Unit 5 Section 3 Notes

Unit 5: Mexican National
Section Three Notes - Americans
Settle in Texas
Moses Austin
Moses Austin was a wealthy bank owner and
land investor until the financial “Panic of
1819”. This depression caused many people to
lose all their money and everything they
owned, including Moses. In an effort to make
his fortune back, Moses Austin decided that
he would try to establish a colony in Texas for
Moses Austin Goes to Texas
In December of 1820, Moses Austin arrived in
San Antonio. He hoped to meet the governor
and ask for permission to settle a colony in
Texas. Since he was a U.S. citizen, the governor
was suspicious of Moses and he sent him
away. On his way out of town, he met an old
friend, Baron de Bastrop, who helped him
convince the governor to approve Austin’s
On their way back…
As they headed back to Austin’s home in
Missouri, Moses Austin and the slave traveling
with him, Richmond, were attacked by a
fellow traveler. They had to walk the rest of
the way, and both men became gravely ill.
Moses Austin later found out that he would be
allowed to bring 300 Catholic families to
Texas, but he feared he would die before that
happened. He asked his son Stephen to take
his place.
Stephen F. Austin Goes to Texas
After his father’s death, Austin traveled to Texas
to meet with Governor Martínez. He was
escorted by Erasmo Seguín, the alcalde of San
Antonio, and Baron de Bastrop. While there,
he found out that since his father’s death,
Mexico has won its independence from Spain.
He would have to make a new agreement with
the young Mexican government. He spent part
of the time in Texas exploring land for his
Austin Readies His Colony
While waiting for approval from the Mexican
government, Austin decided to set the terms
for his new colony. There were rules for the
colony though, such as no drinking, gambling,
or profane language. He expected the people
of his colony to respect Mexican laws,
traditions, and religion.
Terms of Colonization
Heads of households could receive 640 acres of
land, while married men could get an extra
320, plus 160 acres for each child in the family.
An extra 80 would be added per slave for a
slaveholder. They could receive extra land for
bringing devices like cotton gins. He charged
12.5 cents per acre and would write up a land
title for the owner.
What Austin offered was better than anything in
the United States, where land was much more
expensive and had to be paid for upfront and
with cash. This was impossible for most
people. Most saw Austin’s requirements as
reasonable, even though they had to become
Mexican citizens and Catholic to own land in
Texas. The people of Austin’s colony settled
along the Brazos and Colorado Rivers, and
Austin helped the people adjust to frontier life
as best he could.
Austin Goes to Mexico City
Not long after arriving at his colony, Stephen was
called back to Mexico City to finalize his contract.
While in Mexico, he formed strong ties with
Mexican officials, which helped his colony
succeed. But when Austin was away, many
problems began to emerge in his colony. Their
crops were ruined from a drought, people were
starving, and they were often being attacked by
the Karankawa and Tonkawa Indians. Austin
created a militia to fight the Indians and helped
to set up a colonial government, which promoted
a mixture of Spanish and U.S. law.
The Old Three Hundred
By 1824, Austin nearly fulfilled his contract by
having 297 families in his colony. They became
known as The Old Three Hundred. Most were
from the southern United States and were
very well educated. Jane Long, the wife of
filibuster Dr. James Long, was one of the Old
Three Hundred. She survived many hardships
and become one of the most well known
women in Texas for her spirit and resilience.
She is now known as the “Mother of Texas.”
San Felipe de Austin
In 1824, Austin founded San Felipe de Austin
along the Brazos River, which would be the
capital of his colony. It soon became the heart
of his colony and the second-largest business
center in Texas, after San Antonio. Because of
the success of his first colony, Austin was given
permission to create four more between 1825
and 1831.
Mexico’s New Colonization Laws
Because of the success of Austin’s colony, the
Mexican government tried to encourage more
immigration into Texas with the National
Colonization Law of 1824. Then the state of
Coahuila y Texas passed their own State
Colonization Law of 1825. It allowed
empresarios, or businessmen who promoted
settlement, to bring more people into Texas.
For every 200 families an empresario brought,
they would receive 67,000 acres of land!
Martin de Leon
Martin de Leon was a Mexican empresario who
settled 200 families in South Texas. His colony
was located between the Lavaca and Guadalupe
Rivers. He and his wife founded the town of
Victoria in 1824.
Green DeWitt
Green DeWitt was an American empresario like
Stephen F. Austin. He is important because he
settled 166 families in Texas near present-day
Other Empresarios
Twenty five other colonies were established in
Texas by other empresarios, such as Ben
Milam and Haden Edwards. Some of them
were European, such as Arthur G. Wavell of
Scotland, and Irishmen John McMullen and
James McGloin, who founded San Patricio
(meaning St. Patrick in Spanish). Other famous
empresarios include David G. Burnet and
Lorenzo de Zavala, who established colonies in
East Texas.
Stephen F. Austin – The Father of
In all, the Mexican government gave contracts to
40 empresarios, which brought about a
population boom of almost 20,000 people in
Texas by 1830. Stephen F. Austin is the most
famous and important of all the empresarios.
In just 10 years, he brought 1,500 families to
Texas. He was intelligent and soft-spoken, and
won the respect and trust of Mexican officials
and American Indians. He is now known as the
Father of Texas!
Spanish Settlement
Mexican Settlement
Anglo Settlement
Country’s Purpose
for Settlement - To
Claim Texas and
secure power and
land in the New
Country’s Purpose
for Settlement –
Increase the
Population in
Northern Mexico
Country’s Purpose
for Settlement –
Increase American
Settlement in Texas
& Manifest Destiny
Individuals’ Reasons
for Settlement – Gold,
Land, Glory, God
Individuals’ Reasons
for Settlement –
Method of
Missions, Presidios,
Civil Settlements
Method of
Settlement: Civil
Settlements and
Empresario Grants
Individuals’ Reasons
for Settlement – New
Start, Escape Debt,
New Opportunities
Method of Settlement:
National Colonization
Law, Empresario

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