Inventory of the county archives of Texas : De Witt County, no. 62 Page: 6
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entry, p6 2 -etch
(First entry, p. 25) Historical Sketch
It is not certain that all of these colonists actually settled on
the lands which they located in present De Witt County. But it is known
that many of them did, and it will be shown that some of them played important
roles in the affairs of their community.16
De Witt's venture, however, was not destined to be a complete success,
financially or otherwise. The following letter indicates clearly some of
the difficulties and disappointments of his attempt to found a colony on
Most excellent Sir:
I, Sarah Seely, wife of Green DeWitt, with a family of
six children, with all due respect and in the best form of
law, present the following statement: in the year 1826, I
arrived in this country with my above mentioned family from
the state of Missouri, one of the United States of the North.
Since the said year, 1826, until now I have dwelt on a sitio
of land, chosen by my husband, on the right bank of the
Guadalupe River, opposite the town of Gonzales. My husband,
before mentioned, has made improvements such as houses and
out buildings for the family and has opened a rather large
farm. The family has suffered much in consequence of being
in a unpopulated country on the frontier, through exposure
to the incursions of the savage Indians, and for want of
supplies. For these reasons and also because my husband,
the said Green DeWitt, finds himself much embarrassed in his
affairs on account of the enterprise that he has undertaken,
and because of other circumstances which have placed the
family in an unfortunate situation, I the petitioner, with a
view to acquiring and preserving a secure estate for the
maintenance of myself and children, do humbly beg your excellency
to have the kindness to concede to me and my children
in fee simple to myself and my heirs the sitio of land above
mentioned on which I now live, with the understanding that
all the requirements of the law in the matter will be fulfilled.
Therefore I ask and beg that you be so kind as to
favor me by doing as above stated.
Gonzales, September 11, 1830.
Sarah Seely t7
Although 166 land titles had been issued to settlers introduced by
De Witt, his contract expired on April 15, 1831, and his petition for extra
time was refused. At this point he had received premium lands for
only 100 families. Sad.duntd and wholly disillusioned by the failure of
16. See pa. 7-9, infra,
17. Rather, '"DeWitt ,' 179, citing Titles to Special Grants, 30-35, This
petition was endorsed by Austin and De Witt. The request was granted.
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Historical Records Survey. Texas. Inventory of the county archives of Texas : De Witt County, no. 62, book, January 1940; San Antonio, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25252/m1/13/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .