Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 55
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The Angus McNeill Family
also pointed at Shreve, Williamson, Pickett, and Jenkins for "practicing gross and delib-
erate fraud toward this petitioner in procuring the deed aforesaid, by representing to him
that they owned an Arroyo Hondo Claim or float for 640 acres, which had been recog-
nized and confirmed by the United States ..."19 Obviously there was trouble among the
partners, but the town continued to grow. On March 20, 1839, the Louisiana legislature,
in a charter, incorporated Shreveport as a town. The charter specified a trustee form of
government, and an election was held on the first Monday in May 1839 to select the the
five members of the government. On September 2, 1839, John O. Sewall, sworn in by
Angus McNeill who was acting as justice of the peace, presided as mayor at the first
council meeting held in Shreveport. This charter superseded all local authority possessed
by the original Town Company, and after judicial proceedings were instituted against
President Angus McNeill, the Town Company was finally dissolved. All the unsold lots
and other subdivisions of the town were appraised and partitioned off among the members
on May 10, 1843.20
During these years Angus McNeill was deeply involved in Shreveport,
but his interest in land speculation encompassed more than the town of Shreveport. On
January 29, 1835, Angus McNeill, Jesse Perkins, and Robert John Walker started buying
land in what was referred to as Texas. They became "joint and equal coproprietors with
A. C. and J. K. Allen of Texas" of an "undivided third of sixteen leagues of land situated
in Texas on and near Red River of Natchitoches namely on Caddo Lake and prairie Red
River and the Sulphur fork." However, by August 12, 1835, Sturgis Sprague, one of the
investors in Shreveport, and Robert John Walker, had paid Angus McNeill $1500 and
$3000 respectively for his shares.21
Angus McNeill's official entry to Texas came later in 1835, when he,
Henry C. McNeill, James Bowie, and Dr. William Richardson, reportedly carrying $80,000
from investors in Mississippi for land in Texas, made their appearance in Nacogdoches.
In September 1835, Angus and his cousin, Henry C. McNeill, applied for certificates of
character in Nacogdoches. They, along with Christopher Adams Parker and William
Richardson, were reported to be of good character by John Kirby Allen, who certified
that each was of "good morality, habits and industry; lover of the Constitution and laws of
the country, and of the Christian religion." Of these four individuals endorsed by Allen on
September 7, 1835 when the certificates were issued, only Angus was married with a
19 As quoted in Henrici, "A Speculator's Dream," p. 43.
20 Maude (Hearn) Opry, Chronicles of Shreveport (Shreveport: Journal Printing, c. 1928), pp. 164-
165; "A Condensed History of Shreveport, Louisiana in Shreveport's Sesquicentennial Year 1835-1985," The
Genie, April 1985, pp. 59-60; McLure and Howe, History of Shreveport and Shreveport Builders, pp. 21-25.
21 Deed Records of Adams County, Mississippi, Book X, p. 444.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/7/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.