Casas Reales. On site chosen July 2, 1731, for "government houses" by people of San Fernando de Bexar, including newly-arrived settlers from the Canary Islands. Structure, erected 1742, had to be rebuilt in 1779 by Don Jose Antonio Curbelo, alcalde of the Villa San Fernando de Bexar. A jail was erected to the south in 1783. From commanding position of Casas Reales on Main Plaza were read official proclamations, to the roll of drums. A noted visitor in 1807 was Lt. Zebulon M. Pike, freed after arrest on upper Rio Grande while exploring Louisiana Purchase for the United States. Briefly in 1813 over the Cases Reales flew the green flag of the rebel Republican Army of the North, formed to free Mexico from Spain's rule. Aided by the Baron de Bastrop, Moses Austin in December 1820 initiated the Anglo-American colonization of Texas by filing his petition and plans with the governor and cabildo (council) in Casas Reales. Santa Anna arrived here February 23, 1836, to press the siege of the Alamo. The bloody "Council House Fight" between Texian leaders and Comanche chiefs occurred here on March 19, 1840. The building served as municipal headquarters under Spanish, Mexican, Republic of Texas, and American regimes, but were vacated in 1850 by the city. (1971) #748