Spanish Administration in Texas
As an administrative unit, Texas was a part of the Kingdom of New Spain. The
government of Texas, apart from the missions, was almost entirely military. The official
head of the province was the governor. He exercised both civil and military power.
Governors were examined through vistas, or inspections, and through a residencia, or
investigation, at the end of the governor's term. All important matters of administration,
such as the founding of new missions, new presidios, and new colonies, were referred
directly to the governor. All decisions of the governor needed royal approval, but often
the act needing approval had already been fulfilled.
The positions of governor and presidial commander were made attractive largely
by the opportunity which they afforded for making money in addition to the fixed
salaries. The pay of soldiers was made chiefly in food, clothing, and equipment,
purchased by the governor and commanders, and charged to the presidial soldiers at
enormous profits. Thus the post of governor or captain was almost as much a merchant as a solider.