Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 40
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
40 TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
relations and left in a huff for Louisiana, conveniently
evading a host of unpaid creditors.
A kinsman of de Saligny was representing France in
the loan negotiations. Was it simply coincidence that
the Texas government's loan request was denied?
De Saligny returned to Texas in 1842 and periodical-
ly served as charge d'affaires. When he departed in
1845, he left behind the charming Louisiana bayou-style
French Legation building. Built of hand-sawn Bastrop
pine with French fittings, it is today the oldest original
structure in Austin.
Mexico tried to reassert its claims to Texas in 1842.
Gen. Rafael Vasquez and about 500 Mexican troops
raided San Antonio on March 5. They withdrew within
two days, but President Houston, perhaps glad for an
excuse, ordered the government moved to his
Although full diplomatic recognition was granted to
Texas by England, the Netherlands and Belgium, the
republic's financial problems continued. Texas' debt
was one roadblock to annexation. Another was that
slaves made up just over a quarter of the population of
Texas by the mid-1840s. The abolitionists in the U.S.
Congress didn't want another slave-holding state
admitted to the Union.
In September 1842, 1,400 Mexican soldiers, com-
manded by Gen. Adrian Woll, captured San Antonio.
About 200 Texas volunteers led by Col. Mathew Caldwell
and Capt. John C. "Jack" Hays lured the invaders to a
spot on Salado Creek, about six miles out of the city,
and defeated the Mexican forces with the loss of but one
A detachment of Mexican cavalry encountered
Capt. Nicholas Dawson and about 53 volunteers from La
Grange, who were coming to help defend San Antonio,
about a mile and a half from the fighting on the Salado.
Outgunned, Dawson tried to surrender, but the Mexi-
cans kept firing, killing 35 Texans including Dawson.
Fifteen were captured, marched to Mexico and thrown
into prison. The remains of Capt. Dawson and his men
were returned to La Grange, were they were buried to-
gether at what is today called Monument Hill.
When the Texas troops returned, only a few families
remained in Austin. Many were moving east for pro-
tection. In December, President Houston ordered the
government archives removed to Houston. A local
"archive committee" buried them at Austin instead.
Twenty-six of Houston's men slipped into Austin on the
night of Dec. 29 with three wagons to spirit the archives
away, but they were discovered by Mrs. Angelina Eber-
ly. The innkeeper fired the city's cannon to warn
Austin's citizens. Houston's men were intercepted by a
posse on Brushy Creek near Kenney's Fort on Dec. 31.
The citizens took the archives back to Austin, thus
ensuring that the seat of government would return to
Austin when the Mexican menace was eliminated.
Both San Antonio and Austin were desolate, dreary
towns during the days of the republic. In San Antonio,
hardly any immigrants arrived and little building was
done. Austin's population dropped to about 24 families.
Few of the log houses were occupied. Doors and win-
dows hung open. Even the president's house was full of
bats, lizards and stray cattle. The government moved
back to Austin in 1845, but at the time of annexation in
1846, fewer than 250 people called Austin home.
What may have been the first retail store "chain" in
Texas was established by John F. Torrey and Company
in 1843. The Torrey Trading Houses were set up at
Austin, San Antonio and New Braunfels to do business
with the Indians, with branch stores located on the Nav-
asota River and near the falls of the Brazos. Post No. 2,
on a tributary of Tehuacana Creek just below Waco,
was officially authorized as an Indian trading station by
the Republic of Texas on Jan. 14, 1843. Post manager
George Barnard purchased the store from the Torreys
in 1848 and moved it to Waco in 1849.
In September 1844, a new empresario added yet an-
other ingredient to the Central Texas ethnic stew. Henri
Castro, a Frenchman of Portugese decent, negotiated
an empresario contract with the Republic of Texas in
1842 to settle a colony on the Medina River. Castro had
been active in the republic's ill-fated negotiations for a
loan from France, and he had become interested in
Texas at that time. Castro recruited his colonists princi-
pally from Alsace, a French province on the border with
Germany, where the residents spoke a German dialect.
After many delays and great expense, the first 35 set-
tlers of Castro's colony arrived in present-day Medina
County on Sept. 3, 1844. By 1847, Castro had brought
2,134 settlers to the new colony, including 485 families
and 457 single men. Castro also founded the nearby
towns of Quihi in 1845, Vandenburg in 1846 and D'Hanis
Anson Jones assumed the presidency in December
1844, and the government offices were moved back to
Austin in 1845. During Jones' administration, a bill to
annex Texas finally passed the U.S. Congress, providing
for full statehood and for Texas to retain her public
lands and her public debt. The Texas Congress
accepted the offer and drew up a state constitution.
Texans approved annexation in an October election,
and the U.S. Congress accepted the constitution. On
Dec. 19, 1845, U.S. President James K. Polk signed the
resolution of acceptance.
The end of the reluctant republic was punctuated by
President Jones' moving speech on Feb. 16, 1846, to the
first meeting of the first legislature of the newest state
in the Union. Jones ended his speech with these words:
"The Lone Star of Texas ... has passed on and become
fixed forever in that glorious constellation which all
freemen and lovers of freedom in the world must rever-
ence and adore - the American Union... The first act
in the great drama is now performed. The Republic of
Texas is no more."
The Twenty-Eighth 9tar
When Texas entered the Union, Central Texas was
on the verge of a wave of immigration that would leave
an indelible imprint of many cultures and traditions.
The stability afforded by annexation and Texas' liberal
land policy were irresistible lures to settlers. Texas'
population grew almost 50 percent between 1847 and
Surveyors were hired by homesteaders to locate
their land and survey it. Payment for their services and
for the risks of the job was one-third of the total acre-
age. Indians recognized surveying instruments, refer-
ring to them as "the thing that stole the land," and they
attacked surveyors whenever possible.
As new immigrants from many different countries
and ethnic backgrounds were attracted to Texas, the
mostly Anglo-American and Mexican-American popula-
tion evolved into one more complex and flavorful.
A few Irish settled in San Antonio by 1842. Many
others came to Texas serving as sutlers and teamsters
with the U.S. Army during the war with Mexico. They
settled near the Alamo, then being used as a quar-
termaster's depot, in an area that was known as Irish
Flat. Some of the San Antonio Irish remained with the
army, while others were artisans, merchants and poli-
Germans were among the first to settle in the new
state. In their homeland, they had little voice in govern-
ment. Food was scarce, and overpopulation exacer-
bated the hunger and unemployment. Opportunities for
the young were limited. So great was German fascina-
tion with Texas that a group of German noblemen in
1842 organized the Adelsverein, an association whose
sole purpose was to settle German immigrants in
The Adelsverein purchased rights to the Fisher-
Miller grant, which consisted of more than 3 million
acres on the southern banks of the Colorado River be-
tween the Llano and San Saba rivers about 100 miles
west of Austin. Present-day counties either partially or
wholly within the Fisher-Miller grant were Concho,
Kimble, Llano, McCulloch, Mason, Menard and San
Saba. However, the Fisher-Miller land was unsuitable
for farming, and it was roamed by Indians who reacted
violently when settlers entered their traditional hunt-
ing grounds. With time running short and with hun-
dreds of immigrants waiting on the Gulf Coast,
Commissioner General Prince Carl of Solms Braunfels
purchased 1,300 acres on the Guadalupe River on
March 14, 1845, and the first settlers arrived a week lat-
er. The new community was named New Braunfels.
The Germans faced several serious problems dur-
ing their first years in Texas. Most immediate was a
series of epidemics, including dysentery, malaria,
TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/44/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.