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: 30
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HISTORY OF TEXAS.
ness of heart he left the governor's house to
make preparations for his departure; but on
crossing the plaza he met Baron de Bastrop,
an alcalde and a native of Prussia, whose
acquaintance he had made many years before.
In his younger days Bastrop was a soldier of
fortune under Frederick the Great. He afterward
entered the service of the king of Spain,
who sent him on a special mission to Mexico.
While Louisiana was under the dominion of
Spain he obtained a grant of thirty miles
-quare between the Mississippi and Red
rivers, 400,000 acres of which he ceded to
Aaron Burr, on which the latter intended to
plant a colony as a nucleus for his meditated
expedition against Mexico. When Louisiana
was receded to France, Bastrop became a
citizen of San Antonio de Bejar, where he
was appointed alcalde and afterward land
commissioner, and in 1827 he represented
Texas in the legislature of Coahuila and Texas.
He died in 1828 or 1829.
On meeting Austin, as before stated, he interested
himself in his undertaking, and by
his influence had a second interview with
Governor Martinez, who, after some deliberation,
forwarded Austin's memorial to Arredondo,
the corn mandant-general of the eastern
internal provinces, with a strong recommendation
in its favor from the local authorities of
While his case was pending, he started on
the long journey back to his Missouri home,
in January, 1821, and suffered untold hardships.
He was frequently obliged to cross
swollen streams by either swimming or rafting,
and to suffer a great deal from hunger.
Indeed, the exposures of the journey broke
down his health, and he died at his home
June 10th following, in his fifty-seventy year.
On dying he left an arrangement with his
son, Stephen Fuller Austin, then in New Or
leans, to prosecute the enterprise he had begun
in Texas. From 1821 to 1824 there
were no less than four different forms of government
in Texas, and of course but little was
done by way of settlement. January 17,
1821, however, Austin's memorial was
granted, giving him permission to introduce
300 families into Texas. In energy and perseverance
the son was equal to his father, and
he arrived at San Antonio with seventeen
companions, and received permission from
the government to explore the country on the
Colorado river and select an advantageous position.
He also examined the country along
the Brazos river. Being convinced of the
fertility of the land and healthfulness of the
climate, he returned to Louisiana and published
the particulars of the scheme. (Each
aJead of a family was to receive 640 acres,
JQ2_ acres in addition for the wife sh-ouSidee
be one, 100 acres additional for each child,
and eighty acres in addition for each slave.
Each single man also would receive a grant
of 610 acres. The conditions imposed upon
the settlers were that they should be Oatholics,
or agree to become so, before entering
the territory; that they should be provided
with credentials of good character and habits;
should take the oath to be obedient in all
things to the government; to take up arms
in defense against all enemies; to be faithful
to the king; and to observe the political constitution
of the Spanish monarchy. On the
part of the colony itself, each settler waa to
pay 12j cents per acre for his land to defray
expenses, except that Austin took it upon
himself to pay for all the surveying, securing
of titles, etc. The money was to be paid in
instalments after receipt of title. A portion
of the fund was also designed for purposes of
government, defense against hostile Indians,
and to furnish supplies to poor immigrants.
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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/m1/32/?rotate=270: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .