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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Secretary of State colonization records, 1820-1879, undated, bulk 1836-1845,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Secretary of State:

An Inventory of Secretary of State Colonization Records at the Texas State Archives, 1820-1879, undated, bulk 1836-1845



Overview

Creator: Texas. Secretary of State.
Title: Secretary of State colonization records
Dates: 1820-1879, undated
Dates: bulk 1836-1845
Abstract: Colonization records were created to document the efforts of the Republic of Texas to encourage the immigration of new citizens by the signing of contracts with agents, similar to the Mexican government’s empresario grants, and the enforcement of the agreements contained within those contracts. Types of records include lists of immigrants, contracts, correspondence, reports, resolutions, petitions, and proclamations. Dates covered are 1820-1879, undated, bulk 1836-1845.
Quantity: 1.71 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

In a law of December 22, 1836, the Congress of the Republic of Texas invalidated all empresario grants under the Mexican Republic, declared all vacant lands under them the property of the Republic, and required empresarios and public officers to deliver the titles for such property to the Commissioner of the General Land Office. Following this repudiation, colonization in the Republic of Texas was not officially regulated until 1841, when a law of January 4 authorized the President to make contracts with W. S. Peters and others "for the purpose of colonizing and settling a portion of the vacant and unappropriated lands of the Republic." A subsequent act approved February 4, 1842, extended the provisions of the law to other colonization companies. The contracts, which were required to specify the number of families to be introduced within three years, were to be drawn up and filed by the Secretary of State. Contractors were to commence settlement within one year and to have one-third the number of families contracted for in the Republic by the end of the same period, under penalty of forfeiture of the contract. It was the duty of the Secretary of State to publish and declare such forfeitures.

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor's (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1974). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 (Article VI, Section 10), and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution.

An act of February 11, 1854 created a Board of Commissioners composed of the Secretary of State, the Comptroller, and the Attorney General, "to superintend the arranging and filing of the archives of the late Republic of Texas and of the State Legislature, and also the recording of the Journals of the said Congress and State Legislature ... to be deposited in the General Land-office of the State." An act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State "the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives." And an act of March 25, 1887 provided that "the entire archives of the late Republic of Texas, ... together with the records, books, and journals of said Congress" would be "deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State," and "declared to be Archives of said office."

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Colonization records were created to document the efforts of the Republic of Texas to encourage the immigration of new citizens by the signing of contracts with agents, similar to the Mexican government’s empresario grants, and the enforcement of the agreements contained within those contracts. Types of records include lists of immigrants, contracts, correspondence, reports, resolutions, petitions, and proclamations, filed with the Department of State or maintained by the Texas Secretary of State. Dates covered are 1820-1879, undated, the bulk covering the Republic period, 1836-1845.

This series consists of colony contracts filed in the Department of State, as well as correspondence of the Department relating to the colonies. Also included is correspondence of the President and members of Congress relating to colonies and a small amount of material related to colonization in the Republic of Mexico. In addition, documents received in the office of the Secretary of State after annexation relating to the colonies is included. Lists of immigrants brought to Texas as colonists (usually called "ships’ lists") were filed in the Department of State in accordance with the requirement that evidence be made of meeting the numbers of colonists specified in the contract and are included with this series. Specific colonies to which the records relate are those granted to Stephen F. Austin, John C. Beales, Henri Castro, Juan Dominguez y Valdez, Henry F. Fisher and Burchard Miller, Arthur Ikin, William Kennedy and William Pringle, John McMullen and James McGloin, Charles F. Mercer, Alexander Bourgeois d'Orvanne, W. S. Peters, V. Pirson, the Rio Grande and Texas Land Company, Sterling C. Robertson, and John L. Woodbury. This series also includes some non-governmental collections: Papers of the Society for the Protection of German Emigrants, 1844-1846; Papers of Henri Castro, 1846, 1850; Letters of John E. Cravens and W. G. W. Jowers, 1849, 1852; and the Robert Swartwout Papers, 1820-1848.

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Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged by State Archives staff by type of records, then by colony, and therein chronologically.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Peters, W. S. (William S.)
Castro, Henri, 1786-1865.
Mercer, Charles Fenton, 1778-1858.
Fisher, Henry Francis, 1805-1867.
Miller, Burchard.
Robertson, Sterling Clack, 1785-1842.
Swartwout, Robert.
Bourgeios d'Orvanne, Alexander.
Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836.
Cravens, John E.
Jowers, W. G. W. (William George Washington), 1812-1892.
Corporate Names:
Texas (Republic). Dept. of State.
Texas. Congress.
Texas. President.
German Emigration Company.
Subjects:
Immigrants--Texas.
Emigration and immigration--Texas.
Land settlement--Texas.
Germans--Texas.
Places:
Texas--Colonization.
Texas--Emigration and immigration.
Fisher-Miller Colony (Tex.)
Peters Colony (Tex.)
Castro Colony (Tex.)
Mercer Colony (Tex.)
Robertson Colony
McMullen-McGloin Colony (Tex.)
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Colonization--1820-1879.
Contracts--Texas--Colonization--1820-1879.
Functions:
Colonization.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Secretary of State general correspondence of the Department of State, Republic of Texas, 1822-1859, undated, bulk 1835-1846, 4.96 cubic ft., 4 reels microfilm
Texas Treasury Department, Custom House records, 1836-1846
Texas Congress/Legislature, Memorials and petitions, 1836-1937: see card index in State Archives search room (especially a list of colonists in McMullen and McGloin’s San Patricio Colony, listed under "McGloin").
Texas State Archives: Manuscript Collections
Andrew Jackson Houston Collection, 1812-1941, undated, bulk 1835-1859, 31.41 cubic ft. [Note: An online inventory with a link to a searchable database will soon be available.]
Mirabeau B. Lamar papers, 1733-1941, undated, bulk 1821-1859, approx. 36.5 cubic ft. [see published calendar]
Publications
Binkley, William C. (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, New York, D. Appleton-Century Co., 1936, 2 volumes.
Jenkins, John H. (ed. and comp.), Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, Austin, Presidial Press, 1973, 10 volumes

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Secretary of State colonization records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1904/002

These records were transferred to the Texas Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History (a predecessor of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) by the Texas Secretary of State on July 31, 1905.

Processing Information

Processed by State Archives staff, dates unknown

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project, August 2010

Authority name and other changes by Tony Black, February 2011.

Additions to related material by Tony Black, August 2013.

Appraisal Information

Texas State Archives staff completed an appraisal of the Texas Secretary of State holdings already in the custody of the Texas State Archives in December 1998. Fifty-seven series of these holdings were determined to be archival, including Colonization records. The complete appraisal report (in two parts: Republic of Texas records, and non-Republic records) is available for consultation online at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosrepublic.html and http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosstate.html, and also in the search room of the Texas State Archives.

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Other Finding Aids

Alphabetical name indexes (in card-file format) are available in the State Archives search room for the Fisher-Miller Colony, the Peters Colony, and the Castro Colony.

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Secretary of State colonization records, 1820-1879, undated, bulk 1836-1845,
1.71 cubic ft.

[Most of the entries below include an inventory number (INV) for clarity. These numbers are from the Grizzard list. In 1991 James Grizzard, a collector of Texana, provided funding for an inventory of the Republic-era holdings of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). The State Library was to review all existing accession or transfer records to create a listing of historic documents known to be in its holdings, then review its records to find out which of these Republic-era documents were missing and create a Missing List for general distribution. Click on http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/missingintro.html for more information on the Missing List.]
Lists of persons emigrating to Texas as colonists under the W. S. Peters contract, 1844-1845
Box Folder
2-9/26 1. INV 9262: List of Peters Colony immigrants, August 11, 1845
2. INV 9263: List of Peters Colony immigrants, December 3, 1844
3. INV 9264: Affidavits concerning Peters Colony, April 25, 1846
4. INV 9265: Peters Colony, 443 settlers, August 11, 1845
Lists of persons emigrating to Texas as colonists under the Henri Castro contract, 1842-1846
Box Folder
2-9/26 5. INV 9266: Probus ship list, Castro Colony, December 6, 1844
6. INV 9267: Norvegien ship list, Castro Colony, December 19, 1844
7. INV 9268: List of colonists, Castro Colony, September 17, 1845
Oversize Folder
Box 23 6. INV 9297: Castro colonists, 75 families, undated
6. INV 9298: Castro colonists, second copy, undated
Lists of persons emigrating to Texas as colonists under the Fisher-Miller contracts, 1844-1846
Box Folder
2-9/26 8. INV 9269: List of German immigrants (Ferdinand), June 24, 1845
9. INV 9270: List of German immigrants (Dethard), June 24, 1845
10. INV 9271: List of German immigrants (Armenius), October 22, 1845
11. INV 9272: List of German immigrants (Herschel), October 22, 1845
12. INV 9273: List of German immigrants (Hercules), November 15, 1845
13. INV 9274: List of German immigrants (Strabo), November 20, 1845
14. INV 9275: List of German immigrants (St. Rep. & NY), November 20, 1845
15. INV 9276: List of German immigrants (Margarethe), December 1, 1845
16. INV 9277: List of German immigrants (Neptune), December 3, 1845
17. INV 9278: List of German immigrants (Washington), December 5, 1845
18. INV 9279: List of German immigrants (Garonne), December 6, 1845
19. INV 9280: List of German immigrants (Everhard), December 18, 1845
20. INV 9281: List of German immigrants (Sarah Ann), December 30, 1845
21. INV 9282: List of German immigrants (Bohlens), December 30, 1845
22. INV 9283: List of German immigrants (George Delius), December 30, 1845
23. INV 9284: List of German immigrants (Auguste/Heline), December 31, 1845
24. INV 9285: List of German immigrants (Riga), January 8, 1846
25. INV 9286: List of German immigrants (Gesina), January 10, 1846
26. INV 9287: List of German immigrants (J. Dethard), January 12, 1846
27. INV 9288: List of German immigrants (Weser), January 12, 1846
28. INV 9289: List of German immigrants (Harriet), January 15, 1846
29. INV 9290: List of German immigrants (Hermann), January 20, 1846
30. INV 9291: List of German immigrants (Apollo), January 30, 1846
31. INV 9292: List of German immigrants, January 28, 1846
32. INV 9293: List of German immigrants (Dethard/Herschel/Ferdinand), January 30, 1846
33. INV 9294: List of German immigrants, various ports, January 30, 1846
34. INV 9295: List of German immigrants, January 31, 1846
35. INV 9296: List of German immigrants (Franciska), February 5, 1846
Oversize Folder
Box 23 7. INV 9299: Ship list (Maria Claves), undated
8. INV 9300: Ship list (Lyons), October 18, 1843
9. INV 9301: Ship list (Louis Philippe), October 26, 1843
10. INV 9302: Ship list (Jean Key), October 25, 1843
11. INV 9303: Ship list (L'Ebro), November 2, 1842
12. INV 9304: Ship list (Henrich), November 22, 28, 1843
13. INV 9305: Ship list (Ocean), April 9, 1844
14. INV 9306: Ship list (Jeannette Marie), May 12, 1844
15. INV 9307: Societe--list of emigrants, November 15, 1846
16. INV 9308: German emigrants (Weser), July 8, 1844
17. INV 9309: Ship list (Talisman), June 1-2, 184[5]
18. INV 9310: Ship list (Diamant), January 21, 1846
19. INV 9311: Societe--list of emigrants, November 15, 1846
Colonization contracts, 1838-1844
Box Folder
2-9/27 1. INV 9123: Rullman contract, May 21, 1838
1. INV 9124: Fisher/Miller contract, September 1, 1843
1a. INV 9125: Mercer contract, January 29, 1844
Oversize Folder
Box 23 1. INV 9126: Mercer contract, January 29, 1844
2. INV 9128: Viesca/Williams, etc. contract, May 13, 1835
3. INV 9129: Bourgeois d'Orvanne contract, June 3, 1842
3. INV 9130: Bourgeois d'Orvanne contract, June 3, 1842
4. INV 9131: Fisher/Miller contract, June 7, 1842
5. INV 9132: Pirson contract, November 18, 1842
Reports, 1840-1845
Box Folder
2-9/27 2. Reports of the Texas Association filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1845
3. Lists of members, copies of resolutions, and other records of emigration companies filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1840-1844
Letters received by the Secretary of State pertaining to colonization, 1836-1848
Box Folder
2-9/27 4. 1836
5. 1838
6. 1839
7. 1840
8. 1841
9. 1842
10. 1843
11. 1844
12. 1845
13. 1846
14. 1847
15. 1848
Letters sent by the Secretary of State pertaining to colonization, 1842-1845
Box Folder
2-9/27 16. 1842-1845
Letters received by the President and Governor pertaining to colonization, 1839-1845, 1850-1851, 1855-1857
Box Folder
2-9/27 17. 1839-1845
17. INV 9318: Petition re: Fisher/Miller Colony, January 16, 1850
17. INV 9319: Petition re: Mercer Colony, January 5, 1850
17. INV 9320 thru 9331: Petitions re: Peters Colony, January 10, 1850
17. INV 9332 and 9333: Petitions re: Fisher/Miller Colony, January 15, 1850
17. INV 9336 and 9337: Petitions re: Mercer Colony, January 17, 1850
17. INV 9339: Petition re: Mercer Colony, January 24, 1850
17. 1851, 1855-1857
Miscellaneous re: colonization, 1836, 1857-1858, undated
Box Folder
2-9/27 18. Two letters sent by President and Governor, 1836, 1857
18. Three proclamations of appointment of commissioners to examine Peters Colony claims, 1857-1858
18. One message to legislature, undated
Records of the Legislature, General Land Office, and other agencies relating to colonization, 1836-1879
Box Folder
2-9/27 19. 1836-1879
19. INV 9375 thru 9377: Affidavits re: Peters colonists, April 25, 1846
Non-governmental records relating to colonization, 1820-1852
Box Folder
2-9/27 20. Papers relating to colonization in the State of Coahuila and Texas, Republic of Mexico, 1820-1835
20. INV 9391: McMullen and McGloin Colony, 1835
21. Papers of the Texas Association and Charles Fenton Mercer, 1844-1848
Box Folder
2-9/28 22. Papers of the Society for the Protection of German Emigrants in Texas (German Emigration Company), 1844-1846
22. INV 9421: Dr. F. B. Webb day book, February 1847
23. Papers of Henri Castro, 1846, 1850
24. Letters of John E. Cravens and W.G.W. Jowers, 1849, 1852
25. Robert Swartwout Papers, 1820-1845
26. Robert Swartwout Papers, 1846-1848

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