The Mercer Colony in Texas, 1844-1883
THE MERCER COLONY IN TEXAS, 1844-1883*
NANCY ETHIE EAGLETON
The subject of this thesis, The Mercer Colony in Texas, was
the suggestion of Mrs. Mattie Austin Hatcher, archivist in the
library of The University of Texas. Although the colony was a
source of friction from its beginning, it played an important r61e
in peopling the Republic and State and in the annexation of
Texas. It influenced very materially the blending of the insti-
tutions and ideals of Spanish America, the Old South, and the
Middle West. The fact that my investigations recalled "fireside
memories" of the incidents of generations ago related by my
great-aunt and inspiring lectures given by my history professors
in The University of Texas has added more than ordinary fas-
cination and zest to my search for the material for this thesis.
The subject has been continually challenging, even defiant at
times. It is involved in diplomacy and in local politics; in the
economic structure of the United States and that of Texas; in
Indian affairs and legislative battles; and in judicial procedure
and legal history. An effort has been made to amass the facts
from original research and to present them in their proper per-
spective. Little attempt has been made to interpret these facts.
The first-hand information that I have found has come pri-
marily of diplomatic correspondence of the Republic of Texas,
reports and records from the General Land Office, legislative and
congressional journals, colonization papers, court records, and
contemporary newspapers. This information has been supple-
mented to some extent by information gained from biographies
of Mercer's contemporaries and from letters duly noted in my
I should like to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Mr. M.
A. Roberts, Superintendent of the Reading Room, Library of
Congress; Mr. J. H. Walker, Commissioner of the General Land
Office of Texas; Mr. Hillary Hart, Clerk of the United States Dis-
*This thesis was accepted by the faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Texas in the summer session of 1935 in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/. Accessed July 29, 2014.