CONTRACTS FOR AUSTIN'S COLONY,
Translation of the Laws, Orders and Conltracts on Colonisation from
Janutary, 1821, ulp to 1829; i' vzirtzue of wehich, Colonel Stephen F.
Azstin zntroduced and settledforezgni enzigrants in Texas: wit/h an
To the Settlers inz what is called "Austins's Colony,"' zin Texas.
Is order that the settlers, who have been established in Texas, under
the authority granted by the government, to Mr. Stephen Fuller Austin,
may fully understand the means by which they obtained admission, and
procured titles for land in this country, and the nature of those titles,
the following succinct narrative is presented to them, as an introduction
to the translations of the several laws, decrees and contracts on colonisation,
which follow, in the regular order of their dates. Manuscript translations
of these documents, have heretofore been made and published, so
far as it was practicable to give publicity to them in that shape, and the
originals have always been open to the inspection of any one who called
at the office for that purpose. The earliest, and only opportunity which
has ever occurred, of publishing them in print, is now embraced.
The idea of forming a settlement of North Americans in the wildeiness
of Texas, originated with Mr. Moses Austin, of Missouri, and after
the conclusion of De Onis's treaty in 1819, efforts were made by him to
put matters in train for an application to the Spanish government in
Spain. If the application succeeded, it was contemplated to remove a
number of families in a body, through Arkansas territory; and as a preparatory
step, his son, Stephen Fuller Austin, was sent to Long Prairie,
on Red river, with some hands, and a resting place,
until some preparation could be made in the wilderness of Texas. It
was thought that the farm could be advantageously sold afterwards, or
continued as a cotton plantation. should the enterprise totally fail. At
that time, there were but three families at Long Prairie, and Hempstead
county had just begun to settle. In answer to the inquiries of the elder
Austin, as to the best mode of laying the subject before the Spanish government,
he was advised to apply to the Spanish authorities of New
Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed February 7, 2016.