The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 5
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Empresario Contracts for the Colonization of Texas
colonies the Mexican names, when they occur, stand out as if they
were the foreigners on the soil of their own land. De Leon's was
just such a colony as Mexico, after 1832, came to see she must
establish if she desired to retain Texas as a loyal part of the nation.
In April, 1824, Martin de Leon, a native ranchman of the state
of Tamaulipas, decided he would like to move with his herds to the
grassy lands of Texas. Just the year before while driving mules
from his ranch to the market at New Orleans, he had passed
through the southern part of the state; and it was then that the
tall grass of South Texas made its appeal to the ranchman.1 On
April 8, 1824, he petitioned the Provincial Delegation of .San
Fernando de Bexar, which was then the government of Texas, for
permission to establish himself and forty-one families at a point
on the lower Guadalupe where he would found a town to be called
Nuestra Sefiora de Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria.2 As this was
before the passage of the national colonization law, the Provincial
Delegation of San Fernando de Bexar was the authority which
granted De Leon his petition. De Leon's colony was also different
from the other minor empresario colonies in that his contract did
not specify a definite number of families to be introduced, nor fix
a time limit, nor did it establish boundaries for the colony."
When he had located his group on the lands desired, he was to
notify the Provincial Delegation in order that the lands might be
designated for the location of the town, and also that each indi-
vidual might be put in possession of land for his house and field.
The contract exempted the colony from duties for seven years on
everything except tobacco, and from excises, tithes and first fruits
for ten years.
By October, 1824, De Leon and twelve of the forty-one families
promised had established themselves with their droves of horses and
cattle on the Guadalupe River about one-fourth of a league from the
Atascocito Road.4 The other twenty-nine Mexican families ex-
pected to follow De Leon to Texas, but were prevented during that
year because of the drought, which destroyed the pasture on the
road, and later in the same year because of the excessive rains.
1Fulmore, The History and Geography of Temas as Told in County
Translations of Empresario Contracts, 57.
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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/m1/9/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.