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: 29
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Y_~~~~~~~~ITR OF TEA. '
nor did other settlers who were introduced
into Texas about this time effect any expansion
of thle community. It remained for
p)eaceable immigrants from the United States
to accomplish a work of progress which Spain
hlad proved herself incomp tent to perform,
and which had been beyond achievement by
force of arms on the part of adventurers.
t" I have already related how anxious Spain
was to people Texas immediately after the
purchase of Louisiana by the United States,
and so protect herself against encroachments
by occupancy of the country. Her intentions,
however, were frustrated by the dreadful
wars, in which she soon became engaged,
and the revolutions which broke out in her
colonies. In the emergencies to which she
was reduced she relaxed her exclusive policy,
and official proclamations were published inviting
colonists of all classes and nationalities
to settle in her American dominions. The
treaty of amity of February 22, 1819, having
confirmed her in the possession of Texas,
Spain felt herself in a position to remove the
exclusion of Anglo-Americans as colonists in
her territory, which hitherto had been insisted
on in all colonization schemes. At the same
time the royalist power seemed to be firmly
i established in Mexico, the revolution having
been well nigh suppressed and the pacification
of the country almost consummated.
It was reasonable, therefore, to suppose that
the Spanish government would give satisfactory
assurances to Anglo-Americans who
night wish to obtain in a legal manner grants
of land in Texas."
The first American who availed himself of
this new opportunity was Moses Austin. This
man was born in Durham, Connecticut, about
1764. At the age of twenty he married
Maria Brown in Philadelphia, and soon afterward
established a comlmelrcial house in Riellmond,
Virginia, in partnership with his brother,
Stephen, who was at the head of a large
importing business in Philadelphia. The two
brothers a few years later purchased conjointly
a lead mine in Virginia,and ran it fora time.
Adventurous speculation brought them reverses,
and Moses Austin, a man of persever -
ance and enterprise, obtained in 1797 a grant
frown Baron de Carondelet, governor-general
of Louisiana, conferring upon him a league
of land in eastern Missouri, where he made
the first settlement as the nucleus of Washington
county, that State, and where he won
by his upright conduct the admiration of all
the immigrants. But the very qualities
which gained for him the affection of all who
knew him occasioned another reverse of fortune.
He had become a large stockholder in
the Bank of St. Louis, and when in 1818 that
institution went to ruin Austin surrendered
the whole of his property for the benefit of
his creditors. Although now in his fifty-fifth
year, he conceived the bold idea of establishing
an extensive colony in Texas. In this
he was not moved by the reckless spirit of
adventure that had characterized former
attempts of the kind. His intention from
the first was to proceed legally. Accordingly
he made the long journey to San Antonio de
Bejar, arriving in the first part of December,
1820, and made his application to the authorities.
At first he met only with rebuff and
disappointment. Although in 1799 he had
become a naturalized subject of Mexico in
upper Louisiana, he had failed to provide
himself with a passport before starting on his
journey, and when he presented himself before
the governor he was peremptorily ordered
to leave the province immediately. In bitter
HISTRY F TXAS
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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/m1/31/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .