The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 87
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The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas
doubt upon the right of Negroes to own land under any circum-
stances, even by purchase; increased their immediate difficulty of
establishing themselves upon farms; and may have prevented some
of them from laying the bases for family fortune.
Despite insecurity of titles, Negroes continued to improve the
land upon which they had settled and increased the acreage of
their farms by purchase, while some landless ones entered the
propertied class. Jean Baptiste Maturin, made "valuable im-
provements" on his sitio which enabled him to support "himself,
his family and his stock of cattle" for at least ten years, although
his one-fourth Negro blood forced him to live in constant fear
that he would lose both land and improvements.17 Tomas Morgan,
an "industrious and useful" negress who was brought to Texas as a
slave in 1832, "and purchased her freedom with the proceeds of
her own labor sometime during the year 1834," continued to display
her industry after that date and "acquired a considerable amount
of Real Estate in the Country." She was married to an equally
industrious Negro, Emanuel J. Hardin, who, starting with nothing
"Acquired a considerable amount of property in the Country."1'"
Samuel H. Hardin, possibly a relative, who had the original
advantage of a grant of half a league in Waller county from
Stephen F. Austin, in 1843 owned one hundred acres of improved
land in Brazoria county valued at $500, and six town lots in
Brazoria and Velasco worth $1,100.10 Allen Dimery sold two
thousand acres to Major John Durst in the early 'forties, appar-
ently to improve the remainder of his league.20 William Goyens
"accumulated considerable property in land."21 In 1839, he bought
a "portion of a Mexican grant" adjacent to his own league and
labor.22 By the terms of a complicated agreement two years later,
T"Memorial No. 13, File MI, April 21, 1838. Maturin was granted a
league of land by Governor Viesca in 1828, at the place he selected, sub-
ject to the regulations of the colony in which he located. Spanish Titles,
Vol. 68. Maturin never perfected title under Mexican laws and was
barred from receiving title by the laws of Texas.
"1Memorial No. 18, File H, no date.
'Brazoria County Tax Roll, 1843. State Controller's Office, Austin.
'W. D. Wood, "History of Leon County," in Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, IV, 211-212. Allen Dimery was accepted as a colonist by
David G. Burnet on February 11, 1835, and was granted a league of
land on April 23, 1835. Spanish Titles, Vol. 18, 219-220.
"Memorial No. 13, File 32, September, 1840.
"Deed from James Smith to William Goyens, May 30, 1839. Henry
Raguet Papers, University of Texas Archives.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/95/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.