1830’s Texas was not a place for the fainthearted. Daily existence was as likely to be experienced in the state of nature, as under the protection of government. The town of Gonzales, capital of the DeWitt colony, found itself the target of repeated raids by fierce warriors of the Comanche, Karankawa, and other native tribes. The town petitioned the federal government in Mexico City to provide protection from the marauding tribes. The answer to the town’s request came in the form of a small cannon.
By 1835, the federalist system of Mexico’s 1824 Constitution had devolved to centralism bordering on totalitarianism. Heavy handed tactics by the central authorities spurred the Texian colonists towards rebellion. As tensions escalated, Mexican Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea demanded the return of the Gonzales cannon. To which the stalwarts of Gonzales, led by Alcalde Andrew Ponton, famously replied, “Come and take it!”