The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 432
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Hendricks sent 52 bales, weighing 22,125 pounds, to New Orleans,
where the shipment sold for $1,500. Other planters or merchants of
the area probably followed the same routes as did Cartwright.'
East Texas was and remained largely an area of small planters and
limited production. Beginning in the 182o's its merchants and farmers
linked themselves with the cotton factors and commission firms of
New Orleans. The relationship was to continue for several decades.
To the northeast, in 1832, Ben Milam took a recently acquired Mis-
sissippi steamboat through the raft of the Red River into the upper
waters. Milam was seeking cotton and hides as a cargo."
Farther south, large plantations were developed early by men meet-
ing the standards set by Stephen F. Austin for his colonists. Between
the valleys of the Brazos and the Colorado rivers, extending toward the
Gulf of Mexico, flourished the westward movement of cotton culture.
The first planter in the area with nearly a hundred slaves, Jared Elli-
son Groce, had planted in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and
Alabama before he chose his "home place" on the east bank of the
Brazos River, south of the present town of Hempstead. He and his
son Leonard with their body servants, Edom and Fielding, brought
up the rear of a caravan of some fifty wagons, large herds of livestock,
and all the impedimenta for planting and for elegant living on a
frontier. Because of his slaves and equipment, Groce received title to
ten sitios from the Mexican government in 1824, three years after his
migration to Texas. No doubt he grew cotton in 1822, for he brought
seed with him. The fleece of this cotton was plucked by hand from
the seed, packed in bags, and sent to Mexico. In 1825 he built a gin
on his plantation."
Meanwhile, men of lesser property were immigrating to Austin's
colony. The year after Groce settled in Texas came John McNeel, his
sons, two servants, and about twenty-five slaves from Kentucky by way
'Abigail Curlee, "A Study of Texas Slave Plantations, 1822-1865" (Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Texas, Austin, 1932), 6-7; Mr. and Mrs. James I. Cartwright to A. C.,
interview, September, 1928; Walter Prescott Webb and H. Bailey Carroll (eds.), Handbook
of Texas (2 vols., Austin, 1952), I, 304; II, 483; bill showing the amount of cotton sent to
New Orleans in 1832, August 5, 1834, Matthew Cartwright Papers (Archives, University
of Texas Library, Austin).
"John Henry Brown, History of Texas from x685 to x892 (2 vols.; St. Louis, 1893), I,
8Rosa Groce Bertleth, "Jared Ellison Groce," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XX,
(April, 1917), 359-360; Curlee, "Study of Texas Slave Plantations," 79-80; E. L. Blair,
Early History of Grimes County (Austin, 1930), 76-9o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/478/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.