The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 107
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De Witt's Colony.
The important part that Kerr had taken in these activities at
the Lavaca station was shown by the position which he was given
by De Witt on July 14, 1827. There seems to have been an un-
derstanding between the two from the first that Kerr was to act
as De Witt's agent whenever it seemed advisable. But now De
Witt officially appointed Kerr as his attorney for the colony.1 By
this act De Witt conferred upon Kerr authority
%o do and perform all and singular the duties im-
posed upon me, the said De Witt, * * *; 'and my name to
use as his own, at his will and pleasure, touching these premises to
carry into effect all legal proceedings by me made; to seal, execute
and deliver such grants, deeds and conveyances and other instru-
ments as might be fit and lawful for me to do under the coloniza-
tion law, the instructions of the commissioner and political chief,
and also of the state and general government; hereby ratifying and
confirming and by these presents allowing whatsoever my said at-
torney shall in my name, lawfully do, or cause to be done in and
about the premises.2 * * *
The reasons De Witt assigned for this step were that he himself
intended either to go to war against the Indians, or to return to
the United States to encourage immigration; that the business
was too much for one man, and, therefore, an agent was needed;
and that Kerr's competence and integrity made him specially fit
for the place.3 Kerr had proved himself so capable that the colo-
nists, too, desired that he be given a large portion of the au-
It would seem that by this time the people had ceased to look
upon the Lavaca settlement as a temporary location. They began
their second year by planting another crop and making new im-
provements. But, if it was now their intention to make of this
a permanent settlement, they were destined to be as unsuccessful
here as they had been at Gonzales. The settlement at Gonzales
had been destroyed by an Indian attack. This one was to be
abandoned, partly as a result of a quarrel embittered by race feel-
ing, which arose between these American colonists and their Mexi-
1De Witt to political chief, July 14, 1827. Appendix to Empresario
Contracts, II 181.
2 Brown, History of Texas, I 129.
8 De Witt to political chief, July 14, 1827. Bexar Archives.
4 Kerr to Austin, February 26, 1827. Austin Papers, class E, no. 149.
"The people," he says, "are anxious that the Colonel [De Witt] should
appoint some person to manage his affairs. Think over this and perhaps
you had better write him."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/109/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.