The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 98
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
DESCRIPTIONS OF TEXAS BY STEPHEN F. AUSTIN'
CONTRIBUTED BY EUGENE C. BARKER
Texas embraces a very extensive and valuable territory. A
single glance at the map will be sufficient to indicate the great
advantages derivable from its local position in point of climate
and commercial facilities. It bounds the territory of the United
States on two sides, the East and North, and extends as it were
like a peninsula into that Nation. The intercourse by water
along the coast is easy and safe. Three or four days' sail takes
you from the coast of Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi, or
to Vera Cruz, or the Havana; the land communication is equally
easy, being open on the whole extent of the Louisiana and Arkan-
sas frontiers, and susceptible of good roads, leading into Opelusas,
Attakapas, Natchitoches, and the upper settlements of the Ar-
kansas or Red River, and also, to New Mexico, Chihuahua, and all
the Mexican States lying to the West. The West Indies lie in
front, and an immense extent of Mexican coast to the South, thus
affording channels of commerce in every direction. The climate
of Texas is mild, salubrious and healthy; it lies between 28, and
34, North Latitude, and is gently fanned throughout the summer
by pleasant and refreshing sea breezes. The country is intersected
1The first of these descriptions was written in August, 1828, as an
accompaniment to Austin's map of Texas. It is taken from an undated
clipping from the Galveston News in the Austin Papers of the Univer-
sity of Texas. The second was apparently intended for publication in
pamphlet form to be circulated in Europe. The federal law of April
6, 1830, closed Texas to emigrants from the United States, except in the
existing colonization contracts of Austin and Green DeWitt. Austin
and Samuel M. Williams obtained a contract in February, 1831, to settle
eight hundred families of Mexicans and Europeans, and this pamphlet
was intended to promote emigration from Europe. It seems not to have
been printed. The original manuscript is in the Austin Papers. The
third was written in August, 1833, to support the application of the
convention of that year for the erection of a state government in Texas
separate from that of Coahuila. In it Austin certainly exaggerates the
population, and, possibly, the economic development of Texas in order
to strengthen the claim for State organization. The document is from
the University of Texas transcripts from department of fomento, Mexico.
It should be compared with Austin's Exposici6n sobre los Asuntos de
Tejas, written in January, 1835 (translation by Ethel Zivley Rather,
THE QUARTERLY, VIII, 232-258), and with J. N. Almonte's Noticia Esta-
distica sobre Tejas, a translation of which will be published in THE
QUARTERLY in January, 1925.-E. C. B.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/102/?rotate=270: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.