Peters Colony
Historical Society

of Dallas County, Texas
P.O. Box 110846
Carrollton, Texas 75011-0846
Organized September 21, 1971


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Emigration to the Trinity & Red River Colony, Texas

     The parties to the contract made with the Government of the Republic of Texas, under the special acts and authority of the Congress, passed the 4th of February, 1841, and January 16th, 1843, with Peters and others, for the purpose of colonizing the vacant and unappropriated lands of the Republic, having formed themselves into an association called "The Texas Emigration and Land Company: appointed the undersigned as Trustees, and invested them with full power and authority to carry out and fulfil the objects and purposes of the parties thereto;--We would therefore give notices to those who may wish to avail themselves of the liberal terms offered by this Company, to settlers in their colony, that we shall give to emigrants who shall go to the grant and settle thereon, on or before the first of July, 1847, the following amount of lands, to wit: to each family 320 acres, and to each single man over seventeen years of age 160 acres of land, to be selected by themselves, upon the following conditions, viz: before going thereon, each family shall remit to us $20, and each single man $10, to pay us for the cost of the surveys of the lands upon which they shall settle, upon the receipt of which, we shall issue to all thus remitting to us, a certificate, which when presented to our agent in the grant will entitle the parties holding the same to their lands; provided they comply with the contract, which requires each family or single man to build a cabin, fence in and cultivate 15 acres of the land for three years, and be citizens of Texas for that period, when this Company or the Government of Texas will convey a clear and undisputed title, upon the simple payment of the cost of the deed and record thereof. To all those, who may go on to our grant and settle according to our contract, but do not remit us the money for the surveys before emigrating, we will give to each such family 240 acres, and to each single man, over 17 years of age, 120 acres of land; the families executing their notes to our resident agent for $15, and the single man for $7.50, for the cost of the surveys, payable 12 months after the date, with interest to maturity of note--the certificate in such case will be issued by our agent.

     By a family is to be understood, a man and his wife, with or without children, a widow or widower, with two or more children under the age of seventeen years; or if all girls they may be over the age of seventeen years, also two men over the age of seventeen years--males over seventeen years of age shall each be entitled to 160 acres of land, if the surveys be paid here before emigrating, or 120 acres if paid by note after settling on the grant, besides the 320 acres given to the family of which they are members.

     For the information of those not acquainted with the very great advantages of settling in this beautiful country we would respectfully represent, that our colony is now becoming rapidly settled by an intelligent, industrious, and desirable population, and we are advised that such large numbers are now preparing to go there, that there can be no doubt but it will become in a very short time, the most populous and valuable part of Texas.

     Our grant lies between the 32d and 34th degrees of north latitude, and between the 19th and 22d degrees of longitude west from Washington, in the rich counties of Fannin, Nacogdoches, Robertson, and Milam, beginning at a point on the south side of Red River, 12 miles east of the mouth of the False Ouchita river, running thence due south 10 miles, thence west 164 miles, thence north 100 miles to Red River, thence east down the meanderings of Red River 164 miles to the beginning.

     We have now in our possession letters from gentlemen of the highest standing and intelligence, and from the colonists themselves, declaring that this country contains, for its territory, the largest body of the richest and most fertile lands of any in North America; and that no country is more abundantly watered by rivers, creeks, rivulets, and springs of the purest and most wholesome water.

     The lands generally have a gently undulating surface, and are so well proportioned with woodland and prairie, that nearly every settler may have woodland enough for all the purposes of fuel, fencing, and agriculture, and rich prairie enough to relieve him of the tedious, expensive, and laborious work of clearing a plantation, it requiring only to be fenced in, to be ready for cultivation.

     The rich river bottoms and splendid prairies cannot be surpassed by any lands on this continent for richness, and the luxurient production of all the great staple articles grown in this country, with as little labor to the cultivator.

     This country is peculiarly adapted to the growth of tobacco and cotton, as there are no early frosts to destroy the crops. Indian corn, rye, barley, oats, peas, beans, melons, figs, sweet and Irish potatoes, hemp, fruits, and grapes of the very finest kind are produced in great abundance. It is not surpassed by any part of the world for its abundant produce of the finest wheat, and grasses of various kinds; the prairies abound in an ample range of wild nutritious pasturage, affording the greatest facility for rearing cattle at the very cheapest rates. Horses, cattle sheep, and hogs, all thrive there with the usual care and attention.

     The timber is composed principally of red, white, post, and Spanish oak, cotton wood, elm, ash, and black walnut.

     The climate, is mild and beautiful, and for health and pleasure,. is not surpassed by any in the world, and in this respect may be termed the Italy of America--the thermometer ranging from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the year, the winters are mild and the summer months are relieved of their heat by a constant breeze which plays over the country.

     The planting season begins in February and March, and continues on til July, but as the early crops are more certain and productive, those intending to go on there would do best to do so during the next Fall, or Winter, that they may locate and be prepared to put in an early large crop. We would advise every one to take with them all such necessary articles, which can be done without too much inconvenience or expense; and every male over 17 years of age should take with him a rifle or shotgun, with plenty of ammunition, by which he will be enabled to procure an abundance of wild game, for the mere trouble of shooting it and the cost of ammunition, as the country abounds in buffalo, deer, wild turkies, prairie hens, quails, and grey squirrels.

     The Trinity river empties into Galveston Bay at Galveston, and the Red River into the Mississippi river above New Orleans, and are each navigable to our grant, which will afford a cheap conveyance to the best markets of the country.

     Emigrants going to our grant, from the States of Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the northern parts of Illinois and Indiana, should go through Missouri or Arkansas to Van Buren, Fort Smith, Fort Towson, Coffee's Station, or Pine Bluffs, and thence to the settlements at Dallas on the forks of the Trinity river. Those going from other sections of the country should go to Memphis, Tenn., Columbia or Helena, Arkansas on the Mississippi River, thence through Arkansas to Fort Towson, Coffee's Station, or Pine Bluffs on Red River, and thence to the settlements. The land route through Missouri and Arkansas, is more expeditious, certain, and cheaper than the water route, unless Red River is known to be high. Those wishing to go by water should, if Red River is known to be up, go on to New Orleans and there take a Red River boat to Fort Towson, or Pine Bluffs. It is often the case that Red River is in a moderate stage, and thus boats can easily go to Shreveport, Fort Caddo or Jefferson, and not higher; persons should therefore go prepared to go on from Shreveport, Port Caddo or Jefferson, by land to our grant. Mr. George M. Nichols a Merchant of Shreveport, will give Emigrants all necessary information as to the cheapest and best route to the Grant from that place at the time of arrival there.

     We have heard from respectable sources, that many emigrants have returned who have gone up to Shreveport and other points on Red River, being discouraged by the circulation there of reports prejudicial to the interests of this company and our grant; alleging that we cannot give the lands, and that if we could do so that they are miserably poor; to all those who have such tales told them we would say, go on and see for yourselves. The country for some distance between Shreveport and our grant is not desirable, but as you approach our settlements the country is totally changed as it regards the soil, woodland, water, and indeed is different in all respects.

     Heads of families or single men may go on or send an agent to the country to select and locate their lands, build the cabins, and make the fences before removing, provided they are on the grant as citizens of Texas on or before the 1st of July, 1847, to be reported to the government as emigrants and colonists under the contract.

     When 20 families or more shall go on and settle, and prefer having their lands surveyed within themselves, we shall allow them to do so, provided they are correctly done under the supervision of our agent and our chief surveyor.

     We have now at Dallas and the Forks of the Trinity and intelligent resident agent, Mr. Henry O. Hedgecoxe, who will at all times be prepared to receive and locate to their satisfaction all who may go on to settle.

     All communications, post paid, addressed to the undersigned, trustee, at Louisville, Ky., or to either of them, on business of the company, shall meet with prompt attention.

Trustees of the Texas Emigrant and Land Co. Louisville, June, 1846.



Peters Colony Historical Society of Dallas County is a non-profit organization.
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