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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

property holders during the late ante-bellum period.19 Comparison
of property distribution with the total number of foreigners in
Houston shows that 22.9 per cent of the Germans, 22.8 per cent
of the English, 24.2 per cent of the French, and only 13.6 per
cent of the Irish held real property in 1860 (Table 5). It may
also be noted that 31 per cent of the other nationalities were
holders of real property. These figures are almost the same for
holders of personal property; 21.9 per cent of the Germans, 10.8
per cent of the Irish, 23.7 per cent of the English, 37.1 per cent
of the French, and 3.o0 per cent of the other nationalities were
listed by the census enumerators as the holders of personal prop-
erty. Of those foreigners holding property, the bulk of the Irish
and English held from $1,ooo to $5,000 in real and personal prop-
erty each (Table 5). Germans, on the other hand, were more
evenly distributed along the property scale, about half holding
less than $i,ooo in real and personal property each and about half
holding more than $1,ooo. Among the French, in Houston at least,
the holding of real property was well distributed but personal
property holdings were similar in value.
Sample studies of the manuscript census returns indicate there
was considerable mobility of foreigners living in Texas towns.
Of the forty-three foreign born heads of households living in
Austin in 1850, for example, only five remained in 1860. Of some
forty foreign born heads of households whose names were taken
at random from the manuscript census returns for Galveston in
1850, only nine could be located in the 186o returns for Gal-
veston.20 Sampling of individual names in other cities leads one
to believe that this pattern was characteristic of other major
Texas towns. It may be supposed that a variety of factors includ-
ing economic and social opportunities in the interior contributed
to this mobility. Whether this mobility was such that the indi-
viduals left the state has not been determined.
The record of property holdings by individuals indicates that
those foreigners who continued to live in the same Texas towns
1oThis figure is more impressive when one considers that 197 foreigners in
Houston were less than 18 years of age and an additional 4oo foreigners above
18 years of age were females, most of whom did not hold property.
20Based upon examination of the manuscript returns of Schedule No. 1, Free
Inhabitants, of the United States Census, 1850 and 186o, for Travis and Galveston
counties.

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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 December 21, 2014.