The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 440
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
purpose of this paper to develop the English background of two
One little band of immigrants was discovered by the noted
Englishman, Dr. Edward Smith, as he traveled to Texas in 1849.
Smith found the party of about forty poor tradesmen from the
London area temporarily stranded at Shreveport. The London
agency directing the enterprise had hoped to secure small tracts
in Dallas County, and eventually the immigrants' spokesman
purchased the pre-emption rights of a Mr. Damson and located
the little party on 640 acres near Porters Bluff on the upper
Trinity River The London tradesmen and mechanics were the
first and perhaps the only immigrants sent out by the North Texas
Colonization Company of London.
The historical background of the hapless little London agency
dated back to the empresario grant made by the Mexican state of
Coahuila-Texas to Arthur Wavell on March g, 1826. Benjamin
Milam, as the associate of Wavell and resident manager of the
Texas colony, had visited England during the summer of 1828.
While in England, Milam attempted to stimulate immigration
and publicize Texas, and with this object in mind, he contacted
Robert Owen on August 30o and outlined an arrangement whereby
Owen would found a colony on the Wavell-Milam tract in Texas.
Owen was immediately intrigued by the idea, but instead of
negotiating with Milam set out for Mexico in an effort to secure
an empresario contract for himself. He failed in the endeavor,
but from the limited knowledge he gained of the Southwest, later,
with an air of authority, gave flattering and optimistic reports
In 1834 the radical democrat, Etienne Cabet, sought refuge in
England and quickly found a kindred spirit in Robert Owen.
Slowly absorbing the Owen philosophy, Cabet turned more and
more to his future doctrine of utopian communism, and at the
same time adopted many of the Owen opinions about Texas.
Consequently, when Cabet was at last able to organize his own
1Edward Smith, An Account of a Journey through North-Eastern Texas, Under-
taken in x849, for the Purpose of Emigration (London, 1849), 8.
2Wavell's Texas ventures have been ably presented by Robert Amsler, in Life
and Times of Arthur Goodall Wavell (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas,
1950); see also Robert Amsler (ed.), "A Prospectus for the Wavell Colony in Texas,
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LVI, 543-550.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/546/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.