This past week, on March 2, Texans marked the 185th year since 59 delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico. Originally, the Texas settlers were not fighting for independence from Mexico, but rather to be recognized as a state of Mexico under the Mexican Constitution of 1824. Mexico had won its independence from Spain only three years earlier and had written a constitution modeled after the constitution of the United States.
In 1824, under the new federal colonization law in Mexico, and with the help of Stephen F. Austin and Baron de Bastrop, Green Dewitt successfully got permission in April 1825, for an impresario contract to settle “400 industrious Catholic families” along the Guadalupe River south of the Austin colony. At that time, there were fewer than 3,000 Mexican citizens in the entire Texas province.