The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 4
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
England. The claims were indeed small in amount and never of
any great significance in determining the relations of the two coun-
tries, except that they probably added to the unfriendliness
'with which the Melbourne ministry for a time looked upon Texas;
but the incidents occupy so large a part of the diplomatic col-
respondence between the two countries that they are deserving of
(2) Empresario claims.-Several claims to lands in Texas were
presented during the same period. In August, 1839, James Ogilvy
laid claim for himself, as assignee of the empresario grant of
Manuel Bangs and for the Scottish heirs of Doctor James Grant,
to some four hundred sitios of land in the Rio Grande country.
The grants had been forfeited for non-fulfillment of their terms,
but he claimed the non-fulfillment was caused by the breaking out
of war between Texas and Mexico. These claims were referred to in
general terms by Palmerston in a letter of October 23, 1839, in
which he also mentions the case of certain British subjects resident
in Texas who had been driven from their homes and rendered
destitute by the war and who were then living in abject poverty
in New Orleans and Matamoras. Henderson gave Palmerston
very little encouragement as to these refugees, saying they must
have been among the persons who deserted Texas in her hour of
need and so could have no valid claim. The empresario claims
continued to come in. In February, 1843, Charles Elliot, the
British charge d'affaires, laid before the Texas government the
claim of John Charles Beales, a British subject, to large tracts of
land on the Colorado, Nueces, and Arkansas Rivers and on the
Rio Grande. Beales claimed, like Ogilvy, that, though his grants
had been declared forfeited by the Texas government for non-ful-
fillment of the conditions, under which he was, among other things,
to bring a certain number of colonists into Texas, this non-fulfill-
ment was caused solely by the outbreak of the Texas revolution.
He had spent large sums of money in the effort to fulfill these con-
1Henderson to Irion, Nov. 5, 1837, and Jan. 30, and Mar. 8, 1838;
Thompson to the secretary of the navy, Aug. 29, 1837; Irion to Hender-
son, Aug. 23, 1837, and Nov. 28, 1838; Henderson to Palmerston, Oct. 30,
1839; Palmerston to Henderson, Oct. 23, 1839; Elliot to Terrell. Dec. 13,
1842; Elliot to Jones. Aug. 17, 1843; Jones to Elliot, Sep. 4, 1843; Smith
to Elliot, Feb. 22, 1845.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906, periodical, 1906; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/m1/8/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.