The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sand Germans. John asked a Frenchman at the inn what the
Germans thought about slavery. The Frenchman replied that in
theory the Germans were against it, but that all of them bought
slaves as soon as their means would permit.?
From New Braunfels the travelers went to San Antonio, reach-
ing the town at night. They lodged in an old Mexican house with
heavy stone walls, deep window seats, a brick floor, and no fire-
place. It was kept by Dr. and Mrs. Reid, on the Plaza.
The next day the Jameses looked at the town. The streets were
narrow and winding. Apparently, the houses were set at will, with
a piece of land enclosed to suit the whim of the owner. Nearly
every house had a small projecting roof, supported by columns,
to shade it, the space beneath neatly flagged with stones. Many
houses were roughcast on the outside; some were made of stone,
and some of adobe. Others were built of tree trunks-some of
which were irregular and crooked-set in the ground and bound
together at the top with transverse pieces of lumber, outside and
inside, tied with thongs of rawhide, the interstices between the
tree trunks filled with lime mortar, the roof thatched. Such houses
were warm in winter and cool in summer. The enclosures were
made of mesquitelo posts planted in the ground in picket fashion,
9In his notebook James wrote that one of the early Texan colonies was by
stipulation filled with German immigrants. "Attention being thus awakened in
Germany, many others followed." Whole districts and towns were composed of
Germans. Nearly all the large towns had large numbers of Germans. Taken as
a class they were unpopular and charged with being thievish and low in morals.
The number of German immigrants in Texas was constantly increasing. In New
Braunfels there were some very skillful mechanics. James wrote in his notebook:
"Persons at the north who look to the Germans of Texas as allies in making
Texas a free state will be disappointed. The Germans keep their slaves in their
own families and they eat at a second table, partaking of the same food as the
family, but the Germans expect them to work as they do themselves and hence
they exact more than others, and are regarded by the negroes as hard."
Cotton raised by Germans had the reputation of coming into market in better
order than any other cotton. Ibid.
loEntries in James's notebook show that the mesquite grew "scatteringly over
a large district of plains country," the whole resembling "an old peach orchard
for miles together." "Muskeet wood" was hauled fifteen to twenty miles into San
Antonio, commanding a price of two dollars for a load measuring about half a
cord. James was told that on a warm day a Mexican would go off and get a load
of this wood, and when he got near town, he would turn his oxen out and wait
till a cold day came along; then he would drive in and sell his wood. Time
meant nothing. James noted that immigrants coming into Texas despised
the Mexicans, but that after the immigrants were in Texas for a time they adopted
Mexican habits and even incorporated their common phrases into their language.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/48/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.