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The Fredonian Declaration of Independence

Town of Nacogdoches

December 21, 1826 

  The Fredonian Rebellion was an early attempt to separate the territory comprising Texas from Mexico. Shortly after the Fredonian Rebellion began in late 1826, the Fredonian rebels entered into a treaty with the Cherokee Indians of East Texas. In return for the aid of the Cherokee Indians in their fight with Mexico, the Fredonian rebels agreed to divide the territory rendered independent with them. This document served as both a Declaration of Independence as well as a treaty commemorating this agreement to divide Texas.

  Both the former Empresario, Haden Edwards, and his brother, Benjamin W. Edwards, signed the document. Notable representatives of the Cherokee were Richard Fields and John D. Hunter.

  The short-lived Fredonian Rebellion came to an abrupt end in early 1827.  Almost ten years later, Martin Parmer, who signed this document as President, would sign the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March of 1836. It appears that Martin Parmer is the only Texan who declared Texas independent of Mexico twice. 

  From H.P.N. Gammel, The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (10 vols.; Austin, 1898), Vol. I, 107-110.


The Fredonian Declaration of Independence

Whereas, the Government of the Mexican United States, have by repeated insults, treachery and oppression, reduced the White and Red immigrants from the United States of North America, now living in the Province of Texas, within the Territory of the said Government, into which they have been deluded by promises solemnly made, and most basely broken, to the dreadful alternative of either submitting their freeborn necks to the yoke of an imbecile, faithless, and despotic government, miscalled a Republic; or of taking up arms in defence of their unalienable rights and asserting their Independence; They—viz:—The White emigrants now assembled in the town of Nacogdoches, around the Independent Standard, on the one part, and the Red emigrants who have espoused the same holy cause, on the other, in order to prosecute more speedily and effectually the War of independence, they have mutually undertaken, to a successful issue, and to bind themselves by the ligaments of reciprocal interests and obligations, have resolved to form a Treaty of Union, League and Confederation.

    For the illustrious object, BENJAMIN W. EDWARDS and HARMAN B. MAYO, Agents of the Committee of Independence, and RICHARD FIELDS and JOHN D. HUNTER, the Agents of the Red people, being respectively furnished with due powers, have agreed to the following Articles.

   1.   The above named contracting parties, bind themselves to a solemn Union, League and Confederation, in Peace and War, to establish and defend their mutual independence of the Mexican United States.

   2.   The contracting parties guaranty, mutually, to the extent of their power, the integrity of their respective Territories, as now agreed upon and described, viz: The Territory apportioned to the Red people, shall begin at the Sandy Spring, where Bradley's raod takes off from the road leading from Nacogdoches to the Plantation of Joseph Dust, from thence West, by the Compass, without regard to variation, to the Rio Grande, thence to the head of the Rio Grande, thence with the mountains to the head of Big Red River, thence north to the boundary of the United Sates of North America, thence with the same line to the mouth of the Sulphur Fork, thence in a right line to the beginning.

   The territory apportioned to the White people, shall comprehend all the residue of the Province of Texas, and of such other portions of the Mexican United States, as the contracting parties, by their mutaul efforts and resources, may render Independent, provided the same shallnot extend further west than the Rio Grande.

   3.   The contracting parties mutually guaranty the rights of Empressarios to their premium lands only, and the rights of all other individuals, acquired under the Mexican Government, and relating or appertaining to the above described Territories, provided the said Empresarios and individuals do not forfeit the same by opposition to the Independence of the said Territories, or by withdrawing their aid and support to its accomplishment.

   4.   It is distinctly understood by the contracting parties, that the Territory apportioned to the Red people, is intended as well for the benefit of the Tribes now settled within the Territory apportioned to the White people, as for those living in the former Territory, and that is incumbent upon the contracting parties for the Red people to offer the said Tribes a participation in the same.

   5.   It is also mutually agreed by the contracting parties, that every individual , Red and White, swo has made improvement within either of the Respective Allied Territories and lives upon the same, shall have a fee simple of a section of land including his improvement, as well as the protection of the government under which he may reside.

   6.   The contracting parties mutually agree, that all roads, navigable streams, and all other channels of conveyance within each Territory, shall be open and free to the use of the inhabitants of the other.

   7.   The contracting parties mutually stipulate that they will direct all their resources to the prosecution of the Heaven-inspired cause which has given birth to this solemn Union, League and Confederation, firmly relying upon their united efforts, and the strong arm of Heaven, for success.

   In faith whereof the Agents of the respective contracting parties hereunto affix their names.  Done in the Town of Nacogdoches, this twenty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six.

B. W. EDWARDS

H. B. MAYO

RICHARD FIELDS

JOHN D. HUNTER

  We, the Comittee of Independence, and the Committee of the Red People, do ratify the above Treaty, and do pledge ourselves to maintain it in good fatih. Done on the day and date above mentioned.

MARTIN PARMER, President

RICHARD FIELDS,

JOHN D. HUNTER,

NE-KO-LAKE,

JOHN BAGS,

CUK-TO-KEH,

HADEN EDWARDS,

W. B. LEGON,

JNO. SPROW,

B. P. THOMPSON,

JOS. A. HUBER,

B. W. EDWARDS,

H. B. MAYO.


Document transcribed by Marisa A. Searle.


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