The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 50
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
agreed to bring in French immigrants, establish a large bank,
warehouse, and store, import merchandise from France, and set-
tle the town and adjoining lands with thrifty Frenchmen. The
scheme promised well. The laws of Texas allowed free importa-
tion of French wines, etc. Pellegrini built an immense ware-
house at Harrisburg. In it he gave a grand ball, at which choice
wines and costly French confections were served. Preparations
were made for furnishing the immigrants with lands, on which
to establish vineyards, as in France. But immigrants did not
come in large numbers, and most of those who availed themselves
of Pellegrini's inducements fell victims to malarial and other
climatic diseases. They were unaccustomed to the hardships of
primitive modes of life, and the brilliant enterprise having re-
sulted in failure, its originator was denominated "a mad castle
and Mr. Wm. P. Harris, one of the principal proprietors of the town of
Harrisburg, Harris County, and residing on his farm, Harris County,
Texas, on the other part for himself and in the name of the other pro-
prietors of the town of Harrisburg."
The agreement is 'written in both French and English; its terms are
very liberal towards Pellegrini, ceding to him certain blocks of lots, and
lands, the free use of timber on other lands, and all the bricks then in
the brick kiln at Harrisburg. It further provides that, "the exclusive
right and privilege of banking which the proprietors of the Town of Har-
risburg may have either as a corporation or in virtue of their charter for
the Harrisburg Railroad and Trading Company shall be given to Pelle-
grini. One third of all the advantages which may hereafter accrue by
virtue of said charter shall accrue to the said Pellegrini."
"It is also agreed that two leagues of land shall be reserved in the
vicinity of Harrisburg during five years, to be sold in lots to emigrants
at an average of five dollars per acre, and a commission of ten per centum
shall be paid to Mr. Pellegrini for such sales."
Pellegrini on the other hand obligated himself "to establish at Harris-
burg, there to remain at least five years from the date of this instrument,
his principal commercial House, and his principal office for the issue, cir-
culation, and redemption of his paper money. To secure the redemption
of which he shall have one third of the amount of circulation in specie
and an agency in New Orleans. The said Commercial House shall, after
the expiration of four months employ a capital of at least fifty thousand
Pellegrini agreed "to direct to Harrisburg the greater part of the emi-
grants which the Society of which he is the Director shall send to Texas."
The last clause of the document stated that, "It is agreed that if any
alteration shall be deemed important to the general interest to alter the
present plan of the town of Harrisburg it shall be effected according to
the wishes of Mr. Pellegrini, and among said alterations a water street
of the width of sixty feet shall be made on each side of the river."
The document is signed in duplicate by Snider de Pellegrini and Wm. P.
Harris, and witnessed by D. W. Clinton Harris, J. S. Huttner, S. T. Leger,
D. M. P., and Coisy. The original contract is in my possession.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/59/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.