The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

Saoe Plais for /ritish immigration
to rexas in 1849 aild 1850
WILBUR S. SHEPPERSON
ALTHOUGH BRITISH-AMERICAN RELATIONS were often inhar-
monious during the mid-nineteenth century, the two
powers found themselves to be in general agreement on
the subject of immigration. Indeed, it was an unusually auspicious
era in the history of Anglo-Saxon migration. Britain did not
object, but rather appeared content, to see her citizens leave, and
America did not protest, but many times seemed pleased, to note
the British arrivals. The United Kingdom furnished the United
States with nearly 925,000 persons during the "hungry forties,"
and over 1,6oo,ooo British citizens left for republican shores dur-
ing the "fitful fifties." Since America was predominantly an agri-
cultural country, a large number of the new arrivals settled on the
soil. And while they generally preferred the partially improved
farms of the Old Northwest to the undeveloped western frontier,
an unusual interest had also been stimulated in Texas lands.
For over two decades the diplomatic and economic value of
Texas had been argued in the British and American press. In the
era of Mexican control, empresarios and other speculators in
Texas lands attempted to convince prospective immigrants that
the Southwest was a propitious area for settlement, and even larger
numbers of agents and promoters made their way to Britain in
the years of the Lone Star Republic. A pattern of considerable
British immigration began in the late 1830's, declined during the
mid-1840's, and mushroomed again into a somewhat incoherent
but extensive movement toward mid-century. Several small parties
of immigrants like the Scots, who arrived in Grimes County in
1848, and the Midlands' operatives, who moved into Cass County
in 1849, appear to have made their way more or less independ-
ently to the new state, while other small bodies were sent out by
groups actively engaged in programs of immigration. It is the

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed September 17, 2014.