Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 133
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
Jones' problems with the land, however, were not over. He turned a quick
profit on it, selling 800 acres of it to Charles Y. Hutchinson on November 13, 1851 for
$8000. Hutchinson made the down payment, $1000, then prepared to fence his new land.
He was immediately disappointed and outraged to discover that he had gotten a mistaken
impression of just which land he had purchased-an impression, he later claimed, that Jones
had encouraged. Hutchinson, who was scheduled to pay the remaining $7000 in three equal
installments over the next three years, made no more payments, preferring instead to spend
his money on clearing the land, adding on to the house, and building fences, cribs, and other
structures. At some point, he rented the property to Joseph H. Guy, who in turn rented it
to William H. Moore. Moore was living on the place, and growing corn there, when, on
March 20, 1855, more than a year after Hutchinson's final payment had been due, Jones
sued to evict him and to recover from him a suitable rent. Hutchinson quickly made another
$1000 payment, then answered the suit with thinly-veiled charges that Jones had swindled
him. His defense was not good enough for the court, which on April 7, 1856, awarded Jones
both the land with its improvements and $300 rent, to be paid to him by Hutchinson. Jones,
however, was not satisfied. On December 8, 1856, he appealed the decision to the state
supreme court, which, on March 27, 1858, upheld the lower court's decision. By that time,
Moore had died and Guy had moved to another state.33
Meanwhile, William B. Dewees, who had mostly failed in his own land
speculations, was attempting to capitalize on his experiences as an early settler. By October
7, 1852, when they entered into a contract that specified how the profits were to be
distributed, he and Emanetta Cara Kimball had written a book about his early life. One must
guess what Kimball's role in the endeavor was. Probably, she induced the older man into
proceeding with the project after hearing something of his adventures. When the book was
published under the title Letters from an Early Settler of Texas, evidently in 1852, Dewees'
adventures had been cast into epistolary form, again probably at Kimball's instigation. The
"letters" were said to have been sent by Dewees to a friend in Kentucky named Cara
Cardelle. Though the publisher steadfastly maintained otherwise, the friend and her name,
as well as the dates which were assigned to the "letters," evidently were pure fiction.
However, Dewees seems to have worked closely with Kimball on the contents of the
the decision of the court, they refused to pay them. The tax assessor again seized the land, and Jones, evidently
wishing to avoid further conflict, paid the taxes by again purchasing the land at a sheriff's sale, or rather 800
acres of it, for $11 (see Colorado County Deed Records, Book H, p. 54). The court's decision was no doubt
based on the section 8 of the general provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas (see Gammel, ed.,
The Laws of Texas 1822-1897, vol. 1, p. 1079).
33 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 1032: William J. Jones v. William
H. Moore, et al.; Final Record Book D, pp. 462-480; Reports of Cases Argued andDecided in the Supreme Court
of the State of Texas [Texas Reports], vol. 21 (Galveston, 1859), pp. 370-378.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996, periodical, September 1996; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151398/m1/21/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.