The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 164
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
land, he could sell off his vast landholdings and so develop the
country. He would also-and here lay the real reason behind
his desire to populate the country-be able to furnish more men
and supplies to support General Jos6 M. J. Carbajal's none-too-
successful revolutionary movement in northern Mexico. This
movement was an attempt to sever the northern states of Mexico
from the main body of that country and set up an independent
republic with Carbajal at its head.
What dreams of empire the colonel may have had can only be
guessed. Perhaps he had no dreams of personal power or recogni-
tion save indirect ones. But he was a man who thrived on war, and
certainly war was the only activity in which, up to this time, he
had engaged with success. General Carbajal was making war at
the moment but had suffered severe reverses. If the colonel were
to profit by the general's activities, he would have to furnish aid
to that "patriot."
Just how Colonel Kinney evolved his idea of a state fair is not
known. By October, 1851, he was advertising2 the sale of "the
largest stock of improved cattle, horses, &c" at a fair to be held
in Corpus Christi on May 1, 1852.
The terms of the stock and land sales were generous. Land was
offered on the basis of one-fourth purchase money, the balance in
three years. Stock was to be sold for cash except to actual settlers,
with terms to the buyer's advantage. Wagons, ploughs, harness,
farming utensils of every description, furniture, dry goods, hard-
ware, and merchandise of various kinds were also available.
The Texas State Gazette of November 22, 1851, stated that
between twenty and thirty thousand persons were expected to
attend the fair, but this, the editor admitted, was an "extravagant
statement." Some twenty thousand handbills were sent to all
parts of the world promising lavish entertainments and luxurious
accommodations to visitors.
Kinney followed up his handbills with hundreds of personal
letters to people of prominence, not only in Texas, but also
throughout the United States. He even sent Reuben Holbein to
Europe as his agent to stimulate interest in the fair and to pro-
mote the coming of immigrants to Texas. Although his detractors
2Texas State Gazette (Austin), November 15, 1851.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/212/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.