The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 79
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Land Speculation as a Cause of the Texas Revolution. 79
April 23, 1834, it was decreed that after the lands had been "once
exposed at public sale with all the formalities," if no offer were
received as high as the minimum, they might later be sold to any
person offering the minimum price "without the necessity of again
opening the auction."
That advantage was taken of this law for speculative purposes
does not positively appear-perhaps the eleven-league limit made
it unattractive,-but the supplementary decree certainly does sug-
gest a clearing of the decks for rapid action. And Judge T. J.
Chambers, writing in 1837, declared that only by his efforts was
defeated the proposal of a "foreign millionaire company," whose
agent was Gen. John T. Mason, to purchase for a "pittance" some
twenty million acres of land on the eastern frontier. "He was in-
formed by several means," he said, "that members of the legis-
lature and the governor were offered large bribes to pass the meas-
ure; the governor was pledged to him to veto the bill if it passed,
but fortunately a majority of the members were honest and killed
it."2 Mason did, however, secure a large grant during this session
of the legislature, and after reviewing all the eviednce it is not
altogether clear that he did not get it under some extension of this
The law of April 19, 1834. - The second law affecting
the public lands was passed April 19, 1834. "With the
intention," runs the preamble, "of protecting the lives and
property of the citizens, constantly sacrificed to the per-
fidy, rage, and barbarity of the hostile Indians, and desirous that
so important and sacred an object may be accomplished without
giving additional care to the general government, . .. the
congress of the state . .. has thought proper to decree:
"Art. 1. The executive, availing himself of the resources of the
state, shall repress the ferocity of the savages . . .
"Art. 2. For said object the executive may dispose of such num-
333 persons took advantage of the opportunity to obtain titles to an ag-
gregate of 325 leagues of land.-John P. Borden, Land Commissioner, to
Robert Potter, Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, in Supple-
ment to House Journal, Fifth Congress (of Texas), p. 347.
'Decrees of Coahuila and Texas, Nos. 272 and 280, in Gammel, Laws
of Texas, I 357-62 and 382.
'Sketch of the Life of Gen. T. J. Chambers of Texas, by his nephew,
Wm. N. Chambers, of Liberty county (Galveston, 1853), p. 36, quoting
from a pamphlet published by T. J. Chambers in 1837.
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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/m1/87/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.