The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 111
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watches; metal clocks; wooden clocks; saddle horses; work horses, if
more than four; cattle, if more than 25; pleasure carriages; four-
wheeled carriages; town lots; acres of land with completed title; and
acres of unsurveyed land claimed. In his transcript of the rolls, White
has omitted the age group classification of slaves and the actual dollar
amounts of the various taxes assessed. While the list of the names of
persons will be of great value to historians and genealogists, one must
be wary of the spelling used and of the accuracy of the transcription.
"Errors must and do abound," warns the editor; and one will need
to consult the original documents. The names in the tax rolls are not
in alphabetical order, but this inconvenience to users is partially over-
come by a satisfactory index.
In his foreword to The z84o Census, James M. Day, former director
of the Texas State Archives, states that the lack of returns for the
counties of Goliad, Refugio, San Patricio, Matagorda, Milam, and
Wharton "is not to imply that these returns were not filed . . . but
either they were not completed or they have been lost." The reviewer
cannot agree with these conclusions, for he believes that a more satis-
fying explanation may be found for the missing tax returns. Wharton
County was not created from Matagorda and Jackson counties until
1846, and hence could not be expected to have had a separate tax roll
in 1840. An explanation for the lack of returns from the counties of
Goliad, Refugio, and San Patricio may be found in the precarious
situation of the southern frontier of the Republic of Texas in the
years following the retreat of the Mexican army from Texas. On De-
cember 21, 1838, Congress exempted from direct taxation up to Jan-
uary 1, 1839, land of less than one league and one labor belonging to
resident citizens of the counties of Bexar, Goliad, Gonzales, Refugio,
San Patricio, and Victoria "now actually residing in those counties."
The law also granted the exemption to those who were held in cap-
tivity by the enemy and to those who had been forced to abandon
their homes because of incursions by the Mexicans and Indians. Since
the counties of Goliad, Refugio, and San Patricio continued to be
known for several years after 1838 as "depopulated counties," Con-
gress on January 22, 1845, exempted the inhabitants of these counties
from the payment of direct taxes due the Republic up to the date
of the passage of the bill. The heads of families, however, were
not to be exempted from the payment of taxes on more than one
league and labor. Single persons were limited to exemptions on but
one-third of a league. The official records of the Treasury Department
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/127/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.