TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Early settlers threw mega-wedding
Strict, religious Mexican laws
allowed for unusual ceremony

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
There was a time in Texas history when our grand state still belonged to Mexico, where the law required all Colonists to adopt the Catholic faith to become Mexican citizens. Plus, you had to be a bonafide Mexican citizen to own land and, of course, all Colonists wanted to own land.

Complicating the problem, only marriages performed by a Catholic priest were recognized. The remoteness of the frontier left few if any priests available. Not to be constrained by technicalities, a process was adopted whereby couples could be bonded. They merely signed an agreement to be married by a priest at the first opportunity and meanwhile could live as legally wedded couples. Passion triumphed again.

As time passed there were a lot of children born, many bonded "pregnant" wives, a few couples who decided to "unbond" by splitting the sheet and tearing up the agreement and going on about their way in the singular.

Finally a priest arrived in the area to rescue the bonded colonists from "heresy and infidelity" and to baptize the children. Now, if you haven't attended a Catholic wedding recently, it takes awhile. Also, entertainment and fun was hard to come by on the frontier. This opportunity was too good to pass up.

The priest was overwhelmed by the number of couples needing his services and decided to marry them in groups of six. Not only were the number of waiting couples astonishing, there were swarms of unbaptized children running wild up and down the creeks. He asked the Comisario of the Colony, Henry Smith, who later became the Provisional Governor of new Texas, to assemble a crew of associates to help with the gathering of the sinners for the ceremonies. Smith described the melee as follows.

"Some two-hundred or more colonists gathered for the occasion. Barbeque pits were dug, food prepared, musicians hired for the all-night dances and a plentiful supply of 'exhilarating libations' were on hand. Needless to say, there were few nuptial jitters among the couples as most had been living together for years."

As the wedding party began and the festivities reached an accelerated tempo, the priest realized the Church had an opportunity to refurbish its meager coffers and decided to charge $25 per wedding.

Most were so happy from the exhilarating libations they paid the fee willingly so they could return to the party.

The baptismal of the children turned into wholesale sprinklings with whichever could be captured by the crew and of course donations being accepted from the parents.

Smith and his crew were hard-pressed to muster the proper wife, husband and brood at the proper ceremony. Near the last almost any willing substitution was accepted.

The priest tried to ignore the blushing brides in "delicate condition" and finally, after a frantic day of frustration and praying, the last couples were conjoined legally "until death do us part." The Colony was now legal in the eyes of the Church and Mexico.

The wedding party lasted until the food and drink were gone.

Tired, hungover and broke, the newlyweds loaded up, gathered their broods and drifted homeward without much excitement. After all, for most, the honeymoon had been over for years.


Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" May 13, 2008 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

More Texas Weddings
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: May 13, 2008