The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 9
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Empresario Contracts for the Colonization of Texas
and others of their countrymen. The Americans were establishing
their colonies with fixed boundaries. It seemed as if something
must be done to prevent their gradual encroachment. De Leon
having had so much trouble with the DeWitt colony, when the
government made a contract in June, 1828, with the Irishmen,
Power and Hewetson, to establish a colony south of De Leon, both
he and the Ayuntamiento of Goliad petitioned the governor to
declare it null and void, and to allow the lands to remain to be
distributed to the individuals of Goliad or for the benefit of
De Leon.16 They even attempted to establish a claim to the land
which they had just the year before declared was vacant. The
governor and his permanent committee showed little sympathy for
them. The governor answered that
. . . neither law, reason, nor that decorum which should be
observed by the Executive, can justify the annulment of the con-
tract made with the aforesaid Power and Hewetson merely to
gratify the wishes of those individuals.17
From Manuel Mier y Teran, the commander and inspector gen-
eral of the Eastern Interior States, De Leon's petition received a
more sympathetic and lenient hearing. According to his report
both De Leon and Power and Hewetson held contracts for the land
which was within the ten coast leagues and it was a question there-
fore for the central government to decide." In May, 1832, the cen-
tral government declared that a preference was to be given to the
colonists of De Leon's colony with regard to the ownership of land.
Wherever the land was occupied by Mexicans, they were to be given
In 1833, De Leon fell a victim to the epidemic of cholera which
caused during that year the death of many residents of Texas.20
His death did not stop the issuing of titles to settlers in his colony.
Titles continued to be issued until the last day of July, 1835.21
Over one hundred titles were issued in the De Leon colony, which
does not necessarily mean that there were a hundred families
"eTranslations of Empresario Contracts, 72.
2Brown, History of Texas, I, 239.
"Titles in Spanish Archives.
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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/m1/13/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.