The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 6
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Shortly after the arrival of De Leon, he was joined by sixteen
Anglo-American families. By the following spring the grassy
wilderness had become the scene of a flourishing little settlement;
the fields had been cleared and planted and, among other improve-
ments, provision had been made for the watering of the herds of
Upon this scene of activity appeared a new empresario, who
claimed their lands. This was Green DeWitt, who had on April
15, 1825, received a contract from the legislature of Coahuila and
Texas for a grant of land which included De Leon's settlement.*
DeWitt was as surprised to find the bustling scene of activity in
the center of his grant as were De Leon and his colonists to learn
that their lands had been incorporated in another grant. Since
De Leon had failed to notify the government of his location, the
legislature made the contract with DeWitt when it was altogether
unaware that De Leon's colony would be included by it. De Leon,
realizing that his Mexican citizenship would give him an advantage
over DeWitt, petitioned the government for certain boundaries on
the basis of Article 9 of the National Colonization Law of August
18, 1824, which read:
In the distribution of lands a preference shall be given to Mexi-
can citizens, and no other distinction shall be made in regard to
them, except that which may be founded on individual merit, or
services rendered the country, or under equal circumstances, a resi-
dence in the place where the lands to be distributed are situated.
On October 6, 1825, Gonzales, the governor of the state, called
DeWitt's attention to the second article of his contract, which stated
that he should respect all possessions given to settlers who were
occupying lands under legal title within the limits of his bound-
aries. He added that since the Provincial Delegation had given
De Leon permission to establish a colony there, he therefore had a
legal right to the land, which DeWitt must respect. The governor
designated no boundaries for the De Leon settlement, but promised
to send a commissioner later to put the colonists in possession of
In 1827 De Leon petitioned the governor to designate the
eTranslations of Empresario Contracts, 40-42.
'Translations of Empresario Contracts, 65-66,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/10/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.