The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 12
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
length how exasperated he had become in attempting to handle
his "friendly nesters" and closed his letter with a sigh:
"I can however stand it for a little while longer, but oh! it
goes against the grain to keep on flattering and cajoling and
pampering these wretched brutes who will only do what is right
(and are never grateful to anyone) just as long as everything is
coming their way and is smooth for them. If I keep them going
as they are for another year, things may be coming our way by
Again he wrote a few days later:
"I have numerous attacks constantly being made on the rights
of these settlers whom I allowed to take up land and from whom
I re-leased. It is anything but pleasant work, as the offers that
are being made to them to sell out for a bonus to outsiders with
cattle, the very class against whom I formed this system, are very
enticing. Of course I have leases with them, but they are con-
stantly being advised that the leases are no good, and that if they
are, it won't much matter; the fact that anyone claiming land, or
even trying to dicker for it, first turns his cattle loose in the pas-
tures adds to the constant annoyance. A dollar an acre bonus
and better is being offered by men who will come in and take up
the settler's burden with the state; I can do little as I can't trade
or even allude to buying out any settler before he has lived out his
three years. The great cry against me is collusion, and all kinds
of schemes are being worked to try and prove that such exists.
S. . Some of my settlers are uneasy as $2500 (offered them
by outsiders for four sections) looks as big as a haystack to them,
and they begin to think of feeling it between their fingers. . . .
This is not very encouraging to them, especially when individuals
are going around showing real money under their noses. . .
The settler is poor, and hears every now and then that I am mak-
ing a sucker out of him. . . . All this is annoying, but of
course there are details of this business, 'as she is run now-a-days,'
that compare unfavorably with cattle ranching in former years
as a means of healthy enjoyment and placid retirement. The
peaceful pastorial business is long since played out. I am glad
to say that my health stays good and mind-worries don't seem
to hurt my appetite.""
Not only "ungrateful" settlers, but settlers' wives occasionally
3"Spur Records, X, 374.
38Spur Records, X, 370.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/16/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.