The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 15
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Empresario Contracts for the Colonization of Texas
reference to others, the case is not so clear. The Land Office
records of Texas give the names and locations of colonists to whom
titles were actually issued. According to the contracts an em-
presario did not petition for a commissioner to issue titles to land
until he had introduced one hundred families; therefore em-
presarios may have introduced nearly a hundred and may never
have petitioned for a commissioner. In such a case if the revolu-
tion in Texas began just then it would have stopped his work. In
one instance the commissioner to issue titles was en route to the
colony, but was arrested by the Mexican authorities and prevented
from issuing the titles.' It seems, therefore, that an examination
of the congressional and judicial records of the Republic and State
of Texas and also of the records of the Land Office during the Re-
public should be made before it can be definitely stated with refer-
ence to some of the empresarios that they did nothing to establish
colonists in Texas.
Purnell and Lovell
Of Purnell and Lovell, two of the earliest contractors, it can be
definitely stated that they fulfilled no part of their contract. Dr.
John G. Purnell and Benjamin Drake Lovell, citizens of the
United States who were living in Mexico, petitioned for a grant
and received it on October 22, 1825.2 The colony was within the
Beginning on the left bank of the river Nueces, at its intersection
with the boundary line of the Ten Coast Border Leagues of the
Gulf of Mexico, exempted by the Law of 18th August, 1824, thence
with the said boundary line, at a point, Ten Leagues distant from
the Presidio de La Bahia del Espiritu Santo, (Goliad) thence on a
straight line to the confluence of the river Medina with the San
Antonio, thence with said river on its right bank, to the point
where it is crossed by the old road which leads from Bexar to the
Presidio of Rio Grande, thence with said road to the river Nueces,
thence with said river downwards on its left bank to place of
In Purnell and Lovell's plans for the establishment of the
colony, Purnell was to explore the territory and locate the most
1Diplomatic Correspondence of the Republic of Texas (George P. Gar-
rison, ed.), American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1908, II, 293.
2Translations of Empresario Contracts, 76.
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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/m1/19/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.