Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
LAND SPECULATION AS A CAUSE OF THE TEXAS
EUGENE C. BARKER.
1. Introduction: the Colonization Laws.
In 1834 and 1835 some large grants of land were made to spec-
ulators by the legislature of Coahuila and Texas. The sale of four
hundred leagues by an act of March 14, 1835, to replenish the
empty treasury of the State was especially resented by the Texans
as an exploitation of their own resources for the benefit of Coa-
huila. To understand all the circumstances, it will first be neces-
sary to review some features of the Mexican colonization laws.
'The colonization law of Coahuila and Texas was promulgated
on the 24th of March, 1825, in accordance with the national de-
cree of August 18, 1824. Foreigners were invited to settle freely
in the country, and live for ten years exempt from taxation, pro-
vided they took the oath of allegiance. To each married man who
desired to farm a labor, or 177 acres, of land was given; if he
wished also to raise cattle, he received an additional twenty-four
labors of grazing land, making a sitio, or league, of 4428 acres in
all. Settlers were required to pay for this amount of land a nom-
inal sum-$30 for a sitio of grazing land, and $2.50 for a labor
of unirrigable and $3.50 for a labor of irrigable farming land.
Payments might be made in three instalments, beginning the
fourth year after settlement. The empresario system was recog-
nized, and contractors were allowed for each hundred families
that they introduced a premium of five leagues and five labors,
provided that they should not receive a premium for more than
eight hundred families-which would enable them to acquire forty-
one leagues and fifteen labors.' Of this amount, however, they
could keep only eleven leagues, being required to alienate the excess
within twelve years. For the purpose of this paper it is important
to note that the government reserved the right to sell to Mexicans,
"Forty leagues of grazing land and forty labors, or a league and fifteen
labors, of farming land.--EDrTonR QUARTERLY.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/. Accessed September 18, 2014.