The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

GENERAL ARTHUR GOODALL WAVELL
AND WAVELL'S COLONY IN TEXAS
A NOTE
EUGENE C. BARKER
In Indian Information, July 1, 1943, Field Marshal Sir Archi-
bald Wavell mentions his grandfather's connection with the
colonization of Texas. Letters and documents in the manuscript
collections of the University of Texas, the Texas State Library,
and the General Land Office disclose this chapter of General
Wavell's career in considerable detail. The story begins in
Chile-or, perhaps, in Spain, where General Wavell served with
distinction in the Peninsular War against the French. In 1820,
at the age of thirty-five, he was second in command of the Chilean
national army with the rank of major general. The Chilean
government sent him to Mexico on a semi-diplomatic mission,
and there he met Stephen F. Austin and began his connection
with Texas. On July 4, 1822, he and Austin signed a partner-
ship agreement looking to the development of Austin's colony,
approval of which by the Mexican government seemed to them
then to be only a matter of days. Wavell was to enlist capital
and form a company in England to promote colonization, de-
velop mines, and carry on an extensive commercial business.
Lending Austin an unspecified amount of money to enable him
to remain in Mexico until his grant should be confirmed, Wavell
sailed from Vera Cruz in the French brig, L'Azema, about the
middle of August, 1822, expecting to reach Bordeaux in fifty
days. A pirate sacked his ship on September 3, and robbed
Wavell of $1700 and all his property. L'Azema then sailed to
Charleston, from which port Wavell continued his voyage on
the British ship London. He arrived at Liverpool, November
11, and between that date and May 22, 1823, wrote Austin
seven letters, the burden of which was that he could not make
financial arrangements without documentary evidence that Aus-
tin's grant was confirmed. Actually, it was not confirmed until
mid-April, 1823, and Austin seems to have replied to none of
1 253 ]

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed December 21, 2014.