The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 78
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
chief to ask the governor to appoint special commissioners to assign
lands and titles to isolated families in Texas, and gave as the rea-
son for his request that many people who had come to Texas eight
or ten years before under the terms of the colonization law and
had settled on vacant lands and taken the oath of allegiance to
Mexico had during the last year "been surveyed in and attempted
to be dispossessed by foreigners and others under pretended eleven-
league grants." His efforts as empresario and those of the state
"'to colonize designated portions of the lands of Texas," were, he
said, "in great danger of being defeated by the claimants of eleven-
league grants." And Thomas F. McKinney, writing in October,
1835, said that the government had been in the habit of issuing
great numbers of these eleven-league grants at from $100 to $150
a league. There had never been any "hue and cry" raised against
it, many of the best citizens had engaged in the business, and
some of them held grants in their name for friends residing in the
But in 1834 and 1835 a bewildering series of laws was passed
which opened wide the gates to speculation on a wholesale scale.
The law of March 26, 1834. - The first law (March
26, 1834) decreed that the vacant lands of the state
should be surveyed in lots of 177 acres each, and sold
at public auction to the highest bidder at a minimum in Texas of
ten dollars a lot. Payments were to be made in three instalments,
one-third down and the balance in one and two years. Nobody was
to be permitted to buy more than eleven leagues, but the law was
particularly liberal in that it allowed foreigners to purchase and
gave them a year in which to move their families to the state and
become naturalized-which was necessary for the perfection of
their titles. Another liberal feature provided that no one should
be molested for religious or political opinions so long as he kept
the peace. And, finally, it was decreed that no further coloniza-
tion contracts should be entered into, which meant, of course, that
the profits formerly accruing to the empresarios in premiums
would now go to the government.2 By a supplementary law of
-IThe Texas Republican, March 28, and October 24, 1835.
2The law also provided that settlers who were already in Texas and
,not attached to any empresario's colony-especially those of Nacogdoches
.and the eastern frontier-should receive titles to the lands due them, and
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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/m1/86/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.