The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Foreigners in the Principal Towns of Ante-Bellum Texas 211
With the exception of New Braunfels, all of the principal Texas
towns had a strong sprinkling of numerous other nationalities.
Galveston, for example, included in its 186o population, fifty-six
Scots, forty-two Swiss, thirty-three Canadians, twenty-four Danes,
and thirteen Swedes. In all, natives from twenty-two different
countries lived in the city. San Antonio, also with natives from
twenty-two foreign countries, contained one hundred and seven-
teen Poles, fifty-seven Swiss, sixteen Russians, thirteen Italians,
and twelve Danes. Houston, with natives from twenty-four foreign
nations, included twenty-two Canadians, seventeen Scots, thirteen
Poles, and thirteen Swiss in its 186o population. The largest
Swedish colony in the major Texas towns was found in Austin,
where thirty-two Swedes resided in 186o. The largest Spanish-born
population resided in Brownsville, where twenty-five such persons
were listed in the manuscript returns of the 186o federal census.6
A study of migration patterns of foreign born indicates that
most foreigners living in Texas came directly from Europe, passing
through one of the principal seaports, probably Galveston. Exam-
ination of personal data for foreigners living in Houston, for
example, shows that approximately nine out of ten Europeans
came directly to Texas from abroad, or at least if they passed
through other areas their stay there was brief, as all children
were born either in Europe or in Texas. There were, of course,
numerous exceptions in Houston and other towns. A number of
foreigners came through Louisiana, lived briefly there, and mi-
grated to Texas. The case of two families illustrates this migra-
tion pattern. J. McDonald, a fifty-two year old Galveston hotel
keeper, and his wife, both born in Ireland, had two daughters
born in Louisiana and three daughters and a son born in Texas.7
E. Oliver, a merchant living in Houston, was a native of France
who had married a Louisianian. A sixteen-year-old daughter
and two sons, aged seven and four, had been born in Louisiana,
and a two-year-old son, James, had been born in Texas."
6Based upon a study of the manuscript returns of Schedule No. 1, Free Inhabitants,
of the United States Census, 186o. The originals of these returns are in the National
Archives, Washington, D. C. The writer used microfilm copies in the library of
Lamar State College of Technology, Beaumont, Texas. Appreciation is expressed
to Linda Elizabeth Malin for her assistance in tabulating findings from these
manuscript returns.
7Ibid., Galveston county, City of Galveston, grd Ward, lo2.
slbid., Harris county, City of Houston, 3rd Ward, 118.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed July 14, 2014.