A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 22
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HISTORY OF NAVARRO, HENDERSON, ANDERSON,
souri when it belonged to Spain, resolved
to become the founder of a Texas colony.
To make preparations, he visited San Antonio,
but was at first coolly received by
Governor Martinez, and ordered to leave
the province; but, happening to meet
Baron de Bastrop, whom he had previously
known, that gentleman, who was
one of the alcaldes of the municipality, became
warmly favorable to Austin's plan,
and through his influence the Governor
was induced to give the colonial project
his sanction. With the aid of De Bastrop,
Austin succeeded in getting the signatures
of all the officials of the city to his application,
which was forwarded to Arredondo,
the commander of the eastern interior
Having no doubt of the success of his
application, Austin returned to Missouri
to make arrangements to introduce his
colonists; but on his journey he was so
much exposed that he took sick and died
after reaching his home. During the time
that he was in Mexico, his son, Stephen
Fuller Austin, was in New Orleans maturing
plans to co-operate with his father.
Arredondo promptly gave his assent to
the colonial project, and Veramendi and
Teguin, two prominent citizens of San
Antonio, were appointed commissioners to
meet Austin at Natchitoches. Stephen
Austin, hearing of these commissioners
and the meeting place, set out to go there,
but on the road heard of the death of his
father. The authority of the elder Austin
was transferred to the son. Being cordially
received at San Antonio, he returned to
New Orleans, and with the assistance of
citizens of that city purchased a vessel,
loaded it with supplies and started for the
moutlh of the Colorado river; but the
schooner was never afterward heard from.
Austin at once departed. by land, and
was joined on his trip by ten companions.
The lands selected were upon the Brazos
and Colorado rivers, and the party reached
the bank of the Brazos December 31. The
conditions upon which the colonists were
permitted to settle were at first quite stringent.
They must be Roman Catholics;
citizens of Louisiana; must take an oath
to support the Spanish monarchy, and be
of exemplary character. Each man was to
receive 640 acres of land, his wife 320,
and each child 160. To the heads of families
eighty acres were given for each slave
brought in. The land was to be paid for
at the rate of twelve and a half cents per
But the condition of affairs was so unsettled
that Austin was compelled to wait
a whole year before a government sufficiently
stable was formed by which he
could arrange his colony on a firm basis.
As an inducement to colonists a clause was
inserted in the law, which is quite lengthy,
exempting all colonists from taxes, tithes,
etc., for six years. The settlements filled
up and grew with considerable rapidity.
Austin had opened a farm on Red river,
where he raised a large quantity of produce
for his colony. He gained the friendship
of General La Garcia, commander of
the eastern interior provinces, and made
friends of all the leading persons with
whom he came in contact. In consequence
of the restless and rambling disposition of
a majority of the colonists, they scattered
from San- Jacinto on the east to N avidad
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/24/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.