The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 450
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
spicuous portion of Mexican citizens, was a day's ride away, and some-
times more, depending upon the weather. An ill-humor existed be-
tween the two towns. One adored the misfortune of the other. In 1841,
the summit year of San Augustine's history, a Nacogdoches man gloat-
ed that in a while pompous San Augustine "will be an indifferent sort
of village.. . ." He was convinced that this was true, he said, because
the only reason the town grew to such prestige was that the western
frontier of the Republic of Texas had become unsafe for the pioneers,
and they were clustering on safe ground until the day they could move
Land speculators crowded John Berry's bar and wandered the streets
in search of deals. The courthouse at San Augustine preserves the in-
formation for an endless list of their names, and of the farmers to
whom they sold property. As one might expect, the unscrupulous
burrowed in, to mingle with the honest and the generally honest. In
that the law was rather casual, and land so much in demand, false land
titles were issued, first on a small scale, increasing in the 1840's. Emi-
grants from the United States acquired these titles from speculators,
climbed back into their wagons, and with their families disappeared
into some remote section of San Augustine County, or to the vast
empty woods of Shelby and Sabine counties. The speculator, who him-
self might be an official at the one-room courthouse, counted his
money and forgot his client.
Farming and speculating alike could bring great rewards. A land
man, upon making his fortune, sometimes purchased a farm and
settled down to being a squire, thus fulfilling a certain self-vision he
had long entertained. But the successful Redlander seldom concen-
trated his efforts wholly in one endeavor. Storekeepers, such as
Stephen W. Blount and Iredell D. Thomas, kept farms out in the
country, and dealt in horses and land on the side. "To MERCHANTS
AND COTTON PLANTERS," announces the Redlander, "The sub-
scriber begs leave to inform the public . . . that he has established a
COTTON GIN .. . ."" O. M. Roberts dealt with Abner Parther over
ten barrels of whiskey at Christmas, 1842; Parther held Roberts' Sarah,
"of dark complexion, warranted to be a slave for life," until Roberts
paid him "about Ninety Dollars."'" There was an appeal to town
10Smither (ed.), "The Diary of Adolphus Sterne," XXXV, 153*
"The Redlander, September 16, 1841.
12Deed Records of San Augustine County, Texas (County Clerk's Office, San Augustine),
F, p. 194.
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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/m1/404/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.