Mier Y Terán

José Manuel Rafael Simeón de Mier y Terán, Mexican general, was born in Mexico City on February 18, 1789. He visited Texas twice: first, as leader of a boundary-commission expedition to Nacogdoches in 1828-1829 and second, as commandant general of the Eastern Interior Provinces, in which role he visited Galveston Bay in November 1831. He joined Jose Maria Morelos in the movement for Mexican independence in 1811 and fought under Ignacio Rayon. In 1821, he joined Agustin de Iturbide to banish the Spaniards under the Plan de Iguala. He served in the first constituent congress in 1822 as a member of the committee on colonization of unoccupied lands. In 1827 President Guadalupe Victoria named him to lead a scientific and boundary expedition into Texas to observe the natural resources and the Indians, to discover the number and attitudes of the Americans living there, and to determine the United States-Mexico boundary between the Sabine and the Red Rivers.

As part of the Boundary Commission, Mier y Teran traveled with a mineralogist; a botanist, zoologist, and artist; and a mapmaker and artist. All the men kept diaries. In his report on the commission, Mier y Teran recommended that measures should be taken to stop the United States from getting Texas. His suggestions for Texas included more military bases surrounding the settlements, closer trade ties with Mexico, and the encouragement of more Mexican and European settlers. His suggestions were included in the Law of April 6, 1830, which also called for the prohibition of slavery and closing the borders of Texas to Americans.

Early in 1830, President Anastasio Bustamante named Mier y Teran commandant general of the Eastern Interior Provinces, where he supervised political and military affairs in Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. He visited Anahuac in November 1831, to name George Fisher as collector of customs. Teran was not happy with the Texans who refused to pay taxes. He ordered Fisher to enforce collection of the national tariff on the Brazos River. He also ordered John Davis Bradburn to enforce national laws regarding titles and to break up any council that was installed without government approval. These orders caused friction with the settlers, who blamed Fisher and Bradburn for acting as authoritarians.

During his time in office, Mier y Teran was concerned over the inability of incoming American settlers to adapt to the Mexican cultures. Mier y Teran’s health was failing and he felt hopeless about the problems of the colonization in Texas. He died in 1832.

Source: Mier Y Terán
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