Texas Fvr Trade in 1832
A GLIMPSE OF THE TEXAS FUR TRADE IN 1832
CONTRIBUTED BY EUGENE C. BARKER
The following letter from one Francis Smith, at Tenoxtitlan,
offers an interesting glimpse of busy commerce at the westernmost
settlement in Texas in the spring of 1832. Tenoxtitlan was estab-
lished in pursuance of an order from General Manuel de Mier y
Teran, commandant of the Eastern Interior States, to Colonel
Elosua, principal commandant of Coahuila and Texas, dated April
24, 1830.1 Elosua was instructed to send Lieutenant Colonel
Francisco Ruiz from Bexar with the company of the Alamo to
establish a post on the Brazos River west of the Bexar-Nacogdoches
road. The garrison was to form a nucleus for a. civil settlement
of Mexican colonists; and the whole enterprise was a part of the
general scheme of Mexican counter-colonization projected against
the Americans by the law of April 6, 1830. On September 20,
1830, Teran approved the location of the fort six leagues west of
the point where the Bexar-Nacogdoches road crossed the Brazos.
This would place it near the present intersection of the Brazos river
and !he International & Great Northern Railroad. In December,
Teran wrote the minister of relaciones that forty Mexican families
were already settled at the place,2 but this is somewhat doubtful.
The troops abandoned the fort in August, 1832, during the gen-
eral rising against the Bustamante forces.
The letter here quoted is addressed to Messrs. A. G. and R. Mills,
Brazoria, Texas, and the original is filed in the Nacogdoches
Archives in the Texas State Library. The census reports of the De-
partment of Nacogdoches in this same collection estimate the value
of furs and peltry exported from Nacogdoches as follows: 1828,
eight thousand dollars; 1830, five thousand dollars "more or less,"
the decrease in the trade being accounted for by the "multitude"
of Indians coming in from the north, who '"diminished the catch"
and presumably sold through other channels; 1831, six thousand
'Spanish Records, Vol. 53, page 126, General Land Office (Texas).
'University of Texas transeipts from archives of the Department of
Fomento (Mexico), Legajo 5, expediente 34.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/. Accessed December 7, 2013.