Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 138
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
1850 Federal Census Extracts
Colorado County, Texas
Average Age Age Age Age
Number Age Oldest 0-9 10-19 20-49 50-65 Over 65
White Males 854 21.98 84 247 189 358 51 9
White Females 682 19.52 75 221 168 260 29 4
All Whites 1536 20.89 84 468 357 618 80 13
Black Males 350 18.99 80 115 78 139 16 2
Black Females 373 19.09 65 122 87 147 17 0
All Blacks 723 19.04 80 237 165 286 33 2
All Males 1204 21.11 84 362 267 497 67 11
All Females 1055 19.37 75 343 255 407 46 4
All People 2259 20.30 84 705 522 904 113 15
enumerated 2259 people in the county, of whom 723, or 28%, were slaves. James S.
Montgomery, John Matthews, Angus McNeill, George W. Thatcher, and the estate of
Benjamin F. Stockton had all added considerably to their slave holdings, while those of
Claiborne Herbert and Richard H. Foote had remained stable. Each produced at least 100
bales of cotton in 1850. On the west side of the river, Charles William Tait and Lawrence
Augustin Washington had begun building plantations. Tait, the son of a very wealthy
Alabama plantation owner, had come to Texas in 1844 following an unfortunate altercation
with a man who intended to marry his sister. At the climax of a struggle involving sticks
and a knife, Tait drew his pistol and shot the man. The man, whose name was W. W. Rives,
died soon after. By 1847, Tait had settled in Colorado County. On February 3 of that year,
he bought nearly 2000 acres of land on the west side of the river a few miles south of
Columbus from James E. Silvey. By the end of 1850, he had amassed 38 slaves.
Washington, with 25 slaves, arrived in the county in 1850. He, or rather his wife, Martha,
made formal purchase of their first land in the county, a tract south of Tait's plantation, on
January 1, 1851. North of Tait's, John F. Miller's, William Alley's, and John Pinchback's
plantations had continued to operate, with Pinchback tripling the size of his slave
population. Across the river, Hugh Wilson had been operating a plantation of more than
500 acres with twelve to fifteen slaves since 1845, and George C. Hatch one of 150 acres
with seven or eight slaves since 1847. To their north, Zachariah Payne, in 1850, produced
fifty bales of cotton on a 750-acre plantation with nine slaves. Upriver from Columbus at
Walnut Bend, William Fitzgerald had nearly doubled the size of his slave population, and,
in 1850, produced forty bales of cotton. In the far western part of the county, on the Navidad
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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/m1/26/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.