The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 70
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70 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
regarded by the authorities as treacherous and defiant to the laws,
and to the Federal and State governments. Of course, it greatly
aggravated-if it did not cause-all the troubles that afterward
beset the settlement of Robertson's colony.
Yet justice to Mr. Thomson demands full consideration of the
circumstances which impelled his action, which, if they do not jus-
tify his conduct, at least greatly diminish the blame due thereto.
I can not see that he could have done better. He was under obliga-
tion to the Nashville Company, to Robertson, and to the immi-
grants themselves, to conduct them to Robertson's colony, in which
only they were willing to settle. He had conducted them thus far in
good faith, anticipating no opposition, but there they were halted;
no arrangement could be made to procure passports to their de-
sired destination without a trip to the State capital west of the Rio
Grande, either by Robertson, who was in Tennessee, or by a mes-
senger to be sent by him; the delay for such a trip would quite ex-
haust their funds for travel, which were limited. Yet, they could
not otherwise obtain the needed passports. Deluded by the hope
that if they could, by any means, pass Nacogdoches, they would en-
counter no further trouble, they adopted the plan, which they ex-
ecuted, of passing clandestinely around that place. Mr. Thomson
keenly felt his obligations to his company, to his empresario, and
to his immigrants. His condition was extremely distressing. He
and his companions adopted this clandestine passage as the best
proceeding in their power. I am safe in saying that he would not
have done as he did if he had not believed that the circumstances
morally justified his action. Both my father and myself knew him
as an honorable and conscientious gentleman. His necessity re-
sulted from the seemingly unavoidable neglect of Empresario Rob-
ertson to provide for the needed passports.
In January, 1831, my father, with his family, en route from
Ayish to Austin's colony, passed around Nacogdoches on the "Ten-
nesseeans' road," which had been improvised by Thomson's immi-
grants for Robertson's colony, though he had a permit from Austin.
My father did so on the entreaty of a Tennesseean, who, with his
family, had overtaken us, and who had no permit, though he, too,
was going to Austin's colony. I have always regretted this inci-
dent, for it deprived me of an opportunity to pass through the old
historical town of Nacogdoches, which I have never yet seen.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/83/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.