The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 109
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De Witt's Colony.
ing that his right to the land be recognized; that he be allowed to
give to his colonists those lands in this section not yet occupied by
De Witt; and that the boundaries of his town be designated. To
this the governor replied, on October 6, 1825, that the commissioner
should distribute the lands in question to De Le6n's colonists and
formally lay out the town of Guadalupe Victoria; and that De Witt
should be informed of this decision in order that he might not inter-
fere with the inhabitants of Victoria.1 To De, W'itt's etter he replied
on the same day, restating the provision of his contract commanding
him to respect the claims of all persons on his lands holding legal
titles. He admitted, however, that the land De Le6n was occupy-
ing was included in the grant made to De Witt.'
A year later, as has already been shown,3 Kerr made another at-
tempt to secure the whole of the Lavaca River for De Witt. He
repeated in substance the request that De Witt had made, that lands
along the Guadalupe be given to De Le6n in exchange for his in-
terests on the Lavaca. But the political chief seemed to prefer to
allow De Witt and De Le6n to settle the matter for themselves.4
It is quite probable that these conflicting land interests had
caused more or less ill feeling between De Witt's and De Le6n's
colonists. Indeed, without presupposing the existence of some irri-
tation, we can not account for the bitterness exhibited in the petty
trouble that now arose concerning contraband trade-an affair
which, in its bearing upon the dissolution of the settlement, was
of more importance than the land quarrel.
In October, 1826, the schooner Escambia landed at the mouth of
the Lavaca River bringing on board a gentleman from Missouri,
Thomas Powell by name. He had come with all his property to
settle in this country, hoping to find here a climate more condu-
cive to his health. Upon landing, Powell presented himself to
De Witt, and received permission from him to select lands and
settle in his colony." The cargo, with the exception of one boat-
load that had been sunk,6 was landed and carried up to the station
1Record of Translations of Empresario Contracts, 55-66.
2 Kerr to political chief, December 12, 1825. Appendix to Empresario
Contracts, II 178-180.
' See above, p. 105.
* Kerr to Austin, August 23, 1826. Austin Papers, class D, no. 31.
" Powell to Austin, October 24, 1827. Austin Papers, class D, no. 16.
Alcalde of De Witt's colony to Saucedo, November 8, 1826. Bexar
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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/m1/111/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.