The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 209
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General Arthur G. Wavell: A Soldier of Fortune
Hancock and West, engaged by Smith as attorneys for bringing
the suit.15 A careful and thorough search of the court records
showed that no suit such as Wavell's was brought by Hancock
and West, Wavell, Smith, or anyone else.
There is no satisfactory explanation, which can be supported
by evidence, why Wavell's interest in Texas suddenly ceased, or
why he did not authorize a suit to be brought when his chances
of recovering at least a little land were rather good. At least one
theory can be offered, however, about why no suit was filed for
recovery of land. Ashbel Smith's letter told Wavell that the
record book could prove the introduction of 140 families onto
the grant.00 If that were proved, the state would grant Wavell
seven leagues of land, of which the Milam heirs would receive
three and one-half. That would leave Wavell some 15,498 acres,
which, with land prices what they were at that time, would hardly
have paid the cost of the suit. It is altogether likely that Wavell
had anticipated being able to prove the introduction of several
hundred families, and the prospect of a suit for little or no gain
was by comparison a disappointing realization.
Another explanation, less likely, but entirely possible, is that
he was busy with other matters, and did not consider the filing
of a suit worth the time and effort. By October, 1856, only a
month after the letter from Smith was written, Wavell was in
Bonn, Prussia. He had taken a great interest in gun-rafts as a
naval weapon, and was spending most of his time in Prussia
studying that idea.1"7 He was probably there when Smith's letter
arrived, and when he did get the letter, possibly he was too busy
to take any action relative to it. Whatever the reasons may have
been, Wavell did not file suit, and there is no other reference
on his part to the dream which for more than thirty years oc-
cupied a position of foremost importance in his life.
1"6Smith to Wavell, September, 1856 (MS., Wavell Papers, Archives, Texas State
186Smith to Wavell, September, 1856, ibed. This writer could find records of only
128 families introduced by Milam. See Milam Papers (Archives, University of Texas
168Wavell, Chronological Notes (MS., Wavell Papers, in possession of Wavell
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/249/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.