Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
After the treaty of 1819, Texas, abandoned by the United States
and neglected by Spain, was left for awhile almost entirely to
It was just at this time that Moses Austin presented his petition
to locate upon vacant lands in Texas three hundred families from
the United States. In her attitude toward the entrance into
Texas of foreigners, especially those from the United States, Spain
had been consistently exclusive. Her experience with the fili-
busters had been so annoying that it was not unnatural that she
should refuse peaceable admission to those who came so often as
invaders. Therefore, when Austin, in 1820, made his petition for
a grant of land in Texas, Governor Martinez, acting in accordance
with instructions from the general commandant relative to per-
sons coming from the United States, imperatively ordered him to
leave Texas at once. And this attempt at Anglo-American colo-
nization would have failed utterly but for the intervention of
Baron de Bastrop-an influential German friend of Austin's, then
in the service of the Spanish government-whom he chanced to
meet just as he was on the point of leaving B6jar. By the help
of Bastrop, Austin obtained the desired concession, although it
was directly contrary to Spain's general policy.
After the Mexican Revolution it became necessary for Stephen F.
Austin, who upon the death of his father had taken up the enter-
prise, to have the grant confirmed by the Mexican authorities.
For this purpose the matter was referred to the junta instituyente
organized by the emperor, Iturbide, in 1822.1 Austin's plan
involved special legislation, but the presence in Mexico of sev-
eral other men who were seeking grants2 made necessary a gen-
eral colonization law, which was enacted January 4, 1823. A
new revolution, however, overthrew Iturbide, and all acts of his
government were consequently declared void, March 19, 1823.
During the next month the concession that had been made to Aus-
tin was confirmed, but the other petitioners were still unprovided
for. There was, therefore, the same need as before for general leg-
islation, and on August 18, 1824, a new national colonization law
was passed. This law made no detailed regulations, but left them
to be established by the legislatures of the different states. On
March 24, 1825, the congress of the state of Coahuila and Texas
adopted the law by which, with the exception of Austin's colony,
all Texas was colonized.
"Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, II 62.
"Among these are said to have been Hayden Edwards, General Wilkin-
son, Robert Leftwitce] " nn Green De Witt.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/. Accessed April 19, 2014.