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the only course which we can pursue to save ourselves from anarchy and total destruction. Under such circumstances, I trust that you will lose no time in addressing a communication to every corporation of Texas, exhorting them to concur in the organization of a local government, independent of Coahuila, even should the Supreme Government of Mexico refuse its consent."
Having transmitted this letter to its destination, and having obtained through his friend Lorenzo de Zavala, the Governor of Mexico, the repeal of the whole of the eleventh article of the law of the 6th of July, 1830, by which “ the citizens of foreign countries lying adjacent to the Mexican territories” were “ prohibited from settling as colonists in the States or Territories of the Republic adjoining such countries,” Colonel Austin quitted the capital and proceeded towards Texas. On the 10th of December he took leave of the Vice-President, to whom he had become personally reconciled. In the meantime, the letter of the 2nd of October had been received and discussed by the municipality of Bexar. Owing, perhaps, to the preponderance of Mexican influence in that corporation, the recommendations of the Commissioner were disapproved by the majority, and the communication itself forwarded to the federal authorities in the city of Mexico. Highly incensed by the discovery, the Vice-President despatched an express, with orders to the governors of the different States through which he was to pass, to secure Austin's person. He was arrested at Saltillo, 230 leagues from Mexico, taken back to that city, and imprisoned in the dungeons of the old Inquisi
tion-shut out from the light of day, and not allowed to speak to or correspond with any one, nor to have books, pen, ink, or paper. Parties hostile to Austin and his object had inflamed the mind of the Vice-President against him, so that he had become his most violent and bitter enemy. Farias was an honest supporter of the Federal system ; but he was of a hard and unyielding temper, and was governed by the opinion that the enforcement of a modified system of terror was essential to the welfare of the country.
Settlement of Beales' and Grant's Concession on the Rio Grande
in 1833-4-Departure of the Amos Wright schooner from New York and arrival in Aransas Bay-Unpropitious season Mexican Coast Guard and Collector of Customs-Difficulty of Winter Travelling-Refugio and Goliad - Mexican Rancho-Bexar-Journey to the Rio Grande-Founding a Town-Departure of the Empresario-Fate of the Settlement-Superiority of Anglo-American Colonization
In the history of a modern colony, every advance towards the formation of a new settlement has a claim to be recorded. Whether the attempt to colonise has been successful or unsuccessful, it seldom fails to supply useful instruction to future adventurers. Holding this opinion, and moreover desirous to exhibit the condition of a large and yet unsettled portion of the Republic of Texas, as it was under Mexican rule a few years ago, I
pause in the narrative of general events, to relate the first operations of an association which made the earliest essay to establish a foreign colony in the district lying between the river Nueces and the Rio Grande.
Doctor John Charles Beales, whose name has been previously mentioned in this work, concluded with the State of Coahuila and Texas a contract for colonising a tract between those rivers, comprising three millions of acres. To this concession was added another of five millions of acres, farther
to the north. Doctor Beales, now in the practice of the medical profession in the city of New York, is an Englishman, a native of Aldborough in Suffolk, and was married in the city of Mexico, in the year 1830, to Doña Maria Dolores Soto, a Mexican lady, the widow of Richard Exter, an English merchant, who, by virtue of an agreement with Stephen Julian Wilson, a naturalised citizen of the Mexican Republic, became a partner in certain Empresario contracts. Having in partnership with James Grant, a naturalised Mexican citizen, obtained Empresario rights for the settlement of 800 European families, Doctor Beales, still retaining his character of Empresario, with the approval of Mr. Grant, associated himself with a New York Company, formed of persons of respectability, who provided the requisite funds for procuring emigrants from Ireland, France, and Germany, and conveying them to the settlement. According to a manuscript journal transmitted by Dr. Beales to the Directors of the Rio Grande and Texas Land Company, with which I was favoured by the Company's secretary and legal adviser, Mr. Charles Edwards of New York, the first body of colonists-fifty-nine in number_embarked at New York for Aransas Bay, in Texas, in the schooner Amos Wright, on the 10th of November, 1833. To each emigrant the Empresario was to concede one labor of land and a house lot free of charge.
The vessel sailed on the 11th of November, a very injudicious period, as it exposed the emigrants to the discouragement and inconvenience of arriving in Texas at the most unfavourable season of the
year. On the 3rd of December land was descried in Matagorda Bay; on the 4th, at 9 o'clock A.M., land was made, 30 miles north of Aransaso inlet, and at 1 o'clock on the 6th, the schooner crossed the bar, with nine feet water, and came to anchor; the wind veering north-east and north-west. Head winds and strong tides delayed the vessel two days, but at 10 o'clock a.m. on the 8th they commenced warping up the bay. On the 9th it blew a very strong gale from the north, which prevented further progress : at 9 o'clock A.M. on the 10th they commenced warping up the channel, with light winds from the north. The wind becoming more favourable at noon, they proceeded as far as Live Oak Point, where they anchored. At 8 o'clock, A.M., on the 11th, they weighed anchor and steered for Copano, distant about six miles to the westward, when the vessel ran aground, and they were unable to anchor until about 2 o'clock, P.M. On account of the superior freshness of the language, I shall borrow from the journal itself those tend to illustrate the character of the expedition, and the social and physical aspect of the country.
On the 11th of December, the master of the schooner (Mr. Munroe) went ashore, and brought off the captain of the Mexican coast-guard and all his force, consisting of a corporal and two soldiers.—“ Had at supper the pleasure of the officer's company who went ashore at 7 o'clock, completely intoxicated. On coming aboard, the military wished to give us a salute, but, unfortunately, only one pistol would go off. We had the mortification of learning, first, that we could not clear the vessel