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constitutional Ayuntamientos and other legal establishments formed, in conformity with the laws.
Art. 16. The government shall take care, in accord with the respective, ecclesiastical authority, that these new towns are provided with a sufficient number of spiritual pastors, and in like manner, it will propose to Congress a plan for their decent support.
Art. 17. In the distribution of lands for settlement among the different provinces, the government shall take care, that the colonists shall be located in those which it may consider the most important to settle. As a general rule, the colonists who arrive first shall have the preference in the selection of land.
Art. 18. Natives of the country shall have a preference in the distribution of land; and particularly the military of the army, of the three guarantees, in conformity with the decree of the 27th of March, 1821; and also those who served in the first epoch of the insurrection.
Art. 19. To each Empresario, who introduces and establishes families in any of the provinces designated for colonization, there shall be granted at the rate of three haciendas and two labors, for each two hundred families so introduced by him, but he will lose the right of property over said lands, should he not have populated and cultivated them, in twelve years from the date of the concession. The premium cannot exceed nine haciendas and six labors, whatever may be the number of families he introduces.
Art. 20. At the end of twenty years the proprietors of the lands, acquired in virtue of the foregoing article, must alienate two thirds part of said lands, either by sale, donation, or in any other manner he pleases. The law authorizes him to hold in full property and dominion one third part.
Art. 21. The two foregoing articles are to be understood, as governing the contracts made within six months, as after that time, counting from the day of the promulgation of this law, the executive can diminish the premium as it may deem proper, giving an account thereof to congress, with such information as may be deemed necessary.
Art. 22. The date of the concession for lands, constitutes an inviolable law, for the right of property and legal ownership; should any one, through error or by subsequent concession, occupy land belonging to another, he shall have no right to it, further than a preference in case of sale, at the current price.
Art. 23. If, after two years from the date of the concession, the colonist should not have cultivated his land, the right of property shall be considered as renounced; in which case, the respective Ayuntamiento can grant it to another.
Art. 24. During the first six years from the date of the concession, the colonists shall not pay tithes, duties on their produce, nor any contribution under whatever name it may be called.
Art. 25. The next six years from the same date, they shall pay half tithes, and the half of the contributions, whether direct or indirect, that are paid by the other citizens of the empire. After this time, they shall in all things relating to taxes and contributions, be placed on the same footing with the other citizens.
Art. 26. All the instrumeuts of husbandry, machinery, and other utensils, that are introduced by the colonists for their use, at the time of their coming to the empire, shall be free, as also the merchandise introduced by each family, to the amount of two thousand dollars.
Art. 27. All foreigners who come to establish themselves in the empire, shall be considered as naturalized, should they exercise any useful profession or industry, by which, at the end of three years, they have a capital to support themselves with decency, and are married. Those who with the foregoing qualifications marry Mexicans, will acquire particular merit for the obtaining letters of citizenship.
Abt. 28. Congress will grant letters of citizenship to those who solicit them in conformity with the constitution of the empire.
Art. 29. Every person shall be free to leave the empire, and can alienate the lands over which he may have acquired the right of property, agreeably to the tenor of this law, and he can likewise take away from the country all his property, by paying the duties established by law.
Art. 30. After the publication of this law, there can be no sale or purchase of slaves which may be introduced into the empire. The children of slaves born in the empire, shall be free at fourteen years of age.
Art. 31. All foreigners who may have established themselves in any of the provinces of the empire, under a permission of the former government, will remain on the lands which they may have occupied, being governed by the tenor of this law, in the distribution of said lands.
Art. 32. The executive, as it may deem necessary, will sell or lease the lands, which on account of their local situation, may be the most important, being governed with respect to all others, by the provisions of this law.
This law shall be presented to his Imperial Majesty, for his sanction, publication, and fulfilment.—Mexico, 3rd Janury, 1823. 3rd of the independence of the empire.—Juan Francisco, Bishop of Durango, President— Antonio de Mier, Member and Secretary.—Juan Batista de Arispe, Member and Secretary.
Therefore, we order all tribunals, judges, chiefs, governors, and all other authorities, as well civil, as military, and ecclesiastical, of whatever class or dignity they may be, to comply with this decree, and cause it to be complied with, in all its parts; and you will cause it to be printed, published, and circulated.—Given in Mexico, 4th January, 1823.—Signed by the Emperor.—To Don Jose Manuel de Herrera, Minister of Interior and Exterior Relations.
April 6th, 1830.
The Vice President ofliie Mexican United States, to t/ie inhabitants of the Re}mblic:
Know Yk, that the General Congress has decreed as follows:
Art. 1. The entry of those descriptions of cotton goods, prohibited by the law of 22d May last, shall be permitted in the ports of the republic generally, until the 1st January 1831, and in those ports situated on the south sea, until the last of June, 1831.
Art. 2. The duties arising from the importation of such goods, shall be appropriated to maintaining the indivisibility of the Mexican territory, to the formation of a fund of reserve, to be used in case of a Spanish invasion, and to the encouragement of national industry.
Art. 3. The government shall appoint one or more commissioners, whose duty it shall be, to visit the colonies of the frontier states; to contract with the legislatures of said states, for the purchase by the nation of lands suitable for the establishment of new colonies of Mexicans and foreigners; to enter into such arrangements as they may deem proper, for the security of the republic, with the colonies already established ; to watch over the exact compliance of the contracts on the entrance of new colonists; and to inves, tigate how far the contracts already made have been complied with.
Art. 4. The executive is empowered to take possession of such lands as may be suitable for fortifications and arsenals, and for the new colonies, indemnifying the state in which such lands are situated, by a deduction from the debt due by such state to the federation.
Art. 5. The Government may cause such number of the convicts destined for Vera Cruz and other places, as it may deem proper, to be conducted to the colonies it may establish, paying at the same time the expense of removal, of such families as may desire to accompany them.
Art. 6. The said convicts shall be employed in the construction of the fortifications, public buildings, and roads which the respective commissioner may judge necessary; and every convict who, at the expiration of his term of service, shall desire to become a colonist, shall receive a grant of land, and shall be furnished with implements of husbandry and a subsistence during one year.
Art. Y. Mexican families who may voluntarily desire to become colonists, shall be conveyed free of expense, subsisted during the first year, and receive & grant of land and the necessary implements of husbandry.
Art. 8. The individuals spoken of in the anterior articles, shall conform to the laws of colonization of the federation, and the state in which they are settled.
Art. 9. The entrance of foreigners by the frontier of the north, under any pretence whatsoever, is prohibited, unless furnished with a passport, signed by an agent of the republic in the country from which the individual may come.
Art. 10. No change will be made with respect to the colonies already established, nor with respect to the slaves which they now contain; but the general government, and that of each particular state, shall exact, under the strictest responsibilities, the observance of the colonization laws, and the prevention of the further introduction of slaves.
Art. 11. In exercise of the right reserved to the general congress, bj the 7th article of the law of 18th August, 1824, the citizens of foreign countries lying adjacent to the Mexican territory, are prohibited from settling as colonists in the states or territories of the republic adjoining such countries. Those contracts of colonization, the terms of which are opposed to the present article, and which are not yet complied with, shall consequently be suspended.
Art. 12. For and during the term of four years, the coasting trade shall be free to foreign vessels for transportation of produce of the colonies to the ports of Matamoras, Tampico, and Vera Cruz.
Art. 13. For and during the term of two years, the introduction of frame houses, and of every kind of foreign provisions, shall be admitted into the ports of Galveston and Matagorda, free of duty.
Art. 14. The Government is authorized to expend in the construction of . fortifications and public buildings on the frontier, in the transportation of convicts and Mexican families to the new colonies, in the subsistence of such during one year, in implements of husbandry, transportation of troops, and premiums to agriculturists who may distinguish themselves amongst the colonists, and for the general purposes contemplated by the foregoing articles, the sum of five hundred thousand dollars.
Art. 15. For the purpose of raising promptly one half of the said sum, the government is authorized to negotiate a loan, payable from the duties received on coarse cotton goods, at the rate of three per cent, per month, to to be paid at the term fixed by the Arancel.
Art. 16. The twentieth part of the above-mentioned duties, shall be employed to encourage cotton manufactories, by purchasing machines and looms, by furnishing small sums to aid in their establishment, and by such other means as the government may deem most advisable ; apportioning the aid among the states where this branch of industry exists. This appropriation shall be placed at the disposition of the Minister of Relations, to be applied to the above stated interesting objects.
Art. 17. Out of the produce of said duties, shall also be reserved three hundred thousand dollars for the formation of a fund, to be deposited in the treasury, under the most strict responsibility of the government, that it shall not be touched except in case of a Spanish invasion.
Art. 18. The Government shall form a system for the regulation of the
new colonies, and shall, within ope year, lay before congress an account of the colonies established under this law, and a statement of the increase of the new settlement on the frontiers.—Jose Dominguez, Pres't of the Ch. of Dep., Miguel Duque de Estrada, Pres't of the Senate, Juan Vicente Campos, dep. sect., Rafael Delgado, sect, of the Senate.
Wherefore, I command the present to be printed, published and circulated and fulfilled.
Palace of the Federal Government, Mexico, April 6th, 1830.
To D. Lucas Alaman.
November 25th, 1833.
Art. 1. The eleventh article of the law of the sixth of April 1830 is repealed, in all its parts.*
Art. 2. The government is authorised to expend the sums necessary in the colonization of the territories of the confederation, and other vacant places which it has the right to colonize.
Art. 3. The Government is also authorised with respect to lands subject to colonization, to adopt such measures as they [may consider conducive to the security, advancement and stability of the colonies which shall be established.
Art. 4. The repeal spoken of in the first article of this d ecree shall not take effect until the expiration of six months after its publication.
Art. 5. In the authority conceded by the second article is comprehended that of raising fortresses at those points on the frontiers where the executive may think them useful and expedient.
February 4th, 1834.
In relation to the Colonization of the the lands of Coahuila and Texas.
The Vice President of the Mexican United States, in the exercise of the supreme executive power, availing himself of the authority conferred upon
* For the act of 6th April 18BO, see page 621. The 11th article above repealed is as follows: "11. In the exercise of the authority reserved to the general congress in the 7th article of the law of the 18th August 1824, the colonization of foreigners of adjacent countries is prohibited in the state and territories which adjoinsuch foreign nations. Consequently, contracts which are opposed to this law shall be suspended.