The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 77
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Land Speculation as a Cause of the Texas Revolution. 77
only, such land as they desired, not exceeding eleven leagues to one
person; that no grant was to be made within twenty leagues of a
foreign state without the approval of the supreme government;
and that no one who did not reside in the Republic could retain
a title to any land therein. These last two conditions and the
eleven league limit were imposed by the national colonization law,
and were simply incorporated in the state law.'
2. The Speculations.
Eleven-league grants.-The speculation in Texas lands seems
to have grown out of this right of the government to
sell to Mexicans. The law fixed the price to them at
$100, $150, and $250 per league respectively of pasture,
unirrigable, and irrigable farming land. The first sale by
the government was made to Juan Antonio Padilla, in 1828.
During the next two years only a few sales were made, but in
1830 James Bowie went to Saltillo, at that time the capital of
Coahuila and Texas, and returned with fifteen or sixteen eleven-
league grants, which he had induced Mexican citizens to apply for
and had then purchased from them.2 Other Mexicans, some of
them as far away as the City of Mexico-perceiving a chance of
profit, also applied for eleven-league grants, and received them.s
Doubtless from this time dated a considerable traffic. This may
be inferred from a letter written by Dr. Asa Hoxey to R. M. Wil-
liamson in December, 1832. Writing from Montgomery, Alabama,
whither he had gone on business from Texas, Dr. Hoxey said:
"You mentioned in your last letter that you believed Mexican
grants of eleven leagues could be procured for a reasonable sum,
if so you will perceive by the enclosed proposition that Mr. Edward
Hanrick, George Whitman and myself are disposed to procure some
of them."4 Later testimony shows that the traffic became very ex-
tensive. In February, 1835, B. R. Milam petitioned the political
'Colonization Law of Coahuila and Texas, in Gammel, Laws of Texas,
99-106; National Colonization Law, articles 4, 12, 15, in Gammel, Laws-
of Texas, I 97-98.
'Statement of Samuel M. Williams, in 1840, to Robert Potter, Chair-
man of Committee on Public Lands, supplement to House Journal of Fifth,
Congress (of Texas), p. 369.
'THE QUARTERLY, IX 285.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907, periodical, 1907; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/85/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.