The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928 Page: 297
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Empresario Contracts for the Colonization of Texas 297
vision and passed the law of April 6, 1830, by which she forbade
the further entrance of citizens of the United States into Texas,
the colonists then protested vigorously.4 Some declared Mexico
had no right to pass the law. Mexico had, though, made her
position secure when she included Article 7 in the national coloni-
zation law. The significance of the law of April 6, 1830, will be
seen later in the history of the colonization contracts.
In accordance with the national decree of August 18, 1824, the
Legislature of Coahuila and Texas on March 24, 1825, passed its
colonization law." As has been said, the state invited foreigners to
make their homes on its unoccupied lands. All colonists had to
"prove their Christianity, morality, and good habits by a certifi-
cate from the authorities where they formerly resided." No com-
missioner could issue titles to land for a colonist until he received
a written statement from the empresario approving the petition of
the settler for land and thereby declaring his character satisfactory."
The empresario, in most cases, accepted the certificate from the
authorities of the immigrant's past place of residence as satis-
factory evidence of moral character.
The state colonization law granted to each married man who
wanted to farm one labor, an equivalent of 177 acres. If he also
desired to raise cattle, he could obtain twenty-four labors of pas-
ture land or 4,251 acres. The total of farming and pasture land
made one sitio or league, consisting of 4,428 acres. An unmarried
man received one-fourth of this amount. If the colonist's occu-
pation or capital was such that it would benefit the colony, he
could obtain additional land.
The new settler was required within six years to pay a nominal
sum to the state for his land. For each sitio of pasture land he
paid $30; for each labor of unirrigable land $2.50; and for each
labor which was irrigable he paid $3.50. The government required
no part of it to be paid until the end of four years. At the close
of the fourth year one-third of the amount was due; at the end
of the fifth year, another third; and when the sixth year closed,
'James and Henry Sayles, Early Laws of Tewas (St. Louis, 1888), I, 55.
'Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 40.
Translations of Empresario Contracts, 127. General Land Office of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928, periodical, 1928; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/m1/321/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.