History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 14
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" Quite unexpectedly, as it were, a report
has reached the public ear that the country
lying west of the Sabine river is a tract of
ssurpamsing beauty, exceeding even our best
Western lands in productiveness, with a climnate
perfectly salubrious and of a temperature
at all seasons of the year almost delightful.
The admirers of this new country, speaking
from actual knowledge and a person-il inspection,
are not content, in their descriptions
of it, to make use of ordinary terms of commed(lation.
They hesitate not to call it a
splendid country, an enchanting spot. It
would seem as if enchantment had indeed
thrown its spell over their minds, for with
very few exceptions all who return from this
fairy land are perfect enthusiasts in their admiration
of it. Whatever qualifications to
its excellence the most cautious of them are
disposed to make, have reference to those inconveniences
which unavoidably pertain to
every country in the incipient stage of its
" So apparently extravagant have been the
representations of the natural beauty and
resources of this country, that many persons
are incredulous and attribute them to the
schemes of interested contractors, eager to
allure the unwary emigrant by deceptive
statements. Such a motive, if it really actuates
the conduct of any one, cannot be too
severely condemned. A design more criminal
and disgraceful cannot be, and ought not
to be, lightly insinuated against respectable
men. What design more cruel than that of
deliberately seducing, not the confiding emigrant
alone, but also with him his wife and
children, to become the certain victims of
privation, disappointment and ultimate ruin
in the wilderness! The character an respectability
of the witnesses above referred to
at once repel an insinuation so atrocious.
" While listening for the first time to the
favorable reports of Texas, it must be confessed
a suspicion is very apt to arise in the
mind that so much imputed excellence, if it
really existed, could not have so long been
concealed froin the view of the world, and we
are prone to ask, how has it happened that a
territory, possessing such uncommon advantage
of climate and soil, has not been explored
and appropriated before? To this very natural
inquiry a satisfactory answer is at band.
" Two causes seen to have operated to prevent
the earlier settlement of the province, of
Texas and to retard the development of its
resources. In the first place the jealous policy
of the old Spanish government uniformly
discouraged all attempts to penetrate into
the country. It was the policy of the government
that completely locked up Texas and
all the Spanish-American possessions, and
excluded even visitors and travelers. It was
a favorite saying of the Spanish captain general
of the internal provinces, Don Nemnisio
Salcedo, that he woIld stop the birds from
flying over the boundary line between Texas
and the United States it it were in his power!
This rigid policy prevented any one from attempting
to explore the country by land, for
perpetual imprisonment was the inevitable
result of detection and capture.
" In the second place, the Carancahua Indians,
who inhabited the coast, were represented
to be of a character uncommonly
ferocious. They were popularly believed to
be cannibals; and many tales of most frightful
import were told of them,-such as, if
true, it must be acknowledged, were sufficiently
appalling to check the enterprise
and damp the ardor of the most eager adventurer.
These representations of the character
of the Carancahuas, though in a measure true,
were greatly exaggerated; and it is Ielieved
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/15/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .