The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917

Diplomatic Relations Between France and Texas

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN FRANCE AND THE
REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
HERIBERT ROOK EDWARDS
III
FRENCH COLONIZATION IN TEXAS
We shall now turn to the efforts to colonize Texas by European
emigration. We shall first notice some of the colonization laws
made to encourage this emigration, and then the efforts of various
colonization companies operating under the laws. The vast amount
of unsettled land in Texas and the sparseness of the population
account for the efforts to induce foreign emigration to Texas.
On January 4, 1841, a law was passed entitled "An Act Grant-
ing Land to Emigrants." This act provided that every free white
person who was the head of a family, who had emigrated to Texas
since January 1, 1840, or who should emigrate to Texas before
January 1, 1842, should be entitled to six hundred and forty acres
of land, provided he would settle on the land, cultivate ten acres,
and have it surveyed. Under the same conditions, any single free
white man was entitled to three hundred and twenty acres. How-
ever, no man was to receive a patent to the said lands, unless he
presented a certificate from the chief justice of the county in which
he resided which showed by the sworn statements of two cred-
ible witnesses that he had complied with the conditions of the
law, and had taken the oath of allegiance. Furthermore, the
president was authorized to form contracts for settling "vacant
and unappropriated lands" in Texas. This contract provided that
the holders of such contracts were to introduce into Texas, within
three years from the date of the contract, a certain number of
families, and that they should commence settlement within one
year from the date of the contract. The president was to desig-
nate certain limits of territory within which the emigrants were
to reside. Not more than six hundred and forty acres, "to, be
located in a square," were to be given to one family, or three
hundred and twenty acres to any single man over seventeen years
of age. No contract between a contractor and families or persons

341

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/. Accessed August 22, 2014.