The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 88
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
typical of the time, and by the varying amounts of land which
he owned from year to year,2" he appears to have made a business
of buying, improving and then selling virgin land. For seven
thousand dollars Henry Raguet was to choose one thousand acres
of land in a certain tract owned by Goyens "including Mills,
Dwellings and all the improvements on Said Land," Raguet to
pay Goyens fifty-five hundred dollars in land at the rate of one
dollar an acre to be chosen by Goyens in three disjoined tracts
out of Raguet's five leagues, each tract "to be as near equal in
quality of the whole league as possible." For the balance of
fifteen hundred dollars due Goyens, Raguet assumed a debt of
twelve hundred dollars which Goyens owed David Towns, and
agreed to pay him three hundred dollars in cash at a time to
be determined by future events. If Goyens lost a Supreme Court
appeal from a district court judgment against him, Raguet was
to pay him the three hundred dollars at the time of the adverse
decision, but if Goyens won the case Raguet was not to pay him
until "such time as they can agree on." Raguet was to take
possession of the mills on December 15, 1841, and of the entire
premises seven weeks later.24 The twelve hundred dollar debt,
itself, was due to David Towns in payment of a quarter league of
land which "goins and Debad" bought from Towns.2' Goyens
was evidently a shrewd trader. In 1841, he owned 4,160 acres of
improved land valued at $20,600, two town lots, fifty head of cattle
and two work horses in addition to other property for which he
was assessed $128.50 in taxes.2"
In addition to securing land by purchase, it was also possible
for Negroes to lease land for farming purposes. Abner Ashworth,
in 1838, leased a league of land on Tailor's Bayou for the term
of one year for twenty dollars. According to the terms of the
lease, Ashworth was not to "Cut any Wood or Timber on Sd
Primescis Except Dead Timber. [He was] To Use Sd Land in
Cultivation in a Husband like Manners, to render Piusful Pos-
session [and] at the Expiration of Sd term . . . forwarn any
"Nacogdoches County Tax Rolls, 1837-1845.
24Agreement between William Go[y]ens and Henry Raguet, December
13, 1841. Henry Raguet Papers.
'Bennenow Towns to Colonel Casneau, no date. Starr Papers.
"'Nacogdoches County Tax Roll, 1841.
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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/m1/96/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.