The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1

for Austin's Colony.

a matter of voluntary contract, formed and entered into, by and between
Austin on the one part, and the settlers on the other; and in order to
give due notice of said contract, to all concerned, it was published in
the newspapers, so that each might know, before he started from his
former residence, to emigrate, on what terms he would be received; and
the act of applying for admission, as one of the 300 settlers, was an acceptance
by the applicant, of the terms offered, and a ratification on his
part, of said contract, whether he specially signed a bond to that effect
or not. Austin consulted the governor of Texas on this subject; and
after explaining its nature and objects, he asked the opinion of the governor,
as to whether the government would be likely to interfere with
such an arrangement, between him and the settlers. The governor observel,
that the government would expect a strict compliance, as
to the number and description of settlers, but he could see no
reason why it should interfere with any private arrangement, legally
and fairly made with them, of the kind indicated. The case was supposed
that should 900 families apply for admission, only 300 of them
could be received, and he should therefore say to them, those who pay
me a certain sum will be admitted. The opinion was expressed that if
no fraud, or deceptive allurements were held out, to mislead, even such
an arrangement as that, freely and voluntarily made, and understood
by all parties, would not be interfered with by the government; he observed,
however, that it was merely a matter of opinion with him, as he
could not say what the superior government might do in such cases.
Under this view of the matter, and for the objects of general utility,
before explained, Austin adopted the plan he did, in regard to the twelve
and a half cents per acre. This explanation is given, because this subject
belongs properly to the history of the land titles: and it is one about
which there has been some erroneous impressions. It is very evident
that mere speculation was not the object, as some have stated, for but
little would have been left, at best, after paying the expense of surveying,
the office fees, the commissioner's fees, the stamp paper, and defraying
the other necessary expenses; the object, therefore, must have been the
general good of all, and not the private speculation of one individual.
In December, 1821. Austin arrived on the river Brazos, at the La
Bahia road with the first emigrants, and the new settlement,-was commenced
in the midst of an entire wilderness. Without entering into a
detailed history of the settlement, and noticing all the difficulties, privations
and dangers that were surmounted by the first emigrants, it is
sufficient to say, that such a detail would present examples of inflexible
perseverance and fortitude, on the part of those settlers, which have
been seldom equalled, in any country or in any enterprise.
In March, Austin proceeded to Bexar, to make his report to the governor,
where he was informed for the first time, that it would be necessary
for him to proceed immediately to the city of Mexico. in order to procure
from the Mexican congress, then in session. a confirmation of the
permission to Moses Austin, and receive special instructions, as to the
distribution of land, the issuing of titles, and of the complete independence of Mexico. on his arrival
at Bexar, in August of that year; so that the official acts of governor
(7)

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 July 11, 2014.