, xix. 392; Noticioso Gen., Aug. 30, 1816. Mazariegos' successor was also a clergyman, Fernando Antonio Dávila, who took his seat in November, 1813. Córtes, Act. ord., i. 275.

38 From the time of the conquest there existed in all Indian towns ayunta

THE SUBDELEGADOS.

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In contravention of law, the first name of the three proposed by the intendente to the president of Guatemala, for chief of each of the eleven subdelegaciones, was that of some creature of the intendente. Unfitness for the place or immorality counted for nothing if the nomination suited the proposer or the confirming power. These subdelegados, by means of their comisarios, collected the tribute and speculated with it; each being a tyrant who oppressed the Indians at his will.

Education was neglected; ignorance prevailed to such an extent that a large portion of the inhabitants did not know even the first rudiments of their religion. The poorer Spaniards and the mixed breeds were entirely without education. Indeed, in nearly three centuries, not only had the Indians not learned to speak Spanish, but the native Spaniards spoke the six Indian tongues of the province better than their own.39

Chiapas, it is well known, had been an episcopal see, with its cathedral at Ciudad Real, since the first years of the conquest.40 The country is fertile and well

mientos called cabildos, and composed as follows: a gobernador, who was a cacique or noble Indian, generally for life, though 'sin jurisdiccion,' appointed formally in writing by the principal executive of the province; two alcaldes; four, six, or eight regidores, according to population; and some officers called in some places mayores, and in others alguaciles, who aided the regidores, took care of the cabildos' houses, and furnished supplies to travellers going through their towns. They were elected on the first day of January of each year, and were subject to the alcalde mayor and the teniente of each town, by whom they were too frequently badly treated. Mazariegos, Mem. Hist. Chiapa, 28-29.

$9 In some Indian towns, so-called maestros were salaried from the community funds of the inhabitants. Such maestros could scarcely read and write, and most of them were immoral and given to drunkenness. Of course no good results could be obtained from such teachers. The Spanish córtes in 1813 decreed the adoption of measures for promoting public instruction, and o the 24th of October enacted the establishment of a university in the province. Mariegos, Mem. Hist. Chiapa, 51-53; Córtes, Diario, 1813, xix. 392; Id., Act. ord., 1813, i. 113, 141.

The cathedral chapter was composed of four dignitaries, one simple canon, six choir chaplains. The revenue of the diocese was limited. The number of its parishes was forty-seven, which included the eleven of the capital and suburbs. Mazariegos, Mem. Hist. Chiapa, 48. From 1819 to 1836, according to Larrainzar, religious, educational, and general affairs had attained much improvement. In the diocese there were, besides the cathedral,

watered. Its agricultural products were wheat-of which there was a surplus for exportation-maize, beans, rice, coffee, and cacao.41 A variety of vegetaables in abundance, and the fruits of all climes, could also be obtained. The maguey was extensively cultivated for pulque and aguardiente. A great deal of sugar-cane and good tobacco were grown. Indigo and cochineal were cultivated to some extent. The country had likewise excellent grazing. Cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and mules abounded. The mines of gold, silver, lead, copper, and iron were not worked, owing to the poverty of the inhabitants. The governor-intendente of Chiapas in 1817, Cárlos Castañon, as appears in the records, was a confirmed royalist.42

From the time that Iturbide proclaimed the independence of Mexico, the canons of the chapter in the diocese of Ciudad Real-bitterly hostile, like the majority of the Mexican and Central American clergy, to the reforms of the Spanish córtes respecting the church had been in communication with that chieftain's auditor de guerra, Fernandez Almansa, who kept them informed on the progress of the revolution. The clericals looked upon the Mexican chief as the savior of their ancient prerogatives and monopo

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three convents of friars and one of nuns; a hospital, founded by Bishop Juan lvarez de Toledo; an ecclesiastic college, founded by Bishop Bravo de la Serna; primary schools and a university. Since 1819 existed the Sociedad de Amigos del País, to develop agriculture, industry, and learning. The inhabitants of the capital were quite cultured. Discurso, 17-18. In 1813 the Spanish cortes, among other measures for the benefit of Chiapas, decreed that the friars of Guatemala should undertake the conversion of the Indians of Palenque. Córtes, Diario, 1813, xix. 392.

Soconusco cacao being considered the best of America, some loads of it were sent every year to Spain for the use of the royal family.

42 On the 20th of Dec., 1817, he congratulated the viceroy of Mexico on the triumphs of the royal arms. The capture of Mina and other successes were enthusiastically celebrated in Ciudad Real. Noticioso Gen., Feb. 14, 1818, 4; Gaz. de Méx., 1818, ix. 141–2.

43 The bishop of Chiapas, Salvador San Martin, incurred the wrath of the córtes, when he was acting as deputy from Porto Rico, for his support of the royal decree of 1814, that overthrew the national constitution. San Martin was dead when Chiapas followed the example of Mexico in 1821. Alaman, Hist. Méj., v. 314; Méx., Gaceta Imp., i. 11, 173.

CHIAPAS ACCEPTS ITURBIDE.

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lies, and with this end in view, prepared public opinion for setting aside the authority of Fernando VII. and his córtes."4

The governor-intendente, Juan N. Batres, together with the ayuntamiento of Ciudad Real, proclaimed, on the 3d of September, 1821, the separation of Chiapas from Spain, and her acceptance of Iturbide's plan of Iguala. On the 8th all the authorities and officers,

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civil and military, took the oath to support that act, which was administered by the governor of the diocese; after which they had high mass and a sermon. in the cathedral, where the secular clergy and the

"In Ciudad Real, Iturbide was called 'padre salvador de la religion y de la patria.' Id., 10-12.

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