Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 6
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Eason, had invested his inheritance in suddenly worthless Confederate bonds, bonds to
which he had had no access when they had value.5
And too, the war left cotton growers with little means to recoup their wealth.
The federal blockade of Confederate ports had severely limited exports of cotton and forced
what had been the nation's overseas customers to find new suppliers. After the war and the
end of the blockade, the old customers were reluctant to abandon their new suppliers and
buy once again from the United States. Plantation owners struggled to adapt. Many simply
abandoned their lives in Texas. Elizabeth R. Davidson moved back to Tennessee and, on
December 6, 1865, sold her plantation back to the man from whom she had purchased it,
William G. Hunt. Though she had paid $13,500 for its 675 acres in 1859, Hunt paid just
$8000 to reacquire it.6
Lawrence Augustin Washington lost his plantation to debt. On April 10, 1861,
he had borrowed nearly $2000 at twelve percent interest from William Harbert. After
Harbert's death on June 21, 1865, his heirs pressed for repayment. On May 30, 1868, Wash-
ington agreed to repay the debt on or before January 1, 1869, securing his promise by
pledging to surrender his plantation to the Harberts if he did not. His attempts to raise the
money by, among other things, mortgaging land he had pledged to the Harbert heirs, failed.7
In the western part of the county, plantation owner William Lucius Adkins
attempted to recoup some of his lost wealth by laying out a small town, which he named
Osage, on the lands he owned to the south and east of the ten-acre Osage School tract.
Adkin's incipient town included 34 other blocks. He apparently sold the first lot in Osage
on November 1, 1865. A year later, on September 24, 1866, the community went dry, when
the legislature passed a law which prohibited the sale of intoxicating beverages within three
miles of the school. South of Osage, and just a few miles northeast of Oakland, another
community, called Content, had also begun to develop. Content, which got its post office on
December 26, 1865, seems to have been the brainchild of two brothers, Charles and Frederick
Boettcher, the latter of whom was its first postmaster. Perhaps immediately, but certainly
within a few years' time, Content contained a store, which was run by Charles Boettcher,
and a law office.8
5 Lavaca County Probate Records, File No. 114: Needham W. Eason.
6 Colorado County Deed Records, Book K, p. 176, Book L, p. 749.
7 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book F, pp. 248, 256. Washington's plantation
comprised four tracts, all of which he pledged to cover the debt. On May 30, 1868 he mortgaged one of the tracts
for $343.75 to William B. Roever, but apparently could raise no other cash. Incidentally, Roever, a former
Frelsburg store owner and Confederate army officer, committed suicide on February 6, 1869 (see Houston Daily
Times, February 12, 1869).
8 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book F, p. 438; Colorado County Deed Records,
Book L, p. 613, Book P, p. 222, Book Q, p. 609; Record of Appointment of Postmasters 1832-September 30,
1971, National Archives Microfilm Publication M841, Roll 122; Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., The Laws
of Texas, 1822-1897 (Austin: Gammel Book Company, 1898) vol. 5, p. 936. Adkins did not file his plat of
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999, periodical, January 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151405/m1/6/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.