See also: Alien land laws; Dallas; Houston; Mexican immigrants; Mexican Revolution; Texas; Texas Cart War; Westward expansion. Moses developed pneumonia and was barely able to survive by eating roots and berries. Austin had been away from Texas for several months at Saltillo attending a session of the legislature, of which he was a member. Aside from the primary business of inducing immigrants to come to his colonies, Austin's most absorbing labor was devoted to the establishment and maintenance of the land system. Texas was settled, but the system also led to the eventual secession of Texas from Mexico. Beales and Royuela---John Charles Beales, in addition to being interested in the Exeter and Wilson grant, was interested in three other grants. Other colonies had definite boundaries, but his were not specified in his contract and seemed to be whatever he and his colonists occupied.
Moses Austin and his son, Stephen F. Colonel Juan Dominguez---On March 10, 1829, Colonel Juan Dominguez, a native Mexican who had served many years in the Mexican army, applied for a colonization grant in Texas. As early as 1818 Milam was in Texas trading with the Comanches on the head waters of the Colorado. Louis, but when the banks failed in 1819 Stephen, who was then about 26, set his sights on opportunities in Arkansas. Wilson and Exeter---Joining Wilson's first grant, Wilson and Richard Exeter, an English merchant, obtained a second grant on September 23, 1828, for the introduction of one hundred families within these boundaries: Beginning on the right bank of the River Arkansas at the boundary line of the state with the territory of New Mexico; thence down said river to the point where it is intersected by the 102d degree of longitude west of London thence south twenty leagues on the same meridian 102 ; thence west parallel with the River Arkansas to the eastern boundary line of the territory of New Mexico; thence following the said boundary line to the right bank of the Rive Arkansas to the place of beginning.
Its boundaries were as follows: Beginning on the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, at a point distant twenty leagues West of Sabine Bay: Thence northwardly on a line parallel with the river Sabine, the distance of Ten Leagues leaving between this line and said river Sabine a space of Twenty leagues in width: Thence Northwestwardly, on a line parallel with the Coast, at a distance of ten leagues from it, and following the boundary line of the Contract made with these same parties on 2oth Deer. This laid down a few general regulations with reference to colonization within the nation, but left the undertaking largely to the states. For a year, he pleaded his case before a revolving door of Mexican governments before the grant was once again approved. This made him the first empresario, or a foreign person who is granted land and in exchange helps along new settlers and starts a colony. The law of 1825 allowed empresarios to receive land grants. Austin is probably the best known and most successful empresario in Texas.
He founded a town—Austinville, Virginia—in 1792 to be close to his mines. In 1820, Moses Austin, a miner and businessman from Missouri, traveled to San Antonio de Béxar, the provincial capital of the Texas region, to meet with governor Antonio Mária Martínez about bringing American settlers into the region. He took the oath of office and qualified in July 1820, but he only briefly held court, for at the end of August he was in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and in December in New Orleans, where he had made arrangements to live in the home of Joseph H. Moses extended his business to Richmond, Virginia, where he established Moses Austin and Company. Judged by historical standards, Austin did a great work. De Witt was granted authority to settle 400 families.
Missouri State Archives - Photo Collections. Part of Moses Austin's estate, Durham Hall. It offered heads of families a league and a labor of land 4,605 acres and other inducements and provided for the employment of agents, called empresarios, to promote immigration. Upon his return, he learned that an unofficial call had been issued for a convention, or consultation, to meet in October. Under this state law, he obtained three contracts in 1825, 1827, and 1828 to settle a total of 900 additional families in the area of his first colony, besides a contract in partnership with his secretary, , for the settlement of 800 families in western Texas. This lesson, utilizing a unique and engaging educational film created by the Texas Education Agency in 1978, serves as a great introduction to the Texas Empresarios and nicely segues into the Texas Revolutionary period.
The Baron de Bastrop gave land titles to the colonists. The law extended the empresario or contractor system, which had been provided for in the national law. Settlers entering Mexico were required to become Mexican citizens and had, at least nominally, to profess Roman Catholicism, the established religion of Mexico. He wrote to Stephen F. Thence with said road, to the river Medina; thence tip with the right bank of said river a distance of ten leagues.
No empresario was permitted to receive a premium for more than eight hundred families. From this seat he fought for nearly a decade with John Smith for supremacy of the mines. Austin were great men who left a greater legacy, but in the end I am not sure either was wise. Travel was difficult, and it was hard to get Mexican settlers, most of whom lived far to the south, to resettle in Texas. Stephen led the colony to a now-sovereign in 1825, and in time, the settlers demanded autonomy and later won independence from Mexico under President , thereby establishing the. Painting, The Settlement of Austin's Colony by Henry Arthur McArdle, in the House of Representatives chamber in the Texas Capitol. As far as they were concerned, it was created for the sole purpose of acting as a buffer between their settlements along the Rio Grande and the Comancheria.
These colonies were successful in part because the empresarios spoke Spanish, were Catholic and generally familiar with Mexican ways, and allowed local Mexican families to join their colonies. Again Austin acquiesced and served in the convention, hoping in some measure to moderate its action. The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1820-1875. The contracts of , , the and are covered in more detail elsewhere. As has been said, the state invited foreigners to make their homes on its unoccupied lands.